Every Second Counts

“A Spacecraft for All”: The Journey of the ISEE-3.

Great story made all the more compelling by the gorgeous website. The Journey segment is an especially brilliant use HTML5 video, canvas 3D and JS. Standout aspect is the tasteful use of interactive canvas elements, seamlessly blending into the videoscape. 

Phenomenal interview with Jim Clark. Deserves way more views than it has gotten. One of the top 5 most influential figures in the Valley. Great charisma and a sharp mind. I believe he is 69 years old when this was recorded.

He was 38 when the SGI journey began, 50 by the time that ended and Netscape was on the horizon. Oh and then there was WebMD. And Shutterfly. Jim appears to do one thing consistently: he inspires incredibly smart engineers to do their best work with him. Easier said than done.

I was curious as to how Dunkin Donuts staff figure out exactly how much Coolata concentrate to pour into a cup, regardless of flavor.
If you observe the process, the preparer will take the concentrate out of the cooler and just “free pour” it into the cup.
The results, regardless of flavor, are quite consistent. So how do they do it?
Well, turns out that the dark red line on the cup isn’t just an aesthetic element, it serves as a guideline on when to stop pouring the concentrate.
The preparer then adds the slush-ice, mixes the concoction - and done! Clever, but I doubt they are the first to think of this.

I was curious as to how Dunkin Donuts staff figure out exactly how much Coolata concentrate to pour into a cup, regardless of flavor.

If you observe the process, the preparer will take the concentrate out of the cooler and just “free pour” it into the cup.

The results, regardless of flavor, are quite consistent. So how do they do it?

Well, turns out that the dark red line on the cup isn’t just an aesthetic element, it serves as a guideline on when to stop pouring the concentrate.

The preparer then adds the slush-ice, mixes the concoction - and done! Clever, but I doubt they are the first to think of this.

Have I done any good in the world today?

Have I helped anyone in need?

Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?

If not, I have failed indeed.

Has anyone’s burden been lighter today

Because I was willing to share?

Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?

When they needed my help was I there?

Then wake up and do something more

Than dream of your mansion above.

Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,

A blessing of duty and love.

by

Will L. Thompson

A very insightful fireside chat with Tim O’Reilly, especially the first 30 minutes.

Two key points:

  • A serious shortage of EE+ID+CS talent is driving acquisitions like Google-Nest.
  • "Systems thinking" is more important than ever. It is the difference between a gimmick and a truly valuable service for society.

There is a dearth of people who can leverage electronics, industrial design and software to build useful services. I am not referring to hobbyists (there are plenty) but to people like the engineers at Nest, Project Ara and their progenitor Apple.

The ability to create and manufacture bespoke, power efficient and evolvable devices is a serious edge every company looking to define the future needs to have. You can count companies with such capabilities on two hands.

Another highly relevant point made is about the need for process-oriented people. Ev Williams likes to refer to such people as “systems thinkers” and I think that term is more appropriate. Truly transformational services in the future are going to comprise of large networks of engaged sensors, generating defensible value through scale.

One needs to be capable of ultra-wideband and medium-deep kind of thinking to consider and implement such a long and diverse chain of interactions

Such people will remain valuable, Internet-of-Things or otherwise.

1 / 22