“Everything starts out looking like a toy” (No. 5)
A newsletter of small observations at the intersection of data and systems
Welcome! This letter shares some things I found interesting this week. As Christopher Nolan’s new movie Tenet is indefinitely delayed, I consoled myself by making a playlist consisting of only Time After Time renditions. This is edition No. 5, coming at you on August 1, 2020.
This Week’s Idea
I was struck by the concept of Entropy Theory - or the idea that business gets more chaotic over time - and that it means that there will always be opportunities for new businesses to challenge incumbents over time. Based on this theory, there should be tremendous opportunities as systems connect and older businesses have to adapt in new ways they couldn’t have imagined before. The takeaway? Finding actions that people do over and over again in multiple workspaces and linking them is an opportunity.
Links to Read and Share
These are links that caught my eye.
1/ Slack is a stealth social network. Ben Thompson at Stratechery writes about Slack’s strategy of becoming deeply integrated into the fabric of companies by becoming “that tool you use everywhere.” When will Slack create a universal login and federated search?
2/ Zoom is the new talk show. If you haven’t tried mmhmm (and even if you have), read this piece on turning your slideware into engaging video content. It’s fun to pretend you have a talk show.
3/ Go beyond the graph. The next time you make a data visualization, consider adding labels. They add context, says Elizabeth Ricks, and add words that enhance the data. Charts tell amazing stories with a bit of context.
What to do next
Hit reply and let me know if you’ve got links to share, data stories, or want to say hello.
You’re at the end. Thanks for reading! I’m grateful you found this.
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Want longer-form ideas? Check out on Data Operations or other writings at gregmeyer.com.
The next big thing always starts out being dismissed as a “toy.” - Chris Dixon