Making things easy

Why was the iPod successful? It didn’t have the most features – I once bought an Archos Jukebox with many options unavailable on the iPod at the time. It certainly wasn’t price – I bought a Dell DJ for $100 less than a comparable iPod in 2005. The design and user experience, the sleekness and […]

Mapping out Organizational Space

I really liked Tim O’Reilly’s post today about how companies like Google and WalMart are incorporating IT into their organizational DNA. O’Reilly’s post describes how those example companies are mapping out a new way of organizing people built around integrating IT into how the organization functions: Sensing, processing, and responding (based on pre-built models of […]

The Future of Organizations

Paul Graham’s latest essay claims that small organizations are the future: “But in the late twentieth century something changed. It turned out that economies of scale were not the only force at work. Particularly in technology, the increase in speed one could get from smaller groups started to trump the advantages of size. …For the […]

Situational vs. Dispositional Management

In my post about Philip Zimbardo’s work, I mentioned the concepts of situational vs. dispositional tendencies. One might see these as being obscure cognitive constructs. However, a recent situation made me realize that beliefs about these tendencies have direct consequences on management styles. So let’s dig into this some more by starting with a description […]

Spreading Ideas and Framing

Noah Brier wrote an interesting post yesterday about how certain ideas spread virally even when people disagree with them. His examples include Sarah Palin or Wired’s “Blogging is dead” article, where the blogosphere is buzzing about how bad an idea something is, but are still spreading the original idea far beyond its original audience because […]


Over the weekend, I attended the Convergence08 unconference, which focused on future technologies like biotech, nanotech, artificial intelligence, etc. I had to miss the Saturday morning sessions, as I had a chorus rehearsal for this week’s Mahler concerts, but I was there on Saturday afternoon and most of the day Sunday. The first session I […]

Switching Costs

Earlier this week I switched my RSS reader from Bloglines to Google Reader. I’d been meaning to check out Google Reader for months, if not years, but had never gotten around to it, as Bloglines was serving me well enough for what I needed, and I’d gotten used to its quirks. But over the past […]

Self Haxx0ring

As noted in my last post, this is my first week as an employee of Google. I’m trying to get up to speed on the types of things that I will be doing, which meant spending most of today learning about the ad system, revenue forecasting models, how the Google backend works, etc. Unsurprisingly, there’s […]