iamdanw
The company is obviously now an attractive acquisition target.

Yahoo Stock Gets Crushed As Alibaba IPOs — Core Business Now Valued At Less Than Zero (via iamdanw)

Crazy. They have a few properties (they call them that instead of products) that have usage: Fantasy Sports, News.

But where is growth coming from? Their acquisitions result in founder flight, their mobile experiments haven’t made a dent, and their largest properties see growth flatlining (my best guess) while sucking in more resources. And their display ad rates belie some serious weakness when Facebook captures more of advertisers’ budgets — and mobile display is the future of the industry. They’ve given up on search ads to Google in 2009 and it’s too late to resuscitate search tech. They’re clearly betting on a future of being a media company despite Marissa’s public announcements w the Tumblr acquisition, original content programming, and mobile news efforts.

Dead company walking?

Update: here’s an interesting analysis from Bloomberg about Yahoo’s core business.. arguing that breaking them up may unlock more value then any economies of scale could be had from remaining together. Kind of ironic for their newly acquired properties.

I’ve been noticing the rise of small batch media recently. The NYTimes Now app have editors curating stories from their main org, breaking articles down into photos, videos and quotes and linking them back to the full articles. Just like Tumblr’s dashboard.

It’s a good thing for users. It’s engaging.

But mobile design is in this weird state where everything starts to look the same - designers are basically shuffling a media object (photo, quote, link, etc.), attribution and timestamp around. And if they’re not using a grid, they’re futzing with pixels in a feed/list format.  There are only so many ways to perfect the schema. And pretty soon, every service will converge on full bleed photos, flat little sharing icons, dark text for content and light text for everything else. I’m surprised that Tumblr didn’t have full bleed photos until iOS8.

Convergence makes differentiation a lot harder. The mobile interface is basically a rectangular piece of glass. I wonder if we’re at the tail end of something - have we all reached the finish line of how to display content on a mobile screen? If so, I’m excited to see if we’re at the beginning of another revolution.

This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other.

I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me.

The heart of why I’m still working in tech: to change this.  Mat’s piece is great not only for the content, but his writer’s voice is a more benign version of what goes on in my head as I scroll through stream after stream of content each day (a much more benign version)

Also - masterful SEO troll for the title of the piece. Mat’s been rolling for his last two articles.

continuations

continuations:

In venture capital we come across startups all the time that are building something that has been tried in the past and failed. It would be very easy to dismiss these opportunities based on a naive “pattern matching” approach to investing. Instead at USV we always ask ourselves “what is different…

A thoughtful post by Albert about technology’s impact on the labor market.

We’re in the beginnings of a transformative period where communications and computer technologies are changing the ways we work. And a lot of people are displaced out of jobs they were trained to do.  At a 20,000 ft view, it’s easy to say that technology will create new jobs to replace lost jobs. Makers of horseshoes became mechanics in the last century. A few pages in a history book means decades in real time, and at ground level, there are real people who are in pain because they can’t make the transition fast enough. And as human beings who follow our better natures, how can we care for those people, to make the transition smoother?

Also, I’m skeptical that there’s a perfect 1:1 substitution with new jobs replacing old jobs.  For example, the promise of self driving cars replacing our current vehicles is very different than automobiles replacing horses.  We don’t need humans for self driving cars.  So where do the taxi, limo, shuttle, Uber, Lyft, etc. drivers go to for their employment in the future?

When I worked at Tumblr in the early days, we used to take meetings by walking around the block, getting coffee or tea. As the company grew bigger, meetings meant being in conference rooms.  
Now at my tiny startup, I find that taking active meetings helps Alaric and I whenever we have hard problems to solve.  We invented this game that we’re both terrible at: soccer tennis.  On certain Fridays, we take our co-founder meetings by kicking a soccer ball back and forth over a tennis net.  It helps our brains get creative when our bodies are more active.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun and works a lot of my core.
There are no real rules except that you have to use your feet and you have to not let the soccer ball stop moving. 
We keep having to tell the tennis players that ‘yes, we are playing a real game’. Meetings - necessary - but they can be fun!

When I worked at Tumblr in the early days, we used to take meetings by walking around the block, getting coffee or tea. As the company grew bigger, meetings meant being in conference rooms.  

Now at my tiny startup, I find that taking active meetings helps Alaric and I whenever we have hard problems to solve.  We invented this game that we’re both terrible at: soccer tennis.  On certain Fridays, we take our co-founder meetings by kicking a soccer ball back and forth over a tennis net.  It helps our brains get creative when our bodies are more active.  Plus, it’s a lot of fun and works a lot of my core.

There are no real rules except that you have to use your feet and you have to not let the soccer ball stop moving. 

We keep having to tell the tennis players that ‘yes, we are playing a real game’. Meetings - necessary - but they can be fun!

timoni
timoni:

The Ping-Pong Theory of Tech Sexism, by Ariel Schrag.
This interview is the best reflection I’ve read of how I feel being a woman in the tech industry. I get more respect than a lot of my female coworkers, being on the product side and somewhat technically aware, but I don’t get guy-level respect. My ideas are routinely ignored, or ascribed to other male coworkers.
I know my coworkers aren’t consciously doing this. Calling them out on it is, for the most part, pointless: it will be seen as irrational, overly sensitive, or aggressive. And yet, when I talk to other women, we do generally feel like our expertise isn’t valued, that we have to justify our arguments beyond reason, and that our challenges are simply ignored. It may not be sexism: we may really all just be worse at our jobs. But I doubt it.
So I like the approach this interview takes. No judgements, no sense that men are consciously to blame, just a clear, honest description of how things have been for this particular women during her career.
Addendum: After some reflection, I realized that these experiences aren’t true of my design colleagues; I’ve had uniformly great working experiences with all of them, male or female.

timoni:

The Ping-Pong Theory of Tech Sexism, by Ariel Schrag.

This interview is the best reflection I’ve read of how I feel being a woman in the tech industry. I get more respect than a lot of my female coworkers, being on the product side and somewhat technically aware, but I don’t get guy-level respect. My ideas are routinely ignored, or ascribed to other male coworkers.

I know my coworkers aren’t consciously doing this. Calling them out on it is, for the most part, pointless: it will be seen as irrational, overly sensitive, or aggressive. And yet, when I talk to other women, we do generally feel like our expertise isn’t valued, that we have to justify our arguments beyond reason, and that our challenges are simply ignored. It may not be sexism: we may really all just be worse at our jobs. But I doubt it.

So I like the approach this interview takes. No judgements, no sense that men are consciously to blame, just a clear, honest description of how things have been for this particular women during her career.

Addendum: After some reflection, I realized that these experiences aren’t true of my design colleagues; I’ve had uniformly great working experiences with all of them, male or female.