#49

It is fundamentally the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.
— Peter Drucker, Managing for Business Effectiveness

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

How Facebook’s VP of Product Finds Focus and Creates Conditions for Intentional Work - 14 min
[firstround]

“I come from a family of fishermen,” Simo says. “It's much easier to go in the direction you want if you make a thousand small changes along the way, rather than letting the boat go in a completely different direction and needing one big maneuver to get back on track.”

 

I Have a Message for You - 13 min
[nytimes]

To escape Auschwitz, she left her father to die. Decades later, she got a message from him.

 

A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process - 6 min
[blog.ycombinator]

An MVP is a process that you repeat over and over again: Identify your riskiest assumption, find the smallest possible experiment to test that assumption, and use the results of the experiment to course correct.

 

Management/Culture

What is Jeff Bezos “Day 1” philosophy? - 9 min
[quora]

So, have you settled only for decision quality, or are you mindful of decision velocity too? Are the world’s trends tailwinds for you? Are you falling prey to proxies, or do they serve you? And most important of all, are you delighting customers? We can have the scope and capabilities of a large company and the spirit and heart of a small one. But we have to choose it.

 

There Are Two Types of Performance — but Most Organizations Only Focus on One - 7 min
[hbr]

In sum, it’s tempting to focus only on the tactical, to believe that to ensure success all we need to do is track whether people follow the process. But high-performing organizations realize the world is full of volatility — and they need to prepare their people to adapt.

 

Directly Responsible Individuals - 2 min
[engineering.tripadvisor]

The notion of the DRI is a fundamental component of the culture of modern product development teams. By seeking to create a culture of accountability with the group, we avoid dependencies on managers to tell the team what to do, and increase reliance on the team to self-organize and know how to proceed.

 

Development/Releases

Cognitive Biases in Programming - 3 min
[medium]

We can never completely eliminate our biases, by being aware of how it is affecting us, we can somewhat mitigate the problems it causes.

 

Technical

Names Matter - 5 min
[eng.datafox]

Good names are the core of good programming. Here’s why.

 

News/Other

Yemen's cholera outbreak now the worst in history as millionth case looms - 4 min
[theguardian]

Experts predict fastest-spreading cholera epidemic since records began will affect at least 1 million people by turn of year, including at least 600,000 children

 

How the CIA Staged Sham Academic Conferences to Thwart Iran’s Nuclear Program - 14 min
[propublica]

A decade ago, the CIA secretly funded conferences to lure Iranian scientists to defect. If President Trump scuttles the Iranian nuclear agreement, the agency may seek more defectors — and orchestrate more such “conferences.”

 

Dubai Airport is going to use face-scanning virtual aquariums as security checkpoints - 2 min
[theverge]

The first facial recognition tunnel will be installed by the end of summer 2018

 

The scientists persuading terrorists to spill their secrets - 20 min
[theguardian]

Expert interrogators know torture doesn’t work – but until now, nobody could prove it. By analysing hundreds of top-secret interviews with terror suspects, two British scientists have revolutionised the art of extracting the truth.

 

Replacing Social Security Numbers Is Harder Than You Think - 4 min
[motherboard.vice]

Social security numbers are bad, but it's really hard to do better.

 

The Fraternity Paradox: Lower GPA, Higher Incomes - 4 min
[bloomberg]

Party more, study less and still do better than other male graduates in the work force. What's the secret

 

Uber And Lyft Haven't Revolutionized The American City—yet - 4 min
[wired]

But added to the pile of work amassed by other researchers in the past half-decade, the study does give big cities a clearer sense of how ride-hailing services play out on their streets. According to this and other research, ride-hailing does reduce incidents of drunk driving. In some cases—but not all—it competes with public transit. In some cases—but not all—it adds cars) to the road.

 

Why We Should Resist Calling the Las Vegas Shooting “Terrorism” - 4 min
[newyorker]

The argument confuses cause and effect. The fact that people are terrorized doesn’t necessarily mean that an act of terror has been committed. This matters, because language matters. When terms are used too broadly, or just sloppily, they lose their meaning.

 

The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More. - 6 min
[nytimes]

The big question is whether Mr. Kim, fearful that his nuclear program is becoming too large and obvious a target, is focusing instead on how to shut down the United States without ever lighting off a missile. “Everyone is focused on mushroom clouds,” Mr. Silvers said, “but there is far more potential for another kind of disastrous escalation.”

 

Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity - 24 min
[theatlantic]

Moonshots don’t begin with brainstorming clever answers. They start with the hard work of finding the right questions.

 

Podcasts/Books

Reply All - #104 The Case of the Phantom Caller
[gimletmedia]

A woman in New Jersey is getting strange phone calls to her office from unknown numbers. Every time she picks up, she finds herself eavesdropping on the life of a different stranger. Unsure what else to do, she calls in Super Tech Support.

 

More Perfect
[npr]

Supreme Court decisions shape everything from marriage and money to public safety and sex. We know these are very important decisions we should all pay attention to – but they often feel untouchable and even unknowable. Radiolab's first ever spin-off series, More Perfect, connects you to the decisions made inside the court's hallowed halls, and explains what those rulings mean for "we the people" who exist far from the bench. More Perfect bypasses the wonkiness and tells stories behind some of the court's biggest rulings.