Silicon Valley: A Reality Check

If you are tired of the negative narrative around Silicon Valley ecosystem, then you might want to read this piece. It does what is missing in many of the news reports in technology — context and perspective. A lot of great things are happening in Silicon Valley — you just have to look.

The unique thing about Silicon Valley isn’t that it’s got overpriced status goods designed to separate rich people from their money. The unique thing about Silicon Valley is that it’s got anything else.

 

All Rise for Aaron Judge

As a fan of the Yankees, it has been a while since we have had a chance to cheer for a homegrown player. It is why I root for outfielder Aaron Judge, who is well known for hitting home runs (13 so far this year) like no one else can. Thank god, I have him on my Fantasy team — which isn’t doing so well these days, thanks to injuries to old guys.

How to take care of your batteries

My dear friend Steve is a very smart guy and he has come up with a gem of post that explains how to take good care of your batteries.

If you try to stop charging around 80% and never drop below 30%, you should be able to double the battery’s service life…..Stay away from third-party chargers.  Not only are you likely to shorten battery life, some have proven to be serious fire hazards ….. Temperature is important.  Below about 40°F capacity drops dramatically.  Heat is another matter.   Anything over about 95°F (35°C) will begin to cause permanent damage.

The whole piece is worth reading!

A reflection on our speedier times

This stood out in this weak & meandering piece about designers and fashion. It is the reality of our world beyond just fashion. There is nothing that has a permanent impact and we are always looking for the next fix:

For better or worse, we live in an age of constant content. It feels like every week, new prestige TV shows premiere, breaking news exposés are published, award-worthy movies hit the theaters, anticipated albums appear out of nowhere and hyped-up clothing drops. Even if you do your best to avoid the incessant news cycle, you’re bound to get hooked at some point. One devastating byproduct our new, always-on world is that the time for true, considered digestion has been whittled down to roughly zero…Meanwhile, the echo chamber around everything moves the needle from classic to trash with seemingly nothing in between….Lately, the fight for relevance—even for luxury brands with decades of history behind them—has shifted from creating something desirable to continually vying for time on the consumer’s radar by releasing new items at all times. It’s now harder than ever to find a signal in all the noise.

Backcountry Drug War

“In the Golden State, dangerous drug cartels are growing pot on public lands—putting wildlife, water supplies, and outdoor enthusiasts at grave risk,” reports Julian Smith in this eye-opening report which needs wider coverage.

In praise of Japan’s United Arrows

United Arrows is doing retail right — in Japan. A lot more US retails chains should be paying attention to them and their formula. They have 256 stores and yet everyone of them feels special. Everything in their store is thoughtfully and tastefully curated. Thankfully for my wallet, I don’t fit into anything they have. If you have great taste then you must visit what is easily my favorite Japanese clothing and fashion store.

A rare interview with Whatsapp’s cofounder Jan Koum

Whatsapp co-founder Jan Koum gave a rare interview to a Russian journalist and it is my favorite read of the day. When asked how the $19 billion dollars sale to Facebook changed his life.

I still live in the same place. I have the same friends, and that is very important. And I have the same job. After the deal with Facebook, 90% of my life did not change.

I am a big admirer of his simple, no-nonsese and low key approach to business.

How successful is the Apple Watch?

Earlier today, Quartz published a somewhat flimsy story about the modest success/relative failure of Apple Watch, without really any concrete evidence on why they think so. I totally understand they wanted to be skeptical, but it would have been good to back it all up with data. John Gruber in a worth-reading piece pointed out that “the nut of every “Apple Watch is a dud” story is the fact that it’s clearly not an iPhone-size business..But if Apple gets it into its head that they should only work on iPhone-sized opportunities, it would paralyze the company.”