Comfort zones and prejudices motivate people, not just with VCs in Silicon Valley

I read a well articulated blog posting by Hank Williams, in which he was arguing that comfort rather than racism may be motivating some of the industry movers in Silicon Valley. I think such observation is more general than he may have put it. I would argue that the senses of comfort (or discomfort) motivates most of the decisions people routinely make, and this all around the world.

I read a well articulated blog posting by Hank Williams, in which he was arguing that comfort rather than racism may be motivating some of the industry movers in Silicon Valley. I think such observation is more general than he may have put it. I would argue that the sense of comfort (or discomfort) motivates most of the decisions people routinely make, and this all around the world.

As I could make out, Hank’s posting was a part of the debate on diversity raging on Twitter and the blogosphere. While I don’t pretend to understand the sensitivities around this topic in the US, I think such phenomena can be observed everywhere and this may have always been the case with human beings. This topic would fill volumes, I won’t even try.

I liked how Hank made clear that people should avoid victimisation and focus on what they can do to help themselves, and that is a really nice one that may be worth elaborating on. I have learned that if you feel and act like a victim, whatever the circumstances, then you are defeated before the battle even begin. Such attitude would seldom be exhibited by very good hackers, or geeks.

Indeed one of the traits of good hackers is that they don’t give up easily, they would look for solutions until they can find something that works. If that attitude is smartly applied to entrepreneurial endeavours, then the person has a chance to succeed. The myth of overnight success has long been debunked, just look up the history of any successful person. Some people may be looking for cheap/easy money, or just not trying hard enough to leverage their own strengths and merits, that would also be a way of victimising oneself.

Diversity is a big subject in many parts of the world, and rightly so because otherwise the human society doesn’t move forward. When the subject is cheaply tossed into every debate then that dilutes its importance and turns it into a gossip making object. Those who feel like they are on the wrong side of the diversity should stay focused. And these may be other take aways from Hank’s posting, though I don’t know if he intended it that way.

If you are into this sort of topic, Hank’s post is well worth reading.

Google is now seriously focusing on design. What took them so long?

Google is now seriously focusing on design. What took then so long? To think that this could be a recently gained insight would be a surprise to me, but it may have been forced upon them by competition firing in all cylinders everywhere you look: Microsoft, Apple of course, Facebook.

I’ve used this expression a few post ago: what took them so long?

It’s quite obvious that Google is now focused on delivering good design too. I think their design isn’t so bad, I like the simple and clean look it has. Apparently Reader will gain that fresh look next week or so, I use that app everyday so I’m curious to see how that comes along.

A few years back now, as I first heard that Google’s Eric Schmidt sat on Apple board, I imagined this: a perfect match between nice design and a strong platform. At the time I actually had sky high expectations about what could come out of such partnership. But then that myth, which was my own fantasy anyway, came down shattering when Android happened to the scene. Not long after that and expectedly so, Schmidt left Apple board. The recent widely commented post by a Google engineer shattered my second myth, that Google had a strong API platform from which they could stream functionality anywhere they liked.

So, Google didn’t have a stellar design, not a secret. They might not have a stellar platform API too, that one took me by surprise. On the design front, their web and mobile products are increasingly look cool. Though I’ve never owned an Android phone, they don’t look too bad either.

Can Google can nail design the way they made GMail and Search functionally great services? Would that be enough to claw back on Facebook’s grip on social media?

Dropbox called a feature, not a product. I tend to agree

I’ve never for once thought of Dropbox as anything but a transit place, a location where one drops a file waiting for somebody else to pick it up. I’m also using the free account, my motivation being that I have too many other online storage places already.

I’ve always perceived Dropbox as a transit place, a location where one drops a file waiting for somebody else to pick it up. I’m also using the free account, my motivation being that I have too many other online storage places already. I did see another article on Techcrunch, saying that Dropbox have raised $ 250M in funding, very impressive.

But I do think that this article makes an interesting read: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcoursey/2011/10/18/how-dropbox-will-die.

Cheap tips for software developers

Be lazy. Please. Reluctance to write code will make you a better developer, because you will end up writing only code that matters. Try to make your code easy for the next developer or the poor sod who will be using or maintaining your code. This poor sod may just be yourself, the next day, some weeks later, some months later, or some years later. If you are a beginner then by all means write “hello worlds” to your hearts content, in your learning environment. If you are really eager to learn, read code from more experienced developers and spend time debugging them.

I have a few tips for developers out there:

  • Be lazy. Please. Reluctance to write code will make you a better developer, because you will end up writing only code that matters.
  • Try to make your code easy for the next developer or the poor sod who will be using or maintaining your code. This poor sod may just be yourself, the next day, some weeks later, some months later, or some years later.
  • If you are a beginner then by all means write “hello worlds” to your hearts content, in your learning environment. If you are really eager to learn, read code from more experienced developers and spend time debugging them.
That’s it for now.