Notes From the Field

  • HeLa Cells

    Henrietta Lacks passed away from cervical cancer in 1951, but her cells have been continuously used in medical tests due to their ability to replicate quickly.

  • Products Are Promises

    A products is not just collection of features, but a promise to solve a problem or enhance the customer’s life in some material way.

  • Knowledge Collapse

    Knowledge collapse is the paradox where increasing access to certain types of knowledge actually harms understanding.

  • Big Orange Cones in Manhattan

    The big orange cones with steam coming out of them in Manhattan are from the leaking network of steam pipes that heat commercial buildings.

  • Wood Wide Web

    A theory of how plants cooperate comes from research of how fungus connects tree roots together into common mycorrhizal networks (CMN).

  • Double Buffering

    In a two party system you never want both party A and party B buffering at the same time because it creates artificial delays in the system.

  • One Question Survey

    I received a one question feature survey from Screen Studio and I thought it was the best survey I have ever received.

  • Learned Helplessness

    When employees lose their sense of agency they start to look outwardly as the source of their problems and solutions.

  • One Pull Request per Day

    Productive engineers should write one pull request per day. One pull request per day creates forward momentum.

  • Goodhart's Law

    Anthropologist Marilyn Strathern summarized Goodhart’s law most succinctly saying, “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

  • IQ Loss From COVID-19 Infection

    A study of over 100,000 people in England found that found that cognitive deficits from COVID-19 infection (memory, reasoning and executive function) were similar between those whose symptoms resolved in less than 4 weeks and 12 weeks but were larger in those who had unresolved persistent symptoms (long COVID).

  • AI Bubble

    In Money AI Bubble, the author argues that the market is in an AI bubble.

  • The Shirky Principle

    Institutions end up perpetuating the problems they aim to resolve, either intentionally or unintentionally.