not too long ago, i announced the last edition of summing up. but i also announced that this series will live on, as there was a lot of positive feedback over the years, encouraging me to continue and to look out for different formats. today, after lots of experimentation, i'll continue summing up. it will be a bit shorter, a bit more unsteady and will feature less unicorns (sorry!). thanks a lot for your support and your feedback, it was heavily appreciated. you're very welcome to subscribe to this little series and get it directly in your inbox along with some cool stuff that you won't find anywhere else on the site. now, without further ado...
i am trying to build a jigsaw puzzle which has no lid and is missing half of the pieces. i am unable to show you what it will be, but i can show you some of the pieces and why they matter to me. if you are building a different puzzle, it is possible that these pieces won't mean much to you, maybe they won't fit or they won't fit yet. then again, these might just be the pieces you're looking for. this is summing up, please find previous editions here.
The Website Obesity Crisis, by Maciej Cegłowski
These comically huge homepages for projects designed to make the web faster are the equivalent of watching a fitness video where the presenter is just standing there, eating pizza and cookies.
The world's greatest tech companies can't even make these tiny text sites, describing their flagship projects to reduce page bloat, lightweight and fast on mobile.
I can't think of a more complete admission of defeat.
amen. macej cegłowski is one of my favourite speakers, his talks are always very insightful, charming and funny. but most importantly he hits the nail on the head. every single time. his talk is about why the modern web is so bloated and slow, and why it matters. i've found this true with my own clients, many of them come to me with ridiculous large websites and few results to show for it all. i've found though, that along with relevant content, the speed of websites is one of the most important factors of success. once, a client told me - after we've finished the project - that their website was the only one which came up when she entered the metro. i liked that.
5 Steps To Re-create Xerox PARC's Design Magic, by Alan Kay & John Pavlus
We live in a world full of hype. When I look at most of the Silicon Valley companies claiming to do invention research, they're really selling pop culture. Pop culture is very incremental and is about creating things other than high impact. Being able to do things that change what business means is going to have a huge impact - more than something that changes what social interaction means in pop culture.
to me, xerox parc is still one of the greatest legends and success stories in computing of all time. so many concepts, like the graphical user interface, the mouse, the laser printer, object oriented programming and ethernet were invented and incubated there. along that, great minds like doug engelbart or alan kay had their heyday there. on the other hand, there are so many companies out there trying to do "innovation", be it r&d labs, startup incubators and similar. this article is a great summary on how you can implement the main points in your organization as well. after all, if your business does not evolve, it'll die.
1,000 True Fans, by Kevin Kelly
Young artists starting out in this digitally mediated world have another path other than stardom, a path made possible by the very technology that creates the long tail. Instead of trying to reach the narrow and unlikely peaks of platinum hits, bestseller blockbusters, and celebrity status, they can aim for direct connection with 1,000 True Fans. It's a much saner destination to hope for. You make a living instead of a fortune. You are surrounded not by fad and fashionable infatuation, but by True Fans. And you are much more likely to actually arrive there.
this article has been around for quite some time and it is certainly famous in certain circles. with good reason. if you're an artist, an entrepreneur or think about launching your own product, it is a must-read. but it also applies to small to medium businesses. the kernel is this: to be successful you don't have to be hugely famous. it is in fact much easier to be important to a selected group of people.