Outsized Credit for Tangential Association

I figured out the reason I find tech punditry – I guess punditry in general – distasteful. I’m writing the first draft of this post in the afterglow of the Apple Watch event, as they announced bigger iPhones and Apple Pay. Of course, all of these announcements have been leaked: the manufacturing pipeline has long […]

The End of Standardized Readability

It started with Instapaper. The idea was to boost efficiency by employing the batching technique to article consumption, particularly mid- to long-form journalism found online. Saving an article for later separates the act of browsing content (say, from an RSS feed) from putting in the time commitment to engage with longer pieces of writing. As […]

pricenomics

Everything is Bullshit

Pricenomics is a startup that has somehow stumbled upon a pair of business models: data crawling, and blogging about data from a consumer-centric perspective. The latter has a pop-culture economics bent; it’s a technique taken straight from Freakonomics in appealing common curiosities to “dispel” myths and beliefs. The articles are freely available on their blog, […]

cookie clicker

When Clicking is Pleasurable and Addictive

Click. Click click. Click click click click click click click click click click click click. One of our company mailing lists brought attention to Particle Clicker, a game that, as the title suggests, is about both particles and clicks. While its goals were around particle physics education, the game itself isn’t that well balanced. But, […]

Michael Lewis Discusses His New Book, "Flash Boys"

Flash Boys

I’m convinced that ever since humans have invented this idea of trade, that there soon followed people, with the idea that they can profit as middlemen, even if they have nothing to buy or sell directly. This concept is easily applicable to settings beyond real world economies: players in games stumble upon viable business models […]

The Privilege of Meaningful Work

I’ve been listening to the Unprofessional podcast. The show’s premise is simple: a pair of hosts bring on a rotation of guests and talk about all things not work. But as hard as they try, their conversations often do end up revolving around professions and the stories from their workplaces, perhaps a tacit admission that […]

indie

The Indie Game Bubble

I’ve been meaning to write down my thoughts about the state of gaming and where we’ll go as an industry for the next few years. As we’re in the annual post-E3 lull, this is a good time as any to reflect. The gaming industry has been in transition for years. With a hollowing out of […]

The Troublesome Portrayal of Women in Video Games

Video games are notorious for catering to teenage boys. Puzzlingly, it’s an increasingly outdated focus, persisting mostly in the creative direction and subsequent marketing of games, reflected in big budget titles moreso than in general-appeal casual games. The recent controversy over Assassin Creed’s exclusion of female avatars is just the latest of a long-running series […]

kodak

The Big, Slow Company Stereotype

The playbook for “startup disruption” has remained the same for a while: the small startup moves faster than its much larger competitor, hustling out new features, products and markets at a much higher clip. Raw speed and iteration overcomes money and people[1], and the criticism against the big and established firms is that they get […]

The Risk of Failure

Silicon Valley is often derided as a place that non-ironically accepts and celebrates failure. For people who have not bought into this culture, it’s natural to make fun of the notion that people are failing their way to success, and be cynical of the effectiveness of the sheer amount of capital spent. As the vast […]

Developer Ageism and the Escape into Management

Is the software development industry ageist? For some industries, this is not an unreasonable proposition. Professional athletes peak in their late 20s[1]; professional gamers (e.g., e-sport atheletes) peak even earlier, in their early 20s. If you were to apply for the job of the president of the United States, you are legally required to be […]