Before starting this weeks thoughts, I want to encourage you to check out my other post this week on The tyranny of metrics. It‘s a really intersting story about the biggest mistake of a legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson and what we can learn from it.
Quote of the week
It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. – Seneca, On the shortness of time
This year I went for vacation entirely alone. After huge changes in my personal life, it was time to get some quality time for myself, so I thougt that a surf and sightseeing trip to Bilbao would be a great idea.
In the beginning it was kind of an uncomfortable experience: I thougt I needed to be active, to get out to see a lot of stuff, to make use of my time.
Only after some days I realized that it was not about that. I started to take it slow and listen to myself more closely. To become okay with the things I actually wanted to do. To become okay with just grabbing a book and spending the afternoon at a coffeeshop.
This is a really interesting dichotomy that we feel in ourselves quite often: What do we expect from ourselves vs. what is expected from us.
Probably we should learn to start thinking about time well spent differently: Getting in touch with ourselves, finding out what we actually need. And then get a surfboard and spend a week in the ocean. Or at a coffeeshop reading.
What I learned this week
Privacy is pricey
Home speakers have already become a thing in households nowadays. The big tech companies bet huge on home appliances: Amazon has just introduces it‘s latest series of connected appliances, Google and Apple have launched their smart home speakers already a while ago and Facebook has now introduced their product called „Portal“.
All those product lines have very interesting strengths and weaknesses, also from a business perspective – I recommend reading the linked article below.
But, what stands out to me more and more is the value of privacy. Amazon‘s Alexa might be a really cool device, that already has a lot of use cases. But Amazon knowing of the day to day things I‘m talking at home does not sound that nice.
The same goes for Google and (even more) Facebook. Both live from selling advertisements to their business clients. Both faced data breaches in the last few weeks. And lately it got apparent that Facebook even gives their user’s phone numbers to advertisers (sic). Profit over everything.
The only company that positions itself as concerned about their users privacy is Apple. Why? Because they don‘t want to sell you anything else than their own products, so they don‘t care that much about your personal data (think also about Android vs. iOS in that regard).
Still, Apple devices are the most expensive ones. That leaves me seriously concerned as it makes privacy a luxury good.
The light bulb is an icon of technological progress
Can you imagine, that 1 hour of artificial light, would cost you a whole week of work?
Nowadays we take it for granted that we can work, read and do whatever we want whenever we want. But just 150 years ago artifical light was extremely expensive. Yes, you would have candles, kerosine and oil lamps. But their capacities would be very limited: They were expensive, stinky and they set things on fire.
Following fact illustrates the price of light going down: 60 hours of woodwork would produce 1000 lumen of light. This is equivalent to a modern lightbulb shining for 54 minutes.
I don‘t think we can imagine living in a world like that. But pretty interesting to think about it – will our children one day be able to imagine a world without smartphones?
Cool thing of the week
The improvement in photography software is amazing. Smartphone photography is coming closer and closer to DSLR photography. Check out this tweetstorm by Steven Sinovsky:
1/ The rate of improvement in computational photography is amazing. While we understand how sensors get better due to improvements in silicon, we don’t have a way to characterize the improvements and innovations from software. pic.twitter.com/LlQ6ZldHEb
— Steven Sinofsky (@stevesi) 12. Oktober 2018