In our house, for example, we do not need a general purpose cooling machine, that can take any configuration of things-to-be-cooled and cool them in any which way. Instead, we have a fridge/freezer. The general-purpose PC, in terms of form factor and use case, is turning out to be but an aberration. The problem that the PC industry has found itself in is that it optimised itself into a local maxima: they optimised and optimised and optimised for the market that they thought they were in - which was People Who Buy PCs - and found themselves sitting atop a pretty mountain. And for the landscape they were in, that was just fine. It’s just that if you started looking in a different solution or possibility space, there turned out to be a giant, adjacent untapped maxima that we still haven’t seen the ceiling of: and that’s tablets and mobile.
#WhiteFace: The face I make when I’m offended by something that can’t actually hurt me.
Culture is not about the furniture in your office. It is not about how much time you have to spend on feel-good projects. It is not about catered food, expensive social outings, internal chat tools, your ability to travel all over the world, or your never-ending self-congratulation.
Culture is about power dynamics, unspoken priorities and beliefs, mythologies, conflicts, enforcement of social norms, creation of in/out groups and distribution of wealth and control inside companies. Culture is usually ugly. It is as much about the inevitable brokenness and dysfunction of teams as it is about their accomplishments. Culture is exceedingly difficult to talk about honestly. …
…while we may not like to be compared to the animal kingdom, it is true that the small percentage of people who arethoughtless jerks are going to be focusing their attentions on the weakest among us. Like lions after the limping wildebeest.
The question then becomes, is there a way that we can reduce or eliminate the ‘limping wildebeest’ phase of minorities attempting to enter the tech community?
They wanted hits, and they got them.
[All of us Minority Darlings who had made it this far] collected something else, too, unbeknownst to the other colleagues we shared laughs and drinks with after work. We kept a meticulous tally of all the slights and slurs collected over the years—each look of surprise on a new client’s face upon first meeting, every hushed, broken-off conversation when we entered a room. On rare occasions, in trusted company, we aired them out, dusted them off, and tossed them around like war stories. Rolled up our sleeves and revealed them to each other, like battle scars.
The Partner Track, Helen Wan
Every single one.
If you only ask for crumbs, and the granting of those crumbs causes bloodshed, what do you think will be caused when you ask for a loaf of bread or a bakery in which to make your own bread?
I recently covered a bunch of “bad ally” behaviors. Some of the items on that list are downright awful, and some of them are more akin to the ally equivalent of a“code smell”. They’re not that awful in isolation, but they are often a sign of deeper problems. The more they occur, the worse those problems probably are.
I want to explore some of these “ally smells” a bit more. Let’s start by talking about appropriation.
"You want to photograph me eating chicken?"
"Well, if I let you, I need you to help me deliver a message."
"I work at this library. And before that, I was coming here for twenty years. It’s my favorite place in the world. As many people know, the main reading room of this library is supported by seven floors of books, which contain one of the greatest research collections in the world. Recently, the library administration has decided to rip out this collection, send the books to New Jersey, and use the space for a lending library. As part of the consolidation, they are going to close down the Mid-Manhattan Library Branch as well as the Science, Industry, and Business Library. When everything is finished, one of the greatest research libraries in the world will become a glorified internet cafe. Now read that back to me."