2015-06-20

Back in Town

Go, go, go... it's a vapid Saturday...

Consideration of the day: interrupt holiday after 17% to participate in another rescue operation, yay or nay. No question mark was implied. I don't want to know the answer to that. It's going to hurt anyway.

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Once more I feel oppressed. It is the addiction of my peers, to owning things that they do not have. It makes me feel than civilisation is not worth improving. Burn it.

In short, while I wouldn't mind being a smart founder (I've met a few), I'd rather be a smart analyst than a dumb founder (I've met a few more)... haha... and I'm almost sure I'm not a dumb analyst, but I could be kidding myself.

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"Why are you doing work pro bono?!"
"Because I have more time for social networking, than I do for client management."

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Spent the later part of the afternoon normalising the style of, and documenting, some 2-3yo code. Time to pause for a snack. Then to figure out if the data sources it relies on still work. ‪#‎gardening‬

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I am weary of commerce and its fools. It is a holiday, so it is a good time to think about it. In a few months, we will go back to work with them.

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Must stop griping. An RFP is a blessing. It doesn't rain forever. #saveWater

Mixed Day

The pursuit of cash and the pursuit of knowledge should be independently pursued. Otherwise one encounters some very sad compromises.

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(my side of a conversation)

Come on folks, get with the program. Facebook is not a technology company - its core competency is community management - technology is a means, not an end. Oracle, is a technology company...

FB works in meta/macro dimensions/scopes to facilitate measurable traffic, which it sells.

I would maintain, for discussion's sake... while tech is in FB's value chain, it's not the end-product that FB optimises that value chain for...

(Assuming we are debating the nature of FB's #1 core competency, or that a company only has one:) But Facebook's competitors didn't lose due to "bad technology" - they lost due to bad community (i.e. traffic) management.

A middleground to consider: FB's core competency is "user interface design for social networking." But to back that up conclusively might involve a dissertation haha.

Friendster: there's an epic SIC write-up by the founder on what killed it - death by committee, leading to capex churn, and mistargeted marketing. So without further research, I would tend to think about it that way.

MySpace: death by UI/UX - leading to reduced engagement.

Hello KL traffic jams. So more arguments for the sake of amusement:

- FB's early growth tactic (intentional or otherwise) which was oriented around US college campuses, was key to its traction (I just happened to be there)

- UI design for software is actually analogous to the more traditional discipline of civil architecture; the design of space defines the daily traffic (physical and mental) of the people operating within that space; community management depends more on architectural design than on the engineering finesse by which such design is delivered; it's the architect's job to bridge the availability of engineering resources, and the utilisation of space for a given purpose... and so...

- FB and Friendster's core competencies were respectively, the same: community management... Friendster fucked up on delivery, because it didn't control its user growth intelligently (in the logistical sense) - it didn't even know where its users were coming from until the databases choked (or was it the ad dollars - I'll have to go refresh myself on that)

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The problem with tolerance for (high-volatility && multi-year horizons) is that it becomes incompatible with counterparties seeking (shorter-term returns || lower vol). This seems related to the Herbertian Litany Against Fear (consider the fable of the pain-machine). More musings on being a phil major that ended up working with startups.

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No parking tickets, no flat tires, engine still starts, disrupted my recovery of personal work for a week (for better or for worse), took a few nice photos, and both made and lost enough money to pay for the whole thing... I guess that counts as a successful vacation. ‪#‎wingingIt‬

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Combined two meetings. Met up with the USAPPS bunch.

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CMO for a financial consumer product. I like the sound of that. There's a trivial technological hurdle. There's no funding question mark. We just need to explain how the god-damn math works. To your grandma. That's easy. ;)

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One more counselling case before returning, finally, to the office...

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10 days till EOM. Clean-up schedule at 67%. Progress uncertain. Proceeding. Occupy, bed...

2015-06-18

Building Character(s)

Life is a stage. The ontology of the stage is:
- audience
- actor
- role
- scripts (optional)
- interpretation (by design)
Enjoy!

By Day 17 on Vaca

Day 17 ex-contract. Trying to get work done while on vacation has been frustrated by technical difficulties. I am beginning to resign myself to the initial target of 30 days to catch up on chores, before another 90 days earmarked for serious work, on hobbies.

2015-06-17

Truth and Plasticity

Morality is a figment of society. And in pursuing social mores, I find myself on Facebook, at networking events, in the homes of family members, exchanging tokens of gratitude, negotiating concessions of value through business introductions, and providing advice freely to anyone who seems to be in need. Truth is an indicator of strength; brittleness in bonds advances rapidly. Plasticity may be introduced with empathy, but finding a good balance of strength and flexibility is anyone's guess. Pick tools for trades, as we all know, you can't always make everyone happy.

Giving a Rat's Ass, Perhaps

I'm on vaca, and a chap more than twice my age pops up, looking for help to grow a food brand. I say:

(1) explain to me your capital and organisational structures, and your market-wise ambitions, so that we can then plan how to bridge the gap between your visions and your existing limits through brand design, marketing tactics, and operational efficiency

(2) watch this movie, Ratatouille, we'll discuss it later
I suppose he's now either confused, or he thinks I'm crazy, but WTH.

2015-06-16

Ugh. Reinstalling Windows.

Perhaps, that estimate of one month for "chores," before three months of "hobbies," was not completely off kilter, given that physical cleanups were really fast, paper took a bit longer, but software configuration management is going to just rake into productivity for a while. #trading #computation #development #automation #marketing #ffs

2015-06-15

Thoughts on Human Resource Business Models

There's a bloke whose business it is, to help employers and employees. ("He works in HR.") So I ask him/her, "do you see yourself in competition with the recommendations engines, and brokering platforms, which function between consumers and providers of service?"

And so he asks, "why do you see them as competition?"

And then I say, "Because it is meat. Meat (people) do things. Whether it is contacted for as "employee" or "vendor" or "freelance" - the value chain is very similar. A piece of meat moves from point A to B, and delivers services that a machine cannot. (We can discuss machines in the future... they are coming for the meat...)"

Thoughts on Viktor Frankl's thoughts

Here's a reason that works for me: if you don't accept happiness, you're contradicting yourself. But I suspect most people can't sort themselves out that easily... #maybe

The allure of work at the civilisational level is not attractive, because I presume nothing special in myself. I have the long-term view that civilisation will figure out certain systematically limited problems, eventually, in its own time, whether it takes 10 years or a 1,000. This is why I think of my studies in machine intelligence and the quantification of consciousness as "hobbys" not as "missions."

The allure of work at the commercial level is even less attractive, because of the weakness it implies - that one cannot be happy without external goods and services that have yet to be bought. (See initial point above.) So I find it pretty difficult to empathise with people who are motivated in this way...

All that really remains is to entertain oneself. E.g. "I see you are in pain, I feel your pain, let me help you," or "I see this is a difficult conceptual problem, shall we seek its systematic resolution?" or as I am making myself the game of being interested in plebeian commercial success from 2013-2022, "come let us see where money can be made, for the plain old boring sake of aiming for higher numbers."