Scarry’s Law, formulated over a decade ago by this newspaper and named after Richard Scarry, a children’s illustrator, states that politicians mess at their peril with groups that feature in children’s books—farmers, fishermen, train drivers and suchlike.
—The Economist in ‘Britain’s regulatory-divergence dilemma’
Helps explain why some reforms are so hard.
India’s premium smartphone segment grew 29% YoY in 2019; Apple was the fastest growing brand, up 41% YoY, and OnePlus maintained its No. 1 position
—The Economic Times (via Techmeme)
This headline is bothering me. It appears to present the idea that the Indian market is (finally) turning towards premium smartphones. But these numbers only present half the story.
It’s great the the premium smartphone segment grew 29%, and Apple’s sales (I presume) grew 41%. But from what base did they grow?
Also, how fast did the overall smartphone market grow? If the overall smartphone market grew by more than 29%, then the market share of premium segment actually shrank.
Half the numbers, half the story. Still makes it to the front page of Techmeme :/
I follow a slight variant of GTD, and use my Todo.txt for Android app for task list management. Here are two tweaks I use in the app for parts of the GTD process—quick capture, and easy identification of next actions.
1: Use a special project for quick ‘capture‘
I use ‘
+quicktask‘ as default project for all new tasks to quickly capture them. This allows me to just note the task in plain English and continue with the task at hand. I don’t need to think about their priority, due date and all other things at the time of capture.
Writing the task down closes the loop and frees the mind. Applying the
+quicktask project allows me to easily find the task later during the clarification stage.
When I’m in the clarify or organise stage, I filter the task list for
+quicktask and process them.
2: Use a special tag to mark the ‘next action‘
I use ‘
#next‘ tag to indicate the next task to focus on in a project. During the organise stage, I mark one task in each active project as
#next. This ensures that I don’t have to look through the task list for what to focus on next.
My task list widget is now filtered by
#next and sorted by due date. What’s on top, is what I need to focus on now.
From an episode of The Big Bang Theory…
Bernadette is being featured as one of the sexiest scientists in California by a fashion magazine. Amy criticises it because it highlights Bernadette’s looks not her scientific achievements. Penny defends it with something on the lines of…
… if fashion magazines highlighted female scientists, I might have become a theoretical physicist.
Amy and Bernadette’s smirks suggest that this may just be a joke in the series. But this statement is practical marketing1.
Marketers know to advertise where their audience hangs out, not where other marketers hang out. Featuring women in science magazines is an example of the latter—useful for career advancement of women already in science, but not useful for outreach to new audiences.
To encourage more women into science, we should be featuring more women scientists, more often in magazines that non-science women read. If women prefer reading fashion mags then that’s where more women in science (or business or tech or sports or politics) need to be featured.
“I know that major API changes are always a pain for developers and they would rather not have to deal with them, but please keep in mind stats like “42% of malicious extensions use the Web Request API” when you’re considering what we’re trying to improve here.”
Google is using a large number—42% of malicious extensions—in isolation to justify a decision. This number shows that a large proportion of ‘bad developers’ use this API. But this single data point gives no clue about how big is the total pool of developers using this API.
Are bad developers a large proportion of users of this API, or are they a tiny minority? In the latter case, Google’s action to deprecate/restrict the API may be fairly justified. In the former case, they could have chosen a better, alternative approach in dealing with the bad actors, rather than punishing the mostly good users.
An analogy for case 1:
Bank decides to close all doors leading to the street because 42% of all robbers walk-in through those doors.
Analogy for case 2:
Bank decides to close all waste disposal tunnels because 42% of all robbers sneak-in through those doors.
All we know is that 42% of robbers come in through a point. We don’t know if it’s the main customer entrance, or the waste disposal.
If this statistic was a big argument for this decision’s approval inside Google/Chrome-Dev, then they really need to revisit their decision-making fundamentals.
I seriously doubt this though. Googlers are very smart. They are dealing with mostly smart people on the outside. This number is not for them or us. This number is being published solely to turn the narrative, for the common reader, from ‘Google blocking APIs that stop ads and tracking‘ to ‘Google blocking APIs that stop malicious extensions‘.
In a booming sector/industry with a low barrier to entry, make money by not being in the sector, but by providing for the sector.
Don’t be a gold digger, rather sell shovels to them.
10 years ago Microsoft software was dominant in my usage – Windows, Office, Messenger, IE, and probably more.
Today, the only Microsoft product that I use is Visual Studio Code (I switched from Sublime Text last year).
I haven’t used Windows, IE or messenger in a decade. I do occasionally use Excel and Skype, when someone insists, but have neither installed on my devices.
The diagram in the previous post had an empty quadrant. It bugged me that I could not think of a decision making process that lay in that quadrant.
Which decision making process considers lots of options, and votes on them (or discusses them) regularly?
It came to me next morning. And once it came, it stayed. It’s so obvious that there are books, and cartoon strips, and TV sitcom episodes based on it.