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We just talk to each other

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Bret Taylor on his present at Friendfeed and his past at Google :

I had a number of accomplishments that I’m really proud of at Google. But I think for me I really wanted to sort of, you kow, forge my own path, if we can do it on our own. When we make decisions, I get to just look up from my computer and say, “Hey, you think we should do this?” And then people say, yes, we should do it. I haven’t made a single PowerPoint presentation. We don’t even use Microsoft Word documents; we just talk to each other.

It’s a really, really interesting dynamic environment. I think no matter how innovative a culture is at a large company, you can’t really reproduce it. And I think that’s what’s so infectious and wonderful about a startup environment, that I think draws a lot of people to it (…)

With 70 people the odds that two people are working on the same thing are probably pretty low. With 17,000, it’s almost a 100% that two or three people will be working on the same idea, or at least very similar ideas, at different parts of the organization. I think there is a certain amount of cost to just coordinating that activity. I’ve been really impressed with how Google has been able to scale, but inherently it has to change – just because there’s that coordination cost.

I think some bloggers call it “strategy tax.” You know, when you grow, your strategy becomes more and more important, and it taxes sort of everything you do a little bit… because everything you do, it strays from that strategy. You know, there’s a huge cost to that. Whereas I think for smaller companies, the strategy is less well-defined, or certainly the impact of straying from it is much lower.

Blogged with Flock

Written by Brajesh

March 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm


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From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 00:58:03 GMT
Subject: Re: Coding style – a non-issue

Newsgroups: fa.linux.kernel

On Fri, 30 Nov 2001, Rik van Riel wrote:

> I’m very interested too, though I’ll have to agree with Larry
> that Linux really isn’t going anywhere in particular and seems
> to be making progress through sheer luck.

Hey, that’s not a bug, that’s a FEATURE!

You know what the most complex piece of engineering known to man in the whole solar system is?

Guess what – it’s not Linux, it’s not Solaris, and it’s not your car.

It’s you. And me.

And think about how you and me actually came about – not through any complex design.

Right. “sheer luck”.

Well, sheer luck, AND:
– free availability and _crosspollination_ through sharing of “source code”, although biologists call it DNA.
– a rather unforgiving user environment, that happily replaces bad versions of us with better working versions and thus culls the herd (biologists often call this “survival of the fittest”)
– massive undirected parallel development (“trial and error”)

I’m deadly serious: we humans have _never_ been able to replicate something more complicated than what we ourselves are, yet natural selection did it without even thinking.

Don’t underestimate the power of survival of the fittest.

And don’t EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit.

Quite frankly, Sun is doomed. And it has nothing to do with their engineering practices or their coding style.


Written by Brajesh

December 19, 2007 at 11:21 am

Posted in Coding, Culture, Linux

Real Programmers

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Real programmers programs never work right the first time. But if you throw them on the machine they can be patched into working in only a few 30-hours debugging sessions.

Real Programmers Code of Conduct

Written by Brajesh

May 12, 2007 at 8:47 am

Posted in Coding, Culture, humour


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This fscking awesome greasemonkey script to uncensor the Internet. Ingenious.

Written by Brajesh

April 28, 2007 at 1:15 pm

What’s next, Jump the shark

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In one of my earlier posts, I had written about a common problem of online social networks (friendster, orkut et al)

We built all those ’social’ networks and then what!

Guy Kawasaki linked to an essay on the “What’s next” problem of social networks. It tries to find some answers.

ps: Another link towards Guy’s Mission Technorati top-ten
[Update] Apparently, the essay is written by Fred Stutzman, co-founder of claimID. FWIW.

Written by Brajesh

July 1, 2006 at 10:17 am

Non- English Web World

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Cache mining of traffic from Wikipedia pages shows that English Wikipedia pages are accessed more than any other language(35%). The figure is surprisingly lower than expected considering demographics of Internet users and dominance of English speakers. Even more surprising was the fact that most Wikipedia usage from a country is from Japan(22%), which also explains the high figures for Japanese segment of Wikipedia. US and Germany are next, while India lying much below with 1%.

Written by Brajesh

September 2, 2005 at 11:56 pm

Why smart people defend bad ideas

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This was an interesting essay written by Scott Berkun. Well…he had plenty to write, few obvious things and many insightful comments.

The obvious – “The problem with smart people is that they like to be right and sometimes will defend ideas to the death rather than admit they’re wrong.

The insightful – “The primary point is that no amount of intelligence can help an individual who is diligently working at the wrong level of the problem. Someone with wisdom has to tap them on the shoulder and say, “Um, hey. The hole you’re digging is very nice, and it is the right size. But you’re in the wrong yard.?

Overkill of an analogy, but still-
I was never very good at pool, but this one guy there was, and whenever we’d play, he’d watch me miss easy shots because I tried to force them in with authority. I chose speed and power over control, and I usually lost. So like pool, when it comes to defusing smart people who are defending bad ideas, you have to find ways to slow things down.

And he says-“If you want your smart people to be as smart as possible, seek a diversity of ideas. Find people with different experiences, opinions, backgrounds, weights, heights, races, facial hair styles, colors, past-times, favorite items of clothing, philosophies, and beliefs. Unify them around the results you want, not the means or approaches they are expected to use.

Something about Scott- “He left his comfortable industry job to go after a life goal: filling the bookshelf near his desk with books he’s written“. I’m impressed.

Written by Brajesh

May 29, 2005 at 11:38 am