The Big Benefits of Little Changes and More
"Over the years, I’ve worked on many important, large-scale projects, from figuring out high level strategy and blue sky products, to overhauling core flows and IA, to implementing design systems from the ground up.
"Working on these big projects can be exhilarating. They’re often deemed critical by company leadership and various stakeholders, and it’s validating to be trusted with and attached to something so visible and impactful.
"I recently shipped two things at GitHub that had an impact beyond my wildest dreams. The amount of gratitude and love that spilled out of the community is like nothing I’ve seen before. But the things I shipped weren’t these huge, meaty projects. They were tiny."
"You’ve heard the adage “It’s all 1s and 0s”, but that’s not a figure of speech: the transistor, the fundamental building block of computers, is simply a switch that is either on (“1”) or off (“0”). It turns out, though, as Chris Dixon chronicled in a wonderful essay entitled How Aristotle Created the Computer, that 1s and 0s, through the combination of mathematical logic and transistors, are all you need..."
Ben Thompson, Stratechery
Three: The Snapping Point
"This fall, employees on Snap’s product team received a surprising message from CEO Evan Spiegel: stop what you’re working on, they were told. Plans have changed.
"With its stock price falling and user growth stagnant, Snap would undertake a mad dash to overhaul its flagship app. In just over six weeks starting this past October, the company shifted 100 engineers to the project, which was codenamed “Cheetah.” The mission: to simplify Snapchat in a way that shifted its focus from big publishers back to close friends."
Casey Newton, The Verge
"I want to make an observation, which I feel is an important one. However, I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way. For the record, Apple is not doomed. What should be noted, is how fast the Amazon ecosystem is growing. The critical point here is how consumer electronics vendors need platform partners. The question at hand is whether or not that platform partner can or will be Apple or not. As of now, the answer is no."
Ben Bajarin, Tech.pinions
"South Korea’s government said on Thursday it plans to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending bitcoin prices plummeting and throwing the virtual coin market into turmoil as the nation’s police and tax authorities raided local exchanges on alleged tax evasion."
Cynthia Kim and Dahee Kim, Reuters