Keep it simple, stupid
— Kelly Johnson, American aeronautical engineer

The Speed Dial - An abbreviated set of articles for the reader who has limited time.

People leave managers, not companies. Don’t let that manager be you.

The data suggests bad management is a real and significant issue. According to a study by Gallup, one in two people admitted to having left a job to get away from a bad manager. In fact, 70% of the factors that contribute to your happiness at work are directly related to your manager.


Why We Forget Most of the Books We Read

Surely some people can read a book or watch a movie once and retain the plot perfectly. But for many, the experience of consuming culture is like filling up a bathtub, soaking in it, and then watching the water run down the drain. It might leave a film in the tub, but the rest is gone.


Craft Beer Is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America

But in the last decade, something strange and extraordinary has happened. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of brewery establishments expanded by a factor of six, and the number of brewery workers grew by 120 percent. Yes, a 200-year-old industry has sextupled its establishments and more than doubled its workforce in less than a decade. Even more incredibly, this has happened during a time when U.S. beer consumption declined.



The Art of Strategy Is About Knowing When to Say No

By the time we’d grown to a couple hundred employees, all that dissipated energy had begun to yield diminishing returns. “Brian, this ‘yes-man’ thing worked fine in startup mode,” said Lorrie Norrington, one of our board members. “But it’s backfiring in scale-up mode. You have half-baked projects all over the place. You need to add the word ‘no’ to your management vocabulary.”


Career Structure. It doesn't matter. Until it matters.

In this article, I’m going to talk about career structure, career development, and career titles in a tech organisation. This post is more about organisational development than it is about technology; however, on the grounds that the health of your architecture and technology choices will be somewhat isomorphic to the health of your organisation, I believe this to be a worthwhile read for any engineering leader.


We Studied 100 Mentor-Mentee Matches — Here’s What Makes Mentorship Work

When First Round launched its Mentorship Program in 2016, we didn’t know what to expect. We’d heard from a number of people in our community that mentorship remained an elusive, missing piece in their careers. Younger people said it was intimidating and difficult to find a mentor. Their older counterparts said they weren’t sure if their advice truly mattered. But everyone said they believed in mentorship’s transformative power. So we set out to fix it.



The Three Levels of Software: Why code that never goes wrong can still be wrong

Have you ever stopped to consider what it means for a program to be wrong? I mean, really stopped to consider? Like, “it’s wrong if it crashes — but what if the crash conditions are only hypothetically achievable — but wait…”. Let’s get to the bottom of this. Here’s a first try:...


I Am a 9 to 5 Developer (And So Can You!)

Due to my runaway brain, I've had to set boundaries. I've had to leave work at work. I've had to become a 9 to 5 developer.


Evolutionary Architecture

There is no one perfect architecture for all products and all scales. Any architecture meets a particular set of goals or range of requirements (functionality, scale, etc.), within a particular set of constraints or context.


Laws Of UX

Laws of UX is a collection of the maxims and principles that designers can consider when building user interfaces.



Nested Ternaries are Great

Conventional wisdom would have you believe that nested ternaries are unreadable, and should be avoided. Conventional wisdom is sometimes unwise.



U.S. soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging

An interactive map posted on the Internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the locations and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in what appears to be a major security oversight.


Universities Are Becoming Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds With Schools Attached

Have you heard the latest wisecrack about Harvard? People are calling it a hedge fund with a university attached. They have a point—Harvard stands at the troubling intersection between higher education and high finance, with over 15 percent of its massive $38 billion endowment invested in hedge funds.


The ‘Frequent Flier’ Program That Grounded a Hospital’s Soaring Costs

In Dallas, Parkland Hospital created an information-sharing network that gets health care to the most vulnerable citizens—before they show up in the emergency room.


Neither war nor peace

Accordingly, the Chinese generals and their Russian counterparts, who had been equally impressed by the precision-strike capabilities that America demonstrated in the first Gulf war, sought ways to reap some of the political and territorial gains of military victory without crossing the threshold of overt warfare. They came up with the concept of a “grey zone” in which powers such as Russia, China and Iran can exercise aggression and coercion without exposing themselves to the risks of escalation and severe retribution.


How Investors Like Melinda Gates Are Helping These VCs Tackle Tech’s Bro Problem

But anyone who knows this hub of venture capital would immediately spot something unusual about this particular gathering: Four of the eight investors seated around the table are female. And one of the two presenting portfolio company heads is also a woman. In Silicon Valley, where unicorns are a dime a dozen, this kind of gender ratio is the real rare and magical discovery.


Belatedly, The Indianapolis Star Gets Its Due for Gymnastics Investigation

The decision of the newspaper to spend on airfare to follow a lead, then throw themselves behind an investigative project that has now continued for nearly two years, led to the arrest and sentencing of Lawrence G. Nassar, the former doctor for the national gymnastics team who was accused of molesting Olympic athletes and more than 100 other girls under the guise of medical treatment.


A New American Leader Rises in ISIS

A two-year investigation identifies one of the very few Americans in the Islamic State’s upper ranks—and sheds light on the dynamics of radicalization.


Africa Is Sending Us Its Best and Brightest

Simple economics explains why the U.S. can accept many more migrants from poorer countries.


What Do Asthma, Heart Disease And Cancer Have In Common? Maybe Childhood Trauma

"Trauma" is a heavy and haunting word. For many Americans, it conjures images of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotional toll from those wars made headlines and forced a healthcare reckoning at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, would like to see a similar reckoning in every doctor's office, health clinic and classroom in America — for children who have experienced trauma much closer to home.


Lessons for today of USS Pueblo’s 1968 capture by North Korea

Political experts say there is much to be learned from the warship crisis 50 years ago that brought the Korean peninsula to the brink of a second war



The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

Putin's bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.


The Ezra Klein Show

You will love this conversation with Jaron Lanier, but I can’t describe it


Partition of the Syrian Arab Republic

As ISIS has scattered from the conventional battlespace in Syria, the focus has shifted to other parts of the country. The army of al-Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, have confined the rebel militias to pockets all over the country. The most significant rebel concentration is near the city of Idlib, where Turkish-backed militias and Islamist groups are held up.


Meet the Machinists Who Keep the New York Times Running (2016)

In the first episode of State of Repair, we visited the New York Times printing plant to meet Greg Zerafa, Jerry Greaney, and Chris Bedetto, who are part of a dying breed of machinists that keeps the newspaper's eight three-story printing presses humming and spitting out hundreds of thousands of newspapers every single day.


Why danger symbols can’t last forever

Chances are you wouldn’t be able to recognize a biohazard even if you were looking right at one. But the biohazard symbol? It’s pretty easy to spot. Most warning icons rely on previously established objects or symbols: a general caution might use an exclamation point, and a fire warning might use an illustration of a flame. But the biohazard symbol references an idea that is much harder to picture — and in the 50 years since its invention, it has become one of the most recognizable icons on the planet. But can the meaning of a symbol like this last an eternity? A special Department of Energy project is trying to figure that out.