John Barton
Yep, a newsletter
Yep, a newsletter

Feature work on Heartbeat is continuing at a cracking pace. A few of you have been on the beta list for quite a while and your moment is coming soon!

If you missed it over the break, I also shared some thoughts on running a conference booth which might be of interest to fellow early stage startup types.


How DOOM fire was done
Still not ready to stop plugging DOOM programming esoterica. Thanks Charlie for sending this in. Reminds me so much of the crappy demo style programs I wrote in QBasic in high school.

Courier: Dropbox migration to gRPC
Great post from the Dropbox team on their migration to gRPC. If I had loads and loads of microservices talking to each other I’d seriously think about this approach.

STAMPing on event-stream
I’d not heard of the STAMP model for “root cause” analysis before this post but it looks like a very sensible way to learn from failure in complex systems.

Apple Macintosh
A dorky and fun collection of war stories from the earlyish days of Apple.

What the hell is REST, Anyway?
After a failed attempt to wrangle a team behind REST I really feel this quote: “If you now find yourself understanding REST, I’m sorry. You’re now cursed. Like a cross between the Greek myths of Cassandra and Prometheus, you will be forced to explain the ideas over and over again to no avail.”

Business & Management

Dana Kanze: The real reason female entrepreneurs get less funding

Hell has frozen over and I have shared a TED talk in this newsletter. Snobs with spare time can read the underlying academic paper but barring the superflous dramatic anecdote opening this is a good summary of research on bias within framing Q&A. Helpful tips in there to try and break out from that bias.

How to Make Things High-Quality
Much more interesting than the facile checklist at end of the post is the question posed in the middle - “if we knew it would take this long to do it well would we have done it all”?

A Pirate’s take on Strategy vs Tactics
Lessons on business strategy dressed up as a nautical history parable. There was no way this wasn’t going to make the newsletter.

Avoiding Mistakes with your Manager README
The topic of manager readmes has been a bit of a rollercoaster recently. I like this post as it does a good job of explaining it as a tool within a context to help you decide when and how to use one.

Content at seed stage: 3 lessons in the art of the possible
Very helpful primer on content marketing tactics for early stage startups. Particularly helpful if you’ve just come from a larger company with more resources.


Toto’s Africa set to play until the end of days thanks to an art installation in Namibia
This is at least six times more interesting than the Long Now foundation’s stupid clock in a stupid cave.

Telling the China Story: The Rise and Rise of Chinese Science Fiction
Handy summary of what’s what in the Chinese SF scene and comes with a few book recommendations that I’ve since added to my queue.

Unpacking the Millennial Work Ethic
I tried reading the book “Bullshit Jobs” but couldn’t push through it. This essay has a much more convincing explanation of modern corporate ennui and helped me realise why the bullshit jobs narrative didn’t sit very well with me.

Birding Like It’s 1899: Inside a Blockbuster American West Video Game
I love that the American Bird Club (I think that’s what Audubon Society means) has reviewed Red Dead Redemption with their very specific interests in mind.

Contractually Obligated Nautical Fact

I have not independently verified this piece of Navy drinking trivia BUT I love it so I’m sharing it anyway. Apparently if you’re looking for an excuse to have a drink you toast the siege of Gibraltar because it’s good odds there’s an anniversary of at least one of the many sieges of Gibraltar soon. Beats the hell out of “it’s 5pm somewhere”.

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