It’s been a crazy past few weeks as I’ve been ramping up at my new gig. Many hundred of lines of code later, we finally released a brand-new version of the product. I’m really proud of what we’ve done in these few weeks. And we’re just getting started! Stay tuned for more awesomeness in the next months.
But I’ve not stopped looking into interesting things. Here’s some things that I’ve come across and been thinking about recently.
I seriously believe that the next wave of self-hacking/productivity will involve sleeping. Longer, better quality sleep. I seriously started reading more about this after a recent interview that Arianna Huffington did on the Masters of Scale podcast with Reid Hoffman. There, she describes her nightly ritual of putting her day to sleep before going to sleep herself. Literally singing a lullaby to her mobile phone, her email, her daily worries. Sleep is an active process, which many of us (me included) pay very little attention to. I have already been collecting my own sleep data for the past year using my Fitbit and have seen the effect (positive and negative) of a good night’s sleep vs. a bad one — give me a graph and I can tell you which night I had a glass of wine with dinner with 90% accuracy. Finally, I recently picked up a fantastic book on the topic, which I’ll cover more after I’m done. Although I’m just halfway through, I’ve already pushing it to everyone I know. Read it. And take a nap.
One of the things that bothered me when I first moved to the US was how easily people would discard something that was broken and just pick up a new replacement. Zero effort to try to fix what’s broken — just wasteful. This is why I’m pleasantly surprised to see that many people are embracing what’s called a “maintenance culture”. There is a really vibrant online community that gives you helpful guides on how to tackle various repair jobs. So get your hands dirty! What’s even better: a recent ruling made it perfectly legal to do repairs on your electronics on devices where some evil companies that want to charge you $$$ to repair their devices (I’m looking at you, Apple). The next step is for their greedy counterparts at Tesla to also let you work on our own vehicle, just like any other car.
Mother of all demos
You may have seen the keynote where Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone to the world. Or talking to Alexa and have it do your shopping or read you a recipe step-by-step as you’re cooking. But 50 years ago in San Francisco, an engineer by the name of Douglas Engelbart gave a demo that was effectively the Magna Carta of personal computing. Imagine a year before Neil and Buzz landed on the moon, this one single demo had the following pieces of technology:
Word processing, point-and-clicking, dragging-and-dropping, hypermedia and hyperlinking, cross-file editing, idea/outline processing, collaborative groupware, text messaging, onscreen real-time video teleconferencing, and a device he called the “mouse”. In short, all the essentials of a graphical user interface (GUI).
Imagine how jaw-dropping that would have been.