What’s Next — Internet, Prefab Homes, Safetyby Jordan Gonen
by Jordan Gonen
Hi 👋 How are things? What are you working on lately?
Tons of interesting content in this week’s edition. Let me know 📩 which are your favorites!
Articles to Read.
One of the thus-far hypothetical questions I ask myself frequently is how I would feel about my own children having the same kind of access to the internet today. And I find the question increasingly difficult to answer. I understand that this is a natural evolution of attitudes which happens with age, and at some point this question might be a lot less hypothetical. I don’t want to be a hypocrite about it. I would want my kids to have the same opportunities to explore and grow and express themselves as I did. I would like them to have that choice. And this belief broadens into attitudes about the role of the internet in public life as whole.
In the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a massive post-military industrial compound of warehouses converted into creative offices and bespoke manufacturing operations, there is a factory that builds houses. It’s a long, cavernous 100,000-square-foot warehouse with a string of workstations for welding together steel-trussed wall panels, threading them with electrical wiring and plumbing, and finishing them off with drywall and window sashes. Stacks of plywood and steel beams fill large racks next to industrial-sized spools of plastic conduit. It’s a construction site gone linear.
On November 12, 2001, American Airlines flight 587 took off from JFK with 260 people onboard, en route to the Dominican Republic. Seventy-nine seconds after takeoff, the plane’s tail snapped off, sending the Airbus A300 crashing into a residential Queens neighborhood. Everyone onboard, and five people on the ground, died.
The crash’s proximity to 9/11 caused a panic. The Empire State building and the UN Headquarters were evacuated. It was quickly determined the crash was due to mechanical failure. For a world on edge at the thought of more terrorism, this was unbelievably good news. People exhaled, went back to focusing on the aftermath of 9/11, and Flight 587 became perhaps the least-remembered major plane crash in history.
But the NTSB did what it’s done for every commercial air accident for the last 50 years. It scoured every piece of data to determine the crash’s cause, and mandated changes to prevent that cause from happening again.
URBAN PLANNERS TALK about two visions of the future city: heaven and hell. Hell, in case it’s not clear, is bad — cities built for technologies, big companies, and vehicles instead of the humans who actually live in them. And hell, in some ways, is here. Today’s US cities are dominated by highways there were built by razing residential neighborhoods. Few sidewalks and fewer bike lanes. It’s all managed by public policies that incentivize commuting in your car. Alone. Trapped in traffic.
But if humans no longer have to spend time piloting vehicles through traffic, what happens to cities? And what if autonomous vehicles actually make things worse? Yes, traveling will be easier, but that means everyone — even those without drivers licenses — will be able to do it. Maybe Americans will live farther apart, extending their commutes — no harm done when you can catch up with your shows instead of drive, right? The result could be a lot more trips and a lot more traffic. It would seem the old adage is true: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Facebook’s News Feed. LinkedIn’s ‘Who’s Been Viewing Your Profile’ feature. And now Twitter’s move toward 280 characters per tweet. Before these features saw the light of day, there were long debates. Take it from Twitter Group PM and Slack Director of Core Product Paul Rosania, who has made a career out of building the interfaces that millions of people use each day. Even for products that aren’t that widely experienced (yet), a hint of a feature change will often spawn impassioned arguments between proponents and traditionalists on product teams. Regardless of the final decision, there’s always a fine dusting of doubt on every feature choice that gets released, leaving product teams wondering: What if we made the wrong call?
When Wilbur and Orville Wright finished their flight at Kitty Hawk, Americans celebrated the brotherly bond. The brothers had grown up playing together, they had been in the newspaper business together, they had built an airplane together. They even said they “thought together.”
When the Wright brothers said they thought together, what they really meant is that they argued together. One of their pivotal decisions was the design of a propeller for their plane. They squabbled for weeks, often shouting back and forth for hours. “After long arguments we often found ourselves in the ludicrous position of each having been converted to the other’s side,” Orville reflected, “with no more agreement than when the discussion began.” Only after thoroughly decimating each other’s arguments did it dawn on them that they were both wrong. They needed not one but two propellers, which could be spun in opposite directions to create a kind of rotating wing. “I don’t think they really got mad,” their mechanic marveled, “but they sure got awfully hot.”
The skill to get hot without getting mad — to have a good argument that doesn’t become personal — is critical in life. But it’s one that few parents teach to their children. We want to give kids a stable home, so we stop siblings from quarreling and we have our own arguments behind closed doors. Yet if kids never get exposed to disagreement, we’ll end up limiting their creativity.
The tip doesn’t have to be big — $1 to $5, says the American Hotel and Lodging Association. But fewer than a third of hotel guests leave any money for the housekeepers.
The hotel association publishes a gratuity guide on its website that offers suggestions for tipping everyone from valet attendants to bellhops.
But why are housekeepers often forgotten? A common explanation is that they are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind — that travelers are likely to tip only employees they directly interact with. But another cause may be a simple lack of awareness.
300,000 new veterans per year are recommended jobs mostly based on their previous military job title, but most veterans leave the military in search of new challenges and have no idea where to start.
An estimated 1.5 million service members will leave active duty military service over the next five years and transition into the civilian workforce. That’s 1.5 million people who, at an early age, have had powerfully shaping experiences and are now trying to figure out what’s next. For all of our exiting service members, the need for intelligent skill translation and job search guidance has never been greater.
– Amazon’s original job posting
– [guide] How to Get What You Want Professionally
– Jeff Bezos’ Guide to Life
– Steve Jobs’ Legacy
– Snapchat is fragile
– Apple’s Product Development ProcessSee My Full Reading List
You made it to the end! Thanks for reading 👋
– Cannot believe this semester is almost over. Time is moving so fast! Makes me really think about how I am spending my time.
– Been writing for 628 days in a row now on my blog. Recently, I posted about this idea:
You do not have to be 10x better than everyone else to be wildly more successful. You just have to be a little bit better and execute on that advantage over a long period of time.
Thought it was an interesting way to think about building competitive advantages.
Thanks for reading! Really hope you enjoyed! (If you did, would be really awesome if you could share this link with 5 friends)
Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.