Disruption wins — except when it loses

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Disruptive innovation requires viewing the world differently from conventional wisdom. Disruptors who succeed manage to change the conventional wisdom. Disruptors who fail end up victims of the conventional wisdom. And that includes the conventional wisdom inherent in government regulation Disruptors who ignored the rules YouTube was built on pirated, copyrighted content. It violated rules and … Continued

How things fail

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Things break on the internet. The question is: is there anyone left to fix them? And how much of the resulting friction causes people to leave you for a competitor? Friction, like entropy, is ever-increasing Code is forever. It should keep working. But it requires maintenance. Why? Because it does not exist in a vacuum. … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta layoff message was pretty good

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I skewered the email Elon Musk sent as he laid off half of Twitter. Now Mark Zuckerberg has dumped 11,000 Meta employees, 13% of the workforce. Zuck did it right, including clarity about options for laid off employees and taking responsibility for making an error. To be clear, Meta’s management made a serious error in … Continued

Rules for clients

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People who hire freelancers should understand that this is a partnership. What does that mean? If you want us to go fast, you need to respond to our work quickly, and pay quickly. If you want consistency, it helps if your feedback is consistent. If multiple people provide contradictory feedback, it helps if you can … Continued

Why freelancers should prefer “thrill ride” projects

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I hate slow projects. I like thrill rides. Consider this 2 x 2 describing the universe of potential freelance projects, with two dimensions for different types of speed. The horizontal axis describes the amount of work. Is this something that can be completed quickly, like a blog post or a tweet, or a big job … Continued

The collaboration tax in freelance projects

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The price of freelance work goes up as you involve more people from your company in their work. Call it the “collaboration tax.” The best analogy I can give is this: I once hired a carpenter to rebuild the porch on my house. I wanted to see if I could get a better price than … Continued