Archive for category conceptual & philosophic
Although not a very scientific question it is a very relevant one. Over the past couple of years there has been a drop in how much is being paid per eyeball on an advertisement online. Not because the mass on the internet has become much bigger, no there is not enough return from the advertizements placed. In some cases advertizing online can even have a negative effect when done in the wrong way. What cases these effects? And an even more important question how can we do something about it?
There is an interesting wave of less work, more life mentality change going on in the technology business. This is not new and it has been happening in waves if you look across the borders of the one business paradigm. Research has been done and experiences are shared. Henry Ford was one of the first to publish a big research about the subject and the measure was set at an optimum of 40 hours a week. Is that so? I know people who need more space and want to work less to be more productive. Others are completely the opposite, work hard for a couple of months and take a full month off to do other things. Some are even doing work just for fun.
Some people swear that working long and inconsistent hours gives them more freedom to think about things. Not restricted by the 9 to 5 hours and allowing themselves to continue in a flow when they are in it. Others find that time at home and quiet time really helps them prepare for a productive day. Others try to mix the two. But is it time that ultimately helps us the be more productive, or is it something else?
I find myself two and a half months now in the overly beautify country of Switzerland. The food is good, air is clean and the views are absolutely stunning. With a month of experience now I also got to know the people a bit more. What makes a Swiss national so… Swiss?
What I found mostly is that the Swiss are struggling with their real identity. About 27% of the population is from foreign heritage and in the part where I live it even goes as high as 40%. So determining an average with such a large proportion mixed in heritage can be really difficult. I have however found some things that are really Swiss in origin and can be found in every layer of life here in Switzerland.
In a world of high speed, high complexity and high quality we need smart people to work on smart and innovative solutions. But even though smart people come together at a start-up it can completely fail. Not because of the lack of skill but almost always the lack of culture.
More an more start-up entrepreneurs try and work with remote resources and have the smartest people work on their ideas. Sometimes it works out and things get created but in the start-up work many things go wrong on a simple mismatch of culture. Experts do not know how to work with one another, maybe do not share the same goals and visions. In a small company these things are more important than in bigger ones but a strong company culture can really skyrocket production speed and result quality.
But why is a good developer able to create bad results when the culture is wrong? Why will a normal developer do really good things when in a comfortable cultural environment?
The last decade has seen the arrival of the new digital age. The Internet has become more important then ever and digitization of everything around us has been going on at full speed. The way we consume and pay for products in changing drastically. Digital payments are going up, as a digital sales. Even the physical vs. digital goods are changing where digital distribution of games, movies, tv shows, music and books are slowly but surely moving towards digital distribution. Business models that worked 10 years ago have no chance of succeeding due to the way people use digital devises in their day to day lives.
How does an institute like the library carry over from the “old” business model into a new digital business model?
We all want to create the best technical solution, making sure it flows naturally and that it looks good. But there is always time and budget pressures that do not allow you to create that perfect piece of software that you want. It is always a struggle between quality, time and money that shape the resulting product.
Interestingly there are always ways to cheat yourself out of an issue to fix it later. The solution might be not technically the best but it can work for 90% of the time and when it fails you can make it matter less. Cheating the client out of the best solution might make them happier than delivering a perfect product.
We have IMDB, we have Last.fm, we have Wikipedia and thousands of other database websites with information about media items. Currently we search for information on books, music and video via search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Searching through website that hold all the information is done very well. But the raw results are not always satisfying enough.
Are we looking for a website like last.fm when we are looking to buy an album? I know Google’s shopping filter would be an option for that. But what about lyrics, videos, publishers, local shops and all other kind of data one could be interested in. Last.fm provides a lot of data but with an agenda. Not always ambiguous, focused on music alone and not very singular.
Libraries do have this kind of structure and ambiguity. What they are missing most of the time is completeness of data and the simple fact that it is only data from one library. Can we create a more universal database focused on providing single records of data that contain everything one would ever want to know about it?
Okay… I do a lot… I mean a LOT! Next to a 40 hours a week job I do freelancing work, I do some voluntary work, I do some sports, I find the time to work on personal projects and responsibilities and I have a surprisingly busy social agenda. WTF… my week must consist of at least 200 hours!?
Well that is not the case… Working efficiently, planning and taking that little bit extra time to look ahead makes all the difference. An up to date agenda is a start… but what about those double bookings and those things that tend to slip in unintentionally. How can I deal with on the fly social events?
Everybody always says to me: “you don’t have time, you make it”. I do not agree with this at all. I would rather say: “There is only so much time, better use it well”.
In an ever changing world… they one that is standing still is the one moving backwards.
Many people go to school, college and then university. After they are done they start to work, learn about the trade and keep on doing that until their ready for pension. The modern world is moving at such a pace that 10 years from now we are required different skills to be able to function within a work environment. The tools of the trade are changing and so are the idea behind them. Technology does play a big part in this. But what about you?
“It takes only one person to change your life…you”