This week, start here:
Stowe Boyd continues to write wonderful pieces on the future of work, and posted last week on the role of teams within organizations, and the conditions for meaningful teams, namely: a stable, interdependent, defined group a compelling direction with clear outcomes a team structure that facilitates those outcomes social context that supports that team within the org access to coaching at key points in the team’s process It’s quite a fascinating read, touching on both the nature of the teams and the composition of them. This maxim stuck with us:

the more important a decision, the broader the diversity of opinions that should be sought to apply to the decision, and the greater the attention to active and comprehensive dissent.


Links worth reading (or, at least, bookmarking): Stowe Boyd continues to write wonderful pieces on the future of work, and posted last week on the role of teams within organizations, and the conditions for meaningful teams, namely:

Joanna Beltowska of Pivotal Labs has written a really smart guide to creating product and feature demos using animated GIFs — an elegant, simple way to bring instruction to users.

Of particular interest this week: Neiman Marcus allowing users to shop their catalog by snapping photos of coveted items with their smartphones. Most telling: they’ve couched it in their service promise, not as a feature.

Worth bookmarking: MeasuringU has aggregated Net Promoter and System Usability scores for a rather remarkable range of consumer software applications. Curiously, the latest version of Keynote was left off the list.

One of the more interesting pieces we’ve read in some time: the spoken languages in the largest African cities — a continent urbanizing at an incredible rate — are combining to form entirely new tongues that are re-shaping commerce and communication. This will get even more interesting as smartphones continue to proliferate in these spaces, combining slang languages with shorthand written messaging.

A few weeks ago, Marty Cagan posted a terrific piece for the Silicon Valley Product Group outlining the critical distinctions between a product mindset and an IT mindset. It’s a fundamental distinction, and one quite relevant even well outside of the tech startup space.

Another piece worth bookmarking and forwarding around internally: Sloan Review collected a good set of guidelines for hiring analytics talent in a scarce, complicated talent marketplace.

Perhaps you’ve already seen Benedict Evans’ latest deck, this week’s Mobile is Eating the World. In the event that you have not, please remedy that. Immediately. Slide 30 will stick with you:

What would children miss most? Mobile.

Speaking of the children: the kids love Drake — even if fake Ghostface Killah still thinks he’s soft. Proof: he posted three new songs on Soundcloud last weekend, and each already has more than 2.5 million listens. As Fred Wilson notes:

That’s a superstar in 2014.

Speaking of fake reviews: Tom Slee has a piece this week in The New Inquiry praising fake Yelp reviews, and chronicling the story of a restaurant that found itself in violation of terms of use for a service it didn’t opt into. C. Custer’s piece for Tech In Asia on the wearable tech doldrums is getting a bit of attention, and with good reason. This x1000:

It’s a line you’ll have to draw individually, but if you’re annoyed by phone ads that track your app usage, imagine what it’s going to be like when those ads are tracking your pulse.


It’s not our usual brand of funny, but Wired’s piece on the cheap global labor that keeps our social networks free from patently offensive material is absolutely fascinating. We leave you with this thought:

Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world’s social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to “well over 100,000”—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook.

Damn.