Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Product Feedback

Don’t build an app based on your website. Build the app that acts as if websites never existed in the first place. Build the app for the person who has never used a desktop computer. Because they’re coming. Soon.

Nothing to add.

Google Spanner’s Most Surprising Revelation: NoSQL is Out and NewSQL is In

What was the cost? It appears to be latency, but apparently not of the crippling sort, though we don’t have benchmarks. In any case, Google thought dealing with latency was an easier task than programmers hacking around the lack of transactions. I find that just fascinating. It brings to mind so many years of RDBMS vs NoSQL arguments it’s not even funny.

Analysis of Google’s paper on their new database, Spanner.


I was extremely nervous. Since they are gangsters, I thought I should be very careful, in case I shot something I wasn’t supposed to see. But this actually upset the gang. They saw my nervousness as disrespectful.  I remember one time early on this guy pulled me aside and said, “You are here to take pictures. Act like a professional.” It turned out they respected me if I was really aggressive about getting a certain shot. To not take photos was a sign of weakness.

An interview with photo journalist who ventured into Yakuza’s (not so much) underworld.

Reversing the Decline in Big Ideas

The innovations that made these companies worth billions of dollars could be classified as computer hardware and software infrastructure. They made calculators, personal computers, databases, search engines and payment processors. The formula worked. Combine a lone technical genius with a mesmerizing sales guy and you had the DNA for a billion dollar technology company.

In short: the days of startups made only by enginers are gone; the startups made by engineers and designers hit their limits too. The new ingridient needed now are domain experts.

Good riddance, PayPal

From my experience and that of others who’ve suffered the same, it’s clear that PayPal are interested in buyers, not sellers. Why else would they provide customers with refunds at the drop of a hat, but withhold money amounting to thousands — literally thousands and thousands and thousands — from buyers without any valid reason, when not even your bank is legally allowed do that?

Another seller shares his frustrations with PayPal. The post made quite a splash and apparently new PayPal’s CEO is determined to make changes in the way company operates.

Not Like Steve | Deliberatism

Last fall, I read Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs. I’m fascinated by Jobs, and found the book hard to put down. I wanted to better understand the man, and perhaps gain insight into his success. The part that stuck with me, though, wasn’t what I had expected. It was that Jobs authorized the biography so that his kids could know him.

One can’t have it all.