Four short links – January 24, 2019

Reality of open source businesses, marketing ideas, income equality debate, and organizational alignment.

  1. AWS, MongoDB, and the Economic Realities of Open Source (Stratechery) — How and why MongoDB is getting massively pinched by AWS.
  2. Ideas for promoting your software product (Justin Jackson) — Good list of marketing ideas to test.
  3. Noah Smith on Worker Compensation, Co-determination, and Market Power (Econ Talk) — Great debate on the nature of income inequality growth: whether it exists (because that’s not decided), and various labor market attributes that might influence it (e.g. the growth of temp agencies).
  4. What Elon Musk Taught Me About Growing A Business (Dharmesh Shah) — The clearest articulation I’ve seen of organizational alignment and its importance. If your organization isn’t aligned, go back to start.

Four short links – January 7, 2019

Consumerism, philanthropy, consumer surplus, and banning single-family zoning.

  1. How This All Happened (Morgan Housel) — History of the American economy since WW2, explaining consumerism, consumer debt, and the rise of financial inequality.
  2. Relentless: How One Guy Brought the Internet to America’s Schools (Without Fail) — The right way to be rich is to use your privilege to work on harder and harder problems.
  3. Creating Surplus (Fred Wilson) — Useful chart depicting which goods/services have gotten cheaper because of technology, and which have gotten more expensive in the same period.
  4. Could Oregon Become the First State to Ban Single-Family Zoning? (Willamette Week) — State legislation is becoming a possibility.

Four short links – September 27, 2018

Epic bootstrapping, sprawl repair, jq for HTML, and cryptocurrency pump and dump.

  1. How to Bootstrap Your Way to $250,000,000/year with JT Marino of Tuft & Needle (Indie Hackers) — Epic story of a superbly-executed startup. Underscores the value of studying existing tactical best practices to avoid learning lessons the hard way.
  2. Is Strong Towns the same as Sprawl Repair? (Chuck Marohn) — Canonical explanation of why suburban retrofit is an optimistic yet unobtainable goal. Best case scenario is that some subdivisions can incrementally transform towards more traditional, mixed-use neighborhoods.
  3. pup: Command Line HTML Parsing — Like jq, but for HTML. Query the DOM with CSS selectors. (via Joseph Scott)
  4. A glimpse into the dark underbelly of cryptocurrency markets (Nic Carter) — Guilty until proven innocent: cryptocurrencies are pump and dump schemes. If you don’t know what a pump and dump scheme is, you especially shouldn’t be buying cryptocurrencies.

Four short links – July 3, 2018

Universal Basic Income, machine learning, Fusion post-mortem, and opioids.

  1. Waking Up Podcast #130 – Universal Basic Income (Sam Harris with Andrew Yang) — Best possible explanation of the underlying economic forces justifying UBI.
  2. Ways to think about machine learning (Benedict Evans) — Imagine what you could do with a million ten year-olds.
  3. Univision Is A Fucking Mess (Special Projects Desk) — Colorful post-mortem of what went down with Fusion. Previously.
  4. A primer on fentanyl(s) (Mark Kleiman) — Comprehensive yet approachable overview to the history and current policy implications.

Four short links – May 11, 2018

ADU legislation, pro-housing density efforts, software eats retail, and PDX exploring.

  1. ADU Legislative Initiatives Abound (Kol Peterson) — While Senate Bill 1051 is requires all cities to “allow ADUs”, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development guidance recommends dropping owner occupancy requirements, dropping off street parking requirements, allowing detached ADUs up to 800 sq ft by right, and even allowing two ADUs.
  2. ‘My Generation Is Never Going to Have That’ (POLITICO)— Pro-housing density efforts in Seattle from the affected tech population. See also Jeff Kaufman (Boston) and Kevin Burke (California).
  3. Mickey Drexler and the death of a supply-driven world (Loose Threads) — Software eats retail: how J.Crew, Gap, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel, and others were blindsided by technology.
  4. Pedaling from Portland to Hood River (Bike Portland) — Neat 100 mile bike route off the beaten path.

Four short links – April 5, 2018

TV worth watching, urban experiments, and open source sustainability.

  1. Lessons from "The Profit" (Marginal Revolution) — I hardly watch TV but I'm going to binge so hard on this series.
  2. The big experiment at Plaza 122 (Bridgeliner) — To buy in, neighborhood residents first have to participate in a financial literacy class, which is available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Russian. After completing the course, they can make micro investments of $10 to $100 in the plaza each month. With enough of these investments, the community will eventually own Plaza 122 in full. So cool! You should subscribe to Bridgeliner.
  3. One City: Many Futures / Better Block PDX (Design Week Portland) — Can we make this bike lane better, on a budget that's slightly more than beer? "Street prototyping" as disruptive policy innovation.
  4. Open source sabbatical = awesome (Julia Evans) — Sabbaticals as a model for open source sustainability.

Four short links – March 19, 2018

Selfish altruism, "performance management", all sales decks are awful, and the opioid epidemic.

  1. A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place ( — This has always been my raison d'être. See also: why resource utilization isn't zero-sum.
  2. A Performance Question (Rands in Repose) — Canonical manual for dealing with direct report performance.
  3. The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen (The Mission) — Structure your deck into a narrative arc.
  4. Andrew Sullivan on the Opioid Epidemic in America (NY Mag) — One of the hardest challenges for our generation.