Numbers that calm, numbers that cause anxiety

Statistics, badge counts and numbers in apps that help: step and active minutes counts on Fitbit. Streaks on Duolingo. Calendar counts on reproductive health apps. Delivery date estimates on Amazon (or time on Zomato).

Numbers that don’t help, that cause and in many cases are designed to cause anxiety: Instagram likes, Twitter notification counts that now include someone you know following someone else you may/not know, Reddit karma, unread counts on email/chat/Slack/news apps.

No sleep/Ambien vs The Calm Company

Elon Musk in his New York Times interview-confession:

…he choked up multiple times, noting that he nearly missed his brother’s wedding this summer and spent his birthday holed up in Tesla’s offices as the company raced to meet elusive production targets on a crucial new model.

Asked if the exhaustion was taking a toll on his physical health, Mr. Musk answered: “It’s not been great, actually. I’ve had friends come by who are really concerned.”

“It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” he said

Jason Fried’s and David Heinemeier Hansson’s new book “It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work”, releasing in October 2018:

Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals. But it should be a mark of stupidity, the authors argue. Sadly, this isn’t just a problem for large organizations—individuals, contractors, and solopreneurs are burning themselves out the same way.

…You can have a calm company too.

This book points out the diseases plaguing modern workplace and work methods. It calls out false cures, and pushes back against ritualistic time-sucks that have infected the way people work these days. We have a prescription to make it better.

This five minute encounter left me with paw prints on my shirt and smelling of dog. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

Unchained – the crypto podcast

For the past few months I’ve been listening to Laura Shin’s podcast Unchained. In her own description,

host Laura Shin talks with industry pioneers across tech, financial services, health care, government and other sectors about how the blockchain and cryptocurrency will open up new opportunities for incumbents, startups and everyday people to interact more efficiently, directly and globally.

It’s not crypto news, it’s not deep tech, it’s not about deals and dealmakers. Just a take-a-step-back look at broad trends in the blockchain-token space.

For starters, listen to the skeptics episode about the Shitcoin Waterfall and the one with security token infra builders Harbor and Trustoken.