Convenience Is King

People tend to take the path that requires the least effort to satisfy a need or want. You can often predict people’s behavior by merely understanding the convenience of each option.

See also:

  • Atomic Habits: you can improve the likelihood of forming a habit by making it easier to take an action (e.g. sleeping in your workout clothes so you don’t need to change to do a morning workout).
  • Atomic Habits

    A book about building systems of small habits that compound over time. Even small changes add up to big things—1% improvement every day result in 37x improvement.

  • Machu Picchu Was Built on Intersecting Fault Lines

    Recent research shows that Machu Picchu was purposely constructed on top of two intersecting fault lines. The area is very remote, even from the nearest city where the emperor lived, that the location seems like an overly difficult choice. However, the fault lines provide convenient access to granite and channels that carry fresh water from the mountains (convenience is king).

  • Reverse Chronological Content Took over the Web

    The majority of websites of the ‘old web’ (1990’s) were hand crafted, highly customized places where creators acted more as librarians—carefully maintaining a table of contents and some evergreen content. This all changed with the introduction of Moveable Type, a CMS that took the labor out of publishing content and democratized a minimal, organized, aesthetic.

  • Outdated Scientific Studies Can Perpetuate for Years

    Scientific research can sometimes suffer from a form of path dependence where a single study can be cited repeatedly for many years even when it is found out to be incorrect. For example, in 2015 a literature review found that 900 peer-reviewed studies used a cell line derived from a breast cancer patient in 1976 that was found to actually be skin cancer. For eight years (and maybe more) studies kept citing it even though it was incorrect.

  • Nobody Wants to Run Their Own Server

    The original idea of the web was that everyone would be both a producer and a consumer. They would run their own server and connect to the servers of others.

  • How to Not Be Rude When Sending a Calendly Link

    Some people find it rude to receive a Calendly link when scheduling a meeting. It pushes the effort of finding a time onto them rather going through the ceremonial back and forth of recursively reducing the set of date times to a mutually agreeable one.

  • Frontend Javascript Toolchains Trade off Ease of Adding Dependencies over Bundle Size

    Modern JS toolchains like npm and webpack optimize for ease of adding third-party libraries over keeping bundle size (and page bloat) small.

  • Linters Automate Quality Control

    Using linters on a codebase is a way of automating quality control. It frees up time for engineers by shifting the meticulous checking for minor details to the linter instead of code reviewers. It also helps the engineer writing the code to get faster feedback directly in their text editor.