side project

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pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

Airbnb, big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, Nelson Mandela, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

As we saw with Michael’s example in Chapter 1, car dealerships were going out of business, and he was able to rent his first temporary mattress space on the cheap. Not everyone would have thought of locating a mattress shop in a former car dealership, but Michael grabbed the opportunity. A spin-off or side project. One business idea can lead to many others. Whenever something is going well, think about offshoots, spin-offs, and side projects that could also bring in income. Brandon Pearce, whom we’ll see more of in Chapter 4, founded Studio Helper as a side project to his main business of Music Teacher’s Helper. It now brings in more than $100,000 a year on its own. Tip: When thinking about different business ideas, also think about money. Get in the habit of equating “money stuff” with ideas. When brainstorming and evaluating different projects, money isn’t the sole consideration—but it’s an important one.

.* Three years later, Brandon’s life is quite different. Instead of living in Utah, he now wakes up in sunny Escazú, Costa Rica, where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. He has ten employees living in different places around the world. He carefully tracks his time and estimates that he spends eight to fifteen hours a week directly related to the business. The rest of his time is spent with his family and on various side projects that he pursues for fun. Brandon and his family used to live in Utah and now they live in Costa Rica, but that’s not the whole story; the whole story is that they could live anywhere they want. When they needed to do a visa run, they went over to Guatemala for eight days, and since Brandon and his wife are “unschooling” their children and can easily take them anywhere, there’s no telling where they’ll end up next.

Because his customers commit for the long term and pay monthly, it’s unlikely that this number will ever go down. Instead, it will continue to increase as more and more music teachers join the ranks. Case Study 2: The Accidental Worldwide Photographer Originally from Michigan, Kyle Hepp is an “accidental” entrepreneur in the literal sense. Having relocated to Chile with her husband, Seba, Kyle made ends meet by working on side projects for AOL while she looked for a job in her planned field of sports management. The South American lifestyle was great, but Seba’s job as a construction engineer was far from secure, and the company started to go under. One Friday afternoon, he received notice that his salary was being cut 20 percent. He declined to sign a new contract and was immediately let go. Two days after learning of the layoff, Kyle was out jogging when tragedy struck in the form of a pickup truck that ran into her at a crowded intersection, sending her flying a hundred feet from the point of impact.


pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

It is not a comprehensive account of either company, since their extraordinary stories are still unfolding. It is instead a book about a pivotal moment in the century-long emergence of a technological society. It’s about a crucial era during which old regimes fell, new leaders emerged, new social contracts were forged between strangers, the topography of cities changed, and the upstarts roamed the earth. PART I SIDE PROJECTS CHAPTER 1 THE TROUGH OF SORROW The Early Years of Airbnb Every great startup starts as a side project that isn’t anybody’s main priority. AirBed & Breakfast was a way to pay our rent. It was a way to pay rent and buy us time and help us get to the big idea. —Brian Chesky The first guest to use Airbedandbreakfast.com was Amol Surve, a recent graduate of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.1 He arrived at his rental late in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 16, 2007, fifteen months before Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, and was greeted at the door by the site’s twenty-six-year-old co-creator Joe Gebbia, who politely asked him to remove his shoes.

The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Hachette Speakers Bureau provides a wide range of authors for speaking events. To find out more, go to hachettespeakersbureau.com or call (866) 376-6591. The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher. ISBN 978-0-316-38838-2 E3-20161221-JV-PC Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Upstart Introduction PART I: SIDE PROJECTS CHAPTER 1: THE TROUGH OF SORROW The Early Years of Airbnb CHAPTER 2: JAM SESSIONS The Early Years of Uber CHAPTER 3: THE NONSTARTERS SeamlessWeb, Taxi Magic, Cabulous, Couchsurfing, Zimride CHAPTER 4: THE GROWTH HACKER How Airbnb Took Off CHAPTER 5: BLOOD, SWEAT, AND RAMEN How Uber Conquered San Francisco PART II: EMPIRE BUILDING CHAPTER 6: THE WARTIME CEO Airbnb Fights on Two Fronts CHAPTER 7: THE PLAYBOOK Uber’s Expansion Begins CHAPTER 8: TRAVIS’S LAW The Rise of Ridesharing CHAPTER 9: TOO BIG TO REGULATE Airbnb’s Fight in New York City PART III: THE TRIAL OF THE UPSTARTS CHAPTER 10: GOD VIEW Uber’s Rough Ride CHAPTER 11: ESCAPE VELOCITY Fights and Fables with Airbnb CHAPTER 12: GLOBAL MEGA-UNICORN DEATH MATCH!

Airbnb and Uber didn’t spawn “the sharing economy,” “the on-demand economy,” or “the one-tap economy” (those labels never quite seemed to fit) so much as usher in a new trust economy, helping regular folks to negotiate transportation and accommodations in the age of ubiquitous internet access. The nearly simultaneous emergence of both companies has been striking. For most of its first year, Airbnb was a side project that many dismissed as wildly outlandish. Why would a sane person ever want to sleep in a stranger’s bed? Eight years later, investors valued the company at thirty billion dollars, more than any hotel chain in the world. Those founders who slept on the hardwood floor in Washington, DC? They are worth about three billion dollars each, at least on paper.2 Uber’s potential was underestimated even by its own creators, who saw the service as a useful tool in San Francisco, a city whose cab industry badly underserved the needs of a booming business capital.


pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton

4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, pets.com, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

They set off with a small group of friends, and opened a bare-bones start-up called Pyra Labs that operated out of Ev’s apartment. The group planned to build software to increase workplace productivity. But, starting a pattern that would follow Ev through his career, something better accidentally grew out of Pyra. Ev and an employee had built a simple internal diary Web site that would help Pyra employees keep up to date about work progress. Meg didn’t like the side project and was not shy in expressing her views, calling it just another Ev distraction. One week in the summer of 1999, while she was away on vacation, Ev released the diary Web site to the world. He called it Blogger, a word that had not existed until then. He believed it would allow people without any computer-programming knowledge to create a Web log, or blog. After Blogger rose in popularity among the tech nerds, Meg eventually came around to its potential, but not Ev’s.

He had been at it for hours, turning each leaf with the care of a heart surgeon as he studied every word. When he came across one that might make sense, he muttered it to himself to see how it sounded aloud. “Worship.” “Quickly.” “Tremble.” Then, shaking his head with disapproval, he continued to flip through the dictionary. As the day drew on, he left the office and went home to continue his search for a name to give to the new side project. Finally he stopped, frozen as he stared down at a word, instantly knowing that this might be it. He read the definition, reread it, then quickly dashed off an e-mail to the group. Ev’s efforts to keep Noah out of the status project had lasted about twenty minutes. Just as in the early days of Odeo, if Ev said one thing, Noah would do exactly the opposite. Ev also had other problems to worry about that week: He was busy pulling together documents for the next board meeting, where he planned to suggest selling Odeo to the highest bidder.

Mike Arrington, who ran TechCrunch, a popular Valley tech blog, wrote that Twitter had launched officially and “a few select insiders were playing with the service at the Valleyschwag party in San Francisco last night.” But Arrington didn’t seem too impressed by the new service. He questioned its privacy issues and, in a direct slam to Ev, wondered why Odeo, a podcasting company, was wasting its time on side projects. Although Om Malik’s blog post was kinder, showing interest in the new Twitter contraption, he gave all the credit to a certain drunk cofounder he had shared cigarettes and vodka with the night before. “A new mobile social networking application written by Noah Glass (and team),” Om wrote. Ev tried to fix the press afterward, but it was too late. And although Noah didn’t know it yet, his drunken media announcements were about to have serious consequences.


pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha

Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joi Ito, late fees, lateral thinking, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Start a side consulting practice. This is what I did when I began advising PayPal while still working at Socialnet: it was a side project that had the potential to become a full-blown Plan B later on (which it ultimately did). Companies ranging from 3M to Gore-Tex, Google to LinkedIn, pay employees to spend a portion of their time experimenting on side projects. Why not make this a personal career policy? Set aside one day a week or month or even every few months to work on something that could be part of your Plan B. If you have a business idea you want to pursue, a skill you want to learn, a relationship you want to form, or some other curiosity or aspiration, start on it as a side project and see where it goes. At a minimum, just start talking to people. Take a day and arrange five coffee meetings with people who work in an adjacent industry.

Writing skills, general management experience, technical and computer skills, people smarts, and international experience or language skills are examples of skills with high option value—that is, they are transferable to a wide range of possible Plan B’s. Once you’ve figured out which transferable skills to invest in, make a concrete action plan you can stick to, whether by signing up for a course or conference, or simply by pledging to spend one hour each week self-learning. In the next month: • Begin on an experimental side project that you work on during some nights and weekends. Orient it around a skill or experience that is different but related—something that either enhances what you do now or can serve as a possible Plan B if your Plan A doesn’t work out. Ideally, collaborate on this project with someone else in your network. • Establish an identity independent of your employer, city, industry. Reserve a personal domain name (yourname.com).

You gain the “ability to absorb shocks gracefully.”8 Some job paths automatically provide regular volatility (e.g., entrepreneurship or freelancing). In other jobs you’ll have to introduce shocks and disruptions manually. Do so by aggressively implementing the opportunity-creating strategies we discussed in the previous chapter (opportunity and risk are two sides of the same coin, after all): join and create groups, be in motion, take on side projects, hustle. In a phrase, say “yes” more. What would happen if you defaulted to “yes” for a full day? A full week? If you say yes to the conference invite you were tempted to skip, might you overhear a comment that ignites your imagination for a new business or new research or a new relationship? Perhaps. Might it also lead to some dead ends, mishaps, wastes of time? Sure. But both, in fact, are good: you benefit either from a serendipitous opportunity, or from the resilience you build if nothing immediately comes of it.


pages: 230 words: 76,655

Choose Yourself! by James Altucher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, cashless society, cognitive bias, dark matter, Elon Musk, estate planning, Mark Zuckerberg, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, payday loans, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, superconnector, Uber for X, Vanguard fund, Y2K, Zipcar

So they raised a ton of money from professional venture capitalists. Then one of their programmers started working on a side project. The side project got a little traction but not much. But the CEO of Odeo decided to switch strategies and go full force into the side project without having a clue if it would work. He felt bad, since this wasn’t what the investors had invested in. So he called up all of the investors and described the side project to them and all the traction they were getting, etc., and then made an offer: “Since this is a different direction, I’d be willing to buy all of your shares back so nobody will lose any money.” One hundred percent of his investors said, “Yes! Give it back!” and so he bought all of his investors’ shares back. The side project was Twitter—and now founder Ev Williams is a billionaire as a result. Nobody knew.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that there’s often a huge difference between an interesting idea and a solid business. In your optimism, forget ye not prudence: changing the world is difficult if you can’t pay the bills. Some ideas don’t have enough of a market behind them to support a business, and that’s perfectly okay. That doesn’t mean you should ignore them: side projects can help you expand your knowledge, improve your skills, and experiment with new methods and techniques. I’m a huge advocate of pursuing side projects as long as you don’t count on them to reliably produce income. Once you have your financial bases covered, crusade all you want. Before attempting to launch a business, take the time to do a thorough evaluation using the Ten Ways to Evaluate a Market. If you’re finding it difficult to be objective, find a trusted colleague or adviser to help you, then test it as quickly and as inexpensively as you can before you fully commit.

To this day, I can’t help but marvel at the thousands of man-hours, the millions of dollars, and the enormously complex processes necessary to make a simple bottle of dish soap appear on the shelf of the local supermarket. Everything from the shape of the bottle to the scent of the product is optimized—including the text on the cardboard boxes used to ship inventory to the store. My work at P&G, however, wasn’t the only thing on my mind. My decision to skip business school in favor of educating myself developed from a side project into a minor obsession. Every day I would spend hour after hour reading and researching, searching for one more tidbit of knowledge that would help me to better understand how the business world worked. Instead of using the summer after graduation to relax and go on vacation, I spent my days haunting the business stacks at the local bookstore, absorbing as much as I possibly could. By the time I officially started working full-time for P&G in September 2005, I had read hundreds of books across every discipline that business schools teach, as well as in disciplines that most business schools don’t cover, such as psychology, physical science, and systems theory.

“The Personal MBA Manifesto,”3 an essay I created to help newcomers understand what the project is all about, has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times by readers all over the world and is still in the top ten manifestos published by ChangeThis.com after five years. The Personal MBA recommended reading list has been profiled by BusinessWeek4 and has been updated with the results of my latest research every year since 2005. Thousands of do-it-yourself business students from around the world help one another learn and grow every day in the PMBA Community forums.5 In an amazingly short period of time, the Personal MBA grew from a one-man side project into a major global movement, and I left P&G to focus on building the PMBA and working with my clients full-time. As much as I enjoyed leading the efforts of the worldwide PMBA community, I quickly realized that providing a reading list wasn’t enough. People read business books to solve specific challenges or to improve themselves in some tangible way. They’re looking for solutions, and a list of books, while valuable, could only do so much.


pages: 223 words: 63,484

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

centralized clearinghouse, index card, lone genius, market bubble, Merlin Mann, New Journalism, Results Only Work Environment, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, young professional

Your candid posts about projects you’re working on, articles you read, or ideas you have—and how your unique strengths play into it all—will engage others. People will likely respect the efforts you take and the decisions you make when they understand the source of your strengths and ambitions. While at work, you might consider volunteering for internal or side projects that will best showcase your strengths and take full advantage of your differentiating attributes. For Noah Brier, this involved a continuing series of breakfasts and a few quick side projects that shared his perspective and talent with the world. For others, it may involve setting up a dynamic portfolio site, doing pro bono work for a nonprofit, or writing freelance articles for local newspapers. Once you have a strategy in place for reaching out to the many constituents of your brand and your ideas, you will want to fine-tune this outreach for particular groups of constituents.

But, when they work, ideas can flourish on a much larger scale. There are many famous long-term partnerships between Doers and Dreamers that have yielded extraordinary results. One such partnership is between Jeffrey Kalmikoff and Jake Nickell, the co-founders of the online T-shirt design community known as Threadless. Starting in the year 2000, Kalmikoff and Nickell grew Threadless from a small side project into a $35 million business. The partnership worked because Kalmikoff is a Dreamer and Nickell is a Doer. During the preparatory phase for Behance’s first annual 99% Conference in 2009, I had the occasion to listen in as the two explained their relationship. “I’m always on to something new,” Kalmikoff said. “I’ll think of ideas for new businesses within our business every day. Jake keeps us on track and reins me in.

In an ideal world, managers would constantly be thinking about how to best utilize their people—and clients would always unearth your greatest potential. Unfortunately, the reality is that bosses and clients are as worried about their own careers as you are about your own. You must take the task of marketing your strengths into your own hands. Once you accept responsibility for marketing yourself, you can start to mine for opportunities. Often, the opportunity to showcase your greatest strengths arises as a side project or extracurricular activity outside the scope of your official duties. Little problems pop up all the time that are, in fact, opportunities to which you can add a unique value. Fight the desire to wait for instructions, and learn to showcase your skills and expertise without an invitation. Effective Self-Marketing Builds Respect Not surprisingly, the serial idea makers who I have met are, across the board, focused on marketing themselves and their brands.


pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

The couple had a young son who was drawn to the “suggestion of magic” in the book’s title, and who spent hours exploring this “portal to the world of information.” The title stuck in the back of his mind, along with that wondrous feeling of exploring an immense trove of data. More than a decade later, he was working as a software consultant in a Swiss research lab, and found himself overwhelmed by the flow of information and the personnel churn in the organization. As a side project, he began tinkering with an application that would allow him to keep track of all that data. When it came time to give his program a name, his mind drifted back to that strange Victorian household encyclopedia from his youth. He called his application Enquire. The application allowed you to store small blocks of information about people or projects as nodes in a connected network. It was easy to attach two-way pointers between nodes, so if you pulled up a person’s name, you could instantly see all the projects he or she was working on.

Eventually, he hit upon a different metaphor for the platform’s dense network. He called it the World Wide Web. In his own account of the Web’s origins, Tim Berners-Lee makes no attempt to collapse the evolution of his marvelous idea into a single epiphany. The Web came into being as an archetypal slow hunch: from a child’s exploration of a hundred-year-old encyclopedia, to a freelancer’s idle side project designed to help him keep track of his colleagues, to a deliberate attempt to build a new information platform that could connect computers across the planet. Like Darwin’s great understanding of life’s tangled web, Berners-Lee’s idea needed time—at least a decade’s worth—to mature:Journalists have always asked me what the crucial idea was, or what the singular event was, that allowed the Web to exist one day when it hadn’t the day before.

He spent most of those years working at CERN, but it wasn’t until 1990—a decade after he had first begun working on Enquire—that CERN officially authorized him to work on the hypertext project. His day job was “data acquisition and control”; building a global communications platform was his hobby. Because the two shared some attributes, his superiors at CERN allowed Berners-Lee to tinker with his side project over the years. Thanks to a handful of newsgroups on the Internet, Berners-Lee was able to supplement and refine his ideas by conversing with other early hypertext innovators. That combination of flexibility and connection gave Berners-Lee critical support for his idea. He needed a work environment that carved out a space for slow hunches, cordoned off from all the immediate dictates of the day’s agenda.


pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional fixedness, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Or we can listen to the research, drag our business and personal practices into the twenty-first century, and craft a new operating system to help ourselves, our companies, and our world work a little better. It won't be easy. It won't happen overnight. So let's get started. Drive Part Two The Three Elements Drive CHAPTER 4 Autonomy I 've seen the future and it works. It works in around-the-clock bursts in Sydney, Australia. It works on guerrilla-style side projects in Mountain View, California. And it works whenever it damn well pleases in Charlottesville, Virginia. The reason why it works is because of how it works. On the edges of the economy slowly, but inexorably old-fashioned ideas of management are giving way to a newfangled emphasis on self-direction. That's why, a little past noon on a rainy Friday in Charlottesville, only a third of CEO Jeff Gunther's employees have shown up for work.

According to 3M's former head of research and development, most of the inventions that the company relies on even today emerged from those periods of bootlegging and experimental doodling. McKnight's innovation remains in place at 3M. But only a surprisingly small number of other companies have moved in this direction, despite its proven results. The best-known company to embrace it is Google, which has long encouraged engineers to spend one day a week working on a side project. Some Googlers use their 20 percent time to fix an existing product, but most use it to develop something entirely new. Of course, Google doesn't sign away the intellectual property rights to what's created during that 20 percent which is wise. In a typical year, more than half of Google's new offerings are birthed during this period of pure autonomy. For example, scientist Krishna Bharat, frustrated by how difficult it was to find news stories online, created Google News in his 20 percent time.

And it isn't reserved only for technology companies. At Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., for instance, many nurses have the freedom to conduct their own research projects, which in turn have changed a number of the hospital's programs and policies. Autonomy measures can work in a range of fields and offer a promising source for innovations and even institutional reforms. Initiatives like FedEx Days and sanctioned side projects aren't always easy to execute in the day-to-day maw of serving customers, shipping products, and solving problems. But they're becoming urgent in an economy that demands nonroutine, creative, conceptual abilities as any artist or designer would agree. Autonomy over task has long been critical to their ability to create. And good leaders (as opposed to competent managers) understand this in their bones.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Buchheit: Nothing’s totally full-time, but it was mostly full-time. I still had some other projects that I would have to spend some time on, and inevitably I end up with side projects just because something catches my eye and I go off and work on it for a little bit. I think I may have something to do with 20 percent projects as well because I’ve created a few things on the side. AdSense, the content-targeted ads, was actually something that, if I recall, I did on a Friday. It was an idea that we had talked about for a long time, but there was this belief that somehow it wouldn’t work. But it seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as sort of a side project, not because I was supposed to. And it turned out to work. Livingston: This is Google’s AdSense now? Paul Buchheit 163 Buchheit: It’s the same concept.

Later that night, I got home, picked up my car, drove back to Berkeley at 3:00 a.m., and I fell asleep on the freeway and totaled my car. I walked to my dorm and told my roommates, “It’s a good thing I didn’t pay the quarterly parking fee.” So after my third year of college, I took a year off to work, to earn money for my fourth year. Then I got that job at Hewlett-Packard. What an incredible job. And then my career started going up, and I had all these side projects that I was working on and then Apple. So I never really had a chance to get back. But I was close, and I wanted to get back. And in 1981, I had a plane crash. As soon as I came out of amnesia from the plane crash—within 5 minutes I knew that this was the time I was going back to college. I’d never get another chance. So I went back and got my degree. I always liked school and was a good student, a top student.

He also suggested the company’s now-famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” at a 2000 meeting on company values. Although not a founder, Buchheit probably contributed more to Google than many founders do their startups. Gmail was in effect a startup within Google—a dramatically novel project on the margins of the company, initiated by a small group and brought to fruition against a good deal of resistance. Livingston: Take me back to how things got started. Was Gmail a side project or commissioned by Google? Buchheit: A little bit of both, actually. I started working on email software a long time ago. I think it was maybe 1996, but it was just a little project. I had all these ideas that never really went anywhere. Oddly enough, I think I was calling it Gmail at the time, for some other reason. It was just a random project— not necessarily the predecessor to Gmail—but it was something that I’d been thinking about because I’d been sort of unhappy with email for a long time.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional

A couple of these old associates are now at the forefront of cloud technology. Jimmy decides to take a week off as holiday from SPG and goes out to India to see what they are doing and visit their offices. The more Jimmy investigates, the more he can see the commercial value in his plan. So he decides to take action and begins to learn more about these technologies. He develops a series of side projects that give him a taster of what he could become. For example, he joins a local entrepreneurs’ club that meets every month. He also signs up for an online course in accounting and marketing. In the entrepreneurs’ club, he meets a whole bunch of new people, some of whom are already running their own business. His dream becomes more concrete and as he thinks about possible new ventures, he comes to a big decision.

In his earlier travels to India he met Bob, who has a close working relationship with two Indian outsourcing companies. As Jimmy thinks more about the options he faces, he begins to realize that Bob would be a great partner to work with him. Bob knows the industry and the location well, and points him in the direction of government-sponsored schemes that train start-ups and also provide seed funding. Jimmy in 2019: Three years later and Jimmy is ready to make the leap. All the side projects he has been involved with while he has been at SPG are beginning to pay off. He feels he knows enough about the cloud technologies, has strong links to providers in India, has positioned himself in the heart of a cluster of high-growth small companies, and has good links with government schemes. Over the last couple of years he and Jenny have also taken the opportunity to look carefully at their expenses and decided to change some of their lifestyle choices so as to reduce their general outgoings.

How will Jimmy’s life proceed in this scenario? Many other people over the age of 50 are already making the same decision as Jimmy to start their own company – some, of course, because they have no other option. What is interesting about Jimmy is that this is a decision he planned and prepared for. He began three years earlier to get his tangible and intangible assets in better shape, and the experiments and side projects gave him ample opportunity to learn more about himself and the market. Of course this planning period is rarely available to people who have lost their jobs and are now self-employed. Nevertheless, many small businesses fail and we can assume that there is a high change that Jimmy’s will fail too. But because he has developed his tangible and intangible assets, and in particular strengthened his transformational assets, we imagine that he continues to have options.


pages: 387 words: 119,409

Work Rules!: Insights From Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, choice architecture, citizen journalism, clean water, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, helicopter parent, immigration reform, Internet Archive, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, nudge unit, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, random walk, Richard Thaler, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

At the time, it could take five minutes or longer for a computer to boot up, in part because it was still checking for antiquated hardware that no one used anymore, like floppy disk drives. Caesar and the team started an informal 20-percent-time project to do better. They stripped out all the unnecessary steps, built on the Chrome browser platform, and created their first prototype Chromebook laptop. It booted in eight seconds. Utilization varies in practice, with some individuals focusing virtually 100 percent on side projects and many others not having any side projects at all. Some joke that it’s really “120 percent time,” where work is done after the day job rather than instead of it. More typically, a successful project starts with 5 or 10 percent of someone’s time, and as it demonstrates impact it consumes more and more time (and attracts more and more volunteers) until it becomes a formal product. The use of 20 percent time has waxed and waned over the years, humming along at about 10 percent utilization when we last measured it.

Assess candidates objectively. Give candidates a reason to join. 6 Let the Inmates Run the Asylum Take power from your managers and trust your people to run things Does your manager trust you? I’m sure she doesn’t hide her jewelry when you enter the room, but if you thought you were ready for a promotion, could you promote yourself? If you wanted to spend one day a week working on a side project or organizing lectures for other employees, and you figured out a way to still get your job done, could you? Is there a limit to how many sick days you can take? Just as important, do you trust your manager? Does she sponsor and fight for you and help you get work done? If you’re thinking about taking another job, can you talk to her about it? This is the kind of manager we’d all love to have, but few of us have actually enjoyed.

To take our resources, to build up a unique team, and to follow their own insights in pursuit of problem-solving.”103 Post-it Notes famously came out of this program, as did a clever abrasive material, Trizact, which somehow sharpens itself as it’s used. Our version is 20 percent time, meaning that engineers have 20 percent of their week to focus on projects that interest them, outside of their day jobs but presumably still related to Google’s work (at Google that still covers a lot of territory). Outside of engineering, we don’t formally label projects as 20 percent time, but Googlers often find time for their own side projects, whether it was salesman Chris Genteel deciding to help minority-owned businesses get online (which eventually turned into a full-time job for him) or Anna Botelho, a former competitive ballroom dancer and member of our real estate team, enlisting other Googlers to teach dance classes at Google. Caesar Sengupta, a VP of Product Management on our Chrome team, had a day job in 2009 running Google Toolbar and Desktop, downloadable versions of our products that sat inside your browser or on your desktop computer.


pages: 206 words: 60,587

Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau

"side hustle", Airbnb, buy low sell high, inventory management, Lyft, passive income, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, subscription business, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, Uber for X, uber lyft

“You don’t have to imagine it because that’s pretty much what I’m doing.” To make it all work, he found a partner at an airline parking lot who would handle many of the pickups and returns for renters visiting from out of town. He spent a lot of time communicating with customers, but that back and forth was the majority of his hustle workload. Leasing sixteen cars might seem like a pretty risky investment for a side project, but once Tahsir did the math based on his initial experience with one vehicle, he knew it would turn a profit—or at least he was fairly confident. THE PROFIT EQUATION The secret to turning a profit for any business or venture, whether it’s a side hustle renting out cars or a multinational corporation, boils down to one basic principle: don’t spend more money than you take in. With this principle in mind, the projected profit for just about any hustle can be calculated by the following simple equation: EXPECTED INCOME - EXPECTED EXPENSES = PROJECTED PROFIT Of course, to get the critical information of “How much money can I make with this idea?

When the initial response proved favorable, she began thinking about creating a whole series of planning documents for sale, another project that would require effort on the front end but then become pure upside with no further work required. Meredith had found an approach that was feasible, profitable, and persuasive. Because new teachers were coming on board with the Waldorf approach each year, there was a virtually inexhaustible supply of customers. For Meredith, this side project was the perfect match. “TINDER FOR SIDE HUSTLES” The world of online dating is estimated to be a two-billion-dollar-a-year industry. With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that the most successful dating websites invest tremendous amounts of money in fine-tuning their “matching” algorithms. They know that the average person who is seeking a partner, whether for life or for something more short term, doesn’t want to be served up a random selection of uninterested or uninteresting people—they want to see a limited selection of people who might actually be good for them.

Before he knew it, he had a database of information on hundreds of blogs covering lots of different categories. Thus was born the idea: Why not offer his “Guest Post Tracker” to other writers with the same problem? After putting together a simple sales page, he asked a friend to write about it in an online business forum. Right away, more than ten people signed up, paying a $49 fee. Before the end of the week, another ten payments had come through. Adam had another side project! The interesting thing about this hustle is that it essentially promotes itself. To market it, Adam simply writes short guest posts…about guest posts. Each one typically brings in another batch of customers right away, as well as an ongoing stream of customers who find the post over time. Ninety days in, Guest Post Tracker was bringing in $1,000 a month. By further systematizing the process and repeatedly testing to improve conversion using the same kind of A/B testing I wrote about on Day 20, it was soon up to $2,000 a month.


pages: 332 words: 97,325

The Launch Pad: Inside Y Combinator, Silicon Valley's Most Exclusive School for Startups by Randall Stross

affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, always be closing, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business cycle, California gold rush, call centre, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, high net worth, index fund, inventory management, John Markoff, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, transaction costs, Y Combinator

Ted Suzman has his own apartment in the Mission district, so the three are not housed as compactly as the Ridejoy trio. But to an observer watching them work, the Graffiti Lab’s threesome is a seamless unit. • In the middle of the summer, the Graffiti Labs founders find themselves, most unexpectedly, working on two different ideas simultaneously. The second idea began as a side project of Tim Suzman’s—hackers cannot resist side projects. He wanted to do an improved version of “Ask Me Anything” found on Reddit. In Reddit’s “I Am A” (IAmA) section, anyone can offer to field questions about their work or exploits or some aspect of their life that is unusual. The heading typically takes the form “I Am A—” followed by a noun, such as “Nightclub Doorman in Miami,” and then the initials AMA, for Ask Me Anything.

But she was three years younger than Wu, only nineteen when she arrived in Mountain View. She had begun college at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, the college in the Berkshires for teenagers who have no need to finish the last two years of high school. After transferring to Berkeley, she met Andy Su, another computer science major and a wunderkind himself: he was a year younger than Mah. The two began immediately working on side projects. In the spring of 2009, in their junior year, they decided to do a startup, inDinero, that would compete online against Quicken’s QuickBooks, offering financial management to small businesses, just as Mint.com had taken on Quicken’s consumer product with an online service. They had a working prototype of inDinero in short order. When Mah was asked later that year in a podcast interview why she chose to start an ambitious startup while she was still in college, she said that she did not understand “why people put too much effort into planning the future when it’s right in front of them.”7 Asked her thoughts about the rarity of women in computer science, she said she usually did not give the matter any thought, but a few days earlier it had occurred to her and she realized that she did not have a satisfying explanation.

“You have to be good at hacking and be aggressive in sales. Everybody we fund is good at hacking. We can tell that!” What the YC partners might have missed is that willingness to attack sales. “When I say sales, I don’t just mean people calling you up. I mean going out and talking to customers to figure out what they want. So why don’t you try this: erring on the side of sales. Just spend all your time doing sales and treating hacking as this side project, right?” The outrageousness of his suggestion makes Graham more animated. “That—” He pauses for emphasis. “That will tend to produce really good results.” Graham has an example in mind. He looks out, searching. “Vidyard—where’s Vidyard? Vidyard tried to sell its services to Airbnb, and Airbnb said no, they had already signed this contract to write code or something like that. Vidyard said, ‘OK, we’ll nag Airbnb anyway ’cause I know something is going to happen some way.’”


pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: Wordpress.com and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun

barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, post-work, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game

The most popular copyleft license was something called a GPL, or general public license, and many open source projects used it, including Cafelog. This powerful idea inspired Mullenweg and gave him a choice. While he had majored in jazz saxophone in high school, he'd also learned to program. His father was an engineer and had encouraged Matt's interests in computers, leading to small projects that Matt did for friends and at school. But these were side projects, fixing issues with software other people had made. He thought maybe he had the skills to do something more ambitious and knew the only way to find out was to try. The copyleft license gave him the freedom to start from where Cafelog had left off. On January 23, 2003, in a post titled, “The Blogging Software Dilemma,” he announced on his website he was going to start a new, unnamed project: My logging software hasn't been updated for months, and the main developer has disappeared, and I can only hope that he's okay.

Although there are thousands of plug-ins, most of them are small one-trick ponies that add a small feature or option WordPress didn't provide. BuddyPress was an entire system, an application layer that fundamentally changed what WordPress could do. It quickly gained in popularity because of this, and soon BuddyPress and Peatling were on Mullenweg's radar. Peatling was asked to join the company to continue working on it full time instead of as a side project. Born in England and living at the time in Vancouver, Canada, Peatling had a glorious combination of good-natured humor and a quiet competitiveness. He had, deep in his heart, a desire to make great things. He had studied multimedia and design in college, and through a work-study program in his third year, he had his first job working on the web. He taught himself JavaScript, CSS, and PHP along the way.

I didn't understand how designers could allow something that appeared prominently on every blog post to look so bad. It was the broken window theory gone wrong. I dubbed it NASCAR in reference to how race cars are covered from front to back with logos from different companies, creating a horror show of clashing styles. In what would prove to be one the great underestimations of all time, I asked Beau and Hugo to work on a side project to clean up NASCAR. The design and technical challenges seemed simple, but we were all surprised at how hard the engineering of WordPress made this problem to solve. WordPress excelled at allowing programmers to add new features. If all we wanted to do was add yet another widget to NASCAR, it'd have been easy. But to make all these features work together required rewriting them. Each one had been built differently, with little thought for the existence of others.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

A toilet company in Minnesota revamped its accounting system with it. A couple in New Jersey built a social network for yarn enthusiasts. Rails was so friendly that more people became programmers. In 2006 a couple of guys at a podcasting startup had an idea for a side project. With Rails, they were able to build it in a few days—as an experiment—while running their business. They launched it to see what would happen. By spring 2007 the app had gotten popular enough that the team sold off the old company to pursue the side project full time. It was called Twitter. A traditional software company might have built Twitter on a lower layer like C and taken months or years to polish it before even knowing if people would use it. Twitter—and many other successful companies—used the Rails platform to launch and validate a business idea in days.

BY THE END OF 2012 Google’s Gmail service had become the most popular electronic mail provider in the world. That same year, Google’s AdSense product accounted for more than $12 billion in revenue, about a quarter of the search giant’s total revenues. Each of those products—smart electronic mail and context-based advertising—caught an enormous wave when it launched. Like Twitter, as we learned in chapter 4, both Gmail and AdSense started off as side projects. Google was in the water when the waves of Internet traffic came because it was tinkering with new ideas under the umbrella of Google’s famous “20% Time.” “20% Time” is not Google indigenous. It was borrowed from a company formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, aka 3M, which allowed its employees to spend 15 percent of their work hours experimenting with new ideas, no questions asked. 3M’s “15% Time” brought us, among other things, Post-it Notes.


pages: 265 words: 77,084

Alone on the Wall: Alex Honnold and the Ultimate Limits of Adventure by Alex Honnold, David Roberts

carbon footprint, Elon Musk, income inequality, risk tolerance, side project, trade route

Worst-case scenario: If Alex wants to climb something and he falls off and dies, that’s still his choice. But if he dies during a reenactment, then in some way I’d feel that I killed Alex. I’d have to live with that.” Even so, every shoot with Alex took its toll on the filmmakers. In June 2011, to provide footage for the 60 Minutes interview with Alex, Mortimer had agreed to film another free solo in Yosemite. As a side project, the day before the big show, Alex chose to go after the Phoenix, a single 130-foot pitch, but one rated a solid 5.13a. It’s a climb you have to rappel to reach the start, since it hangs over a sheer precipice looming more than 500 feet above the valley floor. Mortimer had misgivings. As he recalls, “I was almost at the point of telling Alex, ‘No more reenactments.’ But he said, ‘I’m gonna fucking do the Phoenix tomorrow morning.

The day before the big show on Sentinel, Alex impulsively goes up to try to solo the Phoenix, the wildly overhanging 5.13a pitch above a drop to the Valley floor of at least 500 feet. Logan claims that he does so to “calm his nerves,” but anyone who knows Alex recognizes that he’s simply impatient and eager for yet another challenge. As he recalls today, “I had been working on the Phoenix as a personal side project. I wanted to wrap it up before we got into full film mode—to do something truly hard for me before spending four or five days posing and filming and interviewing and generally fluffing about.” Only Peter Mortimer goes up to record the Phoenix. Beforehand, on camera, face-to-face with Logan, Alex claims he doesn’t want “a bunch of people” hanging around that short but extreme free solo. “It’d be weird,” he says.

Either way, I’d be donating some of my income, just so that I could sleep well at night. But by doing it publicly through the foundation, I’m hoping to inspire others to do the same—or at least to think about the issues more and reflect on their own lifestyles. And in a more self-serving sense, it’s good to have a hobby, particularly as I get older and pure rock climbing becomes less of a dominant force in my life. It’s fun to work on a side project and learn new things. Hand in hand with the critique that climbing is selfish is the claim that climbing is useless. But I think that perfecting your skills on rock (or ice and snow) ends up improving you in other ways. I fully believe that what I’ve learned from climbing translates into other aspects of life. Figuring out how to suppress my fear while free soloing, I’m pretty sure, has helped me suppress my fear of, say, public speaking.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

,” PyPy, December 2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20191209173423/https://www.pypy.org/py3donate.html. 231 Mikeal Rogers, “Request’s Past, Present and Future,” Request Issues, GitHub, March 30, 2019, https://github.com/request/request/issues/3142. 232 “Moving to Require Python 3,” Python 3 Statement, accessed March 30, 2020, https://python3statement.org/. 233 VPeric, “Differences between Distribute, Distutils, Setuptools and Distutils2?,” Stack Overflow Questions, accessed March 2, 2020, https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6344076/differences-between-distribute-distutils-setuptools-and-distutils2. 234 Nick Heath, “Python Is Eating the World: How One Developer’s Side Project Became the Hottest Programming Language on the Planet,” TechRepublic, August 6, 2019, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/python-is-eating-the-world-how-one-developers-side-project-became-the-hottest-programming-language-on-the-planet/. 235 Klint Finley, “GitHub ‘Sponsors’ Now Lets Users Back Open Source Projects,” Wired, May 23, 2019, https://www.wired.com/story/github-sponsors-lets-users-back-open-source-projects/. 236 J. Bradford De Long and A. Michael Froomkin, “The Next Economy?”

It’s the difference between living in a small town and a big city: in a city, communities easily divide into smaller groups, but in a small town everybody knows everybody else’s business and cares more about who’s spending time with whom. TOYS Toys are projects with low contributor growth and low user growth. They’re probably the least interesting production model to analyze for the purposes of this book, because they are effectively personal projects. Toys are like a side project or a weekend project. Eventually, they might become more widely used, but in their current stage they’re just something that an individual developer enjoys tinkering around with for fun. For example, developer Andrey Petrov made a project called ssh-chat, a client that lets users chat through the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. While the project has thousands of stars on GitHub, it’s meant to be a fun experiment that doesn’t require much upkeep and isn’t trying to grow its user base.98 Open source projects on GitHub with fewer than ten stars would also fall into the toy category.


pages: 484 words: 114,613

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, blockchain, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, ubercab, Zipcar

Systrom was pleased to be recruited by Zuckerberg, who he thought was hyperintelligent. He did not consider himself a stellar programmer. At Stanford, he felt like a regular person among prodigies from around the world, and barely scraped up a B in his first and only computer science course. Still, he fit the general category of what Zuckerberg needed. He did like photography, and one of his side projects was a website called Photobox, which allowed people to upload large image files and then share or print them, especially after parties at his fraternity, Sigma Nu. Photobox was enough to interest Zuckerberg, who wasn’t exactly picky at this point. Recruiting is always the hardest part of building a startup, and TheFacebook.com was growing so fast that he needed bodies in the room. Earlier that year, Zuckerberg was spotted in front of Stanford’s computer science building holding up a poster about his company, hoping to nab coders the way campus clubs recruited members.

He was good at listening to others, but was also quite willing to teach people about the right way to do things, eliciting, because his obsessions were so varied, either fascination or eye rolls. He was the kind of person who would say that he wasn’t good at something he was actually good at, or that he wasn’t cool enough to do something he was actually cool enough to do, toeing the line between being relatable and humblebragging. For instance, to fit in in Silicon Valley, he would often note his high school nerd credentials—his video gaming and coding side projects—but rarely mentioned that he’d also been the captain of the lacrosse team or that he was in charge of hyping parties for his college fraternity. His frat brothers considered him innovative for using viral video as a means of summoning attendees in the thousands. Systrom’s first such production, in 2004, was called Moonsplash and featured fraternity brothers dancing in off-color costumes to Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

Systrom liked Krieger quite a bit. He was good-natured, levelheaded, always smiling, and a much more experienced engineer than himself. Krieger had straight brown hair just long enough to be floppy, with a clean-shaven oval face and rectangular glasses. Recently, Systrom and Krieger had been running into each other at a San Francisco cafe called Coffee Bar on the weekends, where they were giving each other feedback on side projects and exchanging advice. Krieger was one of the early Burbn testers and liked it because it included visual media, not just status updates. Krieger, like Systrom, had had no idea he’d end up in the startup world. He grew up in Brazil, with occasional stints in Portugal and Argentina, since his father worked for the beverage company Seagram. He also enjoyed music, and could play a 12-string guitar.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Seigenthaler thoroughly upbraided Wikipedia and what it stood for, as he described his futile attempt to track down the anonymous contributor who had put in the libelous prank statement. He bemoaned the helplessness he felt as the subject of a Wikipedia article that failed to go through the rigorous editorial process he expected as a journalist. Wikipedia’s honeymoon was over. The embarrassment created a cascade of criticism by the traditional media, and many rounds of self-examination within the community. Wikipedia was no longer just a curious side project and a darling of the tech elite. It was in the big leagues now. People depended on it every day. One very wrong entry could overshadow thousands of great ones, and it affected people’s reputations and livelihoods. And because it has become so influential and powerful, Wikipedia has become a target itself. The authorities in the People’s Republic of China have blocked access to it for Internet users inside the country, ostensibly because the grassroots volunteer community and its content are too unpredictable for a government wanting to maintain control.

Souren, from the Netherlands, while on mission in Mali, helped establish Wikipedia in the Bambara language, only spoken by 6 million people in the country. Souren wrote in his report to an open source conference about his experiences: The Wikipedias in Bambara, Peul and Wolof were started in the beginning of 2005. The interface of the Bambara and Peul Wikipedias was partly translated and some articles had been written as part of a side project of a Geekcorps Mali volunteer, in which people were given one dollar for every article placed on-line (with total expenses less than $100). After 2005 there was only sparse activity, and in December 2007 there are respectively 142 and 28 articles. Not much happened to the version in Wolof until 2006, when many tiny articles with no real content were added to the Wolof Wikipedia. Then in April 2007 a Senegalese student living in Italy starting adding a lot of text in Wolof, and in November the Wikipedia reached 500 articles.62 The Wolof language of Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania suddenly got its sole grassroots volunteer: Ibou, a student studying overseas with access to the modern tools of the Internet.

With sophisticated graphics and professionally designed pages, the encyclopedia certainly looked like it was a formidable effort. But the pace at which it was going made the former Wikipedian feel like it was moving in slow motion. Sanger imagined being able to use some of Wikipedia’s open content principles to help Digital Universe push forward, but he did not find much support. In 2006 he started to contemplate other side projects. This culminated in September 2006, at the Wizards of OS conference, where he was invited to speak. He announced to the crowd the start of a project to be called Citizendium, which would be a fork of Wikipedia. He wanted to address some of the flaws he perceived in the Wikipedia model, most notably by eliminating anonymous editing, requiring the use of real names, and installing a layer of experts with extra authority.


pages: 304 words: 91,566

Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich

"side hustle", airport security, Albert Einstein, bank run, Ben Horowitz, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, buttonwood tree, cryptocurrency, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, game design, Isaac Newton, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, offshore financial centre, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, QR code, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, transaction costs, zero-sum game

In fact, they had developed some of the proprietary software that BitInstant was currently using, something that Ira had begun working on before BitInstant and that he and Voorhees had been letting Charlie use for free—a little fact that Charlie hadn’t yet mentioned to the Winklevoss twins, because he didn’t think it was that big a deal. Anyway, Voorhees and Ira were the glue keeping BitInstant together. They weren’t just part of his team, they were his friends, which these days to Charlie meant they were pretty much the only family he had. They were also both growing, just like he was. Voorhees was becoming as big of a name in Bitcoin as Charlie. Even though he ran BitInstant’s marketing, he was also working on a side project called SatoshiDice, a Bitcoin gambling website that was rapidly becoming a major draw in the Bitcoin community. The idea behind the game was simple: players sent bitcoin to an address that was either a winner or a loser. If “lucky,” they’d receive a multiple of the bitcoin they had wagered. If “unlucky,” they’d receive only a fraction. The game was instantly incredibly popular. Of course, since it was a gambling site, its legality for American customers was unclear.

Although Tyler and Cameron had previously discussed the possibility of losing Voorhees and Ira if they weren’t willing to join BitInstant full-time, he didn’t expect that to come to a head right here, right now, during this meeting. On the other hand, it made sense. Voorhees never had both feet in to begin with, and these days he had good reason to have both feet out. He was smart, maybe too smart to be a marketing guy working for Charlie Shrem. But more importantly, his side project, SatoshiDice, was already gaining so much traction in the Bitcoin community that it represented a meaningful percentage of overall Bitcoin transactions. It didn’t make sense for him to stick around as an employee when he was already the founder of his own fast-growing startup. “Nobody needs to leave,” Charlie sputtered, clearly dismayed by the turn of events. Then he turned to Tyler and Cameron: “Maybe Roger can buy you guys out.”

That’s what Charlie needed the twins to understand. He, and they, were fighting the same fight. Sure, maybe he hadn’t been the best soldier. Though he’d tried to put on a good face after the resignations of Voorhees and Ira, the loss of his brain trust had knocked the wind out of him. He knew that his friends had done fine since they’d left. Voorhees was eclipsing all of them; he’d recently sold his side project, SatoshiDice, for a whopping 126,315 bitcoin, which at the time of the sale, was valued at around eleven and a half million dollars. But without Voorhees and Ira, BitInstant hadn’t felt like home. Even Ver seemed to have moved his focus to other investments, and Charlie couldn’t really blame him. It had been Charlie’s idea to go with the twins in the first place, and if BitInstant didn’t get through its current problems, it would be on Charlie’s head alone.


pages: 217 words: 63,287

The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal

It is why the East India Company, a mighty pan-national institution that once ran more than half the world’s trade, went bust in just a few decades. It is what underpinned the global financial crisis. It is why many of today’s corporations won’t exist in 10 years’ time. Kodak had massive resources and, in theory, a deep insight into its global market. It should have been able to knock out something like Instagram as a side project. With its size and resources, it would have been a piffling investment. The reason it didn’t, though, was because it had become obsessed with what it did rather than why it did it. It had become preoccupied with getting people to consume more of its products rather than why they actually wanted to take photographs. In 1995, Clayton Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, introduced the term “disruptive innovation” in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma.

It evolved very differently from large studio products, in a way that is now becoming familiar to us – by an enthusiast at the centre of a small vibrant community of like-minded people. What is more, it was created with virtually no funding. In 2009, Markus Persson, or “Notch” as he is known in the developer community, was working as a software developer in Stockholm. Minecraft started life as a side project he did in his spare time. Software development is pretty taxing on the brain, and Notch was also active on many online communities, so Minecraft had to be fitted in with a lot of other things. Its humble beginnings account for some of its simplicity. Notch was a software developer, not a designer, and he didn’t have a creative department to fall back on. The characters and world he created were therefore unashamedly rudimentary and low-res.


pages: 232 words: 63,846

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares

Airbnb, Firefox, if you build it, they will come, jimmy wales, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, side project, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, the payments system, Uber for X, web application, working poor, Y Combinator

A few months later my wife and I moved from our 865-square-foot apartment near Boston to a country house twenty-five miles outside of Philadelphia. I had just turned twenty-seven. She went to her job and I sat at home doing nothing for the first time in my life. We knew no one for a hundred miles in any direction. Naturally, I started tinkering on the computer again, starting about a dozen side projects simultaneously. A year and a half later, I thought I was on to something. I noticed two things that bothered me about Google: too much spam (all those sites with nothing but ads) and not enough instant answers (I kept going to Wikipedia and IMDb). I thought if I could easily pick out the spam and the answers, then I’d have a more compelling search engine. Both problems were harder to solve than I initially thought, but I thoroughly enjoyed the work and kept at it.

Some companies open-source their code, making it freely available for anyone to use, modify, or improve. Tom Preston-Werner, founder of popular code hosting site GitHub, points out that open-sourcing code generates free advertising and a lot of goodwill. GitHub is beloved by developers everywhere because it allows anyone working on an open source project to use GitHub free of charge. This drove a lot of its early adoption: when a developer wanted to work on a side project, GitHub was the first place that came to mind. Another use of community is for hiring. Everyone working at Gabriel’s startup DuckDuckGo was a member of the DuckDuckGo community first. Hires that come from your community already buy into your mission. These are people you really want on your team—community members who didn’t just believe in your mission, but also took the initiative to help you achieve it.


pages: 247 words: 63,208

The Open Organization: Igniting Passion and Performance by Jim Whitehurst

Airbnb, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Infrastructure as a Service, job satisfaction, market design, Network effects, new economy, place-making, platform as a service, post-materialism, profit motive, risk tolerance, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, subscription business, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tony Hsieh

One of its best-known, though now defunct, programs was one in which all Google employees were encouraged to spend 20 percent of their time on just about anything they wanted to. The idea, of course, is that by empowering employees to pursue projects and ideas they are passionate about beyond the day-to-day duties of their real job, breakthrough innovation will follow. The company can even tout how, before it ended the program, successful side projects like Google Suggest, AdSense for Content, and Orkut all emerged from these 20 percent efforts—an impressive list, to be sure.9 I applaud Google for taking such a far-reaching approach. Given Google’s phenomenal track record of innovation, it’s no surprise that companies of all shapes and sizes have tried to duplicate this model in attempts to drive innovation throughout their organizations. At Red Hat, however, we have taken a less structured approach.

We don’t have any official policy for how much time each of our associates should spend “innovating.” Rather, when deciding how to allocate resources for trying new things, we promote the idea that different people have earned different degrees of latitude to spend their time innovating. Many people frankly get little or none, while others, at the extreme, may get 100 percent of their time free to innovate. The most typical way is when someone works on a side project (maybe on Red Hat’s time because they’ve been able to show their managers the value, or maybe on their own time until its value is evident), but later grows it into a full-time gig. We encourage this kind of approach for a specific reason: we want the people who have proven to be great innovators to spend all of their time innovating, not just 20 percent of it. For example, consider how one top developer, Gavin King, essentially went off on his own, without any direction from above, to develop a new programming language called Ceylon.


pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade

Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, job automation, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Lyft, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation, uber lyft

We're slow travelers and prefer to have at least four weeks in one place so that we can live like the locals, enjoy the sights, and get work done. We have two sweet dogs who we miss while travelling so we're currently setting up our home base back in Austin, TX and plan to focus on North American destinations the next few years with six-week overseas trips every so often. I love challenging, new things so I typically have one main gig going and then a few side projects. One of the side projects inevitably flourishes and ends up becoming my main gig and that runs on about a two-year cycle, which always keeps me engaged and learning new things. What did you do before you became a digital nomad? (Did you do the same sort of work, or something entirely different?) I was working as a writer for an MBA program in entrepreneurship and ended up managing the technical development team that built out an online delivery platform for the MBA school.


pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman

1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, do-ocracy, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, low cost airline, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Looking for insights into Anonymous‘s surprising metamorphosis from trolling misfits to the misfits of activism, I began an anthropological study of the group in 2008. At first my research was low key, straightforward, and lighthearted. I attended protests and followed discussions on web forums and on Internet Relay Chat (IRC)—one of the most important communication applications for Anonymous (and many other geeks and hackers). In 2011, as Anonymous grew more tentacles and activists initiated dozens of political operations, my side project became my life. For over two years I was constantly jacked in, online for a minimum of five hours a day, struggling to keep abreast of all the simultaneous operations, some of them hidden from my view due to their clandestine nature. Researching Anonymous felt like following a thread through a dark and twisty path strewn with rumors, lies, secrets, and the ghoulish reality of spies and informants.

Radwaddie then interwove pragmatic and moral arguments: “we’re trying to make a point, [that] we disagree with paypal [which is why] we do the thing we do best: ddos.” He wrote that this was what Anonymous was about, not “awesome speeches or fabulous community.” Just as support for Radwaddie’s position seemed poised to reach a consensus, someone named “lark” entered the room with a surprising nugget of information: “the [initial] attack on the paypal blog was one of our own as a side project.” So, in fact, the very first DDoS hit, which everyone thought was instigated by an unaffiliated Anon, happened to be carried out by one of their own. I guess he had just gone about his business quietly, since AnonOps at the time was primarily focused on supporting file sharing. But despite this revelation, it seemed that the momentum could not be stopped. Given the hubbub generated by Trogo and Radwaddie’s decision to piggyback on the first DDoS hit, which everyone thought was accomplished by an outsider, it might seem incredulous that no one responded to lark.

Its beginnings can be traced to a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship I held at the University of Alberta in 2006–2007, and a fortunate introduction to Dr. Stephen Kent, who, in his work as professor of sociology, curates the largest academic Scientology archive in the world. In the midst of a frighteningly frigid winter, I dove into the archive with the hopes of emerging with a short historical side project describing a case known among geeks as “the Internet vs. the Church of Scientology.” Being more accustomed to interviewing people than making sense of heaps of (in this case, very strange) documents, Kent thankfully and graciously walked me through the confusing, fascinating, and at times disturbing innards of an organization so many geeks love to loathe. In January 2008, my historical project leaped into the present when, in the course of targeting the Church of Scientology, Anonymous underwent a broader and surprising metamorphosis from fearsome pranksters to fervent protesters.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The X Lab was intended to push Google into new markets. Google felt secure in its Web search monopoly so, with a profit stream that by the end of 2013 was more than $1 billion a month, the search company funded ambitious R & D projects that might have nothing to do with the company’s core business. Google was famous for its 70-20-10 rule, which gave its engineers free time to pursue their own side projects. Employees are supposed to spend 10 percent of their time on projects entirely unrelated to the company’s core business. Its founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page believed deeply in thinking big. They called their efforts “moon shots”: not pure science, but research projects that were hopefully destined to have commercial rather than purely scientific impact. It was a perfect environment for Thrun.

Cheyer’s entreaties to work together on a common project that integrated a huge swath of ideas into a new “cognitive” architecture largely fell on deaf ears. The teams listened politely because they were interested in the next round of money, and they would deliver software, but they all wanted to pursue their own projects. In the end there was no way that a large and bureaucratic program could have a direct impact in the real world. To cope with his frustrations he laid out a series of side projects to work on in 2007. They ranged from efforts to commercialize the CALO technology to the creation, with several friends, of an activists’ social network called change.org. It would be a remarkably productive year for Cheyer. With a graduate student, Didier Guzzoni, he used CALO technologies to build a new software development system that eventually became the foundation for Siri. He also put together a small development team that started commercializing various other components of Siri for applications like smartphone calendars and online news reading.

He also put together a small development team that started commercializing various other components of Siri for applications like smartphone calendars and online news reading. He also quietly helped to cofound Genetic Finance, a stealth machine-learning company that built a cluster of more than one million computers to solve financial problems such as predicting the stock market. In the midst of all of this, Cheyer approached SRI management to ask for some IR & D funding and told them, “I want a little side project where I’m going to build my own CALO the way it should be done.” He wanted to build a single integrated system, not a patchwork quilt from dozens of different organizations. SRI agreed, and he named his project “Active Ontologies.” He ran it quietly alongside the much larger operation. The project gained more traction when a key group of SRI technical leaders met for a daylong retreat in Half Moon Bay, a beach town close to the Menlo Park laboratory.


pages: 55 words: 17,493

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

David Heinemeier Hansson, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, side project, Wunderkammern

If Steal Like an Artist was a book about stealing influence from other people, this book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from you. Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog. Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project you posted online. Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help you find a new one. Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you. Or imagine something simpler and just as satisfying: spending the majority of your time, energy, and attention practicing a craft, learning a trade, or running a business, while also allowing for the possibility that your work might attract a group of people who share your interests. All you have to do is show your work.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, IKEA effect, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, private space industry, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Finally, they lay fiberglass and carbon-fiber sheets over the foam and brush resins over them to harden into sheets. By day, they make spaceships; by night, they apply their skills to their more personal dream machines. The path from hobby to industry that created Scaled in the first place remains central to its culture; scratch any Scaled engineer and you’ll find a hobbyist; walk just a hundred yards from their factory and you’ll find their garages. Hobby side projects are how Scaled engineers typically advance. To become an aircraft project leader, you must have proven the ability to run an aircraft project. How do you do this the first time? By doing it yourself. Scaled engineers win the respect of their peers with their homebrew builds; constructing and flying a machine of your own design counts for more than any academic degree in winning the trust and confidence of your peers.

As much as Rutan’s roots were in the DIY movement, the economics of developing advanced designs in secret for big companies and government contracts were irresistible. Most of all, Rutan wanted to design groundbreaking aircraft, not feed the endless demands of the kit business. Today Scaled Composites is owned by Northrop Grumman. For every high-profile design like SpaceShipOne, there is a cruise missile prototype or stealthy drone for the defense industry. The DIY roots are still there in all the side projects of the Scaled engineers in their personal hangars along the flight line at the Mojave airport. But the company itself is a high-security operation. Rutan’s career is an object lesson in both the potential and the limits of the Maker Movement. He used the democratized technology of composites to bring advanced aerospace concepts to amateurs. But the barriers to entry in manned flight, from the costs of manufacturing to the risk of lawsuits, turned out to be still too high to create a viable challenge to the existing industrial aerospace model.


pages: 420 words: 79,867

Developing Backbone.js Applications by Addy Osmani

Airbnb, anti-pattern, create, read, update, delete, don't repeat yourself, Firefox, full text search, Google Chrome, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, loose coupling, MVC pattern, node package manager, pull request, Ruby on Rails, side project, single page application, web application

If you want to stick it on your model, you can also make it a class function: User.validate = function(formElement) { //... }; For more information on validation plugins available for Backbone, see the Backbone wiki. Avoiding Conflicts With Multiple Backbone Versions Problem In instances out of your control, you may have to work around having more than one version of Backbone in the same page. How do you work around this without causing conflicts? Solution Like most client-side projects, Backbone’s code is wrapped in an immediately-invoked function expression: (function(){ // Backbone.js }).call(this); Several things happen during this configuration stage. A Backbone namespace is created, and multiple versions of Backbone on the same page are supported through the noConflict mode: var root = this; var previousBackbone = root.Backbone; Backbone.noConflict = function() { root.Backbone = previousBackbone; return this; }; Multiple versions of Backbone can be used on the same page by calling noConflict like this: var Backbone19 = Backbone.noConflict(); // Backbone19 refers to the most recently loaded version, // and `window.Backbone` will be restored to the previously // loaded version Building Model And View Hierarchies Problem How does inheritance work with Backbone?

Similar to exercise 1, the application will allow us to add new todos, edit new todos and clear todo items that have been marked as completed. For a more advanced practical, see the section on mobile Backbone development. The complete code for the application can can be found in the practicals/modular-todo-app folder of this repo (thanks to Thomas Davis and Jérôme Gravel-Niquet). Alternatively grab a copy of my side-project TodoMVC which contains the sources to both AMD and non-AMD versions. Overview Writing a modular Backbone application can be a straight-forward process. There are however, some key conceptual differences to be aware of if opting to use AMD as your module format of choice: As AMD isn’t a standard native to JavaScript or the browser, it’s necessary to use a script loader (such as RequireJS or curl.js) in order to support defining components and modules using this module format.


pages: 293 words: 78,439

Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today's Business While Creating the Future by Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, diversified portfolio, Internet of things, invention of hypertext, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, obamacare, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, pez dispenser, recommendation engine, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, the market place, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transfer pricing, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone had an idea. What if, they wondered, we created a way for people to update their status? And we intentionally constrained their postings to no more than 140 characters? Yes, Twitter emerged as a side project from a company going down the drain. Odeo’s original investors, including Charles River Ventures, had the opportunity to invest in this new idea but passed, because its commercial potential was unclear. As of the writing of this book, Twitter has 300 million active users and is worth more than $10 billion. A perfectly predictable company shuts down side projects. Or consider the story of UK-92480. Pfizer was exploring the sexily named drug about twenty years ago. Pfizer hoped it would lower blood pressure in patients. It didn’t work. End of story, right? It turned out, however, that the drug had a side effect, one that led male patients in particular to come back and ask for more.


pages: 258 words: 74,942

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

Freelancing makes up almost half the jobs being done by younger people, who are choosing to freelance in hopes of gaining more control over their career path. As a society, we’re gradually starting to view “work” not as a single place of employment, but as a series of engagements or projects. The millennial generation in particular views the traditional aspiration to a corporate job in an office as something like a satirical sitcom, à la The Office, than something they wish to strive for. With a stable of side project clients and a vast network of contacts in hand, Kaitlin left her agency job and started to freelance full-time. When she started, she first worked at leveling up her skill set before focusing on becoming more autonomous. Since going solo, she’s had a steady waiting list, regularly has to turn down projects that are a fit for her values, and has worked with some large companies like Beats by Dre, Taco Bell, Adobe, and Toms.

Again, if your expenses are $4,000, you need to sell 200 units. How likely is that? Another factor related to money is how you spend your time. Every day you spend developing a product is a day you aren’t really making money from it, unless you’ve done preorders or crowdfunding. How can you get an initial version of your product to market quickly to start building revenue? Money is why a lot of companies of one begin as side projects: their path to MVPr in order to cover the founder’s expenses can take a bit of time. I offset my own living expenses at first by living at home with my parents (hey, I was only nineteen), and then by taking a few years to slowly transition fully from services to products—and not until the products were routinely making more than what I was charging for services. Legal Small businesses can be taken advantage of, ripped off, or screwed out of money they’re owed—sometimes by larger businesses, but sometimes by businesses the same size.


pages: 289 words: 77,532

The Secret Club That Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodity Traders by Kate Kelly

Bakken shale, bank run, business cycle, Credit Default Swap, diversification, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, index fund, light touch regulation, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Sloane Ranger, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, the market place

He wanted to open up a new hedge fund on his own. Maybe he’d even hire a feng shui expert, he mused, to advise him on the décor in hopes of bringing better luck. A fish tank was supposed to help, he’d heard. (Glencore’s office building in Mayfair had two.) He planned to bring his chief financial officer, risk manager, and investor-relations head along with him. As he mulled his next steps, Andurand kept busy with side projects. He had a mixed track record outside of trading. He’d lost $3 million on a friend’s movie project about a ballroom love story. The $13 million investment he’d made in a yet-to-be-developed French ski resort had languished. And he spent $20 million building a high-end resort in Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. In the meantime, he was focused on a touring kickboxing league he had recently put $20 million into, convinced that the underappreciated sport was poised for massive future returns.

But damage to the coastal pipelines had made fuel difficult to transport. Ruggles tried to negotiate deals to sell the Trainer product to competing airlines, but was undercut by colleagues. Meanwhile, an aviation-publication poll revealed that many jet-fuel market participants doubted whether Delta would achieve the desired annual cost savings or set a precedent that other airlines might follow. Despite the troubles at work, side projects kept Ruggles busy. Ivonne was negotiating to buy a cosmetics manufacturer in northern New Jersey, so the two were searching for a home in Montclair, not far from the business she planned to help run. They had flown up to New York to catch a day of the U.S. Open annual tennis tournament, using seats provided by one of Delta’s brokers, and made a family trip of the Las Vegas speech. And Ruggles was making money in his personal account, where he traded contracts on crude, heating oil, and several other high-volume energy commodities in an account registered under Ivonne’s name.


pages: 280 words: 71,268

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World With OKRs by John Doerr

Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, cloud computing, collaborative editing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Haight Ashbury, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, Ray Kurzweil, risk tolerance, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, web application, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

OKRs are the scaffolding for Google’s signature home runs, including seven products with a billion or more users apiece: Search, Chrome, Android, Maps, YouTube, Google Play, and Gmail. In 2008, a company-wide OKR rallied all hands around the Code Yellow battle against latency—Google’s bête noire, the lag in retrieving data from the cloud. Bottom-up OKRs work hand in glove with “20 percent time,” which frees grassroots engineers to dive into promising side projects. Many companies have a “rule of seven,” limiting managers to a maximum of seven direct reports. In some cases, Google has flipped the rule to a minimum of seven. ( When Jonathan Rosenberg headed Google’s product team, he had as many as twenty.) The higher the ratio of reports, the flatter the org chart—which means less top-down oversight, greater frontline autonomy, and more fertile soil for the next breakthrough.

Spending hours cascading goals up and down the company, however, does not. . . . We have a market-based approach, where over time our goals all converge because the top OKRs are known and everyone else’s OKRs are visible. Teams that are grossly out of alignment stand out, and the few major initiatives that touch everyone are easy enough to manage directly. The antithesis of cascading might be Google’s “20 percent time,” which frees engineers to work on side projects for the equivalent of one day per week. By liberating some of the sharpest minds in captivity, Google has changed the world as we know it. In 2001, the young Paul Buchheit initiated a 20 percent project with the code name Caribou . It’s now known as Gmail, the world’s leading web-based email service. To avoid compulsive, soul-killing overalignment, healthy organizations encourage some goals to emerge from the bottom up.


pages: 428 words: 138,235

The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, the Americas Cup, Twice by Julian Guthrie

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, cloud computing, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Maui Hawaii, new economy, pets.com, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, white picket fence, Yogi Berra

Russell’s first take on the boat was that it was “incredibly challenging,” a comment that made Tugsy smile. That was an understatement when it came to this boat. There was also talk of building a new boat from scratch, and using USA-17 for practice. The most titillating talk, though, centered on the building of a certain type of sail, the size of which had never been seen before. The secretive project, code-named “Kopis” after a Greek sword with a forward-facing blade, was started as a side project in December 2008 and was now nearing completion. • • • In November, Jimmy Spithill drove USA-17 in a practice session off the San Diego coast. He and the crew, flying through the choppy waters at twenty-five knots, were trying different configurations of the mast and had moved it slightly forward. Mike Drummond had been asked to come aboard and take a look. The entire crew was on edge, as not a day of sailing went by without something breaking.

We’ll go faster, much faster, and reduce the likelihood of something breaking.” Larry went on, “I know that most people think trying to build a hard wing of this size is crazy. But that’s the beauty of the idea. The other side isn’t trying to build one.” And, savoring his words, he added, “So we’ll have a wing, and they won’t.” While most of the sailors and builders had dismissed the wing as an experimental side project, Jimmy was an early champion of the rigid sail. He had told Larry that he believed the wing would give them an advantage in a range of conditions. Jimmy had been out sailing in a new C-class wing-sailed catamaran, owned by the Canadian sailor Fred Eaton, who had been teaching him the ropes of the two-person cat. Jimmy had told Larry over the phone, “It’s a no-brainer to do the wing,” thinking only later, after the two had hung up, Shit, I hope it works.

But the boat wanted to fly and, once De Ridder started to trust the data, Jimmy felt like a jockey trying to hold back his horse. He asked Scott Ferguson, a designer on board, whether he could fly a hull—push the boat hard enough to raise a pontoon out of the water—and accelerate USA-17 to a much higher speed. “Now is as good a time as any,” Ferguson said, holding his breath. As the boat outperformed anyone’s expectations, Ferguson had tears in his eyes. Ozanne and Drummond watched in awe as their experimental side project became the main event. Larry had been told to get to San Diego as soon as possible, so he could see the wing sail. As he approached Lindberg Field, near the San Diego harbor, he banked his CJ4 twin jet over the harbor and looked down. That’s when he saw the winged trimaran—taller than most buildings in the San Diego skyline—for the first time. Seeing the boat from the air, he thought to himself, Ohmygod.


pages: 440 words: 132,685

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stross

Albert Einstein, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, death of newspapers, distributed generation, East Village, Ford paid five dollars a day, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Livingstone, I presume, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban renewal

The result was that Menlo Park became a place known far and wide around the world, and so closely was the place name associated with Edison’s laboratory that it entered the nation’s consciousness and stayed, even though Edison himself would live and work there only three more years, and would spend more than four decades at another location in New Jersey. The more that Edison spoke with reporters about his ideas and plans, the more giddy he became. He was untroubled by doubt that he might lack the time and resources to accomplish all of the side projects that he mentioned, seriously or casually. Readers learned that he not only had invented a new painkiller cocktail, but also had invented a hearing aid for his own use. His “telephonoscope” was supposedly inconspicuous, yet enabled Edison to hear “a cow chew a quarter of a mile off.” When letters came pouring in, imploring him to commercialize the invention, he announced that he had assigned two of his assistants to work on tests, and was confident he would have a hearing aid on the market within months.

She was only rarely included in the standard newspaper profile, and even then, merely as the ornament. Whether it was for a banquet in the city or supper at home, it was difficult to extract Edison from the lab. As the months passed following the phonograph’s first public exhibitions in early 1878 and he failed to produce a production model, Edison remained maddeningly blasé. He puttered and procrastinated, his attention flitting from one side project to the next. The “telescopophon” was one of the distractions that held his attention, but not long enough, it would turn out, for it to ever reach commercial release. This was a giant megaphone that performed marvelously when used as a pair, one for speaking, the other for listening, placed a mile apart on hilltops. Reporters were invited to try it themselves—one claimed he could hear a voice that was two miles away and out of sight—an entertainment so diverting that no one bothered to ask Edison details of how he was going to miniaturize it to make good on his claim that this nonelectrical mechanical device would enable the partially deaf to “hear every whisper on the stage of the largest theater,” yet be so small that it could be used “without your next neighbor knowing that you have one.”

It was not a catalog large enough to draw significant numbers of customers, nor was it sufficient to keep the clearinghouse well supplied. In 1913, two years after the debut of the projector, all owners received a letter from the company imploring them to send in any “idle films” for exchanges. The venture languished. No critic at the time apparently commented on the outlandishness of Edison’s carelessly announced ambition to radically remake American education—and in his spare time. The side projects multiplied, each initial announcement bringing reporters running and forcing Edison to dilute his attention. When he plunged into a campaign, no subordinate would have any grounds to tease him for working less hard than anyone else. When a business colleague in 1912 wrote him and casually asked how he was feeling, Edison replied, “Well, I worked 122 hours in six days last week, hence I must feel fine—and do.”


pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

When he added a primitive spell checker to the product search he was building, Urs admonished him for having too many side projects and asked him to stay focused. That attitude changed after he developed the content-targeting prototype. Not just for Paul, but for the company. "I feel like the concept of twenty-percent time came out of that," Paul told me. "I don't think it was ever specifically stated, but it was more officially endorsed after that." "Twenty-percent time" was a mandate that all those in engineering spend one day a week thinking about something other than their assigned projects. Ad targeting in email had not been assigned to anyone, and most who heard about it vehemently opposed it. Paul built it anyway, and the company's thinking shifted overnight. Other engineers had also done side projects that looked promising, like Krishna's Google news service.

Working for Jonathan would be like enrolling at MIT. I didn't want to go to MIT. My squabbles with Marissa over user-interface issues had ebbed and flowed, with the launch of Google news in September 2002 bringing both high points and lows. Marissa took particular pride in Google news, which automatically scanned thousands of news sources and extracted the ones that seemed most important. Krishna Bharat had started it as a side project, and after 9/11 had worked on it in earnest. Marissa made sure that Google news, like a favored child, moved to the front of the line for whatever goodies the company doled out. One of those was positioning as a tab right above the search box on the Google.com homepage. When the UI team questioned why we hadn't met to discuss such a major change, Marissa asserted it had always been planned that way.


Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made by Andy Hertzfeld

Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, HyperCard, John Markoff, Mitch Kapor, Paul Graham, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

I was used to coming back to the lab at Apple after dinner to see if anything interesting was going on and working on various extracurricular projects. I had some spare time that night, so I got out Burrell’s instructions and wrote an Apple II (6502) assembly language routine to do the necessary bit-twiddling to transfer whatever was on the Apple II’s hi-res graphic display to the Mac prototype’s frame-buffer, using Burrell’s unusual synchronization scheme. One of my recent side projects involved using Woz’s new, one-to-one interleave floppy disk routines to make very fast slideshow disks on the Apple II. I had just made one full of Disney cartoon characters that were scanned by Bob Bishop, one of the early Apple software magicians. Bob adored the work of Carl Barks, the Disney artist who specialized in Donald Duck, and he had scanned dozens of Barks’ Donald Duck images for the Apple II.

In August 1982, the Mac was redesigned with much better sound quality, so we had the possibility of a better boot sound, since we now had 8-bit samples to play with. I started experimenting to see if I could come up with something better. Around this time, Charlie Kellner decided to transfer to the Mac group from the Apple II group. Charlie was a brilliant Apple II programmer as well as a multitalented, meticulous perfectionist who wrote a classic hi-res bowling game for the Apple II before he started work at Apple. As a side project, he designed a music synthesizer for the Apple II called the AlphaSyntauri that was the basis for a small startup company. For some reason he grew bored with the Apple II and wanted to try working with the Mac team. Charlie saw me messing around with sounds for the new boot beep and said he knew of a simple algorithm that might work pretty well. He asked me to fill the sound buffer with a simple square wave, but then make successive passes on it, averaging adjacent samples until everything reached the same level.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, Y Combinator, yield management

And they had the perfect idea for where to launch it: South by Southwest, or “Southby,” as it’s known, the Austin-based tech, music, and film-festival confab that had become the preeminent technology-industry gathering in the United States. But they knew they needed to convince Blecharczyk; they couldn’t do it without him. They called him up and said they had something they were really excited about and asked him to dinner, where they pitched the idea to him. He was reluctant. He liked the idea, and he knew from his time living with Gebbia, when they’d help each other out on side projects on nights and weekends, that they shared a similar work ethic. He felt the three of them would make a good team, but as he listened to his designer friends’ more grandiose vision, he became apprehensive about the amount of work they were describing. Most of it would fall on him, the only engineer of the three of them, and it would need to be done in just a few weeks in order to get up and running in time for South by Southwest.

Demo Day was set for March; “profitable” was defined by Graham as “Ramen profitable”—raising enough for the entrepreneurs to afford to feed themselves, even if on cheap store-bought noodle mixes. They had three months. Going in, Chesky, Gebbia, and Blecharczyk had made a pact with one another that for three months they’d give it their all. They’d wake up at 8 a.m. and work until midnight, seven days a week. For once, they would be 100 percent focused; none of them would work on any other side projects. And they decided that if on the last day they didn’t get funding, they would go their separate ways. After Graham’s introductory lecture, they made their own version of the hockey-stick revenue chart he had showed them and taped it to their bathroom mirror so it was the first thing they saw when they woke up and the last thing they saw before they went to bed. They would update it every week.


pages: 98 words: 25,753

Ethics of Big Data: Balancing Risk and Innovation by Kord Davis, Doug Patterson

4chan, business process, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Occupy movement, performance metric, Robert Bork, side project, smart grid, urban planning

Especially my primary editor Courtney Nash who, when I told her I was planning to write a self-published white paper on big data ethics, immediately started investigating whether anyone had signed up to do that for O’Reilly and offered to bring a proposal to the editorial group. Special thanks for recognizing the value of the topic, being its champion, and working diligently to help make sure the project continued to unfold productively—all while making the work read better in the process. That also couldn’t have happened without interim editor (while Courtney was working on a side project of her own—which resulted in a beautiful baby girl), Julie Steele. Julie stepped in graciously, in the middle of a very busy and important time, and helped make sure I stayed between the rails as the work moved forward. And lastly, of course, thanks to Tim O’Reilly for creating an organization that would even consider publishing work on such a topic and for his discussion and insights on technology, culture, and community.


pages: 561 words: 163,916

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality by Blake J. Harris

4chan, airport security, Anne Wojcicki, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, computer vision, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, financial independence, game design, Grace Hopper, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, Peter Thiel, QR code, sensor fusion, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, software patent, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, unpaid internship, white picket fence

And at some point along the way, two things happened: Chris Dycus confided that he had never been on a plane before Oculus’s Kickstarter campaign went live.4 RARELY DOES ONE’S MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT COINCIDE WITH THEIR most thrilling. But as Brendan Iribe rose and slowly scanned the Gaikai office, he couldn’t help but feel this strange convergence had occurred. With the exception of Michael Antonov, who was doing his best to act like business as usual, everyone in the office was blasting the Oculus video. As everyone watched it over and over, it was quickly becoming clear that Iribe’s “little side project” might have been significantly larger than he let on. . . . My name is Palmer Luckey and I’m a virtual reality enthusiast . . . Iribe was less concerned with what his colleagues might think of him than he was about the possibility that a similar scene was playing out in a Sony office somewhere; and that with plans to acquire Gaikai for $380 million, the Sony people might not like seeing one of Gaikai’s key stakeholders shilling for a different venture.

Or how someone actually got it to do the thing that it does.” Luckey nodded. He knew exactly what Patel was talking about. “So you go and get the screwdriver,” Patel continued, “take it apart, and put it back together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s the process and the technology that are more interesting than the thing itself.” It was this type of curiosity that led Patel to Carnegie Mellon, and then Apple and then to create side-projects like the Adjacent Reality tracker.1 This was a small, wireless head and hand tracker—weighing only 9.2 grams—that, if added to the Rift, could capture the three degrees of freedom necessary to deliver an immersive experience.2 In essence, it could replace the Hillcrest tracker that Luckey & Co. had previously been using. This meeting was to explore that possibility; or, even better, explore the possibility of Patel leaving Apple to come join this crazy little start-up.

(Photo courtesy of Palmer Luckey) Luckey loves playing Valve’s Team Fortress 2 in VR. (Photo courtesy of Joe Chen) On March 25, 2014, Facebook finalizes a deal to acquire Oculus for $2.7 billion. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Westrum) Mighty Morphin Power Tinkerers. (Photo courtesy of Nicole Edelmann) Luckey and Edelmann cosplay as Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. (Photo courtesy of Yui Araki) Luckey and Dycus spend a weekend working on “side projects.” (Photo courtesy of Palmer Luckey) Among friends and fans at Machi Asobi in Japan, Palmer Luckey is ready for what’s next. (Photo courtesy of Yui Araki) About the Author BLAKE J. HARRIS is the bestselling author of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, which is currently being adapted for television by Legendary Entertainment, producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and Scott Rudin.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

But it defines leader in a particular way: “All are proven entrepreneurs, mostly from the world of business, who have reached a point in their lives where, having achieved success, they are ready to apply their creative talents to building a better society.” Fellows meet for four one-week sessions over two years. They read and discuss important texts, debate what makes for a “good society,” and develop side projects to do good in ways that generally avoid denting their opportunities to do well. Kassoy attended his first fellowship meeting in Aspen that summer, and the readings and discussions cracked him open. The experience awakened him to his latent discontent with private equity. “It was quite an intense experience because it caused me to say, ‘I’ve been at this for ten, eleven years. It’s time to pick up my head and actually think about what my life is actually about,’ ” he said.

It was peculiar that many of our conversations at the Aspen Institute about democracy and the “good society” occurred in the Koch Building, named after a family that had done so much to undermine democracy and the efforts of ordinary people to “change the world.” It was off-putting when the organizers of our fellowship reunion sprang a Goldman Sachs–sponsored lunch on us, in which the company’s do-gooding was trumpeted and its role in causing the financial crisis went unexamined. It bothered me that the fellowship asked fellows to do virtuous side projects instead of doing their day jobs more honorably. The institute brought together people from powerful institutions like Facebook, the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, and PepsiCo. Instead of asking them to make their firms less monopolistic, greedy, or harmful to children, it urged them to create side hustles to “change the world.” I began to feel like a casual participant in—and timid accomplice to, as well as a cowardly beneficiary of—a giant, sweet-lipped lie.


pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg

affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

But suffice it to say, when I finally went on my first date with my wife, Jena, I had learned enough from all those blunders to avoid the clod-head mistakes of my past and to woo her properly that one spring night in 2008. And that was the date that really mattered. You only need one, in a whole lifetime. ■ DUSTIN MOSKOVITZ’S STORY In early 2004, Dustin Moskovitz was working a twenty-hour-perweek job as a computer system administrator, on top of forty or so hours a week of classes and homework as a sophomore at Harvard. And then there was this little side project he and some of his dorm buddies were working on, called TheFacebook.com. It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Facebook was not a sure thing as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of human communication and social life. There was a time when it was a few kids sitting in a dorm room, and it had sixty or seventy thousand users—far fewer users than many now-folded companies have boasted before.

It doesn’t really know what business it’s in, to be frank, or what product or service it sells. In fact, it may not even know that for a few years. The chief executive in the business may have to move back in with her parents at some point during this time—before she figures out the business’s mission, revenue model, or core competency. (Oh, and by the way, the CEO is quite immature. She is often irresponsible and from time to time becomes distracted by side projects, like partying.) The business you’re about to invest in has absolutely no knowledge or experience in sales or marketing. It doesn’t even really know how to keep its own books or balance a budget, and often runs up a lot of credit card debt. It’s not even sure it wants to be a business; the CEO may want to start a nonprofit, pursue a passion in acting, or go help orphans in Botswana. The chief executive has no business network or contacts to speak of, and in fact has no experience whatsoever running a business.


pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

He loved his new wife, Beth, and sons, Michael and Steven, who, though still in California, could proudly call him their dad. He had become the man he had envisioned all those years before. One night back at the office, Romero decided to share his feeling of success. He stepped into Carmack’s office to find his partner, as usual, sitting at 140 his PC with a Diet Coke. Since Doom’s release, Carmack had immersed himself in side projects: programming conversions or ports of Doom for other game platforms, including the Atari Jaguar and the new console from Sega. Id was getting good money for the gigs, $250,000 from Atari alone. But for Carmack it wasn’t the cash that was intriguing, it was the opportunity to get back into the trenches. This was what he truly loved: the work, the rolling up of the sleeves, the challenging of his intellect.

What kind of project director was that? In Romero’s mind Quake was coming alone just fine. Carmack was busy working on what he knew would be the next killer game program. There was no reason to rush Engine John. The rest of the company had to just be patient and get ready to throw on the great game design. The best thine they could do was find ways to be productive. Romero chose to spend this time by immersing himself in side projects that he felt would have direct benefit to the company. But he could sense that they wanted to blame him for not getting the game done, that he wasn’t doing enough work. They viewed his detachment, his flipped bit, as a sign that their resident rock star was spinning, if not crashing, his wheels. Their attitude was starting to piss him off. So what if he was going home at 7:00 P.M.? He had a wife.


pages: 370 words: 107,791

Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sexual politics, side project

He never returned to Frankfurt Oder or saw his family again while the Wall was still standing. Instead, he and Ina squatted an apartment together in Friedrichshain, briefly married, and started working together on songs that would eventually form the basis of another band, Wartburgs für Walter. Kremer, Antitrott’s singer and guitarist, was already dating Tatjana, a member of the Berlin band die Firma, and playing in a side project with her; Kremer soon followed Jörn to Berlin. Reimo, the band’s drummer, was the last to make the move. As the decade wore on and the legal obligation to work was no longer rigorously enforced, more and more people simply left the provinces and made for Berlin—or other cities where they could disappear and find their way in the cracks opening up, in the increasing amounts of free space being carved out of society in the big cities, in the squats, and in activities outside the official economy, like making clothing and jewelry for private sale.

The pair also grudgingly arranged for the DDR band die Firma to open the show—the band was not well-liked in punk circles, but die Firma had good-quality gear that both bands could use, so Element of Crime could cross the border as normal tourists, with no equipment. The Stasi found out about the show beforehand—both vocalists in die Firma were Stasi snitches—but they did not stop it. Two thousand people had gathered by seven thirty in the evening, when die Firma started their set. Paul Landers of Feeling B was now playing guitar in die Firma as well; he was a restless musical soul and in addition to Feeling B and die Firma he also played in several side projects—one was an improvisational gypsy-punk kind of thing called Tacheles, and he and Flake had another called Magdalene Keibel Combo, a pun on the addresses of the Stasi headquarters at Magdelenenstrasse and the Keibelstrasse detention center near Alexanderplatz where punks were often taken. About a mile away, on Greifswalder Strasse, skinheads from all over town—including a few from West Berlin—had gathered at a bar called Sputnik to celebrate the birthday of one of their members.


Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice by The Believer, Judd Apatow, Patton Oswalt

Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, illegal immigration, Saturday Night Live, side project, telemarketer

My older sister publicly resolved to discontinue her addiction to nicotine at midnight on January 1, 2007. She declared her abstinence from the dirty habit and promised, in a binding agreement with a friend, to pay one thousand dollars to anyone who caught her inhaling. At 3:23 a.m. on January 1, 2007, my sister arrived home from the bar, under the influence of alcohol, and disturbed my slumber by blasting songs from her electro-pop side project while dancing around the inflatable mattress I was sleeping on in her living room. She then proceeded to smoke her face off while mocking my good behavior. I quickly turned on my video camera and captured her in the act. I then used the incriminating tape to receive my thousand-dollar reward. I also called her “watpagin” for three months following a predictive text mishap from the same evening.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Threadless’s business model arose by accident. The founders originally thought they were in the web services business, selling consulting to firms who needed websites. But selling web consulting didn’t scale: each project had to be negotiated individually, each project required dedicated staff, and after completion, no project could be resold without modification. The company founders launched the T-shirt contest website as a side project to illustrate their capabilities. It was simply an online copy of an offline contest that one of the founders had entered. When this side venture exploded in popularity, its enormous scalability advantages became obvious. Scaling a network requires that both sides of the market grow proportionally. For example, one Uber driver can serve an average of about three Uber riders an hour. It would make no sense for Uber to have one rider and 1,000 drivers—nor 1,000 riders and one driver.

The notion of a payment mechanism that could potentially liberate millions of people from reliance on government-sponsored currency also appealed to the idealistic Thiel’s libertarian streak, much as another ambitious online payment platform—Bitcoin—would fire the imagination of libertarians a decade later. Nonetheless, Confinity attracted few users. After two years, having gained only 10,000 signups, Levchin and Thiel shut Confinity down. Along the way, however, they unlocked a much more promising business prospect. Back in October 1999, a Confinity engineer had cobbled together an online demo to accept payments via email. This side project represented a significant potential improvement in payments processing; unlike previous systems for online payments, it allowed anyone in the world to receive an online payment from anyone else without needing to use the unwieldy system for transferring funds from one bank account to another. Levchin and Thiel recognized that it might be possible to turn this new form of online payment into a significant business on its own—one that could serve millions of consumers and the online businesses they patronized.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, survivorship bias, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Participation in a 401(k) or in programs such as organ donation or voter registration varies dramatically depending on whether the programs are default opt-in versus default opt-out. Default Effect You can use the default effect to your personal advantage by making default commitments toward your long-term goals. A simple example is scheduling recurring time right into your calendar, such as an hour a week to look for a new job, deep-clean your living space, or work on a side project. Thereafter, by default your time is allocated to whichever long-term goal you choose. This same technique also works well for scheduling deep work. By putting deep-work blocks of time into your calendar, you can prevent yourself by default from booking this time with meetings since it is already committed. Commitments have shortcomings, however. First, it is easy to put off making the commitment itself.

You’ve probably seen this model in books and movies about scenarios such as what would have happened if Germany had won World War II (e.g., Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle). Examples from your own life can help you improve your decision making when you think through the possible consequences of your past decisions. What if I had taken that job? What if I had gone to that other school? What if I hadn’t done that side project? When reconsidering your past decisions, though, it is important not only to think of the positive consequences that might have occurred if you had made a different life choice. The butterfly effect (see Chapter 4) reminds us that one small change can have ripple effects, so when considering a counterfactual scenario, it is important to remember that if you change one thing, it is unlikely that everything else would stay the same.


pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg

A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, c2.com, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The programmers understood that until they had answers, no significant work could proceed. They were all stuck, stymied—in the software business’s preferred term, blocked. The back-end work Chandler needed led directly into a maze of tough technical decisions, and McCusker quickly found himself at the center of it. An enthusiastic blogger who used his Web site, named Treedragon, to chronicle his own side projects developing new programming languages, McCusker filled blog entries in the days after his start at OSAF with enthusiastic, point-by-point responses to technical emails. One email he posted from a developer whom he didn’t name read: Please don't blow it and reinvent what Python and Zope [a Python-based project] developers have already created. Python and Zope have been in development for years and there is a treasure trove of great technology in this tool chest.

Ward Cunningham’s wiki, for example, came about not because the programmer set out to build Web pages that anyone could add to but because he wanted his collaborators to be able to fix their own mistakes. The young developers who started a small company named Pyra in 1999 aimed to produce a collaborative project management tool; they also built a small program to write a Web journal and communicate with their users. That little side project became Blogger, the largest blogging service in the world, with millions of users (Google acquired it in 2003). Ludicorp was a software company that prototyped a system for a “massive multiplayer online role-playing game”; the project, called the Game Neverending, ended pretty quickly, but its creators revamped some of its parts and built the Flickr photo-sharing service, which became the toast of the Web in 2004 (and was acquired by Yahoo!


pages: 190 words: 52,865

Full Stack Web Development With Backbone.js by Patrick Mulder

Airbnb, create, read, update, delete, Debian, Kickstarter, MVC pattern, node package manager, Ruby on Rails, side project, single page application, web application, WebSocket

Find us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/oreilly Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/oreillymedia Watch us on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/oreillymedia Acknowledgments This book wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many hands. First, there were the JavaScript pair programming sessions I did with Béla Varga, who is involved in a number of communities for JavaScript development (MunichJS, Coding Dojo), and helped me a lot changing my Ruby-developer biased view on JavaScript. I want to thank Andrea Notari, Daniele Bertella, and Aurélie Mercier for investing time in a side project that led to experimenting with Backbone.js in the first place. We are trying to make digital work more accessible and transparent. Thanks for valuable feedback and discussion from Lucas Dohmen, Michael Hackstein, Mathias Lafeldt, Radoslav Stankov, Colin Megill, Eric Trom, Ryan Eastridge, Mike Dvorkin, Martin Gausby, Jeremy Morrell, Jean Carlos Menino, Axel Rauschmayer, Phi‐ lip Fehre, Roman Sladeczek, Laust Rud Jacobson, Yi Cao, Dave Cadwallader, Nikhilesh Katakam, Patrick Dubroy, Ted Han, Jeremy Ashkenas, Jason Crawford, Peter de Croos, Adam Krebs, Tim Griesser, Sara Robinson, Kevin Sweeney, Petka Antonov, and Gorgi Kosev.


pages: 370 words: 129,096

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

addicted to oil, Burning Man, cleantech, digital map, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, global supply chain, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, money market fund, multiplanetary species, optical character recognition, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, paypal mafia, performance metric, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

The only problem was that no one had any interest in what Straubel was selling. Investors dealt him one rejection after another for months on end. Then, in the fall of 2003, Straubel met Elon Musk. Harold Rosen had set up a lunch with Musk at a seafood restaurant near the SpaceX headquarters in Los Angeles and brought Straubel along to help talk up the electric plane idea. When Musk didn’t bite on that, Straubel announced his electric car side project. The crazy idea struck an immediate chord with Musk, who had been thinking about electric vehicles for years. While Musk had mostly focused on using ultracapacitors for the vehicles, he was thrilled and surprised to hear how far the lithium ion battery technology had progressed. “Everyone else had told me I was nuts, but Elon loved the idea,” Straubel said. “He said, ‘Sure, I will give you some money.’”

By this time, Tesla had moved into a larger facility at 1050 Bing Street in San Carlos. The bigger building allowed Tesla to bring the battery work back in-house from Asia and for it to do some of the Roadster manufacturing, alleviating the supply chain issues. Tesla was maturing as a car company, although its wild-child start-up streak remained well intact. While strolling around the factory one day, Marks saw a Smart car from Daimler on a lift. Musk and Straubel had a small side project going on around the Smart car to see what it might be like as an electric vehicle. “Michael didn’t know about it, and he’s like, ‘Who is the CEO here?’” said Lyons. (The work on the Smart car eventually led to Daimler buying a 10 percent stake in Tesla.) Marks’s inclination was to try to package Tesla as an asset that could be sold to a larger car company. It was a perfectly reasonable plan.


pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

He initiated a national discussion among statisticians and economists over how best to put together indexes of consumer prices. He founded a company that provided weekly price indexes to newspapers around the country. He argued for linking business contracts and bond interest rates to inflation (it took a mere eighty-six years for the U.S. government to follow up on this suggestion by launching Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS, in 1997).23 As a side project, he also tried to bring indexing to the stock market. The Dow averages were and are merely that—averages of the prices of the selected stocks. This measure generates some deeply weird results. To use two modern Dow constituents as examples, General Electric was selling for $36 a share at the end of 2007 and Caterpillar for $72. As a result, Caterpillar had twice the impact on the average that GE did, even though Caterpillar’s overall stock market value, or capitalization, was only 12 percent of GE’s.24 Price indexes avoid this nonsense by weighting stocks—by volume of transacted shares or, most commonly, by market capitalization.

Within a decade, MIT had built a department around Samuelson that left Harvard’s in the shade. One recent history of economic thought (Jürg Niehans’s A History of Economic Theory) devotes twenty-four pages to Samuelson’s ideas. Adam Smith only gets thirteen.1 Samuelson’s work on stock markets and the random walk takes up less than two of those twenty-four pages. He was “the last generalist in economics,” as he liked to say, and for him financial market studies were just a side project that he at times seemed deeply ambivalent about. His intervention was, however, crucial to the triumph of the random walk. Here was one of the most important economists of all time, and he didn’t think the relationship between coin flips and the stock market was a dinner-speech triviality. The son of successful immigrant parents in Gary, Indiana, Samuelson arrived at the University of Chicago in 1932 and fell hard for the elegant logic of neoclassical economics.


pages: 444 words: 127,259

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, call centre, Chris Urmson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, family office, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, money market fund, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, off grid, peer-to-peer, pets.com, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, software as a service, software is eating the world, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Y Combinator

First, By 2008, more than 75 percent of American households owned computers, and unlike the 1990s and early 2000s, this mass population had access to broadband; more than half of American adults in 2008 purchased a high-speed internet connection for the home. As more and more people connected online, demand for new, internet-enabled services grew by the day. Second, the hurdles for entrepreneurs who wanted to launch a company were lowering quickly. Amazon Web Services, or AWS, changed the startup game entirely. Amazon started AWS in 2002 as an engineering side project; it would grow to become one of its most successful innovations in Amazon history. Amazon Web Services powers cloud computing services for coders and entrepreneurs who can’t afford to build their own infrastructure or server farms on their own. If a startup is a house, AWS is the electric company, the foundation and the plumbing combined. It keeps the business up and running while the company founders can spend their time focusing on more important things like, say, getting people to come to their house in the first place.

Google’s search business was still printing money—billions every single quarter—which gave Alphabet’s other companies the ability to pursue diverse projects. It also freed the reclusive Page from the public eye. He hated the scrutiny that followed the CEO of Google, and wanted more time to pursue his own projects. The idea of self-driving cars had been a private goal for a long time. And self-driving was just the beginning; Kitty Hawk, a side project backed by his personal bank account, was working on a first consumer-ready version of a flying car. Page wanted to make his childhood dreams of the future come true in his own lifetime. Although Google was the first Big Tech company to devote substantial resources and money to self-driving-car research, executives admitted they were slow to move and test the cars more aggressively. Competitors like Apple and Tesla were gaining traction in the space.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

If you go talk to 10 girls and nine laugh and spit in your face and one turns into a deeply meaningful relationship that you spend years in and is emotionally satisfying, it’s still a net positive by a wide margin. If you start 10 companies, lose $1000 on the first nine and make $1 million on the 10th, you’re net positive even though you “failed” nine out of then times. Section 4 30. To download the full interview with Derek Sivers about how he turned a side project, CD Baby, into a 75 person business and the qualities of musicians that are successful selling online (and how those lessons transfer to other industries), go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj 31. To download an interview with Dan on how he turned a $40,000 per year web design agency Into a $40,000 per month recurring revenue service, go to http://taylorpearson.me/eoj Chapter 8 32. Kevin Kelly, write about his the phenomenon in more detail at http://kk.org/thetechnium/2008/03/1000-true-fans/ 33.


pages: 183 words: 49,460

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling

8-hour work day, en.wikipedia.org, inventory management, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Network effects, Paul Graham, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, Superbowl ad, web application

They’ve been able to focus on filling the exact needs of their customers and as a result they own a large portion of the countertop scheduling software market. Starting for the Right Reasons Most developers want to build software products for the wrong reasons. Reason #1: Having a Product Idea If you have an idea for a product, odds are high that you have project/product confusion. A project is a software application that you build as a fun side project. The code is fun to write because you’re not concerned about quality and performance, and the end result is a neat little application that likely isn’t of use to many people. A product is a project that people will pay money for. In other words, it’s a project that has a market (a group of people who want to buy it). Without a market, a software application is just a project. Most developers who come up with an idea know exactly how they will build it, but no idea how they will reach potential customers.


pages: 458 words: 46,761

Essential Sqlalchemy by Jason Myers, Rick Copeland

create, read, update, delete, database schema, microservices, Ruby on Rails, side project, web application

Prior to switching to development a few years ago, he spent several years as a systems architect, building data centers and cloud architectures for several of the largest tech companies, hospitals, stadiums, and telecom providers. He’s a passionate developer who regularly speaks at local and national events about technology. He’s also the chair of the PyTennessee conference. He loves solving health-related problems, and has a side project, Sucratrend, devoted to helping diabetics manage their condition and improve their quality of life. He has used SQLAlchemy in web, data warehouse, and analytics applications. Rick Copeland is the co-founder and CEO of Synapp.io, an Atlanta-based company that provides a SaaS solution for the email compliance and deliverability space. He is also an experienced Python developer with a focus on both relational and NoSQL databases, and has been honored as a MongoDB Master by MongoDB Inc. for his contributions to the community.


pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, David Heinemeier Hansson, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Mike McDerment developed the first generation of FreshBooks.com while running a four-person design studio. He was using Microsoft Word to send an invoice and hit Save instead of Save As, accidentally erasing an old invoice. With the old invoice gone, he had no way of tracking it for his business or the tax man. Determined to develop an invoicing tool that was easy to use for a small company like his, he developed FreshBooks.com as a side project. “It took over sixteen months to bring a product to market,” McDerment told me. “When we launched, no one cared, and twenty-four months after starting, we had only ten paying customers and revenues of $99 per month. We moved into my parents’ basement for three and a half years.”2 By 2014, FreshBooks had paying customers in 120 countries, and McDerment & Co. had moved out of his parent’s basement into digs that housed more than 100 FreshBooks.com employees.


pages: 173 words: 53,564

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes

"side hustle", basic income, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, end world poverty, full employment, future of journalism, gig economy, high net worth, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, oil rush, payday loans, Peter Singer: altruism, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, TaskRabbit, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, uber lyft, universal basic income, winner-take-all economy, working poor, working-age population, zero-sum game

While Mark enlisted Dustin to help build the site and open it up to other colleges, I prepared promotional plans for Harvard and the new schools and helped design core features on the site, like messaging and an early news product. The non-techie of the group, I took responsibility for how the site might be used and how others might perceive it. I pitched in wherever I could to tweak a feature, improve an interface, or make sure a reporter knew the facts. At that stage, Facebook was mostly a fun side project, more something to bond with my roommates over than a way to change the world. Seeing how quickly we could make it grow was almost like a game. Mark, however, talked about Facebook in near-religious terms from the outset: he saw it as a way to make the whole world more “open and connected.” When reporters described it as a social network for college kids, he chafed at how little they appreciated the scope of his ambition.


pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Convinced that continued success was simply his by right, he seemed to bristle at concepts like discipline, organization, or strategic planning. Employees were not given enough direction, and then at other times, overwhelmed with trivial instructions. DeLorean couldn’t delegate—except to lackeys whose blind loyalty was prized over competence or skill. On top of all this, he was often late or preoccupied. Executives were allowed to work on extracurricular activities on the company dime, encouraged specifically to chase side projects that benefited their boss at the expense of the company. As CEO, DeLorean often bent the truth to investors, fellow officers, and suppliers, and this habit was contagious throughout the company. Like many people driven by a demon, DeLorean’s decisions were motivated by everything but what would have been efficient, manageable, or responsible. Instead of improving or fixing GM’s system, it’s as if he threw out order altogether.


pages: 190 words: 53,409

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy

I managed to publish a few papers while I was at Yale, so Harvard expressed some interest in me and my work. I expressed a little interest back and got hired, got tenured, and got bored, all in a little over a decade. That was the 1990s for me. Then I got a plush job with my own research team at the National Institutes of Health. We were doing some work with action potentials in neuronal firing when I started getting distracted by a side project we’d discovered with mRNAs. The NIH expressed some mild interest but they were taking too long to approve the project, get funding, yada yada, so once my contract was up, I was out of there. My partner and I founded the H. J. Institute soon after I delivered a paper at a conference at Berkeley. A group of investors approached us after that conference and laid out this whole elaborate business plan for raising twenty million in under a year to set up labs, hire some solid, good people, you know.


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

DESPITE THE MANAGEMENT mess at Apple, veterans of those years remember Apple as a company with a unique soul, and cite Steve as a powerful inspiration. The long and winding development of the Macintosh is the saga that best shows why Steve remained so admired even as he was so instrumental in tearing apart the company he loved. To understand this, we need to take a step back chronologically, to the fall of 1980, when Scotty dumped Steve from the Lisa team. At the time, he had suggested that Steve take a look at an intriguing side project being run by Jef Raskin, a smart, idiosyncratic, theoretically inclined former college professor whose first job at Apple had been to supervise the preparation of user manuals and product documentation for the Apple II. Steve thought Raskin was a pedantic egghead, but he was intrigued by the goal of his project: to create a consumer-oriented “computer appliance” that would sell for just $1,000.

But after several years of funding Pixar and NeXT, only a fraction of that fortune remained. Pixar’s revenues were stagnant, and Steve was writing one check after another to keep the thing afloat. The world’s most famous computer entrepreneur was in danger of drifting into the middling obscurity that has enveloped so many other one-hit wonders of the technology world. Shutting down this expensive side project would have made enormous sense. And yet Steve persisted. He had idiosyncratic reasons for doing so. The easiest to understand is that he desperately did not want to admit to having failed. After his ignominious departure from Apple, and in the absence of a tangible success at NeXT, Steve was basically keeping his reputation alive with announcements of milestones that weren’t really milestones.


How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie

Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cosmic microwave background, crowdsourcing, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, gravity well, high net worth, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, low earth orbit, Mark Shuttleworth, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Oculus Rift, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, packet switching, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, pets.com, private space industry, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, urban planning

Peter asked. “Tsiolkovsky said, ‘Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot remain in the cradle forever.’” Peter was two months shy of his twenty-seventh birthday. He had one big hurdle to go before he could focus full time on moving humanity out of its cradle. He needed to finish up at Harvard Medical School, either by graduating or by gracefully bowing out. And he had a certain ambitious side project—one that was drawing attention from all over the globe. — At the world headquarters of the International Space University—a tiny second-floor office above a bagel shop on Beacon Street—Peter and Todd Hawley marveled at the postmarks on the applications: the Soviet Union, China, Japan, Kenya, Switzerland, Germany, France, Poland, India, Saudi Arabia. In all, there were more than 350 applicants from thirty-seven countries vying for one of 100 spots at ISU’s inaugural summer session, just months away.

Scaled Composites had wanted to build everything related to the outside of the motor, including the propellant tank, case, and nozzle. But Scaled was an airplane company, with no experience making rocket engines. Fabrication problems quickly surfaced with the case, throat, and nozzle. There was uncertainty that Scaled’s nitrous tank design could handle the required pressures. Alabaman Tim Pickens, hired early on by Burt for his work in propulsion, design, and fabrication—and because his side projects included rocket-powered bicycles, rocket-powered backpacks, and rocket-powered pickup trucks—agreed with Scaled’s call to outsource the nitrous oxide tank, which would transport the nitrous. Pickens found a guy in Texas who owned a scrap yard and said he could help build a nitrous trailer. The Texan already had a tank with a generator for refrigeration that could hold ten thousand pounds of nitrous.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Aside from his own father, White was the man whose judgment Ohanian most trusted. His courses had been the highlight of Ohanian’s college education, and his approval had become very important to Ohanian. On this night, White was more like a friend: They decided to go out together and explore Singapore. A couple of drinks into the evening, Ohanian ignited in his belly the courage to explain to White his distinctly nonacademic side project: the mobile food-ordering app. Maybe the Singapore Slings helped. He gave the full spiel, from gas-station inspiration to “MMM.” White loved it. He told Ohanian, “I think you have a chance.” The next morning, in Charlottesville, Huffman woke up to an urgent email from Ohanian: hey bro, i’m in Singapore at this technepreneurial seminar, and am basically spending a week learning how to create a tech startup. i spoke to Mark White (a professor in the comm school, the guy who took me to South Africa, and who recruited me to come here, as well as a generally good guy and technophile) over some drinks last nite, and pitched him on our idea…but basically said it was one of the best he’s heard, perios [sic].

Huffman and Slowe responded by physically placing the disks in a drawer and slamming it shut. Aside from quarterly goal-setting meetings with Condé and Advance executives, Reddit was mostly left to its own devices. Maintaining its growth—rebooting servers, keeping Reddit online—took nearly all of Huffman and Slowe’s energy. It meant there simply wasn’t time for branching out into a hypothetical integration with Condé Nast sites or building side projects for their new parent empire. It didn’t hurt that most of Condé Nast didn’t comprehend this bizarre site with anonymous users posting increasingly on everything under the sun in informal, distinctly un-magazine-like language. Early Reddit staffers would later recall Wired editors walking past their corner, poking a head in, and then explaining to their guests or interview subjects, “This is Reddit.


pages: 233 words: 58,561

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

Instead of fighting, the game encouraged players to collaborate, solve problems, and chat together in groups. Unfortunately—say what you will about society—this unusual game with its emphasis on good behavior never caught on with a big audience. When it became obvious that Glitch wasn’t going to be a hit, the company did something strange. Instead of making a different game or closing down, they shifted their efforts to a side project: a messaging system they had originally built for their own use. The startup’s founder, Stewart Butterfield, had a hunch that this messaging system could be useful to other companies, too. So they launched it to the public, and named it Slack. Technology companies went bonkers for Slack. A year after launch, more than 500,000 people on more than 60,000 teams used Slack every single day. For workplace software, this kind of growth was unheard of.


pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell expected his commanders in the field to make decisions when they had 40 percent of the potentially available information. In life-or-death situations. And you think you need more information?! Day 27. Set up a virtual office. Search for “Web 2.0 applications” online and start implementing tools to make you a mean, lean, 178 APPENDIX B virtual machine. Online: Tools that will make you lean and mean are available. Day 28. Have multiple side projects going. Diversify your portfolio of interests and activities. Day 29. Be funny. Humor can be scarce in a serious world. Be that guy people want to be around. Research humor and good oneliners. Online: Funny business: humor for the busy executive. Day 30. Make people feel like a million bucks. It all starts with people. Here’s a tip: if you’re going to compliment someone, do it in public. Appendix C: Ben’s Reading List I’m a bookslut.


pages: 200 words: 60,987

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson

Albert Einstein, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, Danny Hillis, discovery of DNA, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kevin Kelly, planetary scale, side project, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

In the popular folklore of American history, there is a sense in which the founders’ various achievements in natural philosophy—Franklin’s electrical experiments, Jefferson’s botany—serve as a kind of sanctified extracurricular activity. They were statesmen and political visionaries who just happened to be hobbyists in science, albeit amazingly successful ones. Their great passions were liberty and freedom and democracy; the experiments were a side project. But the Priestley view suggests that the story has it backward. Yes, they were hobbyists and amateurs at natural philosophy, but so were all the great minds of Enlightenment-era science. What they shared was a fundamental belief that the world could change—that it could improve—if the light of reason was allowed to shine upon it. And that belief emanated from the great ascent of science over the past century, the upward trajectory that Priestley had so powerfully conveyed in his History and Present State of Electricity.


pages: 292 words: 66,588

Learning Vue.js 2: Learn How to Build Amazing and Complex Reactive Web Applications Easily With Vue.js by Olga Filipova

Amazon Web Services, continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Chrome, MVC pattern, pull request, side project, single page application, Skype, source of truth, web application

Now, we have the emerging Weex, a framework that renders Vue-inspired components into native apps ( https://github.com/alibaba/weex ). According to Evan You, very soon, "Vue-inspired" will become "Vue-powered"! Just wait for it. Just stay tuned. I would like to recommend this amazing Full Stack Radio podcast, where Evan You talks about the new version of Vue: http://www.fullstackradio.com/50 . Vue has evolved a lot since its humble beginning as a side project. Today it is community funded, widely adopted in the real world, and boasts one of the strongest growth trends among all JavaScript libraries according to stats.js.org. We believe 2.0 is going to push it even further. It's the biggest update to Vue since its inception, and we are excited to see what you build with it. - Evan You, https://medium.com/the-vue-point/vue-2-0-is-here-ef1f26acf4b8#.fjxegtv98) With this in mind, if you are coming from the Vue 1.0 generation, it will not be hard for you to upgrade your applications.


pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

Apple II, bounce rate, business cycle, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

He planned to go meet the people, hear their stories, and help explain how the principles of archaeology can lead them to figure out whether or not a medieval organization of knights was actually traipsing around the hills of Pittsburgh. Not only would he meet them but he would also film the encounters, with the eventual goal of producing a documentary on the most interesting case. He called the project The Armchair Archaeologist. He envisioned this side project taking five or ten years—something to work on alongside his filming in the Teotihuacan Valley. “I figured, at the very least, I could show it to the students in my intro archaeology classes,” he said. On a Sunday morning, not long after hearing the call about the Knights Templar treasure, Kirk gathered a cameraman and soundman, and headed out to Pittsburgh to investigate the claim. “He was the coolest guy,” Kirk recalls.


pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

He simply asks if the person is someone he’d want to work with every day. “One of the ways we think about this is,” he says, “could this person have been one of the founding members of the team?” If the answer is yes, he knows he’s found someone who will fit right in.2 Opportunity Knocks Being selective when deciding what opportunities to go after is one thing, but it can get even harder when opportunities come to us. We get a job offer we didn’t expect. A side project comes along that isn’t really what we do, but it is easy cash. Someone asks us to help out with something we love doing, but it is unpaid work. An acquaintance has a time share available in a less-than-ideal location but at a discounted rate. What do we do? The fear of missing out goes into full effect. How can we say no; the offer is right here for the taking. We might never have gone after it, but now it is so easy to get it we consider it.


Logically Fallacious: The Ultimate Collection of Over 300 Logical Fallacies (Academic Edition) by Bo Bennett

Black Swan, butterfly effect, clean water, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, Richard Feynman, side project, statistical model, the scientific method

Contents Preface Introduction Reasoning Arguments Beliefs Fallacies On Reason and Rationality Collecting Fallacies Being a Smart-Ass Format and Style of this Book The Fallacies Accident Fallacy Ad Fidentia Ad Hoc Rescue Ad Hominem (Abusive) Ad Hominem (Circumstantial) Ad Hominem (Guilt by Association) Ad Hominem (Tu quoque) Affirmative Conclusion from a Negative Premise Affirming a Disjunct Affirming the Consequent Alleged Certainty Alternative Advance Appeal to Accomplishment Appeal to Anger Appeal to Authority Appeal to Celebrity Appeal to Common Belief Appeal to Common Folk Appeal to Coincidence Appeal to Consequences Appeal to Definition* Appeal to Desperation Appeal to Emotion Appeal to Extremes Appeal to Faith Appeal to Fear Appeal to Flattery Appeal to Force Appeal to Heaven Appeal to the Moon Appeal to Nature Appeal to Novelty Appeal to Pity Appeal to Popularity Appeal to Possibility Appeal to Ridicule Appeal to Tradition Ambiguity Fallacy Anonymous Authority Argument by Emotive Language Argument by Fast Talking Argument by Gibberish Argument by Personal Charm Argument by Repetition Argument from Age Argument from Fallacy Argument from Hearsay Argument from Ignorance Argument from Silence Argument of the Beard Argument to Moderation Avoiding the Issue Argument to the Purse Base Rate Fallacy Begging the Question Biased Sample Fallacy Blind Authority Fallacy Broken Window Fallacy Causal Reductionism Cherry Picking Circular Reasoning Commutation of Conditionals Complex Question Fallacy Conflicting Conditions Confusing an Explanation with an Excuse Conjunction Fallacy Conspiracy Theory Definist Fallacy Denying the Antecedent Denying a Conjunct Denying the Correlative Disjunction Fallacy Distinction Without a Difference Equivocation Etymological Fallacy Exclusive Premises Existential Fallacy Extended Analogy Failure to Elucidate Fallacy of Composition Fallacy of Division Fallacy of Four Terms Fallacy of Necessity Fallacy of (the) Undistributed Middle Fake Precision False Attribution False Conversion False Dilemma False Effect Far-Fetched Hypothesis Faulty Comparison Gambler’s Fallacy Genetic Fallacy God Wildcard Fallacy* Hasty Generalization Having Your Cake Hedging Historian’s Fallacy Homunculus Fallacy Hypnotic Bait and Switch Hypothesis Contrary to Fact If-By-Whiskey Illicit Contraposition Illicit Major Illicit Minor Illicit Substitution of Identicals Inconsistency Inflation of Conflict Jumping to Conclusions Just Because Fallacy* Just In Case Fallacy Least Plausible Hypothesis Limited Depth Limited Scope Logic Chopping Ludic Fallacy Lying with Statistics Magical Thinking Meaningless Question Misleading Vividness Missing Data Fallacy* Modal (Scope) Fallacy Moralistic Fallacy Moving the Goal Posts Multiple Comparisons Fallacy Naturalistic Fallacy Negative Conclusion from Affirmative Premises Negating Antecedent and Consequent Nirvana Fallacy No True Scotsman Non Sequitur Notable Effort Overwhelming Exception Package-Deal Fallacy Poisoning the Well Political Correctness Fallacy Post-Designation Prejudicial Language Proof by Intimidation Proving Non-Existence Quantifier-Shift Fallacy Quantum Physics Fallacy* Questionable Cause Rationalization Red Herring Reductio ad Absurdum Reductio ad Hitlerum Regression Fallacy Reification Relative Privation Retrogressive Causation Retrospective Determinism Scapegoating Selective Attention Self-Sealing Argument Shoehorning Slippery Slope Special Pleading Spiritual Fallacy* Spotlight Fallacy Statement of Conversion Stereotyping Stolen Concept Fallacy Strawman Fallacy Style Over Substance Subjectivist Fallacy Subverted Support Sunk-Cost Fallacy Suppressed Correlative Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy Tokenism Two Wrongs Make a Right Unfalsifiability Unwarranted Contrast Use-Mention Error Weak Analogy Willed Ignorance Wishful Thinking B-List Fallacies Abductive Fallacy Accent Fallacy (fallacy of prosody) Amazing Familiarity Ambiguity Effect Ambiguous Assertion Appeal to Closure (more specific form of argument from ignorance) Appeal to Coincidence Appeal to Complexity Appeal to Convenience Appeal to Luck (good or back luck) Appeal to Envy (Argumentum ad invidiam) Appeal to Equality Appeal to Intuition Appeal to Privacy Appeal to Stupidity Appeal to Utility Argument by Dismissal Argument by Laziness Argument by Pigheadedness Argument by Rhetorical Question Argument by Selective Reading Argument by Uniformed Opinion Argument from Design Argument from Inertia Argument from Omniscience Argument To The Future Argumentum ad Captandum Argumentum ad Exemplum (Argument to the Example) Barking Cat Big Lie Technique Blood is Thicker than Water (Favoritism) Bribery (Material Persuasion, Material Incentive, Financial Incentive) Burden of Proof Fallacy (onus probandi, shifting the) Chronological Snobbery Confesses Under Torture Contextomy Damning with Faint Praise Double Bind Double Standard Emphasis Fallacy Essentializing Fallacy Exaggeration Exception That Proves The Rule Failure to State Fallacy of Multiplication Fallacy of Opposition Fallacy of Quoting Out of Context Fallacy of the Crucial Experiment Fantasy Projection Faulty Sign Finish the Job Fallacy Galileo Wannabe Golden Hammer Fallacy Hifalutin' Denunciations I Wish I Had a Magic Wand In a Certain Respect and Simply Intentional Fallacy Invincible Ignorance Fallacy Knights and Knaves Lack of Proportion Latino Fallacy* Lies (Misrepresentation) Lip Service Lump of Labor Fallacy (Lump of Jobs Fallacy) Mind Projection Fallacy Monopolizing the Question Norm of Reciprocity Not Invented Here Outdated Information Packing the House Paralogism Paralysis of Analysis (Procrastination) Pigeonholing Pious Fraud Pragmatic Fallacy Preacher’s We Probabilistic Fallacy Psychologist's Fallacy Redefinition Reductionism Sanctioning the Devil Scope Fallacy Self-Deception Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Self-Righteousness Sherlock Holmes Fallacy Sly Suggestions Snow Job Sour Grapes Spin Doctoring Taboo Tautology There Is No Alternative Too Broad Too Narrow Undoability Weasel Wording Word Magic Top 25 Most Common Fallacies Bo's Original Fallacies About the Author Preface Several years back, while entering some kind of early-stage, intellectual, mid-life crisis, I became passionate about science, philosophy, and religion, which eventually led to my starting a debate website called DebateGod (http://www.debategod.org), as a way to help me understand how other people think, and come to the conclusions they do. What I never imagined, is that this little “side project” of mine would result in hours a day of evaluating arguments, reasoning, and logic, opening my eyes to a world of truth, hidden by a world of fallacious reasoning. But this discovery did not happen overnight. After years of what I considered eloquent defense of my positions, I found that I was getting nowhere (in part, because those with whom I was debating did not value logic and reason, but more on that later); despite my facts being correct.


The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Sugrue, Thomas J.

affirmative action, business climate, collective bargaining, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Ford paid five dollars a day, George Gilder, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, jobless men, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, oil shock, pink-collar, postindustrial economy, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

After the Sojourner Truth incident and the Detroit Riot of 1943, white community groups learned to use the threat of imminent violence as a political tool to gain leverage in housing debates. City officials, desperately hoping to avoid racial bloodshed, had no choice but to take seriously the specter of civil disorder. 3.4. Public housing for African Americans was scarce and the waiting lists to get in were enormous. Shown is one of the first black families to move into the Sojourner Truth Homes in 1942. The low-rise Northeast Side project was spartan, but it provided a modern, clean alternative to the overcrowded inner city. Suburban Resistance to Public Housing During the war, the opposition of suburban communities to public housing greatly limited the options available to reformers. FPHA projects proposed for Ecorse and Dearborn, which allowed easy access to the Ford Rouge complex and other factories in the Dearborn and Downriver industrial areas, met with stiff resistance from suburban mayors.

See “Notes on Stabilizing Employment and Output,” March 13, 1957, UAW-RD, Box 65, Folder: Auto Industry Employment Stability. For a history of the West Side Industrial Project, see Robert J. Mowitz and Deil S. Wright, Profile of a Metropolis: A Case Book (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1962), 81–139; June Manning Thomas, “Neighborhood Response to Redevelopment in Detroit,” Community Development Journal 20 (April 1985): 89–98. 44. Compare the fate of the West Side project with those of celebrated redevelopment projects in the 1970s and 1980s. See for example: David Fasenfest, “Community Politics and Urban Redevelopment: Poletown, Detroit, and General Motors,” Urban Affairs Quarterly 22 (1986): 101–23; Jeanie Wylie, Poletown: Community Betrayed (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989); “Detroit Journal: Jobs Oasis Is Created But Price Was High,” New York Times, April 25, 1992 (on the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant). 45.


pages: 554 words: 167,247

America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

For Obama, this economic angle was a handy argument to use against aides such as Emanuel, political guru David Axelrod, and Phil Schiliro, who was about to be put in charge of congressional relations. But, Obama later told me, his mind was already made up. “We didn’t have the luxury of working on just one big issue—the times demanded more,” he recalled. “I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy.… It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term. And we had a once in a generation chance to do it.” “He was really into healthcare, all the nuances and details,” recalled Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and healthcare policy aficionado who had become an Obama confidant.

By virtually every independent economist’s estimation, that set of policies helped stave off another Great Depression. And combined with a lot of other actions we’ve taken since then, helped put us on the longest stretch of uninterrupted private sector job creation in our history. We had to take action and we did. But America can do more than one thing at a time. And I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy. My top priority has always been to restore the notion that America is a place where if you work hard, you can get ahead. And even before the crisis, few things were doing more to expose working families to economic insecurity than a broken health care system. It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term.


pages: 224 words: 48,804

The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford

anti-pattern, business process, c2.com, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Firefox, general-purpose programming language, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, Ruby on Rails, side project, type inference, web application, William of Occam

At the end of the timebox, re-evaluate objectively whether completely pursuing this task is feasible. Timeboxed development is about learning enough to make realistic judgments. At the end of a timebox, you may decide to use another one to find out more. I know that the clever automation task is more interesting than your project work, but be realistic. Your boss deserves real estimates. NOTE Timebox speculative development. Don’t Shave Yaks Finally, don’t allow your automation side project to turn into yak shaving. Yak shaving is part of the official jargon file for computer science. It describes this scenario: 1. You want to generate documentation based on your Subversion logs. 2. You try to add a Subversion hook only to discover that the Subversion library you have is incompatible and therefore won’t work with your web server. 3. You start to update your web server, but realize that the version you need isn’t supported by the patch level of your operating system, so you start to update your operating system. 4.


pages: 226 words: 69,893

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich

different worldview, Mark Zuckerberg, old-boy network, Peter Thiel, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, social web

The internship was a respectable job, and an amazing opportunity. And since most of the advertisers the facebook was chasing after were based in New York anyway, didn’t it make sense for him to take the internship, and work on thefacebook during his spare time? Before Eduardo had even been able to bring up the idea with Mark, Mark had dropped a bombshell of his own; although thefacebook was his priority as well, he’d started developing a side project called Wirehog with a couple of his computer programming buddies—Adam D’Angelo, his high school friend with whom he’d invented Synapse, and Andrew McCollum, a classmate and fellow CS major. Wirehog was basically a bastard child of Napster and Facebook, a sort of file-sharing program with a social network feel. Wirehog would be downloadable software that would allow people to share anything from music to pictures to video with friends, via personalized profile pages linked to other friends in a personally controlled network.


pages: 261 words: 70,584

Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy by Gregory Brandon Salsbury

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, buy and hold, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversification, estate planning, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, hindsight bias, housing crisis, loss aversion, market bubble, market clearing, mass affluent, Maui Hawaii, mental accounting, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, new economy, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the rule of 72, Yogi Berra

Know what your sources of income will be, ranging from pensions to Social Security to investments, and make sure you have a plan that can provide money for your entire lifetime. Work with an adviser to help you take a solid aim at your retirement dreams. Run the Numbers When evaluating alternative courses of action, there is no substitute for running the numbers. Your adviser or accountant can run a side-by-side projection of the expected tax result. This is commonly used to evaluate the potential benefit of one tax strategy over another. Projections should be updated frequently using current data and reliable estimates. Trying to predict the outcome of a particular strategy without running the numbers may be problematic. Historically, many people didn’t run numbers because the tax consequences were more of an annoyance than a major penalty.


pages: 391 words: 71,600

Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone by Satya Nadella, Greg Shaw, Jill Tracie Nichols

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, anti-globalists, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bretton Woods, business process, cashless society, charter city, cloud computing, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fault tolerance, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Mars Rover, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, NP-complete, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, place-making, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telepresence, telerobotics, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, two-sided market, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional, zero-sum game

They were trying to leapfrog with a new approach to cloud computing, but the market was clearly giving them feedback that they first needed to meet their current needs. Mark Russinovich, who was an early member of the Red Dog team and the current CTO of Azure, had a clear road map in mind to evolve Azure. We needed to infuse more resources into the team to execute on that road map. It was time to move Azure into the mainstream of STB rather than have it be a side project. People, the human element of any enterprise, are ultimately the greatest asset, and so I set about assembling the right team, starting with Scott Guthrie, a very accomplished Microsoft engineer. He had spearheaded a number of successful company technologies focused on developers. I tapped him to lead engineering for Azure on its way to becoming Microsoft’s cloud platform—our answer to Amazon Web Services.


pages: 211 words: 67,975

The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty by Ethan Sherwood Strauss

Broken windows theory, collective bargaining, Donald Trump, hive mind, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs

If a coach isn’t optimizing talent, massive talent evaluation mistakes can occur, the kinds that cost franchises tens of millions in misallocated salary. In this instance, Jackson’s firing validated Lacob’s hands-on approach to ownership. “Joe is very involved in the day-to-day stuff that we do, which is good,” Warriors assistant GM Larry Harris said over the phone. “He’s very engaged.” On draft night, Joe is in the war room, invested alongside his Ops hires. The Golden State Warriors are not a lavish side project for him. Not all in Ops like to admit it, but you usually need pressure from the top. An absence of it creates a power vacuum and power vacuums lead to destabilizing power struggles. This was the state of the Warriors under former owner Chris Cohan. At various times, nobody knew where the power resided, and constant chaos ensued. At one point, then president Bobby Rowell was working around then GM Chris Mullin and negotiating ill-advised deals, like a needless three-year extension for Stephen Jackson when Jackson still had two years left on his contract.


The Handbook of Personal Wealth Management by Reuvid, Jonathan.

asset allocation, banking crisis, BRICs, business cycle, buy and hold, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, financial deregulation, fixed income, high net worth, income per capita, index fund, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, market bubble, merger arbitrage, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, short selling, side project, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, systematic trading, transaction costs, yield curve

ɀ A conservative level of mortgage, to ensure that the property is not too highly geared (this may no longer be a choice) ɀ Good asset management companies to ensure the safety of your property investment ɀ Presence of a healthy rental market - be it in tourism (through which hotels, restaurants, individual short let property owners benefit) or the services sector ( i.e. leased buildings, front offices, yacht marinas, ski resorts) ɀ Feasibility study to ensure the long term sustainability of the project ɀ Ultimately one should assess capital returns against the initial investment and cost of purchase. On the commercial side, projects in the leisure industry in major Cities and ski resorts would enhance an asset investment fund. Sea side resorts are limited to upmarket areas where yacht marinas are in high demand. Due diligence could be a lengthy process and even more so in this cautious environment. This is a trying time since while spending time and money on researching an asset, one can be out bid by another buyer. Of course there should be no compromise on this stage of the purchase.


pages: 242 words: 71,938

The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann Mcdowell

barriers to entry, cloud computing, game design, information retrieval, job-hopping, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, why are manhole covers round?

During my time in Google’s Seattle office, where many of the hires came directly from Microsoft, I would estimate that about half of them were escorted off the premises the day they gave their notice. Take a lesson from them and have your desk discreetly cleared out before you talk to your manager. Should I Find a New Job First? When I left Google, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do next. People thought I was crazy to not have a specific job lined up. I wasn’t. I wanted to take several months to travel, work a bit on some side projects, and then find a start-up to join. Eventually. Once I found one I liked enough. I was in no rush. There are some downsides, of course, to not finding a job first. First, you may lose some negotiating leverage if you’re desperate for a job. Second, you might not be able to afford taking several months off without pay, and you may therefore get pressured into taking a mediocre new job. Third, if it takes you unexpectedly long to find a new job, extended unexplained gaps in your résumé can look suspicious.


Microchip: An Idea, Its Genesis, and the Revolution It Created by Jeffrey Zygmont

Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, computer age, El Camino Real, invisible hand, popular electronics, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Therefore Bob Noyce didn't flinch when Ted Hoff came from out of the blue in July 1969 to worry over Busicom's mixed up circuit sketches. "I explained what some of my concerns were, and I said I thought there might be some ways to improve the Common Ground 113 design. And he said, 'Well, if you think there's a way, why not? Go ahead and pursue it.' He said, 'It's always nice to have an insurance policy.'" Hoff squeezed in the design rehab as a side project, fitting it among his regular obligations as manager of applications research. His computer studies at Stanford had prepared him well for the task. In fact, at Intel at the time Hoff was uniquely qualified for the undertaking. He was about the only researcher who knew how to set up the dominoes to fall logically inside a computer. The others were mostly all physicists and chemists, the sorts who made semiconducting silicon give up its secrets.


pages: 192 words: 75,440

Getting a Job in Hedge Funds: An Inside Look at How Funds Hire by Adam Zoia, Aaron Finkel

backtesting, barriers to entry, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, discounted cash flows, family office, fixed income, high net worth, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, offshore financial centre, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, rolodex, short selling, side project, statistical arbitrage, stocks for the long run, systematic trading, unpaid internship, value at risk, yield curve, yield management

I also monitor daily profit and loss in our hedge fund; contact underlying hedge funds for monthly returns for our fund of funds; monitor cash flows available for additional investment (we use multiple bank accounts and banks); deal with auditors, fund administrators, and legal contacts to help produce the financial and capital statements; and deal with tax issues (K-1 statements). I also do midmonth return analysis for large investors and additional analysis and side projects for our CFO. c09.indd 117 1/10/08 11:09:58 AM 118 Getting a Job in Hedge Funds My advice to any undergrads interested in hedge funds would be to try to pinpoint exactly what they enjoy doing—accounting, selling, investments, marketing, and so on. A lot of young people I meet have a big-picture idea of what they want to do, but seem to have trouble focusing and drilling down to what they really like to do.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, post-work, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Once your resume reflects your current strengths you can start searching for an opportunity and spreading the word among friends about what you're seeking. To get a better place to live, write down your minimum requirements and nice-to-have's. Take a good hard look at your budget and see what you can really afford. Start to save for the first month and security deposit. Weed out stuff you don’t want to take to your new place. To achieve more progress on your side projects, make sure you’re set up for success. Pull together your support materials and create an always-ready workspace. Eliminate distractions. Start, every day—even if it’s only for 15 minutes’ progress. Concentrate on a big goal and find one thing that you can do to bring it closer to reality. Trust yourself You are already smart. Step back from the noise and listen to yourself. Increased progress toward your goals often comes more from better tools and processes than it does from new data.


Food Trucks: Dispatches and Recipes From the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Shouse, Heather

haute cuisine, Kickstarter, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, place-making, rolodex, side project, South of Market, San Francisco

Most are nailing the rockabil y daddy-o and rol ergirl look (which is big here in Austin), so it’s hard to tel if they’re headed for the Liberty Bar or the tattoo shop upstairs. Surprisingly, some aren’t aiming for either. They’re snaking through the Liberty long enough to buy a bottle of Lone Star, then beelining for the back patio, where a tiny camping trailer sits at the edge of the fence. Covered in abstract bursts of Day-Glo-bright paint, the trailer looks like the spaceship that fel out of the sky to deliver George Clinton. It’s not. It’s actual y the side project of two supremely talented local chefs who met at the famed contemporary Japanese restaurant Uchi. Paul Qui is a native of the Philippines but was raised in the States and has been in Austin since coming for culinary school in 2002. Moto Utsonomaya, who is Japanese, left his country just after his twenty-first birthday to join up with the Texas Eastside Kings, an electric blues band that’s been gigging around the South for decades, backing legends that rol through town and cutting records here and there.


pages: 224 words: 73,737

Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain's Underclass by Darren McGarvey

basic income, British Empire, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, impulse control, means of production, side project, universal basic income, urban decay, wage slave

I am grateful to all of you for affording me the time and space to write Poverty Safari – your support has been a point of light in moments when my confidence has dimmed, allowing me to find my way through a thick wood of self-doubt while embarking on my first year of fatherhood – my son, Daniel, being the greatest gift of all. Finally, thank you to my father, who always believed I could be a writer. You might be right. X Darren McGarvey, July 2017 Preface THIS BOOK, WHICH began as a side project to my work as a rapper and columnist, slowly consumed every waking moment of my life until eventually I had to draw down or stop all my other commitments to get it finished. It has taken over a year and a half to complete. On 14 June 2017, two days before my final deadline, I awoke to news of a fire in a tower block in west London. Like everyone, I was shocked, horrified and devastated by the images.


pages: 268 words: 75,490

The Knowledge Economy by Roberto Mangabeira Unger

additive manufacturing, balance sheet recession, business cycle, collective bargaining, commoditize, deindustrialization, disruptive innovation, first-past-the-post, full employment, global value chain, information asymmetry, knowledge economy, market fundamentalism, means of production, Paul Samuelson, savings glut, secular stagnation, side project, total factor productivity, transaction costs, union organizing, wealth creators

This shared assumption already excludes the program of inclusive vanguardism, which requires, for its development beyond its initial steps, innovation in arrangements as fundamental as those that define the property regime and the legal form of free labor, as well as the terms on which the state—or decentralized entities that it sets up—can work with firms and firms can work with one another. Second, as contemporary progressives and rightwing populists envision no alternative market regime, they can have no transformative approach to the supply side of the economy. Progressives have largely abandoned the supply side to conservatives and resigned themselves to the primacy of demand-oriented policies. The supply-side project of populist as well as traditional (classical-liberal or neoliberal) conservatives has been the preservation or restoration of a market order whose legal and institutional content they take to be self-evident. They misrepresent any attempt to reshape economic institutions as governmental intervention in the economy and fail to distinguish between suppressing the market and remaking it. They cannot, or will not, imagine the existence of a different market regime.


pages: 254 words: 76,064

Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito, Jeff Howe

3D printing, Albert Michelson, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, buy low sell high, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial innovation, Flash crash, frictionless, game design, Gerolamo Cardano, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Coase, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Singularitarianism, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, universal basic income, unpaid internship, uranium enrichment, urban planning, WikiLeaks

The two spent long hours brainstorming ways they could trigger specific neurons that, unlike the current state of brain science, were actually embedded in living brains. They considered an approach that would have used magnetic beads to open ion channels within individual neurons. Soon, however, Boyden discovered research that would lead him down a very different path to the same goal—using light-sensitive proteins called opsins to “pump ions into or out of neurons in response to light.”8 Side projects being what they are, some years passed before Deisseroth and Boyden revisited their original idea to activate individual neurons. By 2004, Deisseroth was a postdoc, and he and Boyden decided to obtain a sample of an opsin and begin research. That August, Boyden went into the lab, put a dish of cultured neurons into the microscope, and triggered the program he had written to pulse blue light at the neurons.


pages: 230 words: 71,834

Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality by Melissa Bruntlett, Chris Bruntlett

active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, car-free, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, intermodal, Jones Act, Loma Prieta earthquake, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, the High Line, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

During his postdoctoral studies, he took on the enviable task of analyzing bike– train records to answer two questions: Can you create an accurate model that reflects the differences between the bike–train combination and any other merging of transportation modes? And why is that relevant? Up to that point, no one had ever really taken a hard look at the synergy between cycling and public transit, and while this study started as a mere side project from a broad national research program, it quickly became a focal point because of the incredibly valuable and interesting dynamics he uncovered among public transit (in particular trains), cycling, and land use. “It’s quite difficult to fill in multimodal trips: short walking trips, short biking trips, or various combinations in a data survey. This whole spectrum is not really covered, and it’s mostly geared toward unimodal and longer-distance trips such as those by car,” Kager explains.


pages: 290 words: 72,046

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich With Purpose by Nik Halik, Garrett B. Gunderson

Airbnb, bitcoin, Buckminster Fuller, business process, clean water, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, Ethereum, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial independence, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, Home mortgage interest deduction, Isaac Newton, litecoin, Lyft, market fundamentalism, microcredit, minimum viable product, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Nelson Mandela, passive income, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, side project, Skype, TaskRabbit, traveling salesman, uber lyft

This is done through four key disciplines: strengthening your mindset, building your inner circle, fortifying your habits, and amplifying your energy. When most people start out, most if not all of their income is active. To shift to more passive income streams, resources are required to invest. You start by creating as much discretionary, investable income as possible from your existing resources. Next, you start side projects to increase your income. Once you’ve put enough money together, you start investing. You start by investing in yourself. If you have less than $5,000, invest in yourself by seeking mentoring, taking courses, and reading books. As your knowledge increases, you’ll be surprised by the investment opportunities that arise for you. Once you start investing, your investments build over time, thus shifting your income from active to passive.


pages: 589 words: 69,193

Mastering Pandas by Femi Anthony

Amazon Web Services, Bayesian statistics, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Internet of things, natural language processing, p-value, random walk, side project, statistical model, Thomas Bayes

ISBN 978-1-78398-196-0 www.packtpub.com Credits Author Femi Anthony Reviewers Opeyemi Akinjayeju Louis Hénault Carlos Marin Commissioning Editor Karthikey Pandey Acquisition Editor Kevin Colaco Content Development Editor Arun Nadar Technical Editor Mohita Vyas Copy Editors Tani Kothari Jasmine Nadar Vikrant Phadke Project Coordinator Neha Bhatnagar Proofreader Safis Editing Indexer Tejal Soni Graphics Jason Monteiro Production Coordinator Aparna Bhagat Cover Work Aparna Bhagat About the Author Femi Anthony is a seasoned and knowledgeable software programmer, with over 15 years experience in a vast array of languages, including Perl, C, C++, Java, and Python. He has worked in both the Internet space and financial services space for many years and is now working for a well-known financial data company. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics with computer science from MIT and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His pet interests include data science, machine learning, and Python. Femi is working on a few side projects in these areas. His hobbies include reading, soccer, and road cycling. You can follow him at @dataphanatik, and for any queries, contact him at <femibyte@gmail.com>. First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Ene, for her support throughout my career and in writing this book. She has been my inspiration and motivation for continuing to improve my knowledge and helping me move ahead in my career.


pages: 237 words: 74,109

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir by Anna Wiener

autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, blockchain, Burning Man, call centre, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Extropian, future of work, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, means of production, medical residency, new economy, New Urbanism, passive income, pull request, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, union organizing, universal basic income, unpaid internship, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

My coworkers had warned me that the CTO was inscrutable and reticent, but after a few minutes I wondered how hard any of them had tried. I was surprised to find that he had a dark, sarcastic sense of humor. We had more in common than I would have guessed: compulsive reading habits; insomnia. While I usually spent sleepless nights staring at the ceiling and worrying about my loved ones’ mortality, he worked on programming side projects. Sometimes he just passed the time between midnight and noon playing a long-haul trucking simulator. It was calming, he said. There was a digital CB radio through which he could communicate with other players. I pictured him whispering into it in the dark. The thought of him awake at three in the morning, barreling down a digital highway, fiddling with the controls in a digital cab, patching through to strangers, made me wonder how he would fare in Brooklyn, around people who might appreciate or encourage his curiosity about things other than code.


pages: 257 words: 76,785

Shorter by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

8-hour work day, airport security, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, centre right, cloud computing, colonial rule, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, game design, gig economy, Henri Poincaré, IKEA effect, iterative process, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, means of production, neurotypical, performance metric, race to the bottom, remote working, Second Machine Age, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

In Edinburgh, Administrate scrum master (and former rugby player) Iain Brown is becoming a personal trainer. In Sydney, Insured by Us people and culture head Georgina Robilliard and a friend run a catering business called the Cheese Pair, while Kester Black’s graphic designer does freelance work to build her portfolio and aims to launch her own studio. Given that Ross started Kester Black in her bedroom while working another job, she sees the ability to do those kinds of side projects as “a great freedom to pass on to my staff.” At Aizle, people are using their extra day to get back in shape. Stuart Ralston started running. “I’ve lost, like, twenty pounds already,” he tells me. “Every single member of staff has begun to exercise,” Jade Johnston says. “You see a big transformation in your life schedule and when you feel motivated and excited, you work so much better.” That exercise-related boost in productivity is something that scientists have observed elsewhere.


pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, G4S, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Mercer, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

Puneet Mehta was a senior vice president of technology at Citi Capital Markets, a position that paid about $400,000 a year, when in 2010, at age thirty-one, he chucked his Wall Street career for startup life. “I used to ask myself: am I really building something here?” Mehta says. Wall Street, he explains, exists to do one thing: get in between every single financial transaction it can. Before Citi, Mehta wrote code at Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan. The fact that on Wall Street all he would ever be was a middleman, albeit a well-paid middleman, used to keep him up at night. He began working on a side project, an app called MyCityWay, which allows urban dwellers to easily navigate restaurants, movie theaters, bars, traffic—anything that affects their life every day. When he reached his limit of writing code for Citi, Mehta quit and worked unpaid on his app. He and his cofounders now have fifty employees and their app has been released in seventy cities, thirty of them overseas. They’ve raised $6 million in venture capital, and Mehta says he talks to at least one other engineer every week who says they’re never going back to Wall Street.


pages: 324 words: 87,064

Learning Ext Js by Shea Frederick

call centre, Firefox, framing effect, side project, web application

Cutter then took the position of IT Director for Seacrets, a large resort destination in Ocean City, Maryland, while also holding the same position for one of its owner's other companies, Irie Radio. Now, Cutter is the Senior Web Developer for Dealerskins, a company that develops and hosts websites for the automobile dealership industry. He lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Teresa and daughter Savannah. Apart from work, side projects, and maintaining his blog (http://blog. cutterscrossing.com), Cutter also enjoys spending time with his family, is an avid reader and a videophile, and likes to relive his band days with a mic in hand. I would like to thank a few people for their support while I have been working on this project. First, thanks to Jack Slocum and the entire Ext JS team for giving us such a great library to write about.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, undersea cable, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

They range from behemoths like JPNAP in Tokyo, which posts astonishingly high traffic numbers but primarily serves intra-Japan communication; to the decidedly smaller Yellowstone Regional Internet Exchange, YRIX, which links together seven networks in Montana and Wyoming (curing them of their “Denver problem”). There’s the MIX in Milan, the SIX in Seattle, the TORIX in Toronto, MadIX in Madison, Wisconsin, and—the solution to Minnesota’s Chicago problem—the MICE, the Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange. The vast majority of exchanges exist out of sight, often run as cooperative side projects for the “good of the Internet,” and, despite their efforts at outreach, are known and appreciated only by the handful of network engineers who craft the routes across them. But the largest Internet exchanges are different beasts altogether. Their participants aren’t public-spirited groups of network engineers, but the Internet’s biggest players globally. They are large, professional operations, with marketing departments and teams of engineers.


pages: 301 words: 85,126

AIQ: How People and Machines Are Smarter Together by Nick Polson, James Scott

Air France Flight 447, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, basic income, Bayesian statistics, business cycle, Cepheid variable, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Charles Pickering, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Flash crash, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, index fund, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, late fees, low earth orbit, Lyft, Magellanic Cloud, mass incarceration, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Moravec's paradox, more computing power than Apollo, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, North Sea oil, p-value, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, ransomware, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, survivorship bias, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

Data scientists at Salesforce recently developed a similar program that can accurately summarize long articles to help the company’s employees digest news reports more quickly. And as two academics who’ve suffered the slings and arrows of peer review, we were not at all surprised to learn of an algorithm created by researchers at the University of Trieste—one that wrote fake peer reviews good enough to fool real journal editors.1 Then there’s the side project of software developer Andy Herd, who trained a neural network with a bunch of scripts from Friends, the popular 1990s sitcom, to see what kind of new episodes it might write. Sure, the results are nonsense, but they’re remarkably Friends-like nonsense. Monica is weirdly aggressive, Chandler whines a lot, and there are even cameos by random film stars from the 1990s: Van Damme I’ll go in a crap.


pages: 301 words: 89,076

The Globotics Upheaval: Globalisation, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer vision, Corn Laws, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, future of journalism, future of work, George Gilder, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Metcalfe’s law, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, post-work, profit motive, remote working, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, universal basic income

On the lighter side is a legal-bot, called DoNotPay. It’s a computer program, accessible for free online, that uses Facebook Messenger to interview you about your traffic tickets. It then instantly spits out legal advice and documents showing how you could beat the ticket. It was created by a very interesting young British man. “When I started driving at 18, I began to receive a large number of parking tickets and created the DoNotPay as a side project. I could never have imagined that just over a year later, it would successfully appeal over 250,000 tickets.” According to an interview in Forbes, Joshua Browder, who taught himself computer programming at the age of twelve, only worked on DoNotPay between midnight and three in the morning.32 He is now a twenty-something studying law at Stanford University. An idealist at heart, Browder adapted the robo-lawyer to help US and Canadian refugees complete immigration forms.


pages: 252 words: 80,924

Sarah Millican--The Queen of Comedy by Tina Campanella

call centre, Desert Island Discs, Saturday Night Live, side project, Skype, upwardly mobile

Elisabeth Mahoney, from The Guardian, found the show quite funny, but hit the nail on the head when she said that the listener had to stay very focused, as the four-way dialogue could be confusing because it covered a comprehensive sweep of topics. It was a rocky start, but Sarah’s presence as a regular guest during series one and two certainly lifted it. However, Sarah’s dulcet tones were about to dominate the airwaves in a completely different show – one she was infinitely more suited to. Occasional guest spots would now become a side-project for Sarah, because she had been given her own Radio 4 slot. Sarah Millican’s Support Group was born. It wasn’t the first time Sarah had written for Radio 4. In 2008, after her first Fringe Show had been so well-received, Millican had penned a one-off special for the station, called Keeping Your Chins Up. It was essentially a version of Sarah Millican’s Not Nice in which she explained, in story form, how she had reacted to her husband leaving her.


pages: 761 words: 80,914

Ansible: Up and Running: Automating Configuration Management and Deployment the Easy Way by Lorin Hochstein

Amazon Web Services, cloud computing, continuous integration, Debian, DevOps, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, general-purpose programming language, Infrastructure as a Service, job automation, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pull request, side project, smart transportation, web application

Use of the information and instructions contained in this work is at your own risk. If any code samples or other technology this work contains or describes is subject to open source licenses or the intellectual property rights of others, it is your responsibility to ensure that your use thereof complies with such licenses and/or rights. 978-1-491-91532-5 [LSI] Foreword Ansible started as a simple side project in February of 2012, and its rapid growth has been a pleasant surprise. It is now the work product of about a thousand people (and the ideas of many more than that), and it is widely deployed in almost every country. It’s not unusual in a computer meet-up to find a handful (at least) of people who use it. Ansible is perhaps exciting because it really isn’t. Ansible doesn’t really attempt to break new ground, but rather to distill a lot of existing ideas that other smart folks had already figured out and make them a bit more accessible.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

The first phase of his ‘adult' career was in marketing, working his way into senior executive roles in global consumer goods companies and advertising agencies. He escaped his cubicle for the first time in 2005 and went on to found rentoid.com — a peer-to-peer renting portal that became a leader in the collaborative consumption movement. After a successful exit he embarked on a number of crazy side projects including putting a Lego space shuttle into actual orbit, building a jet-powered bicycle, and crowdfunding the build of a full-size Lego car that runs on air and uses an engine made of Lego — all to prove what's possible in a connected world with low cost technology. He does some serious stuff too. Steve also travels the world helping companies transition from industrial-era thinking into the digital age, writes on business and technology issues and blogs to over 30 000 readers a month.


Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal by Erik Vance

fixed income, hive mind, impulse control, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, side project, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Yogi Berra

What he saw was backward, with the pain signals starting in the prefrontal cortex—the most advanced logic center of the brain—and working back to the more primitive regions. This seemed to suggest a sort of collision of information: half originating in the body as pain, and half originating in the advanced part of the brain as expectation. And whatever comes out of that collision is what you feel. What had begun as a side project quickly became an obsession. Wager submitted his placebo findings to the prestigious journal Science. Then he interviewed for an assistant professorship at Columbia University. When asked what he was planning to study, rather than his actual research area of visual perception, Wager took a deep breath and said, “Placebos.” In some circles this was akin to telling a biology department you planned to study Sasquatch.


pages: 282 words: 81,873

Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey Into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley by Corey Pein

23andMe, 4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, bank run, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, California gold rush, cashless society, colonial rule, computer age, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Extropian, gig economy, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hacker house, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, passive income, patent troll, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, platform as a service, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, RFID, Robert Mercer, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, Skype, Snapchat, social software, software as a service, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, telepresence, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, X Prize, Y Combinator

The holster was more than big enough to accommodate Adrian’s ginormous iPhone 6 Plus, which he eagerly demonstrated. His was the stereotypical showmanship of a used car salesman—and it worked! The second category of tech bros genuinely believed that if they hit the big time, it would be on account of their hard work and dedication. These were the drones. Almost all the guys in Hacker Condo were drones. Each had a mysterious “side project”—a startup in the making—that was inevitably too ill-formed to talk about, or far too technically complicated to remember. The drones seemed doomed to be desk jockeys for life, forever dreaming of their star turn as Job Creators. At a tech party one night, I met an awkward postpubescent Estonian with severe halitosis. His startup was a mobile phone role-playing game that took players through the adventure of building a startup and raising venture capital.


pages: 269 words: 83,307

Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits by Kevin Roose

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Basel III, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, East Village, eurozone crisis, fixed income, forward guidance, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hedonic treadmill, jitney, knowledge worker, new economy, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, selection bias, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, urban planning, We are the 99%, young professional

Chelsea wasn’t getting much positive feedback, at work or elsewhere, and combined with her failing relationship, the knock to her confidence paralyzed her. In the next few days, she checked out completely. She took long lunch breaks, went on long walks around Midtown during work hours, and started using her spare time to open her notebook and sketch logos for imaginary businesses she wanted to start. Chelsea had always been an entrepreneurial spirit—she’d written a half-dozen business plans in college, and was always talking about some side project she was working on—and she couldn’t believe she’d locked herself into a job that placed her at the mercy of such inflexible and unforgiving bosses, doing work in which her creativity was severely undervalued. After hearing Chelsea detail her woes, I began thinking about the kinds of young people I’d seen flourish in finance—the ones who seemed genuinely happy with their careers. It occurred to me that those people tended to fall into three general categories—call them Habituals, Locomotives, and Gunners.


pages: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

The alternative was selling itself to a company with deeper pockets that could bring Veracode to more customers. The latter ended up being a better deal, and Veracode sold itself in 2017 to CA Technologies, formerly known as Computer Associates, for $614 million. It was sold and resold in the following year, the last time for $950 million. Once installed in his new corporate home, Christien could spend more time on a side project called Hailstone, which allows developers to test their code for security flaws as they write. While Veracode typically cost $10,000 a year, they could try Hailstone free. He quit Veracode entirely in March 2019. The largest proportion of Cult of the Dead Cow members wound up working at tech companies with people who didn’t know their history. That included Luke Benfey, Paul Leonard, Matt Kelly, Misha Kubecka, and Kemal Akman.


pages: 274 words: 81,008

The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything by Jason Kelly

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, call centre, carried interest, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, diversification, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, income inequality, late capitalism, margin call, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, place-making, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund

Goodman, given his longstanding relationship with James and the success of the business before and after the acquisition, has taken on a prominent role within the firm. His name is mentioned along with Gray’s as a potential someday CEO. If growth in credit and real estate were somewhat predictable, less so was the rise of Tom Hill’s group. Now formally known as Hedge Fund Solutions, what began as a side project to invest partners’ money has grown into Blackstone’s largest business by assets and the biggest business of its kind in the world. Hill bristles at the term fund-of-funds because he says it understates what his group actually does for its clients, which is a more bespoke approach to hedge funds. That Hill should be in this position is remarkable, or at least unlikely. His relationship with Schwarzman dates back to before their days working at Lehman together.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, post-work, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

So I won’t go back and tell myself that, Tim, because I’ll screw up my future.” Spirit animal: Common swift * * * Ramit Sethi Ramit Sethi (TW/IG: @ramit, iwillteachyoutoberich.com) graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in technology, psychology, and sociology. He grew his personal finance blog to more than 1 million readers per month, then turned this college side project into a multi-million-dollar business with more than 30 employees. Some of his weeks now break $5 million in revenue. In a finance space saturated by “gurus” of dubious credentials, Ramit has always been willing to share real numbers. Behind the Scenes Ramit and I often laugh about how we are blessed and cursed with scammy-sounding book titles. I Will Teach You to Be Rich and The 4-Hour Workweek are about as bad as it gets.

(paraphrased from one of his teachers, Barbara McNally) “I only do email responses to print interviews Because these people love to put a twist to your words To infer that you said something fucking absurd” —lyrics from Fort Minor’s “Get Me Gone” Spirit animal: Snow leopard * * * Mike Shinoda Mike Shinoda (TW: @mikeshinoda, mikeshinoda.com) is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, rhythm guitarist, and one of the two vocalists (yes, all that) of Linkin Park, which has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and earned two Grammy awards in the process. Mike has collaborated with everyone from Jay Z to Depeche Mode, and he’s also the lead rapper in his side project, Fort Minor. As if that’s not enough, he’s also provided artwork, production, and mixing for all the projects mentioned above. I first met Mike when I interviewed him for BlogWorld & New Media Expo in 2008. I’m a big fan of Fort Minor, and the lyrics on the previous page take on special meaning once you’ve been bitten. Nearly everyone in this book has been misquoted in media. It’s usually the product of a phone interview, and the fallout can be disastrous.


pages: 318 words: 92,257

Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy by Sudhir Venkatesh

creative destruction, East Village, illegal immigration, side project, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, urban renewal, working poor

“I can’t do this much longer,” she whispered. I liked Angela a lot. From the first night, she was open and honest, admitting right away that she was a sex worker. But she was unlike most of the other immigrant and low-income streetwalkers I had studied in New York and Chicago. She had ambition and the courage to cross borders. She came to Manjun’s store because she wanted to escape from her usual traveling grounds in the East Side projects to a better neighborhood where she could meet a wealthier clientele. That night, I could see in her face the toll of accommodating so many men. It was painful to see. She was only thirty-four but always looked so tired that she appeared to be nearly a decade older. And business had been getting steadily worse since the Giuliani reforms. For the last few months, Angela was averaging just one client per night.


pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger

Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, disruptive innovation, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In Gore’s case, the program stipulates44 that 10 percent of employee time should go toward independent projects, and it has inspired some big breakthroughs. The company, known for creating the popular waterproofing material Gore-Tex, produces a wide range of products, including Elixir, a well-known brand of guitar string. It was developed by a Gore engineer, Dave Myers, who normally worked on medical products. As a side project, Myers wanted to see if he could answer, Why can’t I get the gears on my mountain bike to shift more smoothly? He eventually developed a new, plastic-coated bike-cable product that became a successful product for Gore. Subsequently, in a nifty bit of connective inquiry, Myers wondered, What if I put plastic coating on guitar strings? The result (after a couple of difficult years of technical challenges at the How stage) was a breakthrough, bestselling product that proved more durable and less brittle than existing strings.


pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

The idea of microscopic germs spreading disease would have been about as plausible as the existence of fairies to most practicing doctors of the day. And as Surgeon-in-Chief G. B. Childs’ letter-writing campaign to the Times suggested, laudanum was regularly prescribed for almost any ailment. The Victorian medical refrain was, essentially: Take a few hits of opium and call me in the morning. Seemingly bereft of anything resembling a traditional social life, Snow spent his time away from patients working on side projects that grew out of his surgeon’s practice but which also suggested the ultimate range of his ambition. He began writing in to the local journals, opining on medical and public-health issues of the day. His first published paper, addressing the use of arsenic in the preservation of cadavers, appeared in The Lancet in 1839. He went on to publish nearly fifty articles in the following decade, on a staggering range of subjects: lead poisoning, resuscitating stillborn children, blood vessels, scarlet fever, and smallpox.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

Not only is he calling the shots at Tesla, but he’s also running SpaceX, a $20 billion enterprise with more than a few ambitions of its own, which include sending astronauts to the International Space Station, a space Internet subdivision, driving the development of cheap reusable rockets, and, ultimately, colonizing Mars. As if he were somehow bored by this trifling workload, Musk has also taken on a host of other side projects, such as Neuralink, a brain-computer interface start-up he cofounded, the Boring Company, which plans to make tunnels for cars, and the Hyperloop, another of his pet interests. Can he do it all? The job juggling certainly comes with pressures. On July 30, 2017, Musk published a series of tweets that almost amounted to a psychological confessional. Responding to a fan who tweeted that Musk’s Instagram account showed an “amazing life,” the CEO wrote: “The reality is great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress.”


The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier

failed state, fear of failure, hiring and firing, hive mind, interchangeable parts, job automation, Larry Wall, microservices, pull request, risk tolerance, Schrödinger's Cat, side project, Steve Jobs, WebSocket

When something goes well, don’t save up your praise—give it freely in the moment. 56 | THE MANAGER’S PATH THE PROGRESS REPORT When you get to the stage where you’re managing managers, a lot of your 1-1 meetings will be diving into details of projects they’re overseeing that you don’t have time to dig into on your own. When you are managing only a handful of individuals, the only time you should be using a 1-1 to do progress reporting is when you have someone who’s off on a side project that you’re not personally overseeing. Getting progress reports from people you’re already working closely with is a waste of time because all you’re hearing about is the delta of work between now and the last standup or project review. If your 1-1s are frequently status updates, try breaking out of the habit by asking your reports to prepare answers to questions that are unrelated to the current project status, or ask them to come prepared with questions for you to answer about the team, the company, or anything else.


pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Despite his image as a soft-spoken everyman in jeans and T-shirt, he’s often photographed at exclusive venues with other well-suited high rollers. When at home in San Francisco, he’s been known to attend the symphony and he socializes with the Silicon Valley elite. He’s been photographed at celebrity dinners with valley bigwigs such as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and the CEOs of Yelp, Dropbox and Path. Occasionally, Jony gets involved in side projects. He designed some striking Soundstick speakers for Harman Kardon, which are part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. In 2012, he designed on commission a one-shot camera for Leica, which was to be auctioned for charity. Jony and Jobs were both fans of the storied camera maker, and when announcing the iPhone 4, Jobs compared it to “a beautiful old Leica camera.”10 By all appearances, Jony remains committed to Apple, despite occasional rumors to the contrary.


pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt

4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, moral panic, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

Linde reported back to Thomson headquarters with the startling news: on an overlooked line item in the corporate R&D budget, six German nerds were sitting on a gold mine. The response from corporate was skeptical. If the mp3 was so great, how come no one was using it? Perhaps Linde should try selling laser discs as well. But Linde kept pushing, and finally his corporate overseers conceded that, in the unlikely event that he ever found a customer for the mp3, he was authorized to license the tech. They also made clear that this was a side project, and that the work was not to interfere with his day job. Linde, a born competitor, didn’t believe in MPEG’s profits-by-committee approach, and pushed the Fraunhofer team to innovate. And so they did. Late in 1994, Harald Popp had commissioned a manufacturing run of dedicated mp3-decoding chips. Now, combining one of the chips with a power source, a soldered-on headphone jack, a primitive flash memory card, and a circuit board, he commissioned an engineer to jerry-rig a prototype of the world’s first handheld mp3 player.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Telecom, cable, and Internet service providers charge for access to their networks. Platforms may be codeveloped by a community as a shared resource. When he was 21, Linus Torvalds released a very basic operating system he was working on as a hobby. Over time, an army of developers joined the project, and Linux now powers not only tablet computers, mobile phones, and game consoles, but also some of the fastest supercomputers on the planet. Wikipedia started as a side project that complemented a more traditional online encyclopedia, called Nupedia. But contributors preferred Wikipedia’s less bureaucratic structure, and it quickly overshadowed its parent. When Nupedia was shut down in 2003, it had published only 24 articles. Meanwhile, Wikipedia had published more than 20,000 articles and was available in 46 languages. Everything in business is built on platforms of one kind or another.


pages: 297 words: 90,806

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier

cloud computing, crowdsourcing, game design, Google Hangouts, gravity well, index card, inventory management, iterative process, Kickstarter, pirate software, side project, spice trade, trade route

.* Keeping teams together wasn’t the studio’s priority, and in 2012, after they finished the brawler game Double Dragon Neon, WayForward’s leadership split up Sean Velasco, Ian Flood, Nick Wozniak, and David D’Angelo, moving them all to different projects. Upset that they were no longer together, the group started meeting up outside work. On nights and weekends, they’d all go to Velasco’s apartment and experiment with side projects, including a smartphone game that didn’t get very far. None of them were really into the touchscreen—they preferred the tactile feel of proper buttons—and it wasn’t the type of game they wanted to develop. What they really wanted was to work together on a proper platformer, one that you could play on Nintendo consoles like the 3DS and Wii U. “I remember saying, ‘I got into the industry to make Nintendo games,’” said D’Angelo.


pages: 307 words: 88,745

War for Eternity: Inside Bannon's Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, Boris Johnson, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Etonian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Joseph Schumpeter, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Saturday Night Live, school choice, side project, Skype, South China Sea, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks

The country’s monitoring and repression of spirituality, further, made it a threat to his Traditionalism. He was poised to work against China, but the contract with Mr. Guo provided added incentive: Steve’s salary was $1 million annually. Steve’s various agendas came to a head in Rome. He was hoping to place his gladiator school in the eight-hundred-year-old Trisulti monastery just outside of the city. He wanted to solidify a presence there in part because of a side project to attack the Vatican and its liberal Pope Francis (who called the Trump administration “un-Christian”), in part because he was convinced the Chinese were going to throw major money at Italy as part of their One Belt One Road Initiative to forge railways and sea routes for global trade. The Chinese wanted a major hub in Venice—“where Marco Polo started,” Steve noted in a conversation with me—and he was concerned that the Asian nation had a receptive audience with Italy’s government.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global pandemic, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

There is much work to be done to understand what this new information menu offers students and the rest of us. THE GOOGLIZATION OF SCHOLARSHIP The effect of Google on college students is replicated in its effect on the scholars who teach them and on their research. The best example of this effect is the way Google Scholar filters and represents the current state of scholarship in a variety of fields. Google Scholar is an interesting side project for the company. Released in 2004, it serves as a broad but shallow access point to a range of academic work. Google convinced hundreds of suppliers of electronic scholarly resources to open their indexes up to Google’s “spiders” so that articles could be scanned, copied, and included in Google’s index. Publishers benefit from their articles’ receiving enhanced exposure to reading communities beyond academia (and within academia, at institutions that lack full, paid access to certain data collections).


pages: 341 words: 104,493

City of Exiles by Alec Nevala-Lee

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, glass ceiling, side project, Transnistria

Before passing through the turnstiles, he paused at a trash container, where he threw out his squeeze bottle of water and the plastic shaker in his other pocket, with its last remaining handful of coarse black salt. Then he headed underground. 11 When Renata awoke that morning, she found herself suddenly aware of two things. The first was that she was going to get clean. No more drugs or drinking. The second realization was that her financial troubles would soon be over. Dior would come through, along with her upcoming side project, and at that point, it was only a lucky break or two before she was back on her feet. Upon her arrival at Golden Square, her mood was only slightly dented by the tactless guard at Cheshire, who insisted on searching her bag with his bulky fingers. “Be careful there. I don’t like people touching my stuff—” “Very careful, yes,” the guard said, stuffing a hardened hand down between her neatly packed flashes and lenses.


pages: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

Instead, on the day before we launched Hamilton 68, Politico reported that President Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, had yet to tap into $80 million in counterpropaganda resources, much of which Congress had set aside for challenging Russian active measures. We hoped to provide a spark, but we still are waiting to see who will carry it forward. Our effort, at the time of publication, remains underfunded, and a side project from our day jobs. It’s a start, but not at all what America needs to do against Russian influence. Kislyak was right, and Putin must still wonder, “Why hasn’t America punched back?” 8 Staring at the Men Who Stare at Goats “What do I do with this?” Colonel Smith* said to a crowd gathered around a conference table. In his hands was a copy of the Militant Ideology Atlas, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s first major project.


Lessons-Learned-in-Software-Testing-A-Context-Driven-Approach by Anson-QA

anti-pattern, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, finite state, framing effect, full employment, information retrieval, job automation, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, side project, Silicon Valley, statistical model, web application

Managing, installing, configuring, and maintaining the tools requires programming skill. Each automated test is a program or a feature in a larger automated test application. Test automation isn't easy and won't succeed without following software engineering principles. Project management Without sufficient management attention, automation projects may not actually address the initially conceived objectives. Don't make automation a side-project. Don't staff it with part-timers. A good balance of skills is particularly important for projects expected to create tests that will be useful for a long time. You'll need people trained on the languages and tools that you're using. The automation approach you use will determine the exact mix of skills. Lesson 121: Use pilot projects to prove feasibility Use a pilot test automation project to validate your approach, confirm that your tools work with your product, and determine what kind of payoff you can expect from automation.


pages: 359 words: 96,019

How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story by Billy Gallagher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, computer vision, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, Justin.tv, Lean Startup, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Oculus Rift, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, QR code, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, social graph, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, too big to fail, Y Combinator, young professional

I thought Evan would jump at the opportunity to share his story and get his company mentioned in the larger discussion. But he was already worried that too much of a spotlight too early would mess with the small, weird, cool community that Snapchat was nurturing. Evan was perhaps being somewhat paranoid about how deleterious media coverage would be to Snapchat. But he’s always had a secretive side, often preferring to hustle on his side projects, from grand party schemes to Future Freshman to Snapchat, until he was ready for the world to see them. The next day, New York Times reporter Nick Bilton, unencumbered by a personal connection, published a short piece about Snapchat, writing, “All of this sexting, as the practice is known, creates an opening for technology that might make the photos less likely to end up in wide circulation.


pages: 340 words: 97,723

The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity by Amy Webb

Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Sanders, bioinformatics, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business intelligence, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, distributed ledger, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Flynn Effect, gig economy, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Inbox Zero, Internet of things, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, New Urbanism, one-China policy, optical character recognition, packet switching, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, uber lyft, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

And in the future, it could result in the misdiagnosis of people with black and brown skin. If the Big Nine knows there are problems in the corpora and aren’t doing anything about it, they’re leading AI down the wrong path. One way forward is to turn AI on itself and evaluate all of the training data currently in use. This has been done plenty of times already—though not for the purpose of cleaning up training data. As a side project, IBM’s India Research Lab analyzed entries shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for literature between 1969 and 2017. It revealed “the pervasiveness of gender bias and stereotype in the books on different features like occupation, introductions, and actions associated to the characters in the book.” Male characters were more likely to have higher-level jobs as directors, professors, and doctors, while female characters were more likely to be described as “teacher” or “whore.”12 If it’s possible to use natural language processing, graph algorithms, and other basic machine-learning techniques to ferret out biases in literary awards, those can also be used to find biases in popular training data sets.


Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina

Buckminster Fuller, fear of failure, financial independence, placebo effect, side project, unbiased observer

The station was always broadcasting, but I had to tune myself to the right frequency to hear it. I found that the easiest w a y to tune in w a s to ask myself, Where is the joy? That question would help me listen for the right frequency, a n d once I got the frequency, the volume w o u l d gradually increase until I was feeling extremely joyful and connected. 70 Oneness > The mind-set of oneness cannot be compartmentalized. It isn't some side project y o u add to your personal development to-do list, only to fade back into separateness w h e n y o u head to work the next day. If y o u resonate with oneness, it changes y o u from top to bottom. You can no longer continue treating everyone as completely separate from y o u . Let's go deeper into the principle of oneness by exploring its various aspects: empathy, compassion, honesty, fairness, contribution, and unity.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

Plant something, nurture it, water it, let it grow.”40 Most of us don’t like being slapped in the face. But it’s possible to take that slap and turn it into something remarkable. Useful diversions can come from anywhere: an error from some piano movers and a guilt trip from a German teenager; the randomness of an algorithmic search; a strange order from a deck of mysterious cards; the background noise that you can’t quite shut out; the side project that suddenly suggests a new solution. Or the annoying need to collaborate with other people, which is the subject of the next chapter. Over the years, Carlos Alomar came to realize that the cards he once dismissed as “stupid” have unexpected benefits. “I mean some of it worked, some of it didn’t,” he said a quarter of a century later. “But quite honestly it did take me out of my comfort zone and it did make me leave my frustration at what I was doing and totally look at it from another different point of view and although I didn’t like the point of view, when I came back, I was fresh.”41 Alomar now teaches music at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, and he regularly resorts to the Oblique Strategies.


pages: 331 words: 96,989

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked by Adam L. Alter

Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, augmented reality, barriers to entry, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, easy for humans, difficult for computers, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, game design, Google Glasses, IKEA effect, Inbox Zero, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Oculus Rift, Richard Thaler, side project, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer

That’s why people spend precious chunks of free time doing difficult crosswords and climbing dangerous mountains—because the hardship of the challenge is far more compelling than knowing you’re going to succeed. This sense of hardship is an ingredient in many addictive experiences, including one of the most addictive simple games of all time: Tetris. — In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov was working at a computer lab at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow. Many of the lab’s scientists worked on side projects, and Pajitnov began working on a video game. The game borrowed from tennis and a version of four-piece dominoes called tetrominoes, so Pajitnov combined those words to form the name Tetris. Pajitnov worked on Tetris for much longer than he planned because he couldn’t stop playing the game. His friends remember him chain-smoking and pacing back and forth along the lab’s polished concrete floors.


pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP REQUIRED Growth teams must be worked into the organizational reporting structure of a company with total clarity about to whom the growth lead reports. It is imperative that a high-level executive is given responsibility for the team, in order to assure that the team has the authority to cross the bounds of the established departmental responsibilities. Growth cannot be a side project. Without clear and forceful commitment from leadership, growth teams will find themselves battling bureaucracy, turf wars, inefficiency, and inertia. At start-ups, if the founder or CEO isn’t personally leading the growth efforts directly, then the team or teams should report directly to him or her. In larger companies, which may have multiple growth teams, the teams should report to a vice president or C-level executive who can champion their work with the rest of the C-suite.


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

At its height, Miro had about two million users a month—not quite a revolution, but not too bad a following, either. A few for-profit ventures started around the same time. One was a small startup soon acquired by Google. It was called YouTube. YouTube quickly eclipsed Miro, leaving PCF unsure of what it could do with the open-source software it had poured years into building to share videos on the web. By 2010 PCF was still focused on Miro, but it also had some side projects simmering. One of them emerged out of a conversation between Jansen and Wilson. Wilson’s wife, originally from Brazil, wanted to share some Portuguese films with friends. They were trying to find subtitles for these films, and when they couldn’t, they repurposed some of the principles behind Miro to create a web-based software-editing kit that could make it easy to add subtitles to a streaming video.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Nix initially explained how this labyrinthine setup was to allow us to operate under the radar. Mercer’s rivals in the finance sector watched his every move, and if they knew that he had acquired a psychological warfare firm, others in the industry might figure out his next play—to develop sophisticated trend-forecasting tools—or poach key staff. We knew Bannon wanted to work on a project with Breitbart, but this was originally supposed to be a side project to satiate his personal fixations. Of course, this was all bullshit, and they wanted to build a political arsenal. I’m not even sure Mercer knew, at first, how effective Cambridge Analytica’s tools would be. He was like an investor in any startup—throwing money at smart, creative people who had an idea, in the hopes that it would turn into something valuable. What few people know, however, is the story of who became Cambridge Analytica’s very first target of disinformation.


pages: 349 words: 102,827

The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-Hackers Is Building the Next Internet With Ethereum by Camila Russo

4chan, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, altcoin, always be closing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Asian financial crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, diversification, Donald Trump, East Village, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, hacker house, Internet of things, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, mobile money, new economy, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, reserve currency, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, South of Market, San Francisco, the payments system, too big to fail, tulip mania, Turing complete, Uber for X

She had bought some ether at the presale, and when Ethereum launched about a year later she went to move the tokens into a secure wallet. The whole process required more than a dozen steps, including opening her computer’s coding terminal and typing in a bunch of commands. It wasn’t exactly user friendly. She and her friend Kosala Hemachandra decided to build a digital wallet for the less technically inclined called MyEtherWallet (MEW). It started out as a side project for them and their friends to use; through most of 2015 it had seen no activity. In early 2016 someone on Reddit asked whether the code for the wallet was being maintained, and then every so often others would ask for specific features. They were gradually spending more time on it but still treated it like a side hobby, which didn’t make any money. The real bump-up in users came at the time of The DAO in May 2016, when Taylor was again thinking about the regular, nonprogrammer user.


pages: 394 words: 110,352

The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation by Jono Bacon

barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps, do-ocracy, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Guido van Rossum, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

Mike has been exploring many facets of community, technology, and collaboration in his work. He has been actively involved in growing a global Linkin Park community, coordinating community resources and media, ensuring that the band has a close connection with fans, and more. Mike has also spoken extensively about social media and the role of large record companies in the modern music industry. Outside of Linkin Park, Mike also formed Fort Minor as a side project, is an active artist and painter, and has produced a number of albums. How did Linkin Park grow a community of fans around the band back when you started out? We started the band out of our apartments in Los Angeles. We were in college at the time, around 1998, and the Internet hadn’t really caught on yet, as strange as that is to say. When we really started promoting our music, we were handing out cassette tapes.

As the band has achieved wide success, how has the relationship with your community grown and changed? Today, with a fan base as big and spread out as ours, the toughest part is keeping everyone informed and keeping our messages organized. We always have a TON of stuff going on. Aside from the obvious things like albums, singles, and tours, we have a Linkin Park documentary-style channel on YouTube, an online radio station, a charity called Music For Relief, side projects, art shows, clothing and merchandise...I feel like the list can go on forever. Notably, we also have a fan club called the LP Underground that has a nonstop universe of action going on all the time: Linkin Park “Summit” convention events (think LP Comic-Con), surprise chats with band members, exclusive music, and an episodic LPUTV channel which is updated a few times a month. The key, for us, is to know what lanes to put all that information in.


pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell

barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game

The company opened new stores in North America and Asia (the European market was considered too competitive), and outsourced most of its manufacturing to China and other developing countries. Today, Coach is a $2 billion operation. And according to Cahn, most of the company’s profits stem from its seventy-five-plus factory outlet stores. The first Coach bag discount outlet was in East Hampton, Long Island, a side project Cahn concocted to unload bags with slight defects. Run by Cahn’s children, the outlet was incredibly successful, with inventory frequently selling out within hours after the store opened. “We wanted to be fair to our customers, and we figured that selling slightly defective goods at half price was a reasonable thing,” Cahn said. “The customers agreed.” Some brands continue to stick to this formula, offering deep discounts on damaged or slightly blemished goods.


pages: 366 words: 107,145

Fuller Memorandum by Stross, Charles

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Beeching cuts, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, congestion charging, dumpster diving, finite state, Firefox, HyperCard, invisible hand, land reform, linear programming, MITM: man-in-the-middle, peak oil, post-work, security theater, sensible shoes, side project, Sloane Ranger, telemarketer, Turing machine

Boris is running some kind of operation code named BLOODY BARON which involves something going down in Amsterdam which required Mo's offices, and--" They're both shaking their heads at me. "No, no," says Andy, and: "Amsterdam was CLUB ZERO," says Mo. "It's a sideshow, and . . . did you bring that letter?" Andy produces an envelope. She pockets it: "Thanks." "Actually, it all boils down to CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN," Andy says heavily. "The other operations are side projects; CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is where it all starts." "Oh yes?" I ask casually, although those words send a chill up my spine. "Yes." He laughs halfheartedly. "It appears we may have been working under some false operating assumptions," he adds. "The situation seems to be deteriorating . . ." CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN IS THE CODE NAME FOR THE END OF the world. You might have noticed that Mo and I have no children.


pages: 334 words: 104,382

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang

23andMe, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, Airbnb, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Burning Man, California gold rush, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, gender pay gap, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, high net worth, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, post-work, pull request, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, subscription business, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, women in the workforce

Yahoo swooped in, buying Flickr for north of $20 million in 2005, and Butterfield and Fake became dot-com stars. It wouldn’t last. Innovation at Flickr died under the Yahoo umbrella and Facebook and Instagram ran away with the mobile photo-sharing market. Naturally, Butterfield started over. He built another game that failed, then, in 2012, shut the operation down, laying off all but eight people. But again, a side project of his company’s showed great promise. Butterfield’s employees had built new software to track projects and communicate with each other internally. That accidental, modern take on a chat room—now called Slack—quickly became one of the most highly valued unicorns in Silicon Valley. Like many tech successes, Slack grew quickly—in four years expanding from twenty to over a thousand employees in five countries.


pages: 339 words: 105,856

Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories by Hugh Howey

agricultural Revolution, Donner party, hive mind, Kevin Kelly, RFID, side project

A doughnut of monitors ringed the ceiling above, tangles of wires drooping from them and running off to equipment the engineers had set up. In one corner, a gleaming steel pod stood like some part of an alien ship. It had been built according to stolen plans, was thought at first to be necessary for clearing the small machines from their bloodstreams, but it ended up being some sort of cryo-device, a side project the Atlanta team had undertaken. The only machine Tracy knew how to operate in that room was the coffeemaker. She started a pot and watched the countdown clock overhead tick toward Armageddon. The other founders trickled in one at a time. Many had red eyes and chapped cheeks. There was none of the chatting, debating, and arguing that had marked their prior meetings in that room. Just the same funereal silence they’d held by the crypt doors.


pages: 359 words: 110,488

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bioinformatics, corporate governance, Donald Trump, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Google Chrome, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, obamacare, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Travis Kalanick, ubercab

The following week, Greg stopped being invited to her brainstorming sessions with Kent. It dawned on him that she’d taken his sister’s decision personally and that he was now paying the price for it. Not long after, a chill descended on Kent’s own relationship with Elizabeth. For all intents and purposes, Kent was the chief architect of the miniLab. A talented engineer who loved to build stuff, he was also dabbling with a side project in his spare time: bicycle lights that lit up both wheels and the road, providing improved visibility and safety for the rider at night. He’d pitched the concept on Kickstarter and, much to his surprise, was able to raise $215,000 in forty-five days. It was the seventh-largest sum raised on the crowdfunding platform that year. What had been a hobby suddenly looked like it could become a viable business.


pages: 410 words: 103,421

The Martian by Andy Weir

8-hour work day, Colonization of Mars, digital map, lateral thinking, Mars Rover, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, side project

Turning to Keller, he said, “Make the food last another four days.” Keller nodded. ••• “RICH,” said Mike. Rich Purnell concentrated on his computer screen. His cubicle was a landfill of printouts, charts, and reference books. Empty coffee cups rested on every surface; take-out packaging littered the ground. “Rich,” Mike said, more forcefully. Rich looked up. “Yeah?” “What the hell are you doing?” “Just a little side project. Something I wanted to check up on.” “Well…that’s fine, I guess,” Mike said, “but you need to do your assigned work first. I asked for those satellite adjustments two weeks ago and you still haven’t done them.” “I need some supercomputer time,” Rich said. “You need supercomputer time to calculate routine satellite adjustments?” “No, it’s for this other thing I’m working on,” Rich said. “Rich, seriously.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Some of these near-random, two-word phrases don’t rise above mere functionality: India Ireland, for instance, or Accounting Architecture. Others, though, open up new and unexpected territory for the imagination to wander in. Here, for the record, are a few of my favorites: Freon Holderlin (a man I’d like to meet, despite his reputation for coldness) Menage Ottawa (a perfect oxymoron) Chicago Death (Jack White’s new side project) Light Metabolism (what the Theory of Everything, once discovered, will be called) Excretion Geometry (a field understood by only seven people in the world, all now deceased) Arctic Biosphere (Freon Holderlin lives here, according to rumor) Krasnokamsk Menadra (when I take up meditation, this will be what I chant) And—I’m starting to choke up—my favorite one of all: Decorative Edison FUTURE GOTHIC May 8, 2012 1.


pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

The business owner who eliminates the least profitable customers and projects, outsources all operations entirely, and travels the world collecting rare documents, all while working remotely on a website to showcase her own illustration work. The student who elects to risk it all—which is nothing—to establish an online video rental service that delivers $5,000 per month in income from a small niche of Blu-ray aficionados, a two-hour-per-week side project that allows him to work full-time as an animal rights lobbyist. The options are limitless, but each path begins with the same first step: replacing assumptions. To join the movement, you will need to learn a new lexicon and recalibrate direction using a compass for an unusual world. From inverting responsibility to jettisoning the entire concept of “success,” we need to change the rules.


pages: 349 words: 109,304

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

bitcoin, blockchain, crack epidemic, Edward Snowden, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Ross Ulbricht, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the market place, trade route, Travis Kalanick, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Since June, when Jared had discovered that first pill of ecstasy in the envelope from the Netherlands, he had been trying to figure out how to persuade his supervisor, and now the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to let him build a case against the Silk Road Web site. Everything over the past few months had been leading up to this very moment. After his supervisor at HSI had given him the go-ahead to start investigating the site as a side project, Jared had obsessively started collecting every smidgen of evidence coming through Chicago O’Hare. Each night he would drive his ancient government-issued car (which other agents had nicknamed the Pervert Car because it looked like it belonged to a child molester) to the mail center at the airport where he would collect envelopes of drugs that had been plucked from the scrubs earlier that day.


pages: 384 words: 118,572

The Confidence Game: The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time by Maria Konnikova

attribution theory, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, epigenetics, hindsight bias, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, libertarian paternalism, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, side project, Skype, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, tulip mania, Walter Mischel

The choice is not predetermined. And the presence of Machiavellianism or psychopathy or narcissism no more marks someone as a grifter than the presence of charisma or nonchalance. James Fallon discovered he was a psychopath by accident. He’d been running two projects simultaneously: a large imaging study of Alzheimer’s patients, where his own family served as “normal” control brains, and a small side project on the brains of psychopaths. As he was going through the Alzheimer’s scans, one brain popped out. It had all the markings of the psychopath. Hmm. Clearly, someone had made a mistake and mixed one of the psychopathic scans in with the Alzheimer’s data. Normally, results in typical lab studies are anonymized so that nothing tips the experimenter off to the identity of the subject. In this case, Fallon decided to make an exception.


pages: 391 words: 117,984

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz

access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game

As in every other office, Veronique’s space was furnished with two desks, both constructed of dark wood, both covered with piles of papers and books, some yellowed, apparently from remaining in the same place for years. Standing next to Veronique in the dark and dingy office was a shy, unassuming woman wearing a long skirt and flat black shoes. She was just a few inches over 5 feet tall, with a broad face and skin the color of coffee beans. She had large brown eyes that drooped at the sides, projecting a crinkly empathy further emphasized by a gaptoothed smile. Her hair was combed back into a loose crown. Her only adornments were a wedding band and a tiny gold cross on a chain around her neck. She introduced herself shyly: “Amakuru, Jacqueline. My name is Honorata.” “Bonjour.” Veronique, already a teacher to me, gave me a gentle shove and laughed. “Now you say ‘Imeza.’ When someone says ‘Amakuru,’ you answer ‘Imeza.’


pages: 479 words: 113,510

Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve Is Bad for America by Danielle Dimartino Booth

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidity trap, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, yield curve

Born in 1978, Pozsar came to the United States when he was twenty-four, after receiving a graduate degree in finance from a university in South Korea. Definitely not the Ivy League. He had been working for six years as senior economist and right-hand man for Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. Somewhat bored with his day job, at night and on the weekends Pozsar began working on a side project that he found fascinating: the structure and growth of the shadow banking system. The term “shadow banking” had first been coined at the Fed’s 2007 Jackson Hole symposium by Paul McCulley, then chief economist of Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco). Son of a Baptist preacher, McCulley has a knack for colorful metaphors. During a panel discussion on housing and monetary policy, McCulley used the phrase to describe “the whole alphabet soup of levered up non-bank investment conduits, vehicles, and structures.”


pages: 393 words: 115,217

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management

Polaroid followed the first sepia prints in 1947 with black and white (1950); automatic exposure (1960); instant color (1963); non-peel-apart film (1971); the SX-70 all-in-one, foldable camera (1972); sonar auto-focus (1978); and countless other advances in between. For anyone interested in technology, the stories of these inventions are fascinating. To achieve instant color printing, for example, Land and his team invented a new molecule. As a side project, stimulated by a chance observation in the lab, Land invented a new theory of color vision, now called color constancy, which explains why we will see red apples as red even as the color of the light they reflect changes. Land seemed to produce one or two discoveries per year that others would be thrilled to see in a lifetime. One admiring scientist wrote, “Nobel Prizes have been given for less.”


Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy by Wolfram Eilenberger

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, liberation theology, precariat, scientific worldview, side project, traveling salesman, wikimedia commons

His work on the Paris arcades, originally conceived as a small study, had acquired a life of its own, and dominated the whole of his literary output: “Work on the Paris Arcades has assumed an increasingly enigmatic, urgent face, and is wailing through my nights like a small beast, if I haven’t watered it from the remotest springs during the day. God knows what it will do if I let it off the leash one day,” he established as early as May 1928.18 A year later nothing had changed. Extensive research on the Arcades Project in the Berlin State Library took up almost all of his time. All other articles and commissioned pieces of writing were subordinated to it, and at best fell under the category of quasi-original side projects. This remained true in March 1929, when Benjamin was working on two major essays for Literarische Welt. One was devoted to Proust’s oeuvre, and titled “On the Image of Proust,”19 and the other to the development of contemporary French Surrealism since 1919, and titled “Surrealism: The Last Snapshot of the European Intelligentsia.”20 Every line of both indicates the consistency with which Benjamin’s thought (and that of the authors he engages with) took as its point of departure the constantly accelerating experiences of the metropolis that a denizen of the countryside simply cannot know or comprehend.


pages: 423 words: 129,831

The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, big-box store, blue-collar work, Donner party, edge city, Kickstarter, new economy, New Urbanism, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ralph Nader, side project, smart transportation, traveling salesman, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

Men in the auto business have talked about the appeal of alternative fuels since before World War I, when the prospect of the world's running out of oil seemed preposterously remote. It should come as no surprise, blessed as he was with a nose for future profit, that among the enthusiastic seekers of a gasoline substitute was Carl Fisher. In June 1914, Fisher, busy at the time with the Dixie Highway and Florida and a blizzard of side projects, was visited in Indianapolis by one John Andrews, an amateur inventor from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and, in Fisher's estimation, a "poor, apparently ignorant Portuguese." Andrews told Fisher he had developed a water-based fuel that could be made for under 2 cents a gallon. "We put the material in an auto," Fisher wrote, "and it tested up in one case about twenty percent more mileage than a gallon of gasoline would give."


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, G4S, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

Visiting celebrities will hang out for a day or two happily chatting with whomever, even lowly second-year graduate students. Landing a meeting with one is largely a matter of getting to the sign-up sheet first, which of course I did. When my time slot arrived I went to meet Alley, armed with a list of questions about his Nature papers so I could hear more from the great man himself. That lasted about forty-five seconds, before he insisted on hearing all about my work. I couldn’t believe it. It was a dumb little side project of my research, but Alley’s enthusiasm was totally contagious. We relocated to my lab hole, where he huddled alongside me, giving all manner of helpful advice and inspiration. By the time he ran off late to his next appointment, I was so excited about my project I barely remembered I’d forgotten to ask more about his. That’s just the kind of guy he is.490 What had everyone gabbling was what Alley and his colleagues had dug out of the Greenland Ice Sheet.


pages: 481 words: 121,669

The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See by Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Danny Sullivan

AltaVista, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, dark matter, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, full text search, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, natural language processing, pre–internet, profit motive, publish or perish, search engine result page, side project, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, Vannevar Bush, web application

By being able to reference anything with equal ease, a computer could represent associations between things that might seem unrelated but somehow did, in fact, share a relationship. A Web of information would form.” — Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web The Web was created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, who at the time was a contract programmer at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The Web was a side project Berners-Lee took on to help him keep track of the mind-boggling diversity of people, computers, research equipment, and other resources that are de rigueur at a massive research institution like CERN. One of the primary challenges faced by CERN scientists was the very diversity that gave it strength. The lab hosted thousands of researchers every year, arriving from countries all over the world, each speaking different languages and working with unique computing systems.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Some new niches for big companies are suggested by the notion of a humanistic digital economy, such as the commoditized decision reduction services to be described later on. Other futuristic candidates for jobs for big companies are stabilization of the climate, repositioning earthquakes,* or creating launch structures that make space access inexpensive.† *Gluing existing faults and using explosives to open up new ones in less destructive locations, such as in the oceans, might accomplish this. Yes, this is one of my crazy, speculative side projects. †In a humanistic economy, big companies would trade within the chain of commerce just as they do today. Big companies should do better in the world proposed here, not only because the economy would be expanding but because regulation in a high-tech information economy would be more readily expressed incrementally instead of in big, unpredictable, punitive chunks. Big companies are the flywheels and ballast of a market economy, creating a degree of stability.


pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller

airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

However brutally capable they may be at preserving the privileges of the elite and of the top leader, they are headed by people who are selfish, prideful, mercurial, impatient, distrustful (if not fully paranoid), and often brutal, and they routinely promote political hacks, churn personnel, alienate the best scientists and technicians, find it difficult to make coherent long-term plans, make poor technical choices, and exhaust resources with repeated crash programs that have unreasonable deadlines and distracting side projects.3 If the development of rocketry proved to be a very substantial waste to the comparatively well-oiled German regime in World War II, any attempt by contemporary dysfunctional rogue states to carry out an expensive high-tech venture like the development of nuclear weapons and their attendant delivery systems is likely to become a major, even overwhelming, economic and organizational strain. And, in particular, the effort might well divert them from producing or purchasing military equipment that they might actually know how, and be able, to use.


pages: 960 words: 125,049

Mastering Ethereum: Building Smart Contracts and DApps by Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Gavin Wood Ph. D.

Amazon Web Services, bitcoin, blockchain, continuous integration, cryptocurrency, Debian, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, Google Chrome, intangible asset, Internet of things, litecoin, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, node package manager, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pull request, QR code, Ruby on Rails, Satoshi Nakamoto, sealed-bid auction, sharing economy, side project, smart contracts, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Vickrey auction, web application, WebSocket

GitHub: https://github.com/ethereumjs Website: https://ethereumjs.github.io/ web3j web3j is a Java and Android library for integrating with Ethereum clients and working with smart contracts. GitHub: https://github.com/web3j/web3j Website: https://web3j.io Documentation: https://docs.web3j.io EtherJar EtherJar is another Java library for integrating with Ethereum and working with smart contracts. It’s designed for server-side projects based on Java 8+ and provides low-level access and a high-level wrapper around RPC, Ethereum data structures, and smart contract access. GitHub: https://github.com/infinitape/etherjar Nethereum Nethereum is the .Net integration library for Ethereum. GitHub: https://github.com/Nethereum/Nethereum Website: http://nethereum.com/ Documentation: https://nethereum.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ ethers.js The ethers.js library is a compact, complete, full-featured, extensively tested MIT-licensed Ethereum library, which has received a DevEx grant from the Ethereum Foundation toward its extension and maintenance.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Extreme economies add another angle: human capital does more than help an economy expand, it is also a way to insure against catastrophic decline. Human capital, like informality, is a pool of resilience. John Stuart Mill knew this in the mid-1800s; the people of Aceh showed it as they rebuilt following the 2004 tsunami. Yet most countries make no serious attempt to measure human capital, and the few that do (including the UK) treat it as a side project. Yet the biggest gap in economics is the way it completely ignores social capital. In part, this is because the concept is controversial. Critics on the left say that an economic system relying on social capital would give right-wing politicians headroom to slash public services. Those on the right think it is best left to arise spontaneously, and not the sort of thing governments should interfere with or spend money on.


pages: 424 words: 140,262

Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World by Christian Wolmar

banking crisis, Beeching cuts, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, railway mania, refrigerator car, side project, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, urban sprawl

The idea for the railway came from the commandant of the settlement, Captain O’Hara Booth, and he used the prisoners to build the crude railway, which had wooden rails about a foot apart and followed the contours of the land in order to minimize heavy earthworks. More controversially, though, he then organized the prisoners to pull the trains, which was by no means an easy task as the gradient leaving the prison was relatively steep. An early visitor, a Captain Stonor, described the carriages as ‘very rude construction, very low, double seated with four very small cast iron wheels. On either side projected two long handles which the prisoners lean on to propel the carriage.’ 33 Stonor was appalled at the sight of the poor prisoners, who were dressed in saffron prison garb complete with arrows, having to ‘puff and blow pushing on the carriage’ up the hill but noted that ‘when descending they jump alongside of you and away you go, dashing, crashing, tearing on.’ 34 At the mid point of the line, there was a rest station where the crew changed, and the maintenance gang was housed.


pages: 411 words: 127,755

Advertisers at Work by Tracy Tuten

accounting loophole / creative accounting, centre right, crowdsourcing, follow your passion, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, QR code, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs

We distribute that once a week and then we get together once a month for a Bites immersion session. These sessions are mandatory, all-company meetings. They are a chance to put the pencils down and get away from computer screens. Sometimes we meet off site or bring speakers in. We may go see an art exhibit or a show. We may do a show-and-tell session. For example, our most recent session was Friday. We had a couple of different things going on. Some of our creatives presented side projects. These were cheeky videos which brought the freaking house down. Lastly we did a kind of deep dive on media. Our media staffers presented on key terms, industry developments, new metrics, and that kind of thing. It was very well received. Last month we went to the Tim Burton exhibit at the LACMA, the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art, and sometimes we will go to a Dodger game or what have you.


pages: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube, side project, telemarketer, walking around money

He often referred to Rush’s three members—Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee—as “the Holy Trinity” or “the Gods of the North.” In my grail diary, I had every single Rush song, album, bootleg, and music video ever made. I had high-res scans of all their liner notes and album artwork. Every frame of Rush concert footage in existence. Every radio and television interview the band had ever done. Unabridged biographies on each band member, along with copies of their side projects and solo work. I pulled up the band’s discography and selected the album I was looking for: 2112, Rush’s classic sci-fi–themed concept album. A high-resolution scan of the album’s cover appeared on my display. The band’s name and the album’s title were printed over a field of stars, and below that, appearing as if reflected in the surface of a rippling lake, was the symbol I’d seen on the Black Tiger game’s monitor: a red five-pointed star enclosed in a circle.


pages: 752 words: 131,533

Python for Data Analysis by Wes McKinney

backtesting, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Debian, Firefox, Google Chrome, Guido van Rossum, index card, random walk, recommendation engine, revision control, sentiment analysis, Sharpe ratio, side project, sorting algorithm, statistical model, type inference

You may choose to substitute an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for a text editor in order to take advantage of more advanced graphical tools and code completion capabilities. Even if so, I strongly recommend making IPython an important part of your workflow. Some IDEs even provide IPython integration, so it’s possible to get the best of both worlds. The IPython project began in 2001 as Fernando Pérez’s side project to make a better interactive Python interpreter. In the subsequent 11 years it has grown into what’s widely considered one of the most important tools in the modern scientific Python computing stack. While it does not provide any computational or data analytical tools by itself, IPython is designed from the ground up to maximize your productivity in both interactive computing and software development.


pages: 462 words: 142,240

Iron Sunrise by Stross, Charles

blood diamonds, dumpster diving, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, loose coupling, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, RFID, side project, speech recognition, technological singularity, trade route, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

They lie close to both Moscow and New Dresden, and those worlds would be logical targets for subversion and conquest. However, the ReMastered are prone to internal rifts and departmental feuding. They can be manipulated by outside influences such as the Eschaton. It is possible that one such department within the Ministry of State Security on Newpeace was induced to exploit their growing influence over domestic political figures in Moscow to use them as a proxy agency in a side project, the development of a causality-violation weapon. Such devices are hazardous not only because the Eschaton intervenes to prevent their deployment later up the time line, but because they tend to be unstable—” “Later up the what? Hey, I thought you were the Eschaton! What is this?” “Can a T-helper lymphocyte in a capillary in your little finger claim to be you? Of course I am part of the Eschaton, but I cannot claim to be the Eschaton.


pages: 1,829 words: 135,521

Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython by Wes McKinney

business process, Debian, Firefox, general-purpose programming language, Google Chrome, Guido van Rossum, index card, p-value, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, random walk, recommendation engine, sentiment analysis, side project, sorting algorithm, statistical model, type inference

Hunter and is now maintained by a large team of developers. It is designed for creating plots suitable for publication. While there are other visualization libraries available to Python programmers, matplotlib is the most widely used and as such has generally good integration with the rest of the ecosystem. I think it is a safe choice as a default visualization tool. IPython and Jupyter The IPython project began in 2001 as Fernando Pérez’s side project to make a better interactive Python interpreter. In the subsequent 16 years it has become one of the most important tools in the modern Python data stack. While it does not provide any computational or data analytical tools by itself, IPython is designed from the ground up to maximize your productivity in both interactive computing and software development. It encourages an execute-explore workflow instead of the typical edit-compile-run workflow of many other programming languages.


pages: 578 words: 141,373

Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain by John Grindrod

Berlin Wall, garden city movement, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, megastructure, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Right to Buy, side project, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, young professional

A total of 157 entries were received, and in January 1950 it was revealed that the dynamic partnership of Powell & Moya had won with a structure that became known as the Skylon: a 250-foot, 12-sided hollow metal structure, to be made from steel and aluminium. Philip Powell and Jacko Moya were both still in their twenties, but when it came to audacious competition victories they were already veterans. In 1946 they’d triumphed in a rather different Thames-side project – to turn the bomb-damaged wasteland of Pimlico into a vast housing estate of 1,600 flats. Not completed until 1962, Churchill Gardens became one of London’s most significant and influential modern housing estates, still held in high regard by residents and architects alike. ‘Jacko and I did separate entries,’ recalled Powell of their Festival of Britain design. ‘I did a pyramid, a slightly tapering thing, with a zigzag bracing and a coloured pattern, but Jacko’s first sketch felt so right that there was no point going further and we collaborated after that.’20 Moya’s design would then undergo a transformation at the hands of Felix Samuely, their former lecturer at the Architecture Association whom they had also requested as engineer on the project.


pages: 474 words: 130,575

Surveillance Valley: The Rise of the Military-Digital Complex by Yasha Levine

23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Anne Wojcicki, anti-communist, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bitcoin, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, collaborative editing, colonial rule, computer age, computerized markets, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global village, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Howard Zinn, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, Snapchat, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Hackers Conference, uber lyft, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks

With the government contracts flowing, Roger Dingledine expanded the payroll, adding a dedicated crew of developers and managers who saw their job in messianic terms: to free the Internet of government surveillance.104 Jacob Appelbaum, too, was doing well. Claiming that harassment from the US government was too much to bear, he spent most of his time in Berlin in a sort of self-imposed exile. There, he continued to do the job Dingledine had hired him to do. He traveled the world training political activists and persuading techies and hackers to join up as Tor volunteers. He also did various side projects, some of which blurred the line between activism and intelligence gathering. In 2012, he made a trip to Burma, a longtime target of US government regime-change efforts.105 The purpose of the trip was to probe the country’s Internet system from within and collect information on its telecommunications infrastructure, information that was then used to compile a government report for policymakers and “international investors” interested in penetrating Burma’s recently deregulated telecom market.106 Appelbaum continued to draw a high five-figure salary from Tor, a government contractor funded almost exclusively by military and intelligence grants.


pages: 515 words: 143,055

The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, anti-communist, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bob Geldof, borderless world, Brownian motion, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, colonial rule, East Village, future of journalism, George Gilder, Golden Gate Park, Googley, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, informal economy, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Live Aid, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, placebo effect, post scarcity, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Tim Cook: Apple, Torches of Freedom, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, white flight, zero-sum game

They made easier the entry into the home of not just more consoles, but also home computers, like the Apple II or the Commodore 64, for it was one thing to buy an expensive machine that supposedly would be used for work or programming; it was another to get all that along with the spoonful of sugar, namely, a machine that also came with even better games than the Atari had. In this way video games were arguably the killer app—the application that justifies the investment—of many computers in the home. As a game machine, sometimes used for other purposes, computers had gained their foothold. There they would lie for some time, a sleeping giant.7 * * * * Breakout was written by Apple’s cofounders, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, as a side project, as described in the Master Switch, chapter 20. CHAPTER 16 AOL PULLS ’EM IN In 1991, when Steve Case, just thirty-three years old, was promoted to CEO of AOL, there were four companies, all but one lost to history, that shared the goal of trying to get Americans to spend more leisure time within an abstraction known as an “online computer network.” Their names were CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, and GEnie, and merely to state their mission is to make clear why theirs was no easy sell.


pages: 520 words: 134,627

Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit & the Making of the College Admissions Scandal by Melissa Korn, Jennifer Levitz

"side hustle", affirmative action, barriers to entry, blockchain, call centre, Donald Trump, Gordon Gekko, helicopter parent, high net worth, Jeffrey Epstein, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, performance metric, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Thorstein Veblen, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, yield management, young professional, zero-sum game

But there was another danger to letting the investigation go on too long: government cooperators can burn out. It takes a lot of mental energy to carry on as if all is normal, while moonlighting as a snitch. Singer had the feds contacting him regularly to make sure he was staying in line. He had people listening to him every day. And he couldn’t tell anyone. He seemed a bit frayed by it. For one of his countless side projects, he had invested around $1 million in USA-UES, a Los Angeles education technology startup aimed at serving Chinese students. He usually held productive and regular catch-up calls with Chris Li, the president and CEO, to talk patiently through goals and targets. But Singer had grown short and snippy, for no apparent reason. “Okay, maybe he just had a really shitty day,” Li thought. But then the attitude kept up.


pages: 495 words: 136,714

Money for Nothing by Thomas Levenson

Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, British Empire, carried interest, clockwork universe, credit crunch, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, experimental subject, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, income inequality, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, market bubble, open economy, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Republic of Letters, risk/return, side project, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Once the income tax and other measures strengthened the Treasury’s ability to make its debt payments, the market for government securities rebounded, and interest on consols dropped—with occasional hiccups—to between just under 4 and 5 percent for the rest of the war. Once the cash-and-credit crunch of the late 1790s eased, Britain in the Napoleonic era never approached the precipice that King William had faced in the 1690s—that cliff-edge past which the nation might simply run out of money. All that followed—the navy’s victories from St. Vincent to Trafalgar; the army’s work in the Peninsular War and beyond; that little side project known in the United States as the War of 1812—every skirmish and grand conflagration rode on the steady flow of borrowed money from the heart of London to the tip of the spear. * * * — PUT ANOTHER WAY: The United Kingdom’s secret weapon in the fight against Napoleon was the successful implementation of new financial technology. The institutions and techniques that emerged in the three decades after the Bubble made it possible and then desirable for private actors to put their cash at the state’s disposal, in exchange for a share of taxes yet to be collected from the economic activity of generations yet unborn.


pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

The associates were hackers like Neuron, an easygoing exploit enthusiast; Storm, who was mysterious but highly skilled; Joepie91, the well-known and extremely loquacious Anon who ran the AnonNews.net website; M_nerva, a somewhat aloof but attentive young hacker; and Trollpoll, a dedicated anti–white hat activist. In the most busy periods of LulzSec, both the core and secondary crew were in #pure-elite or online for most of the day and sometimes through the night. Some were talented coders who could create new scripts for the team as their own side projects; Pwnsauce, for instance, had been working on a project to create a new type of encryption. In the end, Topiary never invited anyone he knew into #pure-elite, and while Kayla had recommended a few friends, Sabu wasn’t comfortable with letting them in either. According to Topiary, about 90 percent of the hackers who ended up in #pure-elite were Sabu’s friends or acquaintances from the underground.


pages: 655 words: 151,111

London: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis

affirmative action, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Brixton riot, John Snow's cholera map, side project, strikebreaker, Winter of Discontent

And they wafted to him round foils of silver intermingled with thin round wafers, and wine from the channels and cocks of the conduit, so that they might receive him with bread and wine as Melchisedech received Abraham when he returned from the fall of the four kings. And when they came to the cross in Cheapside . . . it was hidden by a beautiful castle of wood, very ingeniously and prettily constructed, and adorned with three beautiful columns, . . . which had . . . arches on either side projecting over the street, and stretching to the buildings on each side of the road . . . And across the front of the arches was written, ‘Glorious things of thee are spoken, O city of God’. This castle was covered with linen painted the colour of white marble, and green and red jasper, as if the whole work had been the result of the mason’s art, fashioned from blocks of masonry and perfect precious stones.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

Linux is now so widely relied upon by the computing world that many tech firms, including Intel, Red Hat, and Samsung, pay employees to be fullor part-time contributors to Linux. Being a core Linux contributor is regarded as a pretty auspicious item on a coder’s CV. Contributing to a popular open source project is usually a career-enhancing move, which is why so many coders try to get involved in one. It’s also why so many release their weekend just-for-fun side-projects as open source code on sites like GitHub. There’s the pleasure of letting others see your work, the joy of discovering that some weird tool you crafted for yourself is also useful for others; plus, you can learn a lot from looking at other people’s open code and seeing how they built things. Coders also told me they felt an ecological sense of obligation: They open source their own code—and contribute to other people’s projects—as a way of giving back to a scene that has helped them out.


pages: 477 words: 144,329

How Money Became Dangerous by Christopher Varelas

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, California gold rush, cashless society, corporate raider, crack epidemic, cryptocurrency, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, fiat currency, fixed income, friendly fire, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, interest rate derivative, John Meriwether, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, mandatory minimum, mobile money, mortgage debt, pensions crisis, pets.com, pre–internet, profit motive, risk tolerance, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, universal basic income, zero day

Caesar and Mark were aware that I’d spent my teenage years in Orange County—known for its large population of conservative, wealthy Libertarians—so they figured that would provide a welcome association for Heckmann. “That should be easy,” I said. “One mention of working at Disneyland and we should be okay.” I liked Mark and Caesar, and despite the fact that I was more than busy running the technology M&A effort as the dotcom industry continued to explode, working with those guys on U.S. Filter sounded like a fun side project. So I found myself on a plane for Palm Springs, headed out to present some acquisition ideas. * * * Andy Seidel had the longest tongue anyone had ever seen. The great thing about Andy was that, even though he was COO of what was fast becoming a massive and successful water company, he had no problem showing his tongue. Dick Heckmann never tired of insisting that Andy roll it out for the amusement of others.


pages: 495 words: 144,101

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns

anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

The one organized anti-Roosevelt group, the Liberty League, was a secretive cabal of wealthy businessmen hoping to wrest control of government from the masses. Although the Liberty League made several awkward attempts at populism, its main financial backers were the conservative Du Pont family. Tarred as fascists after several of the group’s members praised Mussolini and called for an American dictator, the Liberty League disintegrated within a few years of its founding.30 Even as she dwelled on Roosevelt’s perfidy, Rand pursued a number of side projects. Prompted by the interest of a theater producer, she began a stage adaptation of We the Living, entitled The Unconquered.31 When Frank found work in a summer stock production of Night of January 16th the two spent an idyllic few weeks in Stonington, Connecticut. There, in a flash of inspiration, Rand completed a new manuscript, a novel of scarcely a hundred pages that she titled Anthem. Again Rand did not hesitate to borrow an idea that had worked well for another writer.


pages: 592 words: 152,445

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, Internet Archive, pattern recognition, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, X Prize

Hoover himself wrote about the Doll Lady in The American Magazine, calling her “one of the cleverest woman operators I have encountered. Cultured, businesslike, cunning, and, despite her 45 years of age, most attractive, she presented one of the most difficult problems in detection the FBI has tackled in this war.” And while readers learned of the Doll Lady’s treachery from Hoover, the woman who analyzed the Doll Lady’s letters in her spare time, quietly, as a side project, returned to her primary task of hunting Nazi spies. Through the rest of 1944, as Elizebeth and her coast guard team continued to decrypt Nazi radio messages, she noticed an uptick in paranoia in the plaintexts, a creeping sense of doom. All along, Elizebeth had been watching the Nazis build a spy network, and now, after invisibly undermining that network, she was watching it die—and stepping on its neck when need be.


pages: 471 words: 147,210

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

experimental subject, gravity well, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, microbiome, pattern recognition, post scarcity, remote working, side project, telepresence, theory of mind

That would set the oxygen meter creeping upwards, but, of course, that in itself would be robbing the planet of heat-retaining CO2, meaning the whole volcanism and greenhouse gassery would need to be kicked up a notch, and the equilibrium of the atmosphere kept balanced like a spun plate that couldn’t be allowed to so much as wobble for year upon year. And then there would come some more waiting, and he’d sleep out most of it. Except the current bout of watch-and-wait had tested his patience enough to set him on some side-projects, and now they were sufficiently advanced that he was contemplating spending another year of his life on them rather than saving it for the actual terraforming. He glanced at his companion, who had come out to stare through the glass at him. ‘Hungry, yet?’ he asked, but he didn’t think so. Paul was just curious. Curiosity was something Senkovi had bred into him, building on his work back on Earth.


pages: 484 words: 155,401

Solitary by Albert Woodfox

airport security, Donald Trump, full employment, income inequality, index card, mandatory minimum, mass immigration, means of production, Nelson Mandela, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project

Not until 1975, when someone sent me an article about Gi and Jill Schafer, did I learn the Schafers were FBI informants who deliberately broke up our support committee. They were paid $16,000 a year to infiltrate, disrupt, and destroy the SDS at LSU, acting as spies and agents provocateurs, making up stories to create mistrust among the students and antiwar protesters, and shaming many of them into taking more extreme actions than they wanted to, which led to their arrests. As a side project, they took on the Angola 4 support committee and played a part in its demise. In the summer of 1972, Huey Newton, while attempting to centralize activities within the party, called the members of the New Orleans Black Panther Party chapter to Oakland and sent replacement Panthers from Cincinnati to New Orleans. Nobody in the community trusted the people from Ohio, who were all strangers. With the New Orleans Panthers in Oakland, this gave the Schafers more power in our committee.


pages: 553 words: 168,111

The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market by Leah McGrath Goodman

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, automated trading system, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, East Village, energy security, Etonian, family office, Flash crash, global reserve currency, greed is good, High speed trading, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit motive, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game

Building power plants in California for seventeen years, Sprecher became frustrated with the archaic ways of power trading. He wanted to make it easier for power plants, specifically his power plants, to buy and sell their electricity. In 1997, he purchased an exchange in Atlanta from Warren Buffett, gutting it and assembling a global electronic-trading platform that could handle a wide array of futures and over-the-counter trades. He’d only intended it to be a side project, but it ended up consuming him. He left his full-time job as president of the power-plant development firm he’d started with some business-school friends to give it his full attention. His project soon piqued the interest of Enron, which, by 1992, was North America’s largest merchant of natural gas, the lifeblood of power plants. Pretending to contemplate a partnership with Sprecher, Enron’s executives listened intently to his ideas about how he planned to start an online power-trading company.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

Maybe it came from Papa Thomas, who had owned all that land in Struthers and given a piece of it to the church. After Granny stopped working they lived on her Social Security and Vickie’s welfare checks, and there was so little money that sometimes the gas was shut off. When her father and grandmother were still living in the West Lake projects, north of downtown, Tammy sometimes visited them, and when she was a little older she had friends living in the east side projects, generation after generation on welfare who never got out. They could buy things only at the start of the month, when stores raised prices to take advantage of the checks. Even if they got on a program to pay their gas bill they would always owe, they’d die owing that money. Tammy vowed to herself that she would not go on welfare and live in the projects. She didn’t want to have just enough to barely get by but not enough to actually be able to do anything.


pages: 526 words: 160,601

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America by Bruce Cannon Gibney

1960s counterculture, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate personhood, Corrections Corporation of America, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, equal pay for equal work, failed state, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Haight Ashbury, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kitchen Debate, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, medical bankruptcy, Menlo Park, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school choice, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Snapchat, source of truth, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, survivorship bias, TaskRabbit, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

* It’s doubtful that a malevolent Skynet will be the author of catastrophe; more likely, AIs responsible for essential systems like power plants, autonomous weapons, dams, and so on will make mistakes that could unleash catastrophe. Then again, the possibility of a rogue supercomputer is not zero, though it remains distant. * Full disclosure: I invested in DeepMind personally in its earlier years; the company was then acquired by Google, in which I now hold stock. Wall Street has long dismissed Google’s side projects like self-driving cars and AI as money sinks, but Google has a thoughtful plan and one you may not be fully comfortable with. Google (in the verb sense; may as well start there) “self-driving car,” “AlphaGo,” and “Android Marketshare” and you’ll get a sense for the future Google might have in mind. You can add in Boston Dynamics +Atlas +Google, and you might get a sense of Google’s terminal ambitions, even if it ultimately ditches Boston Dynamics in favor of other robotics companies


pages: 602 words: 164,940

Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe

gravity well, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pluto: dwarf planet, side project

Nox eyed the dash of the autocab—not here, his glance said—and they all went silent as death as understanding struck home. Once the guardcore had identified Jules as the killer, they’d trace her steps, find this autocab, and listen to every word they’d said inside. Including everything that’d come before—talk of the lab, of Silverfang. Jules wanted to be a fly on that wall when the members of the guardcore who weren’t in on the stealth-ops side project heard what they’d said. Or maybe they were all in on it. She just didn’t know. And chances were good now she’d never know. They had to disappear, and fast, and to hell with the lab and all its entanglements. They’d come back for Lolla. When it was safe. CHAPTER 54 PRIME STANDARD YEAR 3543 DAY FORTY OF TOO MANY She sucked air through her teeth and hunched over, gripping the sides of her head with both hands and squeezing, squeezing.


pages: 1,318 words: 403,894

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

air freight, airport security, crowdsourcing, digital map, drone strike, Google Earth, industrial robot, informal economy, Jones Act, large denomination, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, ransomware, side project, Skype, slashdot, South China Sea, the built environment, the scientific method, young professional

Peter’s Scion ended up parked on the street outside. Zula’s Prius was shifted deeper into the bay and Wallace’s sports car was moved in next to it, clearing the alley. During these efforts, Zula’s phone was retrieved and presented to her, by Ivanov, as if it were a Swarovski necklace. “ZULA.” “C-plus, hi.” “It’s not often that I have the pleasure of talking to someone in the magma department.” “C-plus, that is because I am working on a side project here—long story—that Richard sort of put me on.” “Management by founder,” Corvallis said, in a tone of ironic disapproval. Supposedly, “management by founder”—a term of art for Richard doing whatever struck his fancy—had been eradicated from Corporation 9592 a few years ago when professional executives had been parachuted in to run things. “Yeah. So, an informal project. Call it research. Having to do with some, uh, unusual gold movements connected with a virus called REAMDE.”

“Whoever created this virus.” “Oh.” “Who did create it, by the way?” “Unknown,” C-plus said, “but thanks to your niece, we’re pretty sure he’s in Xiamen.” “The place with the terra-cotta soldiers?” “No, you’re thinking of Xian.” “Zula’s been helping you track these guys down?” C-plus looked a bit taken aback. “I thought you were aware of it.” “Of what?” “Her participation. She said it was a side project that you had put her on.” Had it been anyone else, Richard would have said, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about, but since it was family, his instinct was to cover for her. “There may have been some mission drift,” he speculated. “Whatever. Anyway, we have an IP address in Xiamen, but nothing else.” Richard put Egdod into auto-hover mode, then leaned back and took his hands off the controls.


pages: 834 words: 180,700

The Architecture of Open Source Applications by Amy Brown, Greg Wilson

8-hour work day, anti-pattern, bioinformatics, c2.com, cloud computing, collaborative editing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, David Heinemeier Hansson, Debian, domain-specific language, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, friendly fire, Guido van Rossum, linked data, load shedding, locality of reference, loose coupling, Mars Rover, MITM: man-in-the-middle, MVC pattern, peer-to-peer, Perl 6, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, Ruby on Rails, side project, Skype, slashdot, social web, speech recognition, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WebSocket

I would certainly abstract the concept of mailbox names from Unix user ids. At the time I wrote sendmail the model was that you only sent messages to Unix users. Today, that is almost never the case; even on systems that do use that model, there are system accounts that should never receive e-mail. 17.8.2. Things I Would Do The Same Of course, some things did work well… Syslog One of the successful side projects from sendmail was syslog. At the time sendmail was written, programs that needed to log had a specific file that they would write. These were scattered around the filesystem. Syslog was difficult to write at the time (UDP didn't exist yet, so I used something called mpx files), but well worth it. However, I would make one specific change: I would pay more attention to making the syntax of logged messages machine parseable—essentially, I failed to predict the existence of log monitoring.


pages: 719 words: 181,090

Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy

Air France Flight 447, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, database schema, defense in depth, DevOps, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, Flash crash, George Santayana, Google Chrome, Google Earth, information asymmetry, job automation, job satisfaction, Kubernetes, linear programming, load shedding, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microservices, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, six sigma, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics, web application, zero day

Dedicated project time is necessary to enable progress on a project, because it’s nearly impossible to write code—much less to concentrate on larger, more impactful projects—when you’re thrashing between several tasks in the course of an hour. Therefore, the ability to work on a software project without interrupts is often an attractive reason for engineers to begin working on a development project. Such time must be aggressively defended. The majority of software products developed within SRE begin as side projects whose utility leads them to grow and become formalized. At this point, a product may branch off into one of several possible directions: Remain a grassroots effort developed in engineers’ spare time Become established as a formal project through structured processes (see “Getting There”) Gain executive sponsorship from within SRE leadership to expand into a fully staffed software development effort However, in any of these scenarios—and this is a point worth stressing—it’s essential that the SREs involved in any development effort continue working as SREs instead of becoming full-time developers embedded in the SRE organization.


pages: 757 words: 193,541

The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2 by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Strata R. Chalup, Christina J. Hogan

active measures, Amazon Web Services, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business process, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, correlation coefficient, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, delayed gratification, DevOps, domain-specific language, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, load shedding, longitudinal study, loose coupling, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, place-making, platform as a service, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sorting algorithm, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Toyota Production System, web application, Yogi Berra

A team member pointed out that before she did the failover, she verified that the disks had plenty of free disk space because previously that had been a problem. The rest of the team didn’t know about this pre-check, but now it could be added to the procedure book and everyone would know to do it. More importantly, this realization raised an important issue: why wasn’t the amount of free disk space always being monitored? What would happen if an emergency failover was needed and disk space was too low? A side project was spawned to monitor the system’s available disk space. Many similar issues were discovered and fixed. Eventually the process got more reliable and soon confidence increased. The team had one less source of stress. * * * 15.2 Individual Training: Wheel of Misfortune There are many different ways a system can break. People oncall should be able to handle the most common ones, but they need confidence in their ability to do so.


pages: 1,331 words: 183,137

Programming Rust: Fast, Safe Systems Development by Jim Blandy, Jason Orendorff

bioinformatics, bitcoin, Donald Knuth, Elon Musk, Firefox, mandelbrot fractal, MVC pattern, natural language processing, side project, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Turing test, type inference, WebSocket

Who Should Read This Book If you’re already a systems programmer, and you’re ready for an alternative to C++, this book is for you. If you’re an experienced developer in any programming language, whether that’s C#, Java, Python, JavaScript, or something else, this book is for you too. However, you don’t just need to learn Rust. To get the most out of the language, you also need to gain some experience with systems programming. We recommend reading this book while also implementing some systems programming side projects in Rust. Build something you’ve never built before, something that takes advantage of Rust’s speed, concurrency, and safety. The list of topics at the beginning of this preface should give you some ideas. Why We Wrote This Book We set out to write the book we wished we had when we started learning Rust. Our goal was to tackle the big, new concepts in Rust up front and head-on, presenting them clearly and in depth so as to minimize learning by trial and error.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Marissa Mayer: Which was “because you are paying per click or per lead, now we’re going to take your ad and put it on different websites.” Paul Buchheit: AdSense, the content-targeted ads, was actually something that, if I recall, I did on a Friday. It was an idea that we had talked about for a long time, but there was this belief that somehow it wouldn’t work. But it seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as sort of a side project, not because I was supposed to. And it turned out to work. Susan Wojcicki: It was a really novel idea at the time to serve ads that were targeted dynamically. People were saying, “This is a sports site, so we’ll serve a sports ad.” And we were saying, “No. We can actually look at the page in real time and figure out what this page is about.” Paul Buchheit: What I wrote was just a throwaway prototype, but it got people thinking because it proved that it was possible, and that it wasn’t too hard because I was able to do it in less than a day.


pages: 631 words: 177,227

The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich

agricultural Revolution, capital asset pricing model, Climategate, cognitive bias, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, demographic transition, endowment effect, experimental economics, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, impulse control, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, Nash equilibrium, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, profit maximization, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, side project, social intelligence, social web, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, ultimatum game

Their approach also allowed one to think systematically about how natural selection might have shaped human learning abilities and psychology. I didn’t know any population genetics, but because I knew about state variables, differential equations, and stable equilibria (I was an aerospace engineer), I could more or less read and understand their papers. By the end of my first year, working on a side project under Rob’s guidance, I’d written a MATLAB program to study the evolution of conformist transmission (you’ll hear more about this in chapter 4). Entering my third year, with a master’s under my belt, I decided to go back to the drawing board—to start over, in a sense. I consciously took a “reading year,” though I knew it would extend my time to the PhD by one year. You could probably get away with this only in a department of anthropology.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

By the time things were done, I was exhausted and depressed and just really, really unhappy. We all were. But it didn’t have to be that way. That experience taught me to take agency in my own professional narratives, and that endings don’t have to be failures, especially when you choose to end a project or shut down a business. Shortly after the restaurant closed, I started a food market as a small side project, and it ended up being wildly successful. I had more press and customers than I could handle. I had investors clamoring to get in on the action. But all I wanted to do was write. I didn’t want to run a food market, and since my name was all over it, I didn’t want to hand it off to anyone else, either. So I chose to close the market on my own terms, and I made sure that everyone knew it. It was such a positive contrast to the harsh experience of closing the restaurant.


pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, twin studies, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

One night, the topic of conversation was theoretical physics; the next, it was the gliding tones of Cantonese opera, followed by thoughts on why so many coders and mathematicians are also chess players and musicians. The tireless curiosity of these middle-aged wizards gave them an endearingly youthful quality, as if they’d found ways of turning teenage quests for arcane knowledge into rewarding careers. On weekends, they coded recreationally, spinning off side projects that lay the foundations of new technologies and startups. After a few days on the ship, I came to feel that my fellow passengers were not just a group of IT experts who happened to use the same tools. They were more like a tribe of digital natives with their own history, rituals, ethics, forms of play, and oral lore. While the central focus of their lives was the work they did in solitude, they clearly enjoyed being with others who are on the same frequency.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

It worked, and the two Seattleites had a deal. Within months, the two had decamped from Boston to Albuquerque, and Traf-O-Data had a new name: Micro-soft.23 Bill Gates had been like most hackers, with little compunction about the backdoors and gray areas that would allow him to get things for free. He’d gotten in trouble at Lakeside and Harvard for hogging free computer time and for using school and university computers for his own side projects. But now that he and Allen were devoting every waking moment to building a software business, his outrage grew about those who thought they could get code for nothing. Only a few months into Gates and Allen’s MITS adventure, a spool of their Altair BASIC tape got into the hands of a Homebrewer, who, in classic hacker fashion, made fifty copies of it to distribute to other members. Those folks made copies for their friends, and on and on.


The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling by Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross

active measures, Albert Einstein, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, data acquisition, discrete time, inventory management, iterative process, job automation, knowledge worker, performance metric, platform as a service, side project, zero-sum game

Furthermore, each type of cost may require a separate extraction from a source system. Ten cost facts may mean 10 different extract and transformation programs. Before signing up for mission impossible, be certain to perform a detailed assessment of what is available and feasible from the source systems. You certainly don't want the DW/BI team saddled with driving the organization to consensus on activity-based costing as a side project, on top of managing a number of parallel extract implementations. If time and organization patience permits, profitability is often tackled as a consolidated dimensional model after the components of revenue and cost have been sourced and delivered separately to business users in the DW/BI environment. Audit Dimension As mentioned, Figure 6.14's invoice line item design is one of the most powerful because it provides a detailed look at customers, products, revenues, costs, and bottom line profit in one schema.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

“I remember driving”: Personal interview with Zuckerberg, June 23, 2019. “Just don’t fuck it up”: Sarah Lacy, Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good (Avery; reprint edition, 2009), 154. Lacy’s book is another valuable account of Facebook’s early days. obsessed with movies: The Facebook Effect has an extensive description of how early Facebookers used movie quotes. See 97–98. “We put a bullet in that thing”: M. G. Siegler, “Wirehog, Zuckerberg’s Side Project That Almost Killed Facebook,” TechCrunch, May 26, 2010. too old when you return: Kevin J. Feeney, “Business, Casual,” Harvard Crimson, February 24, 2005. landlady: Mike Swift, “Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook: Focused from the Beginning,” Mercury News, February 5, 2012. “Everyone else was like”: Feeney, “Business, Casual.” “I maintain he fucked himself”: Nicholas Carlson, “EXCLUSIVE: How Mark Zuckerberg Booted His Co-Founder Out of the Company,” Business Insider, May 15, 2012. 5 percent: That is the widely reported figure for the settlement.


pages: 801 words: 209,348

Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism by Bhu Srinivasan

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American ideology, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, commoditize, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, financial innovation, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, income inequality, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, oil rush, peer-to-peer, pets.com, popular electronics, profit motive, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

But Japanese manufacturers had one significant advantage: Labor costs were significantly lower, which allowed Japanese goods to be priced much lower. Knight assumed that the impression of Japanese quality would change over time and ordered a few samples. Knight then reached out to his former track coach at the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman. Investing $500 each to form Blue Ribbon Sports, the men started importing Onitsukas from Japan. For both men, the venture was a side project. Knight started a day job at Price Waterhouse as a CPA. After four years, he was able to earn enough from Blue Ribbon sales to quit his job. By 1972 Blue Ribbon was selling nearly $2 million worth of Onitsuka shoes in America. But soon after that, Onitsuka decided to cut Knight out as a middleman and handle its own U.S. distribution. Needing to salvage their operation, Knight and Bowerman looked to draw on their understanding of the needs of runners—Bowerman during this time was serving as the track coach of the 1972 U.S.


pages: 778 words: 239,744

Gnomon by Nick Harkaway

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Burning Man, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive dissonance, fault tolerance, fear of failure, gravity well, high net worth, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Khartoum Gordon, lifelogging, neurotypical, pattern recognition, place-making, post-industrial society, Potemkin village, Richard Feynman, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, the market place, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl

‘Hardly,’ Pakhet says. ‘The System does everything. It corrects the direction of travel. It invents ghost people to start the right discussions, counter-movements in the body politic. It engineers encounters for a sufficient number of people who are voting foolishly, individual, tailored experiences in the everyday which organically alter their perception.’ ‘Serendipitously.’ ‘Yes, of course, Oliver’s side project. Indeed. The System pushes us in the best available direction when we are foolish. It weeds out ugliness. The Monitoring Bill, for example. Two months ago there was simply no chance of it passing. We maintain an irrational boundary at the skin, as if we are not transparent to the machine in a thousand ways already. But the System has evidential studies which say the live-monitoring implant is both desirable and inevitable.


pages: 1,201 words: 233,519

Coders at Work by Peter Seibel

Ada Lovelace, bioinformatics, cloud computing, Conway's Game of Life, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fault tolerance, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, Larry Wall, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Perl 6, premature optimization, publish or perish, random walk, revision control, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, slashdot, speech recognition, the scientific method, Therac-25, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, type inference, Valgrind, web application

Once I figured out that was his role, we got along great. Seibel: So you've hired for your own company, and I assume you've been involved in hiring at Google. How do you recognize a great programmer? Fitzpatrick: I often look for people that have done, like, a lot of stuff on their own that wasn't asked of them. Not just their school project or just what their previous employer had them do. Somebody who was passionate about something and had some side project. How did they maintain it and how serious did they get with it? Or do they do a lot of quick hacks and abandon them? Seibel: Do you have favorite interview questions? Fitzpatrick: One of the ones I've given a few times because it was on my AP programming test is given two decimal numbers as strings of arbitrary length, multiply them. There are a lot of different ways that they could do it.


pages: 941 words: 237,152