side project

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pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau


big-box store, clean water, fixed income, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

As we saw with Michael’s example in Chapter 1, car dealerships were going out of business, and he was able to rent his first temporary mattress space on the cheap. Not everyone would have thought of locating a mattress shop in a former car dealership, but Michael grabbed the opportunity. A spin-off or side project. One business idea can lead to many others. Whenever something is going well, think about offshoots, spin-offs, and side projects that could also bring in income. Brandon Pearce, whom we’ll see more of in Chapter 4, founded Studio Helper as a side project to his main business of Music Teacher’s Helper. It now brings in more than $100,000 a year on its own. Tip: When thinking about different business ideas, also think about money. Get in the habit of equating “money stuff” with ideas. When brainstorming and evaluating different projects, money isn’t the sole consideration—but it’s an important one.

.* Three years later, Brandon’s life is quite different. Instead of living in Utah, he now wakes up in sunny Escazú, Costa Rica, where he lives with his wife and three young daughters. He has ten employees living in different places around the world. He carefully tracks his time and estimates that he spends eight to fifteen hours a week directly related to the business. The rest of his time is spent with his family and on various side projects that he pursues for fun. Brandon and his family used to live in Utah and now they live in Costa Rica, but that’s not the whole story; the whole story is that they could live anywhere they want. When they needed to do a visa run, they went over to Guatemala for eight days, and since Brandon and his wife are “unschooling” their children and can easily take them anywhere, there’s no telling where they’ll end up next.

Because his customers commit for the long term and pay monthly, it’s unlikely that this number will ever go down. Instead, it will continue to increase as more and more music teachers join the ranks. Case Study 2: The Accidental Worldwide Photographer Originally from Michigan, Kyle Hepp is an “accidental” entrepreneur in the literal sense. Having relocated to Chile with her husband, Seba, Kyle made ends meet by working on side projects for AOL while she looked for a job in her planned field of sports management. The South American lifestyle was great, but Seba’s job as a construction engineer was far from secure, and the company started to go under. One Friday afternoon, he received notice that his salary was being cut 20 percent. He declined to sign a new contract and was immediately let go. Two days after learning of the layoff, Kyle was out jogging when tragedy struck in the form of a pickup truck that ran into her at a crowded intersection, sending her flying a hundred feet from the point of impact.

pages: 176 words: 55,819

The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman


Airbnb, Andy Kessler, Black Swan, business intelligence, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, David Brooks, Donald Trump,, fear of failure, follow your passion, future of work, game design, Jeff Bezos, job automation, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, out of africa, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, Richard Bolles, risk tolerance, rolodex, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs

Start a side consulting practice. This is what I did when I began advising PayPal while still working at Socialnet: it was a side project that had the potential to become a full-blown Plan B later on (which it ultimately did). Companies ranging from 3M to Gore-Tex, Google to LinkedIn, pay employees to spend a portion of their time experimenting on side projects. Why not make this a personal career policy? Set aside one day a week or month or even every few months to work on something that could be part of your Plan B. If you have a business idea you want to pursue, a skill you want to learn, a relationship you want to form, or some other curiosity or aspiration, start on it as a side project and see where it goes. At a minimum, just start talking to people. Take a day and arrange five coffee meetings with people who work in an adjacent industry.

Writing skills, general management experience, technical and computer skills, people smarts, and international experience or language skills are examples of skills with high option value—that is, they are transferable to a wide range of possible Plan B’s. Once you’ve figured out which transferable skills to invest in, make a concrete action plan you can stick to, whether by signing up for a course or conference, or simply by pledging to spend one hour each week self-learning. In the next month: • Begin on an experimental side project that you work on during some nights and weekends. Orient it around a skill or experience that is different but related—something that either enhances what you do now or can serve as a possible Plan B if your Plan A doesn’t work out. Ideally, collaborate on this project with someone else in your network. • Establish an identity independent of your employer, city, industry. Reserve a personal domain name (

You gain the “ability to absorb shocks gracefully.”8 Some job paths automatically provide regular volatility (e.g., entrepreneurship or freelancing). In other jobs you’ll have to introduce shocks and disruptions manually. Do so by aggressively implementing the opportunity-creating strategies we discussed in the previous chapter (opportunity and risk are two sides of the same coin, after all): join and create groups, be in motion, take on side projects, hustle. In a phrase, say “yes” more. What would happen if you defaulted to “yes” for a full day? A full week? If you say yes to the conference invite you were tempted to skip, might you overhear a comment that ignites your imagination for a new business or new research or a new relationship? Perhaps. Might it also lead to some dead ends, mishaps, wastes of time? Sure. But both, in fact, are good: you benefit either from a serendipitous opportunity, or from the resilience you build if nothing immediately comes of it.

pages: 304 words: 93,494

Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton


4chan, Airbus A320, Burning Man, friendly fire, index card, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg,, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technology bubble, traveling salesman, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

They set off with a small group of friends, and opened a bare-bones start-up called Pyra Labs that operated out of Ev’s apartment. The group planned to build software to increase workplace productivity. But, starting a pattern that would follow Ev through his career, something better accidentally grew out of Pyra. Ev and an employee had built a simple internal diary Web site that would help Pyra employees keep up to date about work progress. Meg didn’t like the side project and was not shy in expressing her views, calling it just another Ev distraction. One week in the summer of 1999, while she was away on vacation, Ev released the diary Web site to the world. He called it Blogger, a word that had not existed until then. He believed it would allow people without any computer-programming knowledge to create a Web log, or blog. After Blogger rose in popularity among the tech nerds, Meg eventually came around to its potential, but not Ev’s.

He had been at it for hours, turning each leaf with the care of a heart surgeon as he studied every word. When he came across one that might make sense, he muttered it to himself to see how it sounded aloud. “Worship.” “Quickly.” “Tremble.” Then, shaking his head with disapproval, he continued to flip through the dictionary. As the day drew on, he left the office and went home to continue his search for a name to give to the new side project. Finally he stopped, frozen as he stared down at a word, instantly knowing that this might be it. He read the definition, reread it, then quickly dashed off an e-mail to the group. Ev’s efforts to keep Noah out of the status project had lasted about twenty minutes. Just as in the early days of Odeo, if Ev said one thing, Noah would do exactly the opposite. Ev also had other problems to worry about that week: He was busy pulling together documents for the next board meeting, where he planned to suggest selling Odeo to the highest bidder.

Mike Arrington, who ran TechCrunch, a popular Valley tech blog, wrote that Twitter had launched officially and “a few select insiders were playing with the service at the Valleyschwag party in San Francisco last night.” But Arrington didn’t seem too impressed by the new service. He questioned its privacy issues and, in a direct slam to Ev, wondered why Odeo, a podcasting company, was wasting its time on side projects. Although Om Malik’s blog post was kinder, showing interest in the new Twitter contraption, he gave all the credit to a certain drunk cofounder he had shared cigarettes and vodka with the night before. “A new mobile social networking application written by Noah Glass (and team),” Om wrote. Ev tried to fix the press afterward, but it was too late. And although Noah didn’t know it yet, his drunken media announcements were about to have serious consequences.

pages: 373 words: 112,822

The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World by Brad Stone

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, collaborative consumption, East Village, fixed income, Google X / Alphabet X, housing crisis, inflight wifi, Jeff Bezos,, Kickstarter, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Necker cube, obamacare, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, race to the bottom, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

It is not a comprehensive account of either company, since their extraordinary stories are still unfolding. It is instead a book about a pivotal moment in the century-long emergence of a technological society. It’s about a crucial era during which old regimes fell, new leaders emerged, new social contracts were forged between strangers, the topography of cities changed, and the upstarts roamed the earth. PART I SIDE PROJECTS CHAPTER 1 THE TROUGH OF SORROW The Early Years of Airbnb Every great startup starts as a side project that isn’t anybody’s main priority. AirBed & Breakfast was a way to pay our rent. It was a way to pay rent and buy us time and help us get to the big idea. —Brian Chesky The first guest to use was Amol Surve, a recent graduate of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.1 He arrived at his rental late in the afternoon on Tuesday, October 16, 2007, fifteen months before Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, and was greeted at the door by the site’s twenty-six-year-old co-creator Joe Gebbia, who politely asked him to remove his shoes.

The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The Hachette Speakers Bureau provides a wide range of authors for speaking events. To find out more, go to or call (866) 376-6591. The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher. ISBN 978-0-316-38838-2 E3-20161221-JV-PC Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Dedication Upstart Introduction PART I: SIDE PROJECTS CHAPTER 1: THE TROUGH OF SORROW The Early Years of Airbnb CHAPTER 2: JAM SESSIONS The Early Years of Uber CHAPTER 3: THE NONSTARTERS SeamlessWeb, Taxi Magic, Cabulous, Couchsurfing, Zimride CHAPTER 4: THE GROWTH HACKER How Airbnb Took Off CHAPTER 5: BLOOD, SWEAT, AND RAMEN How Uber Conquered San Francisco PART II: EMPIRE BUILDING CHAPTER 6: THE WARTIME CEO Airbnb Fights on Two Fronts CHAPTER 7: THE PLAYBOOK Uber’s Expansion Begins CHAPTER 8: TRAVIS’S LAW The Rise of Ridesharing CHAPTER 9: TOO BIG TO REGULATE Airbnb’s Fight in New York City PART III: THE TRIAL OF THE UPSTARTS CHAPTER 10: GOD VIEW Uber’s Rough Ride CHAPTER 11: ESCAPE VELOCITY Fights and Fables with Airbnb CHAPTER 12: GLOBAL MEGA-UNICORN DEATH MATCH!

Airbnb and Uber didn’t spawn “the sharing economy,” “the on-demand economy,” or “the one-tap economy” (those labels never quite seemed to fit) so much as usher in a new trust economy, helping regular folks to negotiate transportation and accommodations in the age of ubiquitous internet access. The nearly simultaneous emergence of both companies has been striking. For most of its first year, Airbnb was a side project that many dismissed as wildly outlandish. Why would a sane person ever want to sleep in a stranger’s bed? Eight years later, investors valued the company at thirty billion dollars, more than any hotel chain in the world. Those founders who slept on the hardwood floor in Washington, DC? They are worth about three billion dollars each, at least on paper.2 Uber’s potential was underestimated even by its own creators, who saw the service as a useful tool in San Francisco, a city whose cab industry badly underserved the needs of a booming business capital.

pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman


Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

In all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that there’s often a huge difference between an interesting idea and a solid business. In your optimism, forget ye not prudence: changing the world is difficult if you can’t pay the bills. Some ideas don’t have enough of a market behind them to support a business, and that’s perfectly okay. That doesn’t mean you should ignore them: side projects can help you expand your knowledge, improve your skills, and experiment with new methods and techniques. I’m a huge advocate of pursuing side projects as long as you don’t count on them to reliably produce income. Once you have your financial bases covered, crusade all you want. Before attempting to launch a business, take the time to do a thorough evaluation using the Ten Ways to Evaluate a Market. If you’re finding it difficult to be objective, find a trusted colleague or adviser to help you, then test it as quickly and as inexpensively as you can before you fully commit.

To this day, I can’t help but marvel at the thousands of man-hours, the millions of dollars, and the enormously complex processes necessary to make a simple bottle of dish soap appear on the shelf of the local supermarket. Everything from the shape of the bottle to the scent of the product is optimized—including the text on the cardboard boxes used to ship inventory to the store. My work at P&G, however, wasn’t the only thing on my mind. My decision to skip business school in favor of educating myself developed from a side project into a minor obsession. Every day I would spend hour after hour reading and researching, searching for one more tidbit of knowledge that would help me to better understand how the business world worked. Instead of using the summer after graduation to relax and go on vacation, I spent my days haunting the business stacks at the local bookstore, absorbing as much as I possibly could. By the time I officially started working full-time for P&G in September 2005, I had read hundreds of books across every discipline that business schools teach, as well as in disciplines that most business schools don’t cover, such as psychology, physical science, and systems theory.

“The Personal MBA Manifesto,”3 an essay I created to help newcomers understand what the project is all about, has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times by readers all over the world and is still in the top ten manifestos published by after five years. The Personal MBA recommended reading list has been profiled by BusinessWeek4 and has been updated with the results of my latest research every year since 2005. Thousands of do-it-yourself business students from around the world help one another learn and grow every day in the PMBA Community forums.5 In an amazingly short period of time, the Personal MBA grew from a one-man side project into a major global movement, and I left P&G to focus on building the PMBA and working with my clients full-time. As much as I enjoyed leading the efforts of the worldwide PMBA community, I quickly realized that providing a reading list wasn’t enough. People read business books to solve specific challenges or to improve themselves in some tangible way. They’re looking for solutions, and a list of books, while valuable, could only do so much.

pages: 298 words: 81,200

Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

The couple had a young son who was drawn to the “suggestion of magic” in the book’s title, and who spent hours exploring this “portal to the world of information.” The title stuck in the back of his mind, along with that wondrous feeling of exploring an immense trove of data. More than a decade later, he was working as a software consultant in a Swiss research lab, and found himself overwhelmed by the flow of information and the personnel churn in the organization. As a side project, he began tinkering with an application that would allow him to keep track of all that data. When it came time to give his program a name, his mind drifted back to that strange Victorian household encyclopedia from his youth. He called his application Enquire. The application allowed you to store small blocks of information about people or projects as nodes in a connected network. It was easy to attach two-way pointers between nodes, so if you pulled up a person’s name, you could instantly see all the projects he or she was working on.

Eventually, he hit upon a different metaphor for the platform’s dense network. He called it the World Wide Web. In his own account of the Web’s origins, Tim Berners-Lee makes no attempt to collapse the evolution of his marvelous idea into a single epiphany. The Web came into being as an archetypal slow hunch: from a child’s exploration of a hundred-year-old encyclopedia, to a freelancer’s idle side project designed to help him keep track of his colleagues, to a deliberate attempt to build a new information platform that could connect computers across the planet. Like Darwin’s great understanding of life’s tangled web, Berners-Lee’s idea needed time—at least a decade’s worth—to mature:Journalists have always asked me what the crucial idea was, or what the singular event was, that allowed the Web to exist one day when it hadn’t the day before.

He spent most of those years working at CERN, but it wasn’t until 1990—a decade after he had first begun working on Enquire—that CERN officially authorized him to work on the hypertext project. His day job was “data acquisition and control”; building a global communications platform was his hobby. Because the two shared some attributes, his superiors at CERN allowed Berners-Lee to tinker with his side project over the years. Thanks to a handful of newsgroups on the Internet, Berners-Lee was able to supplement and refine his ideas by conversing with other early hypertext innovators. That combination of flexibility and connection gave Berners-Lee critical support for his idea. He needed a work environment that carved out a space for slow hunches, cordoned off from all the immediate dictates of the day’s agenda.

pages: 223 words: 63,484

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky


centralized clearinghouse, index card, lone genius, market bubble, Merlin Mann, New Journalism, Results Only Work Environment, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, Tony Hsieh, young professional

Your candid posts about projects you’re working on, articles you read, or ideas you have—and how your unique strengths play into it all—will engage others. People will likely respect the efforts you take and the decisions you make when they understand the source of your strengths and ambitions. While at work, you might consider volunteering for internal or side projects that will best showcase your strengths and take full advantage of your differentiating attributes. For Noah Brier, this involved a continuing series of breakfasts and a few quick side projects that shared his perspective and talent with the world. For others, it may involve setting up a dynamic portfolio site, doing pro bono work for a nonprofit, or writing freelance articles for local newspapers. Once you have a strategy in place for reaching out to the many constituents of your brand and your ideas, you will want to fine-tune this outreach for particular groups of constituents.

But, when they work, ideas can flourish on a much larger scale. There are many famous long-term partnerships between Doers and Dreamers that have yielded extraordinary results. One such partnership is between Jeffrey Kalmikoff and Jake Nickell, the co-founders of the online T-shirt design community known as Threadless. Starting in the year 2000, Kalmikoff and Nickell grew Threadless from a small side project into a $35 million business. The partnership worked because Kalmikoff is a Dreamer and Nickell is a Doer. During the preparatory phase for Behance’s first annual 99% Conference in 2009, I had the occasion to listen in as the two explained their relationship. “I’m always on to something new,” Kalmikoff said. “I’ll think of ideas for new businesses within our business every day. Jake keeps us on track and reins me in.

In an ideal world, managers would constantly be thinking about how to best utilize their people—and clients would always unearth your greatest potential. Unfortunately, the reality is that bosses and clients are as worried about their own careers as you are about your own. You must take the task of marketing your strengths into your own hands. Once you accept responsibility for marketing yourself, you can start to mine for opportunities. Often, the opportunity to showcase your greatest strengths arises as a side project or extracurricular activity outside the scope of your official duties. Little problems pop up all the time that are, in fact, opportunities to which you can add a unique value. Fight the desire to wait for instructions, and learn to showcase your skills and expertise without an invitation. Effective Self-Marketing Builds Respect Not surprisingly, the serial idea makers who I have met are, across the board, focused on marketing themselves and their brands.

pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston


8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos,, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

Buchheit: Nothing’s totally full-time, but it was mostly full-time. I still had some other projects that I would have to spend some time on, and inevitably I end up with side projects just because something catches my eye and I go off and work on it for a little bit. I think I may have something to do with 20 percent projects as well because I’ve created a few things on the side. AdSense, the content-targeted ads, was actually something that, if I recall, I did on a Friday. It was an idea that we had talked about for a long time, but there was this belief that somehow it wouldn’t work. But it seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as sort of a side project, not because I was supposed to. And it turned out to work. Livingston: This is Google’s AdSense now? Paul Buchheit 163 Buchheit: It’s the same concept.

Later that night, I got home, picked up my car, drove back to Berkeley at 3:00 a.m., and I fell asleep on the freeway and totaled my car. I walked to my dorm and told my roommates, “It’s a good thing I didn’t pay the quarterly parking fee.” So after my third year of college, I took a year off to work, to earn money for my fourth year. Then I got that job at Hewlett-Packard. What an incredible job. And then my career started going up, and I had all these side projects that I was working on and then Apple. So I never really had a chance to get back. But I was close, and I wanted to get back. And in 1981, I had a plane crash. As soon as I came out of amnesia from the plane crash—within 5 minutes I knew that this was the time I was going back to college. I’d never get another chance. So I went back and got my degree. I always liked school and was a good student, a top student.

He also suggested the company’s now-famous motto, “Don’t be evil,” at a 2000 meeting on company values. Although not a founder, Buchheit probably contributed more to Google than many founders do their startups. Gmail was in effect a startup within Google—a dramatically novel project on the margins of the company, initiated by a small group and brought to fruition against a good deal of resistance. Livingston: Take me back to how things got started. Was Gmail a side project or commissioned by Google? Buchheit: A little bit of both, actually. I started working on email software a long time ago. I think it was maybe 1996, but it was just a little project. I had all these ideas that never really went anywhere. Oddly enough, I think I was calling it Gmail at the time, for some other reason. It was just a random project— not necessarily the predecessor to Gmail—but it was something that I’d been thinking about because I’d been sort of unhappy with email for a long time.

pages: 204 words: 54,395

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink


affirmative action, call centre, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, deliberate practice, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, functional fixedness, game design, George Akerlof, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge worker, performance metric, profit maximization, profit motive, Results Only Work Environment, side project, the built environment, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, zero-sum game

Or we can listen to the research, drag our business and personal practices into the twenty-first century, and craft a new operating system to help ourselves, our companies, and our world work a little better. It won't be easy. It won't happen overnight. So let's get started. Drive Part Two The Three Elements Drive CHAPTER 4 Autonomy I 've seen the future and it works. It works in around-the-clock bursts in Sydney, Australia. It works on guerrilla-style side projects in Mountain View, California. And it works whenever it damn well pleases in Charlottesville, Virginia. The reason why it works is because of how it works. On the edges of the economy slowly, but inexorably old-fashioned ideas of management are giving way to a newfangled emphasis on self-direction. That's why, a little past noon on a rainy Friday in Charlottesville, only a third of CEO Jeff Gunther's employees have shown up for work.

According to 3M's former head of research and development, most of the inventions that the company relies on even today emerged from those periods of bootlegging and experimental doodling. McKnight's innovation remains in place at 3M. But only a surprisingly small number of other companies have moved in this direction, despite its proven results. The best-known company to embrace it is Google, which has long encouraged engineers to spend one day a week working on a side project. Some Googlers use their 20 percent time to fix an existing product, but most use it to develop something entirely new. Of course, Google doesn't sign away the intellectual property rights to what's created during that 20 percent which is wise. In a typical year, more than half of Google's new offerings are birthed during this period of pure autonomy. For example, scientist Krishna Bharat, frustrated by how difficult it was to find news stories online, created Google News in his 20 percent time.

And it isn't reserved only for technology companies. At Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., for instance, many nurses have the freedom to conduct their own research projects, which in turn have changed a number of the hospital's programs and policies. Autonomy measures can work in a range of fields and offer a promising source for innovations and even institutional reforms. Initiatives like FedEx Days and sanctioned side projects aren't always easy to execute in the day-to-day maw of serving customers, shipping products, and solving problems. But they're becoming urgent in an economy that demands nonroutine, creative, conceptual abilities as any artist or designer would agree. Autonomy over task has long been critical to their ability to create. And good leaders (as opposed to competent managers) understand this in their bones.

pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott


3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, low skilled workers, Lyft, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, women in the workforce, young professional

A couple of these old associates are now at the forefront of cloud technology. Jimmy decides to take a week off as holiday from SPG and goes out to India to see what they are doing and visit their offices. The more Jimmy investigates, the more he can see the commercial value in his plan. So he decides to take action and begins to learn more about these technologies. He develops a series of side projects that give him a taster of what he could become. For example, he joins a local entrepreneurs’ club that meets every month. He also signs up for an online course in accounting and marketing. In the entrepreneurs’ club, he meets a whole bunch of new people, some of whom are already running their own business. His dream becomes more concrete and as he thinks about possible new ventures, he comes to a big decision.

In his earlier travels to India he met Bob, who has a close working relationship with two Indian outsourcing companies. As Jimmy thinks more about the options he faces, he begins to realize that Bob would be a great partner to work with him. Bob knows the industry and the location well, and points him in the direction of government-sponsored schemes that train start-ups and also provide seed funding. Jimmy in 2019: Three years later and Jimmy is ready to make the leap. All the side projects he has been involved with while he has been at SPG are beginning to pay off. He feels he knows enough about the cloud technologies, has strong links to providers in India, has positioned himself in the heart of a cluster of high-growth small companies, and has good links with government schemes. Over the last couple of years he and Jenny have also taken the opportunity to look carefully at their expenses and decided to change some of their lifestyle choices so as to reduce their general outgoings.

How will Jimmy’s life proceed in this scenario? Many other people over the age of 50 are already making the same decision as Jimmy to start their own company – some, of course, because they have no other option. What is interesting about Jimmy is that this is a decision he planned and prepared for. He began three years earlier to get his tangible and intangible assets in better shape, and the experiments and side projects gave him ample opportunity to learn more about himself and the market. Of course this planning period is rarely available to people who have lost their jobs and are now self-employed. Nevertheless, many small businesses fail and we can assume that there is a high change that Jimmy’s will fail too. But because he has developed his tangible and intangible assets, and in particular strengthened his transformational assets, we imagine that he continues to have options.

pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow


3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

A toilet company in Minnesota revamped its accounting system with it. A couple in New Jersey built a social network for yarn enthusiasts. Rails was so friendly that more people became programmers. In 2006 a couple of guys at a podcasting startup had an idea for a side project. With Rails, they were able to build it in a few days—as an experiment—while running their business. They launched it to see what would happen. By spring 2007 the app had gotten popular enough that the team sold off the old company to pursue the side project full time. It was called Twitter. A traditional software company might have built Twitter on a lower layer like C and taken months or years to polish it before even knowing if people would use it. Twitter—and many other successful companies—used the Rails platform to launch and validate a business idea in days.

BY THE END OF 2012 Google’s Gmail service had become the most popular electronic mail provider in the world. That same year, Google’s AdSense product accounted for more than $12 billion in revenue, about a quarter of the search giant’s total revenues. Each of those products—smart electronic mail and context-based advertising—caught an enormous wave when it launched. Like Twitter, as we learned in chapter 4, both Gmail and AdSense started off as side projects. Google was in the water when the waves of Internet traffic came because it was tinkering with new ideas under the umbrella of Google’s famous “20% Time.” “20% Time” is not Google indigenous. It was borrowed from a company formerly known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, aka 3M, which allowed its employees to spend 15 percent of their work hours experimenting with new ideas, no questions asked. 3M’s “15% Time” brought us, among other things, Post-it Notes.

pages: 361 words: 76,849

The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun


barriers to entry, blue-collar work, Broken windows theory,, Firefox, future of work, Google Hangouts, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Lean Startup, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Stallman, Seaside, Florida, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, Tony Hsieh, trade route, zero-sum game

The most popular copyleft license was something called a GPL, or general public license, and many open source projects used it, including Cafelog. This powerful idea inspired Mullenweg and gave him a choice. While he had majored in jazz saxophone in high school, he'd also learned to program. His father was an engineer and had encouraged Matt's interests in computers, leading to small projects that Matt did for friends and at school. But these were side projects, fixing issues with software other people had made. He thought maybe he had the skills to do something more ambitious and knew the only way to find out was to try. The copyleft license gave him the freedom to start from where Cafelog had left off. On January 23, 2003, in a post titled, “The Blogging Software Dilemma,” he announced on his website he was going to start a new, unnamed project: My logging software hasn't been updated for months, and the main developer has disappeared, and I can only hope that he's okay.

Although there are thousands of plug-ins, most of them are small one-trick ponies that add a small feature or option WordPress didn't provide. BuddyPress was an entire system, an application layer that fundamentally changed what WordPress could do. It quickly gained in popularity because of this, and soon BuddyPress and Peatling were on Mullenweg's radar. Peatling was asked to join the company to continue working on it full time instead of as a side project. Born in England and living at the time in Vancouver, Canada, Peatling had a glorious combination of good-natured humor and a quiet competitiveness. He had, deep in his heart, a desire to make great things. He had studied multimedia and design in college, and through a work-study program in his third year, he had his first job working on the web. He taught himself JavaScript, CSS, and PHP along the way.

I didn't understand how designers could allow something that appeared prominently on every blog post to look so bad. It was the broken window theory gone wrong. I dubbed it NASCAR in reference to how race cars are covered from front to back with logos from different companies, creating a horror show of clashing styles. In what would prove to be one the great underestimations of all time, I asked Beau and Hugo to work on a side project to clean up NASCAR. The design and technical challenges seemed simple, but we were all surprised at how hard the engineering of WordPress made this problem to solve. WordPress excelled at allowing programmers to add new features. If all we wanted to do was add yet another widget to NASCAR, it'd have been easy. But to make all these features work together required rewriting them. Each one had been built differently, with little thought for the existence of others.

pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih


Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill,, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian,, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott:, jimmy wales, Marshall McLuhan, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K

Seigenthaler thoroughly upbraided Wikipedia and what it stood for, as he described his futile attempt to track down the anonymous contributor who had put in the libelous prank statement. He bemoaned the helplessness he felt as the subject of a Wikipedia article that failed to go through the rigorous editorial process he expected as a journalist. Wikipedia’s honeymoon was over. The embarrassment created a cascade of criticism by the traditional media, and many rounds of self-examination within the community. Wikipedia was no longer just a curious side project and a darling of the tech elite. It was in the big leagues now. People depended on it every day. One very wrong entry could overshadow thousands of great ones, and it affected people’s reputations and livelihoods. And because it has become so influential and powerful, Wikipedia has become a target itself. The authorities in the People’s Republic of China have blocked access to it for Internet users inside the country, ostensibly because the grassroots volunteer community and its content are too unpredictable for a government wanting to maintain control.

Souren, from the Netherlands, while on mission in Mali, helped establish Wikipedia in the Bambara language, only spoken by 6 million people in the country. Souren wrote in his report to an open source conference about his experiences: The Wikipedias in Bambara, Peul and Wolof were started in the beginning of 2005. The interface of the Bambara and Peul Wikipedias was partly translated and some articles had been written as part of a side project of a Geekcorps Mali volunteer, in which people were given one dollar for every article placed on-line (with total expenses less than $100). After 2005 there was only sparse activity, and in December 2007 there are respectively 142 and 28 articles. Not much happened to the version in Wolof until 2006, when many tiny articles with no real content were added to the Wolof Wikipedia. Then in April 2007 a Senegalese student living in Italy starting adding a lot of text in Wolof, and in November the Wikipedia reached 500 articles.62 The Wolof language of Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania suddenly got its sole grassroots volunteer: Ibou, a student studying overseas with access to the modern tools of the Internet.

With sophisticated graphics and professionally designed pages, the encyclopedia certainly looked like it was a formidable effort. But the pace at which it was going made the former Wikipedian feel like it was moving in slow motion. Sanger imagined being able to use some of Wikipedia’s open content principles to help Digital Universe push forward, but he did not find much support. In 2006 he started to contemplate other side projects. This culminated in September 2006, at the Wizards of OS conference, where he was invited to speak. He announced to the crowd the start of a project to be called Citizendium, which would be a fork of Wikipedia. He wanted to address some of the flaws he perceived in the Wikipedia model, most notably by eliminating anonymous editing, requiring the use of real names, and installing a layer of experts with extra authority.

pages: 55 words: 17,493

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon


David Heinemeier Hansson, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, side project, Wunderkammern

If Steal Like an Artist was a book about stealing influence from other people, this book is about how to influence others by letting them steal from you. Imagine if your next boss didn’t have to read your résumé because he already reads your blog. Imagine being a student and getting your first gig based on a school project you posted online. Imagine losing your job but having a social network of people familiar with your work and ready to help you find a new one. Imagine turning a side project or a hobby into your profession because you had a following that could support you. Or imagine something simpler and just as satisfying: spending the majority of your time, energy, and attention practicing a craft, learning a trade, or running a business, while also allowing for the possibility that your work might attract a group of people who share your interests. All you have to do is show your work.

pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson


3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Finally, they lay fiberglass and carbon-fiber sheets over the foam and brush resins over them to harden into sheets. By day, they make spaceships; by night, they apply their skills to their more personal dream machines. The path from hobby to industry that created Scaled in the first place remains central to its culture; scratch any Scaled engineer and you’ll find a hobbyist; walk just a hundred yards from their factory and you’ll find their garages. Hobby side projects are how Scaled engineers typically advance. To become an aircraft project leader, you must have proven the ability to run an aircraft project. How do you do this the first time? By doing it yourself. Scaled engineers win the respect of their peers with their homebrew builds; constructing and flying a machine of your own design counts for more than any academic degree in winning the trust and confidence of your peers.

As much as Rutan’s roots were in the DIY movement, the economics of developing advanced designs in secret for big companies and government contracts were irresistible. Most of all, Rutan wanted to design groundbreaking aircraft, not feed the endless demands of the kit business. Today Scaled Composites is owned by Northrop Grumman. For every high-profile design like SpaceShipOne, there is a cruise missile prototype or stealthy drone for the defense industry. The DIY roots are still there in all the side projects of the Scaled engineers in their personal hangars along the flight line at the Mojave airport. But the company itself is a high-security operation. Rutan’s career is an object lesson in both the potential and the limits of the Maker Movement. He used the democratized technology of composites to bring advanced aerospace concepts to amateurs. But the barriers to entry in manned flight, from the costs of manufacturing to the risk of lawsuits, turned out to be still too high to create a viable challenge to the existing industrial aerospace model.

pages: 420 words: 79,867

Developing Backbone.js Applications by Addy Osmani


Airbnb, anti-pattern, create, read, update, delete, database schema, don't repeat yourself, Firefox, full text search, Google Chrome, Khan Academy, loose coupling, MVC pattern, node package manager, pull request, Ruby on Rails, side project, single page application, web application

If you want to stick it on your model, you can also make it a class function: User.validate = function(formElement) { //... }; For more information on validation plugins available for Backbone, see the Backbone wiki. Avoiding Conflicts With Multiple Backbone Versions Problem In instances out of your control, you may have to work around having more than one version of Backbone in the same page. How do you work around this without causing conflicts? Solution Like most client-side projects, Backbone’s code is wrapped in an immediately-invoked function expression: (function(){ // Backbone.js }).call(this); Several things happen during this configuration stage. A Backbone namespace is created, and multiple versions of Backbone on the same page are supported through the noConflict mode: var root = this; var previousBackbone = root.Backbone; Backbone.noConflict = function() { root.Backbone = previousBackbone; return this; }; Multiple versions of Backbone can be used on the same page by calling noConflict like this: var Backbone19 = Backbone.noConflict(); // Backbone19 refers to the most recently loaded version, // and `window.Backbone` will be restored to the previously // loaded version Building Model And View Hierarchies Problem How does inheritance work with Backbone?

Similar to exercise 1, the application will allow us to add new todos, edit new todos and clear todo items that have been marked as completed. For a more advanced practical, see the section on mobile Backbone development. The complete code for the application can can be found in the practicals/modular-todo-app folder of this repo (thanks to Thomas Davis and Jérôme Gravel-Niquet). Alternatively grab a copy of my side-project TodoMVC which contains the sources to both AMD and non-AMD versions. Overview Writing a modular Backbone application can be a straight-forward process. There are however, some key conceptual differences to be aware of if opting to use AMD as your module format of choice: As AMD isn’t a standard native to JavaScript or the browser, it’s necessary to use a script loader (such as RequireJS or curl.js) in order to support defining components and modules using this module format.

pages: 289 words: 77,532

The Secret Club That Runs the World: Inside the Fraternity of Commodity Traders by Kate Kelly


Bakken shale, bank run, Credit Default Swap, diversification, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, index fund, light touch regulation, locking in a profit, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, paper trading, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Sloane Ranger, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, the market place

He wanted to open up a new hedge fund on his own. Maybe he’d even hire a feng shui expert, he mused, to advise him on the décor in hopes of bringing better luck. A fish tank was supposed to help, he’d heard. (Glencore’s office building in Mayfair had two.) He planned to bring his chief financial officer, risk manager, and investor-relations head along with him. As he mulled his next steps, Andurand kept busy with side projects. He had a mixed track record outside of trading. He’d lost $3 million on a friend’s movie project about a ballroom love story. The $13 million investment he’d made in a yet-to-be-developed French ski resort had languished. And he spent $20 million building a high-end resort in Koh Samui, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. In the meantime, he was focused on a touring kickboxing league he had recently put $20 million into, convinced that the underappreciated sport was poised for massive future returns.

But damage to the coastal pipelines had made fuel difficult to transport. Ruggles tried to negotiate deals to sell the Trainer product to competing airlines, but was undercut by colleagues. Meanwhile, an aviation-publication poll revealed that many jet-fuel market participants doubted whether Delta would achieve the desired annual cost savings or set a precedent that other airlines might follow. Despite the troubles at work, side projects kept Ruggles busy. Ivonne was negotiating to buy a cosmetics manufacturer in northern New Jersey, so the two were searching for a home in Montclair, not far from the business she planned to help run. They had flown up to New York to catch a day of the U.S. Open annual tennis tournament, using seats provided by one of Delta’s brokers, and made a family trip of the Las Vegas speech. And Ruggles was making money in his personal account, where he traded contracts on crude, heating oil, and several other high-volume energy commodities in an account registered under Ivonne’s name.

pages: 288 words: 66,996

Travel While You Work: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Business From Anywhere by Mish Slade


Airbnb, Atul Gawande, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Firefox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, Inbox Zero, job automation, Lyft, remote working, side project, Skype, speech recognition, turn-by-turn navigation

We're slow travelers and prefer to have at least four weeks in one place so that we can live like the locals, enjoy the sights, and get work done. We have two sweet dogs who we miss while travelling so we're currently setting up our home base back in Austin, TX and plan to focus on North American destinations the next few years with six-week overseas trips every so often. I love challenging, new things so I typically have one main gig going and then a few side projects. One of the side projects inevitably flourishes and ends up becoming my main gig and that runs on about a two-year cycle, which always keeps me engaged and learning new things. What did you do before you became a digital nomad? (Did you do the same sort of work, or something entirely different?) I was working as a writer for an MBA program in entrepreneurship and ended up managing the technical development team that built out an online delivery platform for the MBA school.

pages: 98 words: 25,753

Ethics of Big Data: Balancing Risk and Innovation by Kord Davis, Doug Patterson


4chan, business process, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing,, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Occupy movement, performance metric, Robert Bork, side project, smart grid, urban planning

Especially my primary editor Courtney Nash who, when I told her I was planning to write a self-published white paper on big data ethics, immediately started investigating whether anyone had signed up to do that for O’Reilly and offered to bring a proposal to the editorial group. Special thanks for recognizing the value of the topic, being its champion, and working diligently to help make sure the project continued to unfold productively—all while making the work read better in the process. That also couldn’t have happened without interim editor (while Courtney was working on a side project of her own—which resulted in a beautiful baby girl), Julie Steele. Julie stepped in graciously, in the middle of a very busy and important time, and helped make sure I stayed between the rails as the work moved forward. And lastly, of course, thanks to Tim O’Reilly for creating an organization that would even consider publishing work on such a topic and for his discussion and insights on technology, culture, and community.

pages: 457 words: 126,996

Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Story of Anonymous by Gabriella Coleman


1960s counterculture, 4chan, Amazon Web Services, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, Debian, East Village, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, George Santayana, hive mind, impulse control, Jacob Appelbaum, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, Occupy movement, pirate software, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steven Levy, WikiLeaks, zero day

Looking for insights into Anonymous‘s surprising metamorphosis from trolling misfits to the misfits of activism, I began an anthropological study of the group in 2008. At first my research was low key, straightforward, and lighthearted. I attended protests and followed discussions on web forums and on Internet Relay Chat (IRC)—one of the most important communication applications for Anonymous (and many other geeks and hackers). In 2011, as Anonymous grew more tentacles and activists initiated dozens of political operations, my side project became my life. For over two years I was constantly jacked in, online for a minimum of five hours a day, struggling to keep abreast of all the simultaneous operations, some of them hidden from my view due to their clandestine nature. Researching Anonymous felt like following a thread through a dark and twisty path strewn with rumors, lies, secrets, and the ghoulish reality of spies and informants.

Radwaddie then interwove pragmatic and moral arguments: “we’re trying to make a point, [that] we disagree with paypal [which is why] we do the thing we do best: ddos.” He wrote that this was what Anonymous was about, not “awesome speeches or fabulous community.” Just as support for Radwaddie’s position seemed poised to reach a consensus, someone named “lark” entered the room with a surprising nugget of information: “the [initial] attack on the paypal blog was one of our own as a side project.” So, in fact, the very first DDoS hit, which everyone thought was instigated by an unaffiliated Anon, happened to be carried out by one of their own. I guess he had just gone about his business quietly, since AnonOps at the time was primarily focused on supporting file sharing. But despite this revelation, it seemed that the momentum could not be stopped. Given the hubbub generated by Trogo and Radwaddie’s decision to piggyback on the first DDoS hit, which everyone thought was accomplished by an outsider, it might seem incredulous that no one responded to lark.

Its beginnings can be traced to a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship I held at the University of Alberta in 2006–2007, and a fortunate introduction to Dr. Stephen Kent, who, in his work as professor of sociology, curates the largest academic Scientology archive in the world. In the midst of a frighteningly frigid winter, I dove into the archive with the hopes of emerging with a short historical side project describing a case known among geeks as “the Internet vs. the Church of Scientology.” Being more accustomed to interviewing people than making sense of heaps of (in this case, very strange) documents, Kent thankfully and graciously walked me through the confusing, fascinating, and at times disturbing innards of an organization so many geeks love to loathe. In January 2008, my historical project leaped into the present when, in the course of targeting the Church of Scientology, Anonymous underwent a broader and surprising metamorphosis from fearsome pranksters to fervent protesters.

pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards


Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, P = NP, PageRank, performance metric,, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

When he added a primitive spell checker to the product search he was building, Urs admonished him for having too many side projects and asked him to stay focused. That attitude changed after he developed the content-targeting prototype. Not just for Paul, but for the company. "I feel like the concept of twenty-percent time came out of that," Paul told me. "I don't think it was ever specifically stated, but it was more officially endorsed after that." "Twenty-percent time" was a mandate that all those in engineering spend one day a week thinking about something other than their assigned projects. Ad targeting in email had not been assigned to anyone, and most who heard about it vehemently opposed it. Paul built it anyway, and the company's thinking shifted overnight. Other engineers had also done side projects that looked promising, like Krishna's Google news service.

Working for Jonathan would be like enrolling at MIT. I didn't want to go to MIT. My squabbles with Marissa over user-interface issues had ebbed and flowed, with the launch of Google news in September 2002 bringing both high points and lows. Marissa took particular pride in Google news, which automatically scanned thousands of news sources and extracted the ones that seemed most important. Krishna Bharat had started it as a side project, and after 9/11 had worked on it in earnest. Marissa made sure that Google news, like a favored child, moved to the front of the line for whatever goodies the company doled out. One of those was positioning as a tab right above the search box on the homepage. When the UI team questioned why we hadn't met to discuss such a major change, Marissa asserted it had always been planned that way.

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

The X Lab was intended to push Google into new markets. Google felt secure in its Web search monopoly so, with a profit stream that by the end of 2013 was more than $1 billion a month, the search company funded ambitious R & D projects that might have nothing to do with the company’s core business. Google was famous for its 70-20-10 rule, which gave its engineers free time to pursue their own side projects. Employees are supposed to spend 10 percent of their time on projects entirely unrelated to the company’s core business. Its founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page believed deeply in thinking big. They called their efforts “moon shots”: not pure science, but research projects that were hopefully destined to have commercial rather than purely scientific impact. It was a perfect environment for Thrun.

Cheyer’s entreaties to work together on a common project that integrated a huge swath of ideas into a new “cognitive” architecture largely fell on deaf ears. The teams listened politely because they were interested in the next round of money, and they would deliver software, but they all wanted to pursue their own projects. In the end there was no way that a large and bureaucratic program could have a direct impact in the real world. To cope with his frustrations he laid out a series of side projects to work on in 2007. They ranged from efforts to commercialize the CALO technology to the creation, with several friends, of an activists’ social network called It would be a remarkably productive year for Cheyer. With a graduate student, Didier Guzzoni, he used CALO technologies to build a new software development system that eventually became the foundation for Siri. He also put together a small development team that started commercializing various other components of Siri for applications like smartphone calendars and online news reading.

He also put together a small development team that started commercializing various other components of Siri for applications like smartphone calendars and online news reading. He also quietly helped to cofound Genetic Finance, a stealth machine-learning company that built a cluster of more than one million computers to solve financial problems such as predicting the stock market. In the midst of all of this, Cheyer approached SRI management to ask for some IR & D funding and told them, “I want a little side project where I’m going to build my own CALO the way it should be done.” He wanted to build a single integrated system, not a patchwork quilt from dozens of different organizations. SRI agreed, and he named his project “Active Ontologies.” He ran it quietly alongside the much larger operation. The project gained more traction when a key group of SRI technical leaders met for a daylong retreat in Half Moon Bay, a beach town close to the Menlo Park laboratory.

pages: 240 words: 109,474

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner


Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, book scanning, Columbine, corporate governance, game design, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, Marc Andreessen, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software patent, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, X Prize

He loved his new wife, Beth, and sons, Michael and Steven, who, though still in California, could proudly call him their dad. He had become the man he had envisioned all those years before. One night back at the office, Romero decided to share his feeling of success. He stepped into Carmack’s office to find his partner, as usual, sitting at 140 his PC with a Diet Coke. Since Doom’s release, Carmack had immersed himself in side projects: programming conversions or ports of Doom for other game platforms, including the Atari Jaguar and the new console from Sega. Id was getting good money for the gigs, $250,000 from Atari alone. But for Carmack it wasn’t the cash that was intriguing, it was the opportunity to get back into the trenches. This was what he truly loved: the work, the rolling up of the sleeves, the challenging of his intellect.

What kind of project director was that? In Romero’s mind Quake was coming alone just fine. Carmack was busy working on what he knew would be the next killer game program. There was no reason to rush Engine John. The rest of the company had to just be patient and get ready to throw on the great game design. The best thine they could do was find ways to be productive. Romero chose to spend this time by immersing himself in side projects that he felt would have direct benefit to the company. But he could sense that they wanted to blame him for not getting the game done, that he wasn’t doing enough work. They viewed his detachment, his flipped bit, as a sign that their resident rock star was spinning, if not crashing, his wheels. Their attitude was starting to piss him off. So what if he was going home at 7:00 P.M.? He had a wife.

pages: 362 words: 99,063

The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late by Michael Ellsberg


affirmative action, Black Swan, Burning Man, corporate governance, creative destruction, financial independence, follow your passion, future of work, hiring and firing, job automation, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, mega-rich, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Norman Mailer, Peter Thiel, profit motive, race to the bottom, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Ballmer, survivorship bias, telemarketer, Tony Hsieh

But suffice it to say, when I finally went on my first date with my wife, Jena, I had learned enough from all those blunders to avoid the clod-head mistakes of my past and to woo her properly that one spring night in 2008. And that was the date that really mattered. You only need one, in a whole lifetime. ■ DUSTIN MOSKOVITZ’S STORY In early 2004, Dustin Moskovitz was working a twenty-hour-perweek job as a computer system administrator, on top of forty or so hours a week of classes and homework as a sophomore at Harvard. And then there was this little side project he and some of his dorm buddies were working on, called It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Facebook was not a sure thing as one of the most significant phenomena in the history of human communication and social life. There was a time when it was a few kids sitting in a dorm room, and it had sixty or seventy thousand users—far fewer users than many now-folded companies have boasted before.

It doesn’t really know what business it’s in, to be frank, or what product or service it sells. In fact, it may not even know that for a few years. The chief executive in the business may have to move back in with her parents at some point during this time—before she figures out the business’s mission, revenue model, or core competency. (Oh, and by the way, the CEO is quite immature. She is often irresponsible and from time to time becomes distracted by side projects, like partying.) The business you’re about to invest in has absolutely no knowledge or experience in sales or marketing. It doesn’t even really know how to keep its own books or balance a budget, and often runs up a lot of credit card debt. It’s not even sure it wants to be a business; the CEO may want to start a nonprofit, pursue a passion in acting, or go help orphans in Botswana. The chief executive has no business network or contacts to speak of, and in fact has no experience whatsoever running a business.

pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker


3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel,, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Threadless’s business model arose by accident. The founders originally thought they were in the web services business, selling consulting to firms who needed websites. But selling web consulting didn’t scale: each project had to be negotiated individually, each project required dedicated staff, and after completion, no project could be resold without modification. The company founders launched the T-shirt contest website as a side project to illustrate their capabilities. It was simply an online copy of an offline contest that one of the founders had entered. When this side venture exploded in popularity, its enormous scalability advantages became obvious. Scaling a network requires that both sides of the market grow proportionally. For example, one Uber driver can serve an average of about three Uber riders an hour. It would make no sense for Uber to have one rider and 1,000 drivers—nor 1,000 riders and one driver.

The notion of a payment mechanism that could potentially liberate millions of people from reliance on government-sponsored currency also appealed to the idealistic Thiel’s libertarian streak, much as another ambitious online payment platform—Bitcoin—would fire the imagination of libertarians a decade later. Nonetheless, Confinity attracted few users. After two years, having gained only 10,000 signups, Levchin and Thiel shut Confinity down. Along the way, however, they unlocked a much more promising business prospect. Back in October 1999, a Confinity engineer had cobbled together an online demo to accept payments via email. This side project represented a significant potential improvement in payments processing; unlike previous systems for online payments, it allowed anyone in the world to receive an online payment from anyone else without needing to use the unwieldy system for transferring funds from one bank account to another. Levchin and Thiel recognized that it might be possible to turn this new form of online payment into a significant business on its own—one that could serve millions of consumers and the online businesses they patronized.

pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive,, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator, yield management

And they had the perfect idea for where to launch it: South by Southwest, or “Southby,” as it’s known, the Austin-based tech, music, and film-festival confab that had become the preeminent technology-industry gathering in the United States. But they knew they needed to convince Blecharczyk; they couldn’t do it without him. They called him up and said they had something they were really excited about and asked him to dinner, where they pitched the idea to him. He was reluctant. He liked the idea, and he knew from his time living with Gebbia, when they’d help each other out on side projects on nights and weekends, that they shared a similar work ethic. He felt the three of them would make a good team, but as he listened to his designer friends’ more grandiose vision, he became apprehensive about the amount of work they were describing. Most of it would fall on him, the only engineer of the three of them, and it would need to be done in just a few weeks in order to get up and running in time for South by Southwest.

Demo Day was set for March; “profitable” was defined by Graham as “Ramen profitable”—raising enough for the entrepreneurs to afford to feed themselves, even if on cheap store-bought noodle mixes. They had three months. Going in, Chesky, Gebbia, and Blecharczyk had made a pact with one another that for three months they’d give it their all. They’d wake up at 8 a.m. and work until midnight, seven days a week. For once, they would be 100 percent focused; none of them would work on any other side projects. And they decided that if on the last day they didn’t get funding, they would go their separate ways. After Graham’s introductory lecture, they made their own version of the hockey-stick revenue chart he had showed them and taped it to their bathroom mirror so it was the first thing they saw when they woke up and the last thing they saw before they went to bed. They would update it every week.

pages: 394 words: 118,929

Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software by Scott Rosenberg


A Pattern Language, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall,, call centre, collaborative editing, conceptual framework, continuous integration, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook,, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Howard Rheingold, index card, Internet Archive, inventory management, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, life extension, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, software studies, source of truth, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Therac-25, thinkpad, Turing test, VA Linux, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

The programmers understood that until they had answers, no significant work could proceed. They were all stuck, stymied—in the software business’s preferred term, blocked. The back-end work Chandler needed led directly into a maze of tough technical decisions, and McCusker quickly found himself at the center of it. An enthusiastic blogger who used his Web site, named Treedragon, to chronicle his own side projects developing new programming languages, McCusker filled blog entries in the days after his start at OSAF with enthusiastic, point-by-point responses to technical emails. One email he posted from a developer whom he didn’t name read: Please don't blow it and reinvent what Python and Zope [a Python-based project] developers have already created. Python and Zope have been in development for years and there is a treasure trove of great technology in this tool chest.

Ward Cunningham’s wiki, for example, came about not because the programmer set out to build Web pages that anyone could add to but because he wanted his collaborators to be able to fix their own mistakes. The young developers who started a small company named Pyra in 1999 aimed to produce a collaborative project management tool; they also built a small program to write a Web journal and communicate with their users. That little side project became Blogger, the largest blogging service in the world, with millions of users (Google acquired it in 2003). Ludicorp was a software company that prototyped a system for a “massive multiplayer online role-playing game”; the project, called the Game Neverending, ended pretty quickly, but its creators revamped some of its parts and built the Flickr photo-sharing service, which became the toast of the Web in 2004 (and was acquired by Yahoo!

pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli


Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

DESPITE THE MANAGEMENT mess at Apple, veterans of those years remember Apple as a company with a unique soul, and cite Steve as a powerful inspiration. The long and winding development of the Macintosh is the saga that best shows why Steve remained so admired even as he was so instrumental in tearing apart the company he loved. To understand this, we need to take a step back chronologically, to the fall of 1980, when Scotty dumped Steve from the Lisa team. At the time, he had suggested that Steve take a look at an intriguing side project being run by Jef Raskin, a smart, idiosyncratic, theoretically inclined former college professor whose first job at Apple had been to supervise the preparation of user manuals and product documentation for the Apple II. Steve thought Raskin was a pedantic egghead, but he was intrigued by the goal of his project: to create a consumer-oriented “computer appliance” that would sell for just $1,000.

But after several years of funding Pixar and NeXT, only a fraction of that fortune remained. Pixar’s revenues were stagnant, and Steve was writing one check after another to keep the thing afloat. The world’s most famous computer entrepreneur was in danger of drifting into the middling obscurity that has enveloped so many other one-hit wonders of the technology world. Shutting down this expensive side project would have made enormous sense. And yet Steve persisted. He had idiosyncratic reasons for doing so. The easiest to understand is that he desperately did not want to admit to having failed. After his ignominious departure from Apple, and in the absence of a tangible success at NeXT, Steve was basically keeping his reputation alive with announcements of milestones that weren’t really milestones.

pages: 461 words: 128,421

The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra

He initiated a national discussion among statisticians and economists over how best to put together indexes of consumer prices. He founded a company that provided weekly price indexes to newspapers around the country. He argued for linking business contracts and bond interest rates to inflation (it took a mere eighty-six years for the U.S. government to follow up on this suggestion by launching Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS, in 1997).23 As a side project, he also tried to bring indexing to the stock market. The Dow averages were and are merely that—averages of the prices of the selected stocks. This measure generates some deeply weird results. To use two modern Dow constituents as examples, General Electric was selling for $36 a share at the end of 2007 and Caterpillar for $72. As a result, Caterpillar had twice the impact on the average that GE did, even though Caterpillar’s overall stock market value, or capitalization, was only 12 percent of GE’s.24 Price indexes avoid this nonsense by weighting stocks—by volume of transacted shares or, most commonly, by market capitalization.

Within a decade, MIT had built a department around Samuelson that left Harvard’s in the shade. One recent history of economic thought (Jürg Niehans’s A History of Economic Theory) devotes twenty-four pages to Samuelson’s ideas. Adam Smith only gets thirteen.1 Samuelson’s work on stock markets and the random walk takes up less than two of those twenty-four pages. He was “the last generalist in economics,” as he liked to say, and for him financial market studies were just a side project that he at times seemed deeply ambivalent about. His intervention was, however, crucial to the triumph of the random walk. Here was one of the most important economists of all time, and he didn’t think the relationship between coin flips and the stock market was a dinner-speech triviality. The son of successful immigrant parents in Gary, Indiana, Samuelson arrived at the University of Chicago in 1932 and fell hard for the elegant logic of neoclassical economics.

pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow


Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, David Heinemeier Hansson, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Mike McDerment developed the first generation of while running a four-person design studio. He was using Microsoft Word to send an invoice and hit Save instead of Save As, accidentally erasing an old invoice. With the old invoice gone, he had no way of tracking it for his business or the tax man. Determined to develop an invoicing tool that was easy to use for a small company like his, he developed as a side project. “It took over sixteen months to bring a product to market,” McDerment told me. “When we launched, no one cared, and twenty-four months after starting, we had only ten paying customers and revenues of $99 per month. We moved into my parents’ basement for three and a half years.”2 By 2014, FreshBooks had paying customers in 120 countries, and McDerment & Co. had moved out of his parent’s basement into digs that housed more than 100 employees.

pages: 207 words: 63,071

My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technology bubble, traffic fines

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell expected his commanders in the field to make decisions when they had 40 percent of the potentially available information. In life-or-death situations. And you think you need more information?! Day 27. Set up a virtual office. Search for “Web 2.0 applications” online and start implementing tools to make you a mean, lean, 178 APPENDIX B virtual machine. Online: Tools that will make you lean and mean are available. Day 28. Have multiple side projects going. Diversify your portfolio of interests and activities. Day 29. Be funny. Humor can be scarce in a serious world. Be that guy people want to be around. Research humor and good oneliners. Online: Funny business: humor for the busy executive. Day 30. Make people feel like a million bucks. It all starts with people. Here’s a tip: if you’re going to compliment someone, do it in public. Appendix C: Ben’s Reading List I’m a bookslut.

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

If you go talk to 10 girls and nine laugh and spit in your face and one turns into a deeply meaningful relationship that you spend years in and is emotionally satisfying, it’s still a net positive by a wide margin. If you start 10 companies, lose $1000 on the first nine and make $1 million on the 10th, you’re net positive even though you “failed” nine out of then times. Section 4 30. To download the full interview with Derek Sivers about how he turned a side project, CD Baby, into a 75 person business and the qualities of musicians that are successful selling online (and how those lessons transfer to other industries), go to 31. To download an interview with Dan on how he turned a $40,000 per year web design agency Into a $40,000 per month recurring revenue service, go to Chapter 8 32. Kevin Kelly, write about his the phenomenon in more detail at 33.

pages: 458 words: 46,761

Essential Sqlalchemy by Jason Myers, Rick Copeland


create, read, update, delete, database schema, Ruby on Rails, side project, web application

Prior to switching to development a few years ago, he spent several years as a systems architect, building data centers and cloud architectures for several of the largest tech companies, hospitals, stadiums, and telecom providers. He’s a passionate developer who regularly speaks at local and national events about technology. He’s also the chair of the PyTennessee conference. He loves solving health-related problems, and has a side project, Sucratrend, devoted to helping diabetics manage their condition and improve their quality of life. He has used SQLAlchemy in web, data warehouse, and analytics applications. Rick Copeland is the co-founder and CEO of, an Atlanta-based company that provides a SaaS solution for the email compliance and deliverability space. He is also an experienced Python developer with a focus on both relational and NoSQL databases, and has been honored as a MongoDB Master by MongoDB Inc. for his contributions to the community.

pages: 183 words: 49,460

Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling


8-hour work day,, inventory management, Lean Startup, Marc Andreessen, Network effects, Paul Graham, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, SpamAssassin, Superbowl ad, web application

They’ve been able to focus on filling the exact needs of their customers and as a result they own a large portion of the countertop scheduling software market. Starting for the Right Reasons Most developers want to build software products for the wrong reasons. Reason #1: Having a Product Idea If you have an idea for a product, odds are high that you have project/product confusion. A project is a software application that you build as a fun side project. The code is fun to write because you’re not concerned about quality and performance, and the end result is a neat little application that likely isn’t of use to many people. A product is a project that people will pay money for. In other words, it’s a project that has a market (a group of people who want to buy it). Without a market, a software application is just a project. Most developers who come up with an idea know exactly how they will build it, but no idea how they will reach potential customers.

pages: 200 words: 60,987

The Invention of Air: A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America by Steven Johnson


Albert Einstein, Chance favours the prepared mind, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, Danny Hillis, discovery of DNA, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kevin Kelly, planetary scale, side project, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, zero-sum game

In the popular folklore of American history, there is a sense in which the founders’ various achievements in natural philosophy—Franklin’s electrical experiments, Jefferson’s botany—serve as a kind of sanctified extracurricular activity. They were statesmen and political visionaries who just happened to be hobbyists in science, albeit amazingly successful ones. Their great passions were liberty and freedom and democracy; the experiments were a side project. But the Priestley view suggests that the story has it backward. Yes, they were hobbyists and amateurs at natural philosophy, but so were all the great minds of Enlightenment-era science. What they shared was a fundamental belief that the world could change—that it could improve—if the light of reason was allowed to shine upon it. And that belief emanated from the great ascent of science over the past century, the upward trajectory that Priestley had so powerfully conveyed in his History and Present State of Electricity.

pages: 190 words: 52,865

Full Stack Web Development With Backbone.js by Patrick Mulder


Airbnb, create, read, update, delete, Debian, MVC pattern, node package manager, Ruby on Rails, side project, single page application, web application

Find us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Watch us on YouTube: Acknowledgments This book wouldn’t have been possible without the help of many hands. First, there were the JavaScript pair programming sessions I did with Béla Varga, who is involved in a number of communities for JavaScript development (MunichJS, Coding Dojo), and helped me a lot changing my Ruby-developer biased view on JavaScript. I want to thank Andrea Notari, Daniele Bertella, and Aurélie Mercier for investing time in a side project that led to experimenting with Backbone.js in the first place. We are trying to make digital work more accessible and transparent. Thanks for valuable feedback and discussion from Lucas Dohmen, Michael Hackstein, Mathias Lafeldt, Radoslav Stankov, Colin Megill, Eric Trom, Ryan Eastridge, Mike Dvorkin, Martin Gausby, Jeremy Morrell, Jean Carlos Menino, Axel Rauschmayer, Phi‐ lip Fehre, Roman Sladeczek, Laust Rud Jacobson, Yi Cao, Dave Cadwallader, Nikhilesh Katakam, Patrick Dubroy, Ted Han, Jeremy Ashkenas, Jason Crawford, Peter de Croos, Adam Krebs, Tim Griesser, Sara Robinson, Kevin Sweeney, Petka Antonov, and Gorgi Kosev.

pages: 177 words: 54,421

Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday


activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Burning Man, delayed gratification, Google Glasses, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, Paul Graham, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, side project, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Upton Sinclair

Convinced that continued success was simply his by right, he seemed to bristle at concepts like discipline, organization, or strategic planning. Employees were not given enough direction, and then at other times, overwhelmed with trivial instructions. DeLorean couldn’t delegate—except to lackeys whose blind loyalty was prized over competence or skill. On top of all this, he was often late or preoccupied. Executives were allowed to work on extracurricular activities on the company dime, encouraged specifically to chase side projects that benefited their boss at the expense of the company. As CEO, DeLorean often bent the truth to investors, fellow officers, and suppliers, and this habit was contagious throughout the company. Like many people driven by a demon, DeLorean’s decisions were motivated by everything but what would have been efficient, manageable, or responsible. Instead of improving or fixing GM’s system, it’s as if he threw out order altogether.

pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport


Apple II, bounce rate, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

He planned to go meet the people, hear their stories, and help explain how the principles of archaeology can lead them to figure out whether or not a medieval organization of knights was actually traipsing around the hills of Pittsburgh. Not only would he meet them but he would also film the encounters, with the eventual goal of producing a documentary on the most interesting case. He called the project The Armchair Archaeologist. He envisioned this side project taking five or ten years—something to work on alongside his filming in the Teotihuacan Valley. “I figured, at the very least, I could show it to the students in my intro archaeology classes,” he said. On a Sunday morning, not long after hearing the call about the Knights Templar treasure, Kirk gathered a cameraman and soundman, and headed out to Pittsburgh to investigate the claim. “He was the coolest guy,” Kirk recalls.

pages: 190 words: 53,409

Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy by Robert H. Frank


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, attribution theory, availability heuristic, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, deliberate practice,, endowment effect, experimental subject, framing effect, full employment, hindsight bias, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, invisible hand, labor-force participation, labour mobility, lake wobegon effect, loss aversion, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, Paul Samuelson, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, side project, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, ultimatum game, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, winner-take-all economy

I managed to publish a few papers while I was at Yale, so Harvard expressed some interest in me and my work. I expressed a little interest back and got hired, got tenured, and got bored, all in a little over a decade. That was the 1990s for me. Then I got a plush job with my own research team at the National Institutes of Health. We were doing some work with action potentials in neuronal firing when I started getting distracted by a side project we’d discovered with mRNAs. The NIH expressed some mild interest but they were taking too long to approve the project, get funding, yada yada, so once my contract was up, I was out of there. My partner and I founded the H. J. Institute soon after I delivered a paper at a conference at Berkeley. A group of investors approached us after that conference and laid out this whole elaborate business plan for raising twenty million in under a year to set up labs, hire some solid, good people, you know.

pages: 202 words: 62,199

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown


Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix,, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto

He simply asks if the person is someone he’d want to work with every day. “One of the ways we think about this is,” he says, “could this person have been one of the founding members of the team?” If the answer is yes, he knows he’s found someone who will fit right in.2 Opportunity Knocks Being selective when deciding what opportunities to go after is one thing, but it can get even harder when opportunities come to us. We get a job offer we didn’t expect. A side project comes along that isn’t really what we do, but it is easy cash. Someone asks us to help out with something we love doing, but it is unpaid work. An acquaintance has a time share available in a less-than-ideal location but at a discounted rate. What do we do? The fear of missing out goes into full effect. How can we say no; the offer is right here for the taking. We might never have gone after it, but now it is so easy to get it we consider it.

pages: 233 words: 58,561

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Braden Kowitz


23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Anne Wojcicki, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Wall-E

Instead of fighting, the game encouraged players to collaborate, solve problems, and chat together in groups. Unfortunately—say what you will about society—this unusual game with its emphasis on good behavior never caught on with a big audience. When it became obvious that Glitch wasn’t going to be a hit, the company did something strange. Instead of making a different game or closing down, they shifted their efforts to a side project: a messaging system they had originally built for their own use. The startup’s founder, Stewart Butterfield, had a hunch that this messaging system could be useful to other companies, too. So they launched it to the public, and named it Slack. Technology companies went bonkers for Slack. A year after launch, more than 500,000 people on more than 60,000 teams used Slack every single day. For workplace software, this kind of growth was unheard of.

The Handbook of Personal Wealth Management by Reuvid, Jonathan.


asset allocation, banking crisis, BRICs, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, diversification, diversified portfolio, estate planning, financial deregulation, fixed income, high net worth, income per capita, index fund, interest rate swap, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, market bubble, merger arbitrage, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, short selling, side project, sovereign wealth fund, statistical arbitrage, systematic trading, transaction costs, yield curve

ɀ A conservative level of mortgage, to ensure that the property is not too highly geared (this may no longer be a choice) ɀ Good asset management companies to ensure the safety of your property investment ɀ Presence of a healthy rental market - be it in tourism (through which hotels, restaurants, individual short let property owners benefit) or the services sector ( i.e. leased buildings, front offices, yacht marinas, ski resorts) ɀ Feasibility study to ensure the long term sustainability of the project ɀ Ultimately one should assess capital returns against the initial investment and cost of purchase. On the commercial side, projects in the leisure industry in major Cities and ski resorts would enhance an asset investment fund. Sea side resorts are limited to upmarket areas where yacht marinas are in high demand. Due diligence could be a lengthy process and even more so in this cautious environment. This is a trying time since while spending time and money on researching an asset, one can be out bid by another buyer. Of course there should be no compromise on this stage of the purchase.

Microchip: An Idea, Its Genesis, and the Revolution It Created by Jeffrey Zygmont


Albert Einstein, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, computer age, El Camino Real, invisible hand, popular electronics, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Therefore Bob Noyce didn't flinch when Ted Hoff came from out of the blue in July 1969 to worry over Busicom's mixed up circuit sketches. "I explained what some of my concerns were, and I said I thought there might be some ways to improve the Common Ground 113 design. And he said, 'Well, if you think there's a way, why not? Go ahead and pursue it.' He said, 'It's always nice to have an insurance policy.'" Hoff squeezed in the design rehab as a side project, fitting it among his regular obligations as manager of applications research. His computer studies at Stanford had prepared him well for the task. In fact, at Intel at the time Hoff was uniquely qualified for the undertaking. He was about the only researcher who knew how to set up the dominoes to fall logically inside a computer. The others were mostly all physicists and chemists, the sorts who made semiconducting silicon give up its secrets.

pages: 242 words: 71,938

The Google Resume: How to Prepare for a Career and Land a Job at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or Any Top Tech Company by Gayle Laakmann Mcdowell


barriers to entry, cloud computing, game design, information retrieval, job-hopping, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, why are manhole covers round?

During my time in Google’s Seattle office, where many of the hires came directly from Microsoft, I would estimate that about half of them were escorted off the premises the day they gave their notice. Take a lesson from them and have your desk discreetly cleared out before you talk to your manager. Should I Find a New Job First? When I left Google, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do next. People thought I was crazy to not have a specific job lined up. I wasn’t. I wanted to take several months to travel, work a bit on some side projects, and then find a start-up to join. Eventually. Once I found one I liked enough. I was in no rush. There are some downsides, of course, to not finding a job first. First, you may lose some negotiating leverage if you’re desperate for a job. Second, you might not be able to afford taking several months off without pay, and you may therefore get pressured into taking a mediocre new job. Third, if it takes you unexpectedly long to find a new job, extended unexplained gaps in your résumé can look suspicious.

pages: 192 words: 75,440

Getting a Job in Hedge Funds: An Inside Look at How Funds Hire by Adam Zoia, Aaron Finkel


backtesting, barriers to entry, collateralized debt obligation, commodity trading advisor, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, discounted cash flows, family office, fixed income, high net worth, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Long Term Capital Management, merger arbitrage, offshore financial centre, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, rolodex, short selling, side project, statistical arbitrage, systematic trading, unpaid internship, value at risk, yield curve, yield management

I also monitor daily profit and loss in our hedge fund; contact underlying hedge funds for monthly returns for our fund of funds; monitor cash flows available for additional investment (we use multiple bank accounts and banks); deal with auditors, fund administrators, and legal contacts to help produce the financial and capital statements; and deal with tax issues (K-1 statements). I also do midmonth return analysis for large investors and additional analysis and side projects for our CFO. c09.indd 117 1/10/08 11:09:58 AM 118 Getting a Job in Hedge Funds My advice to any undergrads interested in hedge funds would be to try to pinpoint exactly what they enjoy doing—accounting, selling, investments, marketing, and so on. A lot of young people I meet have a big-picture idea of what they want to do, but seem to have trouble focusing and drilling down to what they really like to do.

pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders


A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Once your resume reflects your current strengths you can start searching for an opportunity and spreading the word among friends about what you're seeking. To get a better place to live, write down your minimum requirements and nice-to-have's. Take a good hard look at your budget and see what you can really afford. Start to save for the first month and security deposit. Weed out stuff you don’t want to take to your new place. To achieve more progress on your side projects, make sure you’re set up for success. Pull together your support materials and create an always-ready workspace. Eliminate distractions. Start, every day—even if it’s only for 15 minutes’ progress. Concentrate on a big goal and find one thing that you can do to bring it closer to reality. Trust yourself You are already smart. Step back from the noise and listen to yourself. Increased progress toward your goals often comes more from better tools and processes than it does from new data.

pages: 226 words: 69,893

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich


Mark Zuckerberg, old-boy network, Peter Thiel, rolodex, side project, Silicon Valley, social web

The internship was a respectable job, and an amazing opportunity. And since most of the advertisers the facebook was chasing after were based in New York anyway, didn’t it make sense for him to take the internship, and work on thefacebook during his spare time? Before Eduardo had even been able to bring up the idea with Mark, Mark had dropped a bombshell of his own; although thefacebook was his priority as well, he’d started developing a side project called Wirehog with a couple of his computer programming buddies—Adam D’Angelo, his high school friend with whom he’d invented Synapse, and Andrew McCollum, a classmate and fellow CS major. Wirehog was basically a bastard child of Napster and Facebook, a sort of file-sharing program with a social network feel. Wirehog would be downloadable software that would allow people to share anything from music to pictures to video with friends, via personalized profile pages linked to other friends in a personally controlled network.

pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

The first phase of his ‘adult' career was in marketing, working his way into senior executive roles in global consumer goods companies and advertising agencies. He escaped his cubicle for the first time in 2005 and went on to found — a peer-to-peer renting portal that became a leader in the collaborative consumption movement. After a successful exit he embarked on a number of crazy side projects including putting a Lego space shuttle into actual orbit, building a jet-powered bicycle, and crowdfunding the build of a full-size Lego car that runs on air and uses an engine made of Lego — all to prove what's possible in a connected world with low cost technology. He does some serious stuff too. Steve also travels the world helping companies transition from industrial-era thinking into the digital age, writes on business and technology issues and blogs to over 30 000 readers a month.

pages: 589 words: 69,193

Mastering Pandas by Femi Anthony


Amazon Web Services, Bayesian statistics, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Debian,, Internet of things, natural language processing, p-value, random walk, side project, statistical model, Thomas Bayes

ISBN 978-1-78398-196-0 Credits Author Femi Anthony Reviewers Opeyemi Akinjayeju Louis Hénault Carlos Marin Commissioning Editor Karthikey Pandey Acquisition Editor Kevin Colaco Content Development Editor Arun Nadar Technical Editor Mohita Vyas Copy Editors Tani Kothari Jasmine Nadar Vikrant Phadke Project Coordinator Neha Bhatnagar Proofreader Safis Editing Indexer Tejal Soni Graphics Jason Monteiro Production Coordinator Aparna Bhagat Cover Work Aparna Bhagat About the Author Femi Anthony is a seasoned and knowledgeable software programmer, with over 15 years experience in a vast array of languages, including Perl, C, C++, Java, and Python. He has worked in both the Internet space and financial services space for many years and is now working for a well-known financial data company. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics with computer science from MIT and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His pet interests include data science, machine learning, and Python. Femi is working on a few side projects in these areas. His hobbies include reading, soccer, and road cycling. You can follow him at @dataphanatik, and for any queries, contact him at <>. First and foremost, I would like to thank my wife, Ene, for her support throughout my career and in writing this book. She has been my inspiration and motivation for continuing to improve my knowledge and helping me move ahead in my career.

pages: 224 words: 48,804

The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford


anti-pattern, business process,, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Firefox, general-purpose programming language, knowledge worker, Larry Wall, Ruby on Rails, side project, type inference, web application, William of Occam

At the end of the timebox, re-evaluate objectively whether completely pursuing this task is feasible. Timeboxed development is about learning enough to make realistic judgments. At the end of a timebox, you may decide to use another one to find out more. I know that the clever automation task is more interesting than your project work, but be realistic. Your boss deserves real estimates. NOTE Timebox speculative development. Don’t Shave Yaks Finally, don’t allow your automation side project to turn into yak shaving. Yak shaving is part of the official jargon file for computer science. It describes this scenario: 1. You want to generate documentation based on your Subversion logs. 2. You try to add a Subversion hook only to discover that the Subversion library you have is incompatible and therefore won’t work with your web server. 3. You start to update your web server, but realize that the version you need isn’t supported by the patch level of your operating system, so you start to update your operating system. 4.

pages: 924 words: 241,081

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon


barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), collaborative editing, crowdsourcing, Debian, DevOps,, Firefox, game design, Guido van Rossum, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Jono Bacon, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, openstreetmap, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social graph, software as a service, telemarketer, union organizing, VA Linux, web application

Mike has been exploring many facets of community, technology, and collaboration in his work. He has been actively involved in growing a global Linkin Park community, coordinating community resources and media, ensuring that the band has a close connection with fans, and more. Mike has also spoken extensively about social media and the role of large record companies in the modern music industry. Outside of Linkin Park, Mike also formed Fort Minor as a side project, is an active artist and painter, and has produced a number of albums. How did Linkin Park grow a community of fans around the band back when you started out? We started the band out of our apartments in Los Angeles. We were in college at the time, around 1998, and the Internet hadn’t really caught on yet, as strange as that is to say. When we really started promoting our music, we were handing out cassette tapes.

As the band has achieved wide success, how has the relationship with your community grown and changed? Today, with a fan base as big and spread out as ours, the toughest part is keeping everyone informed and keeping our messages organized. We always have a TON of stuff going on. Aside from the obvious things like albums, singles, and tours, we have a Linkin Park documentary-style channel on YouTube, an online radio station, a charity called Music For Relief, side projects, art shows, clothing and merchandise...I feel like the list can go on forever. Notably, we also have a fan club called the LP Underground that has a nonstop universe of action going on all the time: Linkin Park “Summit” convention events (think LP Comic-Con), surprise chats with band members, exclusive music, and an episodic LPUTV channel which is updated a few times a month. The key, for us, is to know what lanes to put all that information in.

pages: 554 words: 167,247

Money, Politics, Back-Room Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

For Obama, this economic angle was a handy argument to use against aides such as Emanuel, political guru David Axelrod, and Phil Schiliro, who was about to be put in charge of congressional relations. But, Obama later told me, his mind was already made up. “We didn’t have the luxury of working on just one big issue—the times demanded more,” he recalled. “I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy.… It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term. And we had a once in a generation chance to do it.” “He was really into healthcare, all the nuances and details,” recalled Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and healthcare policy aficionado who had become an Obama confidant.

By virtually every independent economist’s estimation, that set of policies helped stave off another Great Depression. And combined with a lot of other actions we’ve taken since then, helped put us on the longest stretch of uninterrupted private sector job creation in our history. We had to take action and we did. But America can do more than one thing at a time. And I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy. My top priority has always been to restore the notion that America is a place where if you work hard, you can get ahead. And even before the crisis, few things were doing more to expose working families to economic insecurity than a broken health care system. It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term.

pages: 554 words: 167,247

America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System by Steven Brill


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, business process, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, obamacare, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, the payments system, young professional

For Obama, this economic angle was a handy argument to use against aides such as Emanuel, political guru David Axelrod, and Phil Schiliro, who was about to be put in charge of congressional relations. But, Obama later told me, his mind was already made up. “We didn’t have the luxury of working on just one big issue—the times demanded more,” he recalled. “I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy.… It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term. And we had a once in a generation chance to do it.” “He was really into healthcare, all the nuances and details,” recalled Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and healthcare policy aficionado who had become an Obama confidant.

By virtually every independent economist’s estimation, that set of policies helped stave off another Great Depression. And combined with a lot of other actions we’ve taken since then, helped put us on the longest stretch of uninterrupted private sector job creation in our history. We had to take action and we did. But America can do more than one thing at a time. And I believed that reforming our health care system wasn’t a side project, but a vital part of rebuilding our economy. My top priority has always been to restore the notion that America is a place where if you work hard, you can get ahead. And even before the crisis, few things were doing more to expose working families to economic insecurity than a broken health care system. It was clear that we couldn’t address the problem of the middle class falling behind in the long term, without taking on health care in the short term.

pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss


Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

So I won’t go back and tell myself that, Tim, because I’ll screw up my future.” Spirit animal: Common swift * * * Ramit Sethi Ramit Sethi (TW/IG: @ramit, graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in technology, psychology, and sociology. He grew his personal finance blog to more than 1 million readers per month, then turned this college side project into a multi-million-dollar business with more than 30 employees. Some of his weeks now break $5 million in revenue. In a finance space saturated by “gurus” of dubious credentials, Ramit has always been willing to share real numbers. Behind the Scenes Ramit and I often laugh about how we are blessed and cursed with scammy-sounding book titles. I Will Teach You to Be Rich and The 4-Hour Workweek are about as bad as it gets.

(paraphrased from one of his teachers, Barbara McNally) “I only do email responses to print interviews Because these people love to put a twist to your words To infer that you said something fucking absurd” —lyrics from Fort Minor’s “Get Me Gone” Spirit animal: Snow leopard * * * Mike Shinoda Mike Shinoda (TW: @mikeshinoda, is best known as the rapper, principal songwriter, keyboardist, rhythm guitarist, and one of the two vocalists (yes, all that) of Linkin Park, which has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and earned two Grammy awards in the process. Mike has collaborated with everyone from Jay Z to Depeche Mode, and he’s also the lead rapper in his side project, Fort Minor. As if that’s not enough, he’s also provided artwork, production, and mixing for all the projects mentioned above. I first met Mike when I interviewed him for BlogWorld & New Media Expo in 2008. I’m a big fan of Fort Minor, and the lyrics on the previous page take on special meaning once you’ve been bitten. Nearly everyone in this book has been misquoted in media. It’s usually the product of a phone interview, and the fallout can be disastrous.

pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan


1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application, zero-sum game

There is much work to be done to understand what this new information menu offers students and the rest of us. THE GOOGLIZATION OF SCHOLARSHIP The effect of Google on college students is replicated in its effect on the scholars who teach them and on their research. The best example of this effect is the way Google Scholar filters and represents the current state of scholarship in a variety of fields. Google Scholar is an interesting side project for the company. Released in 2004, it serves as a broad but shallow access point to a range of academic work. Google convinced hundreds of suppliers of electronic scholarly resources to open their indexes up to Google’s “spiders” so that articles could be scanned, copied, and included in Google’s index. Publishers benefit from their articles’ receiving enhanced exposure to reading communities beyond academia (and within academia, at institutions that lack full, paid access to certain data collections).

pages: 387 words: 110,820

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell


barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cognitive dissonance, computer age, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, deskilling, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, fear of failure, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, loss aversion, market design, means of production, mental accounting, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price discrimination, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, washing machines reduced drudgery, working poor, yield management, zero-sum game

The company opened new stores in North America and Asia (the European market was considered too competitive), and outsourced most of its manufacturing to China and other developing countries. Today, Coach is a $2 billion operation. And according to Cahn, most of the company’s profits stem from its seventy-five-plus factory outlet stores. The first Coach bag discount outlet was in East Hampton, Long Island, a side project Cahn concocted to unload bags with slight defects. Run by Cahn’s children, the outlet was incredibly successful, with inventory frequently selling out within hours after the store opened. “We wanted to be fair to our customers, and we figured that selling slightly defective goods at half price was a reasonable thing,” Cahn said. “The customers agreed.” Some brands continue to stick to this formula, offering deep discounts on damaged or slightly blemished goods.

pages: 317 words: 84,400

Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner


23andMe, Ada Lovelace, airport security, Al Roth, algorithmic trading, backtesting, big-box store, Black-Scholes formula, call centre, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, dumpster diving, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, High speed trading, Howard Rheingold, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, knowledge economy, late fees, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, medical residency, money market fund, Myron Scholes, Narrative Science, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Sergey Aleynikov, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator

Puneet Mehta was a senior vice president of technology at Citi Capital Markets, a position that paid about $400,000 a year, when in 2010, at age thirty-one, he chucked his Wall Street career for startup life. “I used to ask myself: am I really building something here?” Mehta says. Wall Street, he explains, exists to do one thing: get in between every single financial transaction it can. Before Citi, Mehta wrote code at Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan. The fact that on Wall Street all he would ever be was a middleman, albeit a well-paid middleman, used to keep him up at night. He began working on a side project, an app called MyCityWay, which allows urban dwellers to easily navigate restaurants, movie theaters, bars, traffic—anything that affects their life every day. When he reached his limit of writing code for Citi, Mehta quit and worked unpaid on his app. He and his cofounders now have fifty employees and their app has been released in seventy cities, thirty of them overseas. They’ve raised $6 million in venture capital, and Mehta says he talks to at least one other engineer every week who says they’re never going back to Wall Street.

pages: 324 words: 87,064

Learning Ext Js by Shea Frederick


call centre, Firefox, framing effect, side project, web application

Cutter then took the position of IT Director for Seacrets, a large resort destination in Ocean City, Maryland, while also holding the same position for one of its owner's other companies, Irie Radio. Now, Cutter is the Senior Web Developer for Dealerskins, a company that develops and hosts websites for the automobile dealership industry. He lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife Teresa and daughter Savannah. Apart from work, side projects, and maintaining his blog (http://blog., Cutter also enjoys spending time with his family, is an avid reader and a videophile, and likes to relive his band days with a mic in hand. I would like to thank a few people for their support while I have been working on this project. First, thanks to Jack Slocum and the entire Ext JS team for giving us such a great library to write about.

pages: 318 words: 92,257

Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York's Underground Economy by Sudhir Venkatesh


creative destruction, East Village, illegal immigration, side project, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, urban renewal, working poor

“I can’t do this much longer,” she whispered. I liked Angela a lot. From the first night, she was open and honest, admitting right away that she was a sex worker. But she was unlike most of the other immigrant and low-income streetwalkers I had studied in New York and Chicago. She had ambition and the courage to cross borders. She came to Manjun’s store because she wanted to escape from her usual traveling grounds in the East Side projects to a better neighborhood where she could meet a wealthier clientele. That night, I could see in her face the toll of accommodating so many men. It was painful to see. She was only thirty-four but always looked so tired that she appeared to be nearly a decade older. And business had been getting steadily worse since the Giuliani reforms. For the last few months, Angela was averaging just one client per night.

pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum


air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, Donald Davies, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

They range from behemoths like JPNAP in Tokyo, which posts astonishingly high traffic numbers but primarily serves intra-Japan communication; to the decidedly smaller Yellowstone Regional Internet Exchange, YRIX, which links together seven networks in Montana and Wyoming (curing them of their “Denver problem”). There’s the MIX in Milan, the SIX in Seattle, the TORIX in Toronto, MadIX in Madison, Wisconsin, and—the solution to Minnesota’s Chicago problem—the MICE, the Midwest Internet Cooperative Exchange. The vast majority of exchanges exist out of sight, often run as cooperative side projects for the “good of the Internet,” and, despite their efforts at outreach, are known and appreciated only by the handful of network engineers who craft the routes across them. But the largest Internet exchanges are different beasts altogether. Their participants aren’t public-spirited groups of network engineers, but the Internet’s biggest players globally. They are large, professional operations, with marketing departments and teams of engineers.

pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson


call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

The idea of microscopic germs spreading disease would have been about as plausible as the existence of fairies to most practicing doctors of the day. And as Surgeon-in-Chief G. B. Childs’ letter-writing campaign to the Times suggested, laudanum was regularly prescribed for almost any ailment. The Victorian medical refrain was, essentially: Take a few hits of opium and call me in the morning. Seemingly bereft of anything resembling a traditional social life, Snow spent his time away from patients working on side projects that grew out of his surgeon’s practice but which also suggested the ultimate range of his ambition. He began writing in to the local journals, opining on medical and public-health issues of the day. His first published paper, addressing the use of arsenic in the preservation of cadavers, appeared in The Lancet in 1839. He went on to publish nearly fifty articles in the following decade, on a staggering range of subjects: lead poisoning, resuscitating stillborn children, blood vessels, scarlet fever, and smallpox.

pages: 410 words: 103,421

The Martian by Andy Weir


8-hour work day, Colonization of Mars, digital map, Mars Rover, side project

Turning to Keller, he said, “Make the food last another four days.” Keller nodded. ••• “RICH,” said Mike. Rich Purnell concentrated on his computer screen. His cubicle was a landfill of printouts, charts, and reference books. Empty coffee cups rested on every surface; take-out packaging littered the ground. “Rich,” Mike said, more forcefully. Rich looked up. “Yeah?” “What the hell are you doing?” “Just a little side project. Something I wanted to check up on.” “Well…that’s fine, I guess,” Mike said, “but you need to do your assigned work first. I asked for those satellite adjustments two weeks ago and you still haven’t done them.” “I need some supercomputer time,” Rich said. “You need supercomputer time to calculate routine satellite adjustments?” “No, it’s for this other thing I’m working on,” Rich said. “Rich, seriously.

pages: 363 words: 94,139

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney


Apple II, banking crisis, British Empire, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Computer Numeric Control, Dynabook, global supply chain, interchangeable parts, John Markoff, Jony Ive, race to the bottom, RFID, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, the built environment, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple

Despite his image as a soft-spoken everyman in jeans and T-shirt, he’s often photographed at exclusive venues with other well-suited high rollers. When at home in San Francisco, he’s been known to attend the symphony and he socializes with the Silicon Valley elite. He’s been photographed at celebrity dinners with valley bigwigs such as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and the CEOs of Yelp, Dropbox and Path. Occasionally, Jony gets involved in side projects. He designed some striking Soundstick speakers for Harman Kardon, which are part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. In 2012, he designed on commission a one-shot camera for Leica, which was to be auctioned for charity. Jony and Jobs were both fans of the storied camera maker, and when announcing the iPhone 4, Jobs compared it to “a beautiful old Leica camera.”10 By all appearances, Jony remains committed to Apple, despite occasional rumors to the contrary.

pages: 366 words: 107,145

Fuller Memorandum by Stross, Charles


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Beeching cuts, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, congestion charging, dumpster diving, finite state, Firefox, HyperCard, invisible hand, land reform, linear programming, peak oil, security theater, sensible shoes, side project, Sloane Ranger, telemarketer, Turing machine

Boris is running some kind of operation code named BLOODY BARON which involves something going down in Amsterdam which required Mo's offices, and--" They're both shaking their heads at me. "No, no," says Andy, and: "Amsterdam was CLUB ZERO," says Mo. "It's a sideshow, and . . . did you bring that letter?" Andy produces an envelope. She pockets it: "Thanks." "Actually, it all boils down to CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN," Andy says heavily. "The other operations are side projects; CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is where it all starts." "Oh yes?" I ask casually, although those words send a chill up my spine. "Yes." He laughs halfheartedly. "It appears we may have been working under some false operating assumptions," he adds. "The situation seems to be deteriorating . . ." CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN IS THE CODE NAME FOR THE END OF the world. You might have noticed that Mo and I have no children.

pages: 315 words: 93,522

How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy by Stephen Witt


4chan, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, cloud computing, collaborative economy, crowdsourcing, game design, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, inventory management, iterative process, Jason Scott:, job automation, late fees, mental accounting, moral panic, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pirate software, Ronald Reagan, security theater, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, software patent, Steve Jobs, zero day

Linde reported back to Thomson headquarters with the startling news: on an overlooked line item in the corporate R&D budget, six German nerds were sitting on a gold mine. The response from corporate was skeptical. If the mp3 was so great, how come no one was using it? Perhaps Linde should try selling laser discs as well. But Linde kept pushing, and finally his corporate overseers conceded that, in the unlikely event that he ever found a customer for the mp3, he was authorized to license the tech. They also made clear that this was a side project, and that the work was not to interfere with his day job. Linde, a born competitor, didn’t believe in MPEG’s profits-by-committee approach, and pushed the Fraunhofer team to innovate. And so they did. Late in 1994, Harald Popp had commissioned a manufacturing run of dedicated mp3-decoding chips. Now, combining one of the chips with a power source, a soldered-on headphone jack, a primitive flash memory card, and a circuit board, he commissioned an engineer to jerry-rig a prototype of the world’s first handheld mp3 player.

pages: 426 words: 105,423

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss


Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump,, Firefox, fixed income, follow your passion, game design, global village, Iridium satellite, knowledge worker, late fees, Maui Hawaii, oil shock, paper trading, Parkinson's law, passive income, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, William of Occam

The business owner who eliminates the least profitable customers and projects, outsources all operations entirely, and travels the world collecting rare documents, all while working remotely on a website to showcase her own illustration work. The student who elects to risk it all—which is nothing—to establish an online video rental service that delivers $5,000 per month in income from a small niche of Blu-ray aficionados, a two-hour-per-week side project that allows him to work full-time as an animal rights lobbyist. The options are limitless, but each path begins with the same first step: replacing assumptions. To join the movement, you will need to learn a new lexicon and recalibrate direction using a compass for an unusual world. From inverting responsibility to jettisoning the entire concept of “success,” we need to change the rules.

Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth by Steve Pavlina


Buckminster Fuller, fear of failure, financial independence, placebo effect, side project, unbiased observer

The station was always broadcasting, but I had to tune myself to the right frequency to hear it. I found that the easiest w a y to tune in w a s to ask myself, Where is the joy? That question would help me listen for the right frequency, a n d once I got the frequency, the volume w o u l d gradually increase until I was feeling extremely joyful and connected. 70 Oneness > The mind-set of oneness cannot be compartmentalized. It isn't some side project y o u add to your personal development to-do list, only to fade back into separateness w h e n y o u head to work the next day. If y o u resonate with oneness, it changes y o u from top to bottom. You can no longer continue treating everyone as completely separate from y o u . Let's go deeper into the principle of oneness by exploring its various aspects: empathy, compassion, honesty, fairness, contribution, and unity.

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Some of these near-random, two-word phrases don’t rise above mere functionality: India Ireland, for instance, or Accounting Architecture. Others, though, open up new and unexpected territory for the imagination to wander in. Here, for the record, are a few of my favorites: Freon Holderlin (a man I’d like to meet, despite his reputation for coldness) Menage Ottawa (a perfect oxymoron) Chicago Death (Jack White’s new side project) Light Metabolism (what the Theory of Everything, once discovered, will be called) Excretion Geometry (a field understood by only seven people in the world, all now deceased) Arctic Biosphere (Freon Holderlin lives here, according to rumor) Krasnokamsk Menadra (when I take up meditation, this will be what I chant) And—I’m starting to choke up—my favorite one of all: Decorative Edison FUTURE GOTHIC May 8, 2012 1.

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford


affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

Plant something, nurture it, water it, let it grow.”40 Most of us don’t like being slapped in the face. But it’s possible to take that slap and turn it into something remarkable. Useful diversions can come from anywhere: an error from some piano movers and a guilt trip from a German teenager; the randomness of an algorithmic search; a strange order from a deck of mysterious cards; the background noise that you can’t quite shut out; the side project that suddenly suggests a new solution. Or the annoying need to collaborate with other people, which is the subject of the next chapter. Over the years, Carlos Alomar came to realize that the cards he once dismissed as “stupid” have unexpected benefits. “I mean some of it worked, some of it didn’t,” he said a quarter of a century later. “But quite honestly it did take me out of my comfort zone and it did make me leave my frustration at what I was doing and totally look at it from another different point of view and although I didn’t like the point of view, when I came back, I was fresh.”41 Alomar now teaches music at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, and he regularly resorts to the Oblique Strategies.

pages: 374 words: 89,725

A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas by Warren Berger


3D printing, Airbnb, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, clean water, fear of failure, Google X / Alphabet X, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thomas L Friedman, Toyota Production System, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Zipcar

In Gore’s case, the program stipulates44 that 10 percent of employee time should go toward independent projects, and it has inspired some big breakthroughs. The company, known for creating the popular waterproofing material Gore-Tex, produces a wide range of products, including Elixir, a well-known brand of guitar string. It was developed by a Gore engineer, Dave Myers, who normally worked on medical products. As a side project, Myers wanted to see if he could answer, Why can’t I get the gears on my mountain bike to shift more smoothly? He eventually developed a new, plastic-coated bike-cable product that became a successful product for Gore. Subsequently, in a nifty bit of connective inquiry, Myers wondered, What if I put plastic coating on guitar strings? The result (after a couple of difficult years of technical challenges at the How stage) was a breakthrough, bestselling product that proved more durable and less brittle than existing strings.

pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal


A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson,, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Telecom, cable, and Internet service providers charge for access to their networks. Platforms may be codeveloped by a community as a shared resource. When he was 21, Linus Torvalds released a very basic operating system he was working on as a hobby. Over time, an army of developers joined the project, and Linux now powers not only tablet computers, mobile phones, and game consoles, but also some of the fastest supercomputers on the planet. Wikipedia started as a side project that complemented a more traditional online encyclopedia, called Nupedia. But contributors preferred Wikipedia’s less bureaucratic structure, and it quickly overshadowed its parent. When Nupedia was shut down in 2003, it had published only 24 articles. Meanwhile, Wikipedia had published more than 20,000 articles and was available in 46 languages. Everything in business is built on platforms of one kind or another.

pages: 761 words: 80,914

Ansible: Up and Running: Automating Configuration Management and Deployment the Easy Way by Lorin Hochstein


Amazon Web Services, cloud computing, continuous integration, Debian, DevOps, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, general-purpose programming language, Infrastructure as a Service, job automation, pull request, side project, smart transportation, web application

Use of the information and instructions contained in this work is at your own risk. If any code samples or other technology this work contains or describes is subject to open source licenses or the intellectual property rights of others, it is your responsibility to ensure that your use thereof complies with such licenses and/or rights. 978-1-491-91532-5 [LSI] Foreword Ansible started as a simple side project in February of 2012, and its rapid growth has been a pleasant surprise. It is now the work product of about a thousand people (and the ideas of many more than that), and it is widely deployed in almost every country. It’s not unusual in a computer meet-up to find a handful (at least) of people who use it. Ansible is perhaps exciting because it really isn’t. Ansible doesn’t really attempt to break new ground, but rather to distill a lot of existing ideas that other smart folks had already figured out and make them a bit more accessible.

pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

EXECUTIVE SPONSORSHIP REQUIRED Growth teams must be worked into the organizational reporting structure of a company with total clarity about to whom the growth lead reports. It is imperative that a high-level executive is given responsibility for the team, in order to assure that the team has the authority to cross the bounds of the established departmental responsibilities. Growth cannot be a side project. Without clear and forceful commitment from leadership, growth teams will find themselves battling bureaucracy, turf wars, inefficiency, and inertia. At start-ups, if the founder or CEO isn’t personally leading the growth efforts directly, then the team or teams should report directly to him or her. In larger companies, which may have multiple growth teams, the teams should report to a vice president or C-level executive who can champion their work with the rest of the C-suite.

pages: 341 words: 104,493

City of Exiles by Alec Nevala-Lee

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, glass ceiling, side project, Transnistria

Before passing through the turnstiles, he paused at a trash container, where he threw out his squeeze bottle of water and the plastic shaker in his other pocket, with its last remaining handful of coarse black salt. Then he headed underground. 11 When Renata awoke that morning, she found herself suddenly aware of two things. The first was that she was going to get clean. No more drugs or drinking. The second realization was that her financial troubles would soon be over. Dior would come through, along with her upcoming side project, and at that point, it was only a lucky break or two before she was back on her feet. Upon her arrival at Golden Square, her mood was only slightly dented by the tactless guard at Cheshire, who insisted on searching her bag with his bulky fingers. “Be careful there. I don’t like people touching my stuff—” “Very careful, yes,” the guard said, stuffing a hardened hand down between her neatly packed flashes and lenses.

pages: 349 words: 109,304

American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

bitcoin, blockchain, crack epidemic, Edward Snowden, mandatory minimum, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Rubik’s Cube, Satoshi Nakamoto, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the market place, trade route, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Since June, when Jared had discovered that first pill of ecstasy in the envelope from the Netherlands, he had been trying to figure out how to persuade his supervisor, and now the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to let him build a case against the Silk Road Web site. Everything over the past few months had been leading up to this very moment. After his supervisor at HSI had given him the go-ahead to start investigating the site as a side project, Jared had obsessively started collecting every smidgen of evidence coming through Chicago O’Hare. Each night he would drive his ancient government-issued car (which other agents had nicknamed the Pervert Car because it looked like it belonged to a child molester) to the mail center at the airport where he would collect envelopes of drugs that had been plucked from the scrubs earlier that day.

pages: 423 words: 129,831

The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, big-box store, blue-collar work, Donner party, edge city, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, side project, smart transportation, traveling salesman, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

Men in the auto business have talked about the appeal of alternative fuels since before World War I, when the prospect of the world's running out of oil seemed preposterously remote. It should come as no surprise, blessed as he was with a nose for future profit, that among the enthusiastic seekers of a gasoline substitute was Carl Fisher. In June 1914, Fisher, busy at the time with the Dixie Highway and Florida and a blizzard of side projects, was visited in Indianapolis by one John Andrews, an amateur inventor from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and, in Fisher's estimation, a "poor, apparently ignorant Portuguese." Andrews told Fisher he had developed a water-based fuel that could be made for under 2 cents a gallon. "We put the material in an auto," Fisher wrote, "and it tested up in one case about twenty percent more mileage than a gallon of gasoline would give."

pages: 481 words: 121,669

The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See by Gary Price, Chris Sherman, Danny Sullivan


AltaVista, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, business intelligence, dark matter, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, full text search, HyperCard, hypertext link, information retrieval, Internet Archive, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, natural language processing, pre–internet, profit motive, publish or perish, search engine result page, side project, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Ted Nelson, Vannevar Bush, web application

By being able to reference anything with equal ease, a computer could represent associations between things that might seem unrelated but somehow did, in fact, share a relationship. A Web of information would form.” — Tim Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web The Web was created in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee, who at the time was a contract programmer at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The Web was a side project Berners-Lee took on to help him keep track of the mind-boggling diversity of people, computers, research equipment, and other resources that are de rigueur at a massive research institution like CERN. One of the primary challenges faced by CERN scientists was the very diversity that gave it strength. The lab hosted thousands of researchers every year, arriving from countries all over the world, each speaking different languages and working with unique computing systems.

pages: 465 words: 124,074

Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller


airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

However brutally capable they may be at preserving the privileges of the elite and of the top leader, they are headed by people who are selfish, prideful, mercurial, impatient, distrustful (if not fully paranoid), and often brutal, and they routinely promote political hacks, churn personnel, alienate the best scientists and technicians, find it difficult to make coherent long-term plans, make poor technical choices, and exhaust resources with repeated crash programs that have unreasonable deadlines and distracting side projects.3 If the development of rocketry proved to be a very substantial waste to the comparatively well-oiled German regime in World War II, any attempt by contemporary dysfunctional rogue states to carry out an expensive high-tech venture like the development of nuclear weapons and their attendant delivery systems is likely to become a major, even overwhelming, economic and organizational strain. And, in particular, the effort might well divert them from producing or purchasing military equipment that they might actually know how, and be able, to use.

pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith


Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

Visiting celebrities will hang out for a day or two happily chatting with whomever, even lowly second-year graduate students. Landing a meeting with one is largely a matter of getting to the sign-up sheet first, which of course I did. When my time slot arrived I went to meet Alley, armed with a list of questions about his Nature papers so I could hear more from the great man himself. That lasted about forty-five seconds, before he insisted on hearing all about my work. I couldn’t believe it. It was a dumb little side project of my research, but Alley’s enthusiasm was totally contagious. We relocated to my lab hole, where he huddled alongside me, giving all manner of helpful advice and inspiration. By the time he ran off late to his next appointment, I was so excited about my project I barely remembered I’d forgotten to ask more about his. That’s just the kind of guy he is.490 What had everyone gabbling was what Alley and his colleagues had dug out of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

pages: 424 words: 140,262

Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World by Christian Wolmar


banking crisis, Beeching cuts, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, railway mania, refrigerator car, side project, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, urban sprawl

The idea for the railway came from the commandant of the settlement, Captain O’Hara Booth, and he used the prisoners to build the crude railway, which had wooden rails about a foot apart and followed the contours of the land in order to minimize heavy earthworks. More controversially, though, he then organized the prisoners to pull the trains, which was by no means an easy task as the gradient leaving the prison was relatively steep. An early visitor, a Captain Stonor, described the carriages as ‘very rude construction, very low, double seated with four very small cast iron wheels. On either side projected two long handles which the prisoners lean on to propel the carriage.’ 33 Stonor was appalled at the sight of the poor prisoners, who were dressed in saffron prison garb complete with arrows, having to ‘puff and blow pushing on the carriage’ up the hill but noted that ‘when descending they jump alongside of you and away you go, dashing, crashing, tearing on.’ 34 At the mid point of the line, there was a rest station where the crew changed, and the maintenance gang was housed.

pages: 655 words: 151,111

London: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis


affirmative action, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Brixton riot, John Snow's cholera map, side project, strikebreaker, Winter of Discontent

And they wafted to him round foils of silver intermingled with thin round wafers, and wine from the channels and cocks of the conduit, so that they might receive him with bread and wine as Melchisedech received Abraham when he returned from the fall of the four kings. And when they came to the cross in Cheapside . . . it was hidden by a beautiful castle of wood, very ingeniously and prettily constructed, and adorned with three beautiful columns, . . . which had . . . arches on either side projecting over the street, and stretching to the buildings on each side of the road . . . And across the front of the arches was written, ‘Glorious things of thee are spoken, O city of God’. This castle was covered with linen painted the colour of white marble, and green and red jasper, as if the whole work had been the result of the mason’s art, fashioned from blocks of masonry and perfect precious stones.

pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson


4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

The associates were hackers like Neuron, an easygoing exploit enthusiast; Storm, who was mysterious but highly skilled; Joepie91, the well-known and extremely loquacious Anon who ran the website; M_nerva, a somewhat aloof but attentive young hacker; and Trollpoll, a dedicated anti–white hat activist. In the most busy periods of LulzSec, both the core and secondary crew were in #pure-elite or online for most of the day and sometimes through the night. Some were talented coders who could create new scripts for the team as their own side projects; Pwnsauce, for instance, had been working on a project to create a new type of encryption. In the end, Topiary never invited anyone he knew into #pure-elite, and while Kayla had recommended a few friends, Sabu wasn’t comfortable with letting them in either. According to Topiary, about 90 percent of the hackers who ended up in #pure-elite were Sabu’s friends or acquaintances from the underground.

pages: 411 words: 127,755

Advertisers at Work by Tracy Tuten


accounting loophole / creative accounting, centre right, crowdsourcing, follow your passion, Mark Zuckerberg, QR code, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, the High Line

We distribute that once a week and then we get together once a month for a Bites immersion session. These sessions are mandatory, all-company meetings. They are a chance to put the pencils down and get away from computer screens. Sometimes we meet off site or bring speakers in. We may go see an art exhibit or a show. We may do a show-and-tell session. For example, our most recent session was Friday. We had a couple of different things going on. Some of our creatives presented side projects. These were cheeky videos which brought the freaking house down. Lastly we did a kind of deep dive on media. Our media staffers presented on key terms, industry developments, new metrics, and that kind of thing. It was very well received. Last month we went to the Tim Burton exhibit at the LACMA, the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art, and sometimes we will go to a Dodger game or what have you.

pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn


3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics,, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving,, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, QR code, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

They’ve got a GPS module, but they don’t have a connector for it, and they don’t have a breakout board, and they don’t have a data sheet, and oh my goodness, there’s just a phone number to call. I don’t want to talk to a human. I just want to order these parts.” So I realized, at that moment in 2002, that the state of electronics stores, electronic parts—it was really hard to get anything online. So I thought, “Well, maybe I can start my own little store.” The goal was just to feed my own addiction. The goal was to make enough money so that I could continue to build my own side projects. Osborn: So your goal was to have it all online, even in 2002? From really early on? Seidle: Yeah. In 2002, I assumed that there were other people like me that didn’t want to make a phone call, didn’t really have a fax or want to fax in an order with a credit card number. In 2002, I said, “This should be easy. I should be able to add stuff to my cart and check out with a credit card, just like all these other web sites that sell stuff.”

pages: 752 words: 131,533

Python for Data Analysis by Wes McKinney


backtesting, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Debian, Firefox, Google Chrome, Guido van Rossum, index card, random walk, recommendation engine, revision control, sentiment analysis, Sharpe ratio, side project, sorting algorithm, statistical model, type inference

You may choose to substitute an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for a text editor in order to take advantage of more advanced graphical tools and code completion capabilities. Even if so, I strongly recommend making IPython an important part of your workflow. Some IDEs even provide IPython integration, so it’s possible to get the best of both worlds. The IPython project began in 2001 as Fernando Pérez’s side project to make a better interactive Python interpreter. In the subsequent 11 years it has grown into what’s widely considered one of the most important tools in the modern scientific Python computing stack. While it does not provide any computational or data analytical tools by itself, IPython is designed from the ground up to maximize your productivity in both interactive computing and software development.

pages: 458 words: 137,960

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Albert Einstein, call centre, dematerialisation, fault tolerance, financial independence, game design, late fees, pre–internet, Rubik’s Cube, side project, telemarketer, walking around money

He often referred to Rush’s three members—Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Geddy Lee—as “the Holy Trinity” or “the Gods of the North.” In my grail diary, I had every single Rush song, album, bootleg, and music video ever made. I had high-res scans of all their liner notes and album artwork. Every frame of Rush concert footage in existence. Every radio and television interview the band had ever done. Unabridged biographies on each band member, along with copies of their side projects and solo work. I pulled up the band’s discography and selected the album I was looking for: 2112, Rush’s classic sci-fi–themed concept album. A high-resolution scan of the album’s cover appeared on my display. The band’s name and the album’s title were printed over a field of stars, and below that, appearing as if reflected in the surface of a rippling lake, was the symbol I’d seen on the Black Tiger game’s monitor: a red five-pointed star enclosed in a circle.

pages: 462 words: 142,240

Iron Sunrise by Stross, Charles


blood diamonds, dumpster diving, gravity well, hiring and firing, industrial robot, life extension, loose coupling, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, phenotype, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, RFID, side project, speech recognition, technological singularity, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

They lie close to both Moscow and New Dresden, and those worlds would be logical targets for subversion and conquest. However, the ReMastered are prone to internal rifts and departmental feuding. They can be manipulated by outside influences such as the Eschaton. It is possible that one such department within the Ministry of State Security on Newpeace was induced to exploit their growing influence over domestic political figures in Moscow to use them as a proxy agency in a side project, the development of a causality-violation weapon. Such devices are hazardous not only because the Eschaton intervenes to prevent their deployment later up the time line, but because they tend to be unstable—” “Later up the what? Hey, I thought you were the Eschaton! What is this?” “Can a T-helper lymphocyte in a capillary in your little finger claim to be you? Of course I am part of the Eschaton, but I cannot claim to be the Eschaton.

pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier


3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart,, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

Some new niches for big companies are suggested by the notion of a humanistic digital economy, such as the commoditized decision reduction services to be described later on. Other futuristic candidates for jobs for big companies are stabilization of the climate, repositioning earthquakes,* or creating launch structures that make space access inexpensive.† *Gluing existing faults and using explosives to open up new ones in less destructive locations, such as in the oceans, might accomplish this. Yes, this is one of my crazy, speculative side projects. †In a humanistic economy, big companies would trade within the chain of commerce just as they do today. Big companies should do better in the world proposed here, not only because the economy would be expanding but because regulation in a high-tech information economy would be more readily expressed incrementally instead of in big, unpredictable, punitive chunks. Big companies are the flywheels and ballast of a market economy, creating a degree of stability.

pages: 391 words: 117,984

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz


access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game

As in every other office, Veronique’s space was furnished with two desks, both constructed of dark wood, both covered with piles of papers and books, some yellowed, apparently from remaining in the same place for years. Standing next to Veronique in the dark and dingy office was a shy, unassuming woman wearing a long skirt and flat black shoes. She was just a few inches over 5 feet tall, with a broad face and skin the color of coffee beans. She had large brown eyes that drooped at the sides, projecting a crinkly empathy further emphasized by a gaptoothed smile. Her hair was combed back into a loose crown. Her only adornments were a wedding band and a tiny gold cross on a chain around her neck. She introduced herself shyly: “Amakuru, Jacqueline. My name is Honorata.” “Bonjour.” Veronique, already a teacher to me, gave me a gentle shove and laughed. “Now you say ‘Imeza.’ When someone says ‘Amakuru,’ you answer ‘Imeza.’

pages: 384 words: 118,572

The Confidence Game: The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time by Maria Konnikova


attribution theory, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, epigenetics, hindsight bias, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, publish or perish, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, side project, Skype, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, tulip mania, Walter Mischel

The choice is not predetermined. And the presence of Machiavellianism or psychopathy or narcissism no more marks someone as a grifter than the presence of charisma or nonchalance. James Fallon discovered he was a psychopath by accident. He’d been running two projects simultaneously: a large imaging study of Alzheimer’s patients, where his own family served as “normal” control brains, and a small side project on the brains of psychopaths. As he was going through the Alzheimer’s scans, one brain popped out. It had all the markings of the psychopath. Hmm. Clearly, someone had made a mistake and mixed one of the psychopathic scans in with the Alzheimer’s data. Normally, results in typical lab studies are anonymized so that nothing tips the experimenter off to the identity of the subject. In this case, Fallon decided to make an exception.

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right by Jennifer Burns


anti-communist, bank run, barriers to entry, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, creative destruction, desegregation, feminist movement, financial independence, George Gilder, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, lone genius, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing, urban renewal, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog

The one organized anti-Roosevelt group, the Liberty League, was a secretive cabal of wealthy businessmen hoping to wrest control of government from the masses. Although the Liberty League made several awkward attempts at populism, its main financial backers were the conservative Du Pont family. Tarred as fascists after several of the group’s members praised Mussolini and called for an American dictator, the Liberty League disintegrated within a few years of its founding.30 Even as she dwelled on Roosevelt’s perfidy, Rand pursued a number of side projects. Prompted by the interest of a theater producer, she began a stage adaptation of We the Living, entitled The Unconquered.31 When Frank found work in a summer stock production of Night of January 16th the two spent an idyllic few weeks in Stonington, Connecticut. There, in a flash of inspiration, Rand completed a new manuscript, a novel of scarcely a hundred pages that she titled Anthem. Again Rand did not hesitate to borrow an idea that had worked well for another writer.

pages: 479 words: 113,510

Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve Is Bad for America by Danielle Dimartino Booth

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Sanders, break the buck, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidity trap, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, yield curve

Born in 1978, Pozsar came to the United States when he was twenty-four, after receiving a graduate degree in finance from a university in South Korea. Definitely not the Ivy League. He had been working for six years as senior economist and right-hand man for Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. Somewhat bored with his day job, at night and on the weekends Pozsar began working on a side project that he found fascinating: the structure and growth of the shadow banking system. The term “shadow banking” had first been coined at the Fed’s 2007 Jackson Hole symposium by Paul McCulley, then chief economist of Pacific Investment Management Company (Pimco). Son of a Baptist preacher, McCulley has a knack for colorful metaphors. During a panel discussion on housing and monetary policy, McCulley used the phrase to describe “the whole alphabet soup of levered up non-bank investment conduits, vehicles, and structures.”

pages: 578 words: 141,373

Concretopia: A Journey Around the Rebuilding of Postwar Britain by John Grindrod

Berlin Wall, garden city movement, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, megastructure, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Right to Buy, side project, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, young professional

A total of 157 entries were received, and in January 1950 it was revealed that the dynamic partnership of Powell & Moya had won with a structure that became known as the Skylon: a 250-foot, 12-sided hollow metal structure, to be made from steel and aluminium. Philip Powell and Jacko Moya were both still in their twenties, but when it came to audacious competition victories they were already veterans. In 1946 they’d triumphed in a rather different Thames-side project – to turn the bomb-damaged wasteland of Pimlico into a vast housing estate of 1,600 flats. Not completed until 1962, Churchill Gardens became one of London’s most significant and influential modern housing estates, still held in high regard by residents and architects alike. ‘Jacko and I did separate entries,’ recalled Powell of their Festival of Britain design. ‘I did a pyramid, a slightly tapering thing, with a zigzag bracing and a coloured pattern, but Jacko’s first sketch felt so right that there was no point going further and we collaborated after that.’20 Moya’s design would then undergo a transformation at the hands of Felix Samuely, their former lecturer at the Architecture Association whom they had also requested as engineer on the project.

pages: 1,318 words: 403,894

Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson


air freight, airport security, crowdsourcing, digital map, drone strike, Google Earth, industrial robot, informal economy, large denomination, megacity, new economy, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, ransomware, side project, Skype, slashdot, South China Sea, the built environment, the scientific method, young professional

Peter’s Scion ended up parked on the street outside. Zula’s Prius was shifted deeper into the bay and Wallace’s sports car was moved in next to it, clearing the alley. During these efforts, Zula’s phone was retrieved and presented to her, by Ivanov, as if it were a Swarovski necklace. “ZULA.” “C-plus, hi.” “It’s not often that I have the pleasure of talking to someone in the magma department.” “C-plus, that is because I am working on a side project here—long story—that Richard sort of put me on.” “Management by founder,” Corvallis said, in a tone of ironic disapproval. Supposedly, “management by founder”—a term of art for Richard doing whatever struck his fancy—had been eradicated from Corporation 9592 a few years ago when professional executives had been parachuted in to run things. “Yeah. So, an informal project. Call it research. Having to do with some, uh, unusual gold movements connected with a virus called REAMDE.”

“Whoever created this virus.” “Oh.” “Who did create it, by the way?” “Unknown,” C-plus said, “but thanks to your niece, we’re pretty sure he’s in Xiamen.” “The place with the terra-cotta soldiers?” “No, you’re thinking of Xian.” “Zula’s been helping you track these guys down?” C-plus looked a bit taken aback. “I thought you were aware of it.” “Of what?” “Her participation. She said it was a side project that you had put her on.” Had it been anyone else, Richard would have said, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about, but since it was family, his instinct was to cover for her. “There may have been some mission drift,” he speculated. “Whatever. Anyway, we have an IP address in Xiamen, but nothing else.” Richard put Egdod into auto-hover mode, then leaned back and took his hands off the controls.

pages: 1,201 words: 233,519

Coders at Work by Peter Seibel


Ada Lovelace, bioinformatics, cloud computing, Conway's Game of Life, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, fault tolerance, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, Larry Wall, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Metcalfe's law, Perl 6, premature optimization, publish or perish, random walk, revision control, Richard Stallman, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, side project, slashdot, speech recognition, the scientific method, Therac-25, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, type inference, Valgrind, web application

Once I figured out that was his role, we got along great. Seibel: So you've hired for your own company, and I assume you've been involved in hiring at Google. How do you recognize a great programmer? Fitzpatrick: I often look for people that have done, like, a lot of stuff on their own that wasn't asked of them. Not just their school project or just what their previous employer had them do. Somebody who was passionate about something and had some side project. How did they maintain it and how serious did they get with it? Or do they do a lot of quick hacks and abandon them? Seibel: Do you have favorite interview questions? Fitzpatrick: One of the ones I've given a few times because it was on my AP programming test is given two decimal numbers as strings of arbitrary length, multiply them. There are a lot of different ways that they could do it.

The Data Warehouse Toolkit: The Definitive Guide to Dimensional Modeling by Ralph Kimball, Margy Ross


active measures, Albert Einstein, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, data acquisition, discrete time, inventory management, iterative process, job automation, knowledge worker, performance metric, platform as a service, side project, supply-chain management, zero-sum game

Furthermore, each type of cost may require a separate extraction from a source system. Ten cost facts may mean 10 different extract and transformation programs. Before signing up for mission impossible, be certain to perform a detailed assessment of what is available and feasible from the source systems. You certainly don’t want the DW/BI team saddled with driving the organization to consensus on activity-based costing as a side project, on top of managing a number of parallel extract implementations. If time and organization patience permits, profitability is often tackled as a consolidated dimensional model after the components of revenue and cost have been sourced and delivered separately to business users in the DW/ BI environment. Audit Dimension As mentioned, Figure 6-14’s invoice line item design is one of the most powerful because it provides a detailed look at customers, products, revenues, costs, and bottom line profit in one schema.

pages: 786 words: 195,810

NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman


Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, crowdsourcing, Douglas Engelbart,, epigenetics, experimental subject, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, hypertext link, IBM and the Holocaust, index card, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Larry Wall, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mother of all demos, neurotypical, New Journalism, pattern recognition, placebo effect, scientific mainstream, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

One night, the topic of conversation was theoretical physics; the next, it was the gliding tones of Cantonese opera, followed by thoughts on why so many coders and mathematicians are also chess players and musicians. The tireless curiosity of these middle-aged wizards gave them an endearingly youthful quality, as if they’d found ways of turning teenage quests for arcane knowledge into rewarding careers. On weekends, they coded recreationally, spinning off side projects that lay the foundations of new technologies and startups. After a few days on the ship, I came to feel that my fellow passengers were not just a group of IT experts who happened to use the same tools. They were more like a tribe of digital natives with their own history, rituals, ethics, forms of play, and oral lore. While the central focus of their lives was the work they did in solitude, they clearly enjoyed being with others who are on the same frequency.

pages: 834 words: 180,700

The Architecture of Open Source Applications by Amy Brown, Greg Wilson


8-hour work day, anti-pattern, bioinformatics,, cloud computing, collaborative editing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, David Heinemeier Hansson, Debian, domain-specific language, Donald Knuth,, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, friendly fire, Guido van Rossum, linked data, load shedding, locality of reference, loose coupling, Mars Rover, MVC pattern, peer-to-peer, Perl 6, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, Ruby on Rails, side project, Skype, slashdot, social web, speech recognition, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WebSocket

I would certainly abstract the concept of mailbox names from Unix user ids. At the time I wrote sendmail the model was that you only sent messages to Unix users. Today, that is almost never the case; even on systems that do use that model, there are system accounts that should never receive e-mail. 17.8.2. Things I Would Do The Same Of course, some things did work well… Syslog One of the successful side projects from sendmail was syslog. At the time sendmail was written, programs that needed to log had a specific file that they would write. These were scattered around the filesystem. Syslog was difficult to write at the time (UDP didn't exist yet, so I used something called mpx files), but well worth it. However, I would make one specific change: I would pay more attention to making the syntax of logged messages machine parseable—essentially, I failed to predict the existence of log monitoring.

pages: 348 words: 39,850

Data Scientists at Work by Sebastian Gutierrez


Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business intelligence, chief data officer, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, DevOps, domain-specific language, Donald Knuth, follow your passion, full text search, informal economy, information retrieval, Infrastructure as a Service, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, iterative process, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, technology bubble, text mining, the scientific method, web application

So why they stay at Netflix, and how I can keep them engaged and wanting to stay rather than jumping into something else— I’m really interested in understanding those factors. I think it’s really hard, because people in this day and age—in the Valley anyway—are sort of trained to move every couple of years. That’s how you progress your career. It’s by doing some other new, exciting thing. So, it’s been interesting working on this side project as an advisor and studying the problem from a data perspective. It’s essentially using the LinkedIn API to study and try to understand at what point people churn, and whether you can predict that from things like their LinkedIn data. Gutierrez: Are there any interesting insights that you’ve been able to apply to your team here at Netflix? Smallwood: A few. Whether the model is right or wrong about somebody— predicting that somebody is a risk has caused me to have conversations with my own team that I might not have otherwise had.

pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

Maybe it came from Papa Thomas, who had owned all that land in Struthers and given a piece of it to the church. After Granny stopped working they lived on her Social Security and Vickie’s welfare checks, and there was so little money that sometimes the gas was shut off. When her father and grandmother were still living in the West Lake projects, north of downtown, Tammy sometimes visited them, and when she was a little older she had friends living in the east side projects, generation after generation on welfare who never got out. They could buy things only at the start of the month, when stores raised prices to take advantage of the checks. Even if they got on a program to pay their gas bill they would always owe, they’d die owing that money. Tammy vowed to herself that she would not go on welfare and live in the projects. She didn’t want to have just enough to barely get by but not enough to actually be able to do anything.

pages: 757 words: 193,541

The Practice of Cloud System Administration: DevOps and SRE Practices for Web Services, Volume 2 by Thomas A. Limoncelli, Strata R. Chalup, Christina J. Hogan

active measures, Amazon Web Services, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business process, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, correlation coefficient, database schema, Debian, defense in depth, delayed gratification, DevOps, domain-specific language,, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, Google Glasses, information asymmetry, Infrastructure as a Service, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, job satisfaction, load shedding, loose coupling, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, place-making, platform as a service, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, Silicon Valley, software as a service, sorting algorithm, statistical model, Steven Levy, supply-chain management, Toyota Production System, web application, Yogi Berra

A team member pointed out that before she did the failover, she verified that the disks had plenty of free disk space because previously that had been a problem. The rest of the team didn’t know about this pre-check, but now it could be added to the procedure book and everyone would know to do it. More importantly, this realization raised an important issue: why wasn’t the amount of free disk space always being monitored? What would happen if an emergency failover was needed and disk space was too low? A side project was spawned to monitor the system’s available disk space. Many similar issues were discovered and fixed. Eventually the process got more reliable and soon confidence increased. The team had one less source of stress. * * * 15.2 Individual Training: Wheel of Misfortune There are many different ways a system can break. People oncall should be able to handle the most common ones, but they need confidence in their ability to do so.

pages: 719 words: 181,090

Site Reliability Engineering by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy

Air France Flight 447, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, database schema, defense in depth, DevOps,, fault tolerance, Flash crash, George Santayana, Google Chrome, Google Earth, job automation, job satisfaction, linear programming, load shedding, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, six sigma, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics, web application, zero day

Dedicated project time is necessary to enable progress on a project, because it’s nearly impossible to write code—much less to concentrate on larger, more impactful projects—when you’re thrashing between several tasks in the course of an hour. Therefore, the ability to work on a software project without interrupts is often an attractive reason for engineers to begin working on a development project. Such time must be aggressively defended. The majority of software products developed within SRE begin as side projects whose utility leads them to grow and become formalized. At this point, a product may branch off into one of several possible directions: Remain a grassroots effort developed in engineers’ spare time Become established as a formal project through structured processes (see “Getting There”) Gain executive sponsorship from within SRE leadership to expand into a fully staffed software development effort However, in any of these scenarios—and this is a point worth stressing—it’s essential that the SREs involved in any development effort continue working as SREs instead of becoming full-time developers embedded in the SRE organization.

pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

“You’ll see punk rockers sleeping off their hangovers, hippies playing guitar, Russian immigrants playing chess, Puerto Rican guys on percussion, corporate lawyers pushing $800 strollers,” says Moby of his favorite spot to hang out and listen to his iPod. Monday nights, Arlene’s Grocery, a dive bar near Moby’s Lower East Side home, showcases rock ’n’ roll karaoke. “I’m a very provincial person,” says Moby, who was drafted to play guitar in the karaoke band. “The appeal of a place is largely determined by its distance from my apartment.” As such, Moby’s rock side project The Little Deaths made its debut at Arlene’s. When working on music at 3am, Moby often heads to the oldest part of Chinatown (Mott St, south of Canal St) and literally loses himself in his city. “Most of the city is built on a grid system, so this is one of the only places you can do that. All the signs are in Cantonese or Mandarin and the streets are narrow and winding…I’ll listen to my headphones, walk around and just get totally lost.”

pages: 1,266 words: 278,632

Backup & Recovery by W. Curtis Preston


Berlin Wall, business intelligence, business process, database schema, Debian, dumpster diving, failed state, fault tolerance, full text search, job automation, side project, Silicon Valley, web application

When posting to the mailing list, try to include as much information as possible, such as the OS of the server and the client, a copy of the config files, and the error sections from the logs. The Future of BackupPC Features are steadily being added to BackupPC. Recent additions include a full CGI-based configuration editor and improved internationalization support. Currently, the big development activity is around BackupPCd, a side project being worked on in tandem with the work being done on the main server. BackupPCd is a client for the BackupPC server that will handle all the issues involved in dealing with the client. It will also implement its own transport protocol with the server. This protocol is being based on the rsync protocol, ensuring a reliable and efficient transport. While BackupPC will continue to support the existing transport mechanisms such as SMB, tar over ssh, and rsync, using BackupPCd will allow ACLs and other file metadata to be backed up, avoiding the need to install cygwin on Windows machines for rsync, allowing a uniform backup protocol across different client operating systems, and providing better performance.

pages: 945 words: 292,893

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson


clean water, Colonization of Mars, Danny Hillis, digital map, double helix, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, kremlinology, Kuiper Belt, microbiome, phenotype, Potemkin village, pre–internet, random walk, remote working, selection bias, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, the scientific method, Tunguska event, zero day, éminence grise

Paul chuckled, showing a lot of gum. “Not surprisingly, the powers that be are a little nervous about that and so word came down from on high that we ought to be preparing a backup plan, so we can go pull Ymir’s fat from the fire if need be. Well. That couldn’t be better, from a Martian point of view! As you know, we have been planning this mission for years. After Zero, I kept it going as a side project all through the development of the MIV program, and we managed to grease it in as one of the use cases.” “Use cases?” “One of the hypothetical uses to which the MIV kit might eventually be put,” Spencer explained. “Basically it just gave us an excuse to include a few components, like throttleable landing engines and aeroshield material, that might not have made it in otherwise,” Paul went on.

pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson,, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

He listed them by hand on a lined sheet of yellow paper: 31¢ for postage, $15.32 for a Moody’s Manual, $4.00 for the Oil & Gas Journal, $3.08 for telephone calls.21 Except for more meticulous accounting and a great deal more thought, he ran the business much as though he were just anybody trading stocks through a broker for a personal account. At the end of 1956, Warren wrote a letter to the partners outlining the partnership’s results at year-end. He reported that it had earned a total income of slightly more than $4,500, beating the market by about four percent.22 By then, Dan Monen, his lawyer, had withdrawn from the first partnership, with Doc Thompson buying out his share. Monen had joined Warren on a personal side project that he had been pursuing for some time: buying the stock of an Omaha-based insurer, National American Fire Insurance. This company’s worthless stock had been sold to farmers all over Nebraska in 1919 by unscrupulous promoters in exchange for the Liberty Bonds issued during World War I.23 Since then, its certificates had lain crumbling in drawers, while their owners gradually lost hope of ever seeing their money again.