great names are like knots—they’re woven from the same stringy material as other words, but in their particular arrangement, they catch, become junctions to which new threads arrive, from which other threads depart.
Pocket 2012 - A Reading List
Behavior change, not growth. Behavior change is about improving the lives of others, scale is about ego. Getting scale after nailing behavior change is easier than nailing behavior change (and thus having a shot at durability) after hitting scale.
Timeliness. Rhythm. Moderation. These things dovetail into what I consider the biggest difference between Slow Web and Fast Web. Fast Web is about information. Slow Web is about knowledge. Information passes through you; knowledge dissolves into you. And timeliness, rhythm, and moderation are all essential for memory and learning.
Sometimes what we really need are friends we can meet once every few months for a bowl of ramen noodles at a restaurant in the East Village. Friends with whom we can sit and talk and eat and drink and maybe learn a little about ourselves in the process. And at the end of the night get up and go our separate ways, until next time. Until next time.
Many of our interfaces are really just ways to try to repackage time so that it’s meaningful, so that we can do stuff with it. It’s not that there isn’t enough time but rather that there’s too much of it.
I can never remember if we are supposed to live each day as it were our last, or if it’s the first day of the rest of our lives. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
I’d try to learn grammar, I’d spend time with my family, and I’d prototype my interactions. And I’d do some user testing. Because even if you are dying you should still do user testing
The only unit of time that matters is heartbeats.
We’re constantly switching accelerations; we’re jumping between time frames. That’s what we’re asking people to do every time we make something new, some new tool or product. We’re asking them to reset their understanding of time. To accept that the sequence we’re asking them to follow is the right way to do a thing. It’s like the farmer with the clock.
he prefers not to talk about them, feeling that whatever value they may have can be talked away.
The fact is that Hemingway, while obviously enjoying life, brings an equivalent dedication to everything he does—an outlook that is essentially serious, with a horror of the inaccurate, the fraudulent, the deceptive, the half-baked.
Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through.
you are more alone because that is how you must work and the time to work is shorter all the time and if you waste it you feel you have committed a sin for which there is no forgiveness.
This real-time barrage of voices works well for talk, because talk is fast, easy, effortless. We do it constantly. So what about things that take longer to make and consume: a song, a book, a film? Trying to squeeze these types of media up into the high-frequency end of the spectrum and expecting that we’ll enjoy them whizzing around our heads at the same speed as our daily chatter might create a missed opportunity to explore a whole other end to the spectrum of pace for personal data
In 1967, when describing the community of the future (our present), Marshall McLuhan predicted “electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of ‘time’ and ‘space’ and pours upon us instantly and continuously the concerns of all other men.” He was right; this is the real-time state we’re currently living in.
successful startups happen because the founders are sufficiently different from other people that ideas few others can see seem obvious to them.
First, the people running the old system don’t notice the change. When they do, they assume it’s minor. Then that it’s a niche. Then a fad. And by the time they understand that the world has actually changed, they’ve squandered most of the time they had to adapt.
At YC we call these “made-up” or “sitcom” startup ideas. Imagine one of the characters on a TV show was starting a startup. The writers would have to invent something for it to do. But coming up with good startup ideas is hard. It’s not something you can do for the asking. So (unless they got amazingly lucky) the writers would come up with an idea that sounded plausible, but was actually bad.
The danger of an idea like this is that when you run it by your friends with pets, they don’t say “I would never use this.” They say “Yeah, maybe I could see using something like that.” Even when the startup launches, it will sound plausible to a lot of people. They don’t want to use it themselves, at least not right now, but they could imagine other people wanting it. Sum that reaction across the entire population, and you have zero users.
you can either build something a large number of people want a small amount, or something a small number of people want a large amount. Choose the latter. Not all ideas of that type are good startup ideas, but nearly all good startup ideas are of that type.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig says: You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It’s easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.
Live in the future, then build what’s missing.
If you knew about all the things we’ll get in the next 50 years but don’t have yet, you’d find life present day life pretty constraining, just as someone from the present would if they were sent back 50 years in a time machine. When something annoys you, it could be because you’re living in the future.
Live in the future and build what seems interesting.
Live in the future and build what seems interesting. Strange as it sounds, that’s the real recipe.