Review: Dawn of the New Everything

My book review of Dawn of the New Everything, Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier (2017). The book is enjoyable and readable, though I did skip around over the more esoteric bits. Alternating between a deep autobiographical dive into Lanier's life and a straightforward account of the history of technology, with an emphasis on virtual (VR) … Continue reading Review: Dawn of the New Everything

Best Design Books Not Explicitly About Design

Daniel Burka recently created a list of design books that aren't about design: I asked a whole bunch of designers what books, which weren’t specifically about digital or graphic design, inspired them. Looking at the list I noted I've read four of the twelve books: 4, 7, 10, 12. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is one … Continue reading Best Design Books Not Explicitly About Design

A Higher Standard

Last week I shared Amazon’s Leadership Principles, which includes "insist on the highest standards." Modeling the higher standard myself, and expecting it in others I work with. The concept of leaders training new leaders is on my mind a lot lately, because it's central to my role at Automattic and in the WordPress community. When looking … Continue reading A Higher Standard

2017 Daily Reads: Dalio and Drucker

Two books made a big impact on my year in 2017, transforming my thinking. One for a massive amount of new insights and the other for improving my thought patterns. Both books I'd buy again and give away—both are now open on my reading table each morning. The Daily Drucker by Peter Drucker (2004) (Edited by … Continue reading 2017 Daily Reads: Dalio and Drucker

A Decision Without Action Is Only a Hope

A decision is only a hope until carrying it out has become somebody's work assignment and responsibility, with a deadline. Who has to know of the decision? What action has to be taken? Who has to take the action? Make sure the people who have to take the action are able to do so. Note—the … Continue reading A Decision Without Action Is Only a Hope

Be a Yardstick of Quality

Inspiration from Steve Jobs, in 1987. This is my milepost for 2017. People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected. From I, Steve edited by George Beahm (2011).  

Smarter, Faster, Better

A few findings from reading Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Goodreads). On self-motivation: Ask yourself, why am I doing what I'm doing? If you are doing something you think is stupid and meaningless, you're not going to care. Envisioning the day: Make a habit of picturing how things will go, … Continue reading Smarter, Faster, Better

Design for Real Life

Real life is complicated. Even after we've tested all the important user flows and polished the edges in our app or site, people still stumble. Why? Because we're humans, and because our products still have: Broken flows: transition points or interactions, like a form on a site, that aren’t working correctly. Content gaps: someone needs … Continue reading Design for Real Life

Review: The Way of the Web Tester

This is a book review of The Way of the Web Tester by Jonathan Rasmusson. Hat tip: Alister Scott. A beginner's guide to automated testing, though not specific to the web, despite the title. Covering the quintessential pyramid of UI, integration, and unit tests as well as basic building blocks of HTML, CSS, HTTP and REST … Continue reading Review: The Way of the Web Tester

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Book review for Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. This fascinating book takes a deep dive into how to harness the adaptability of your brain and body to achieve abilities that would otherwise be out of reach. Focused and concise, illustrated with research, and bringing new science … Continue reading Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise