Essays

  • Uber Does Not Equal The Valley

    … Now that the other shoe has dropped, and Uber’s CEO has been (somewhat) restrained, it’s time for the schadenfreude. Given Uber’s remarkable string of screwups and controversies, it’s coming in thick, in particular from the East coast. And while I believe Uber deserves the scrutiny — there are certainly critical lessons to be learned — the hot…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 22 readers -
  • Is Humanity Obsolete?

    … image Upon finishing Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus, I found an unwelcome kink in my otherwise comfortably adjusted frame of reference. It brought with it the slight nausea of a hangover, a lingering whiff of jet exhaust from a hard night, possibly involving rough psychedelics. I’m usually content with my (admittedly incomplete) understanding…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 16 readers -
  • Dear Facebook…Please Give Me Agency Over The Feed

    … (cross posted from NewCo Shift) Like you, I am on Facebook. In two ways, actually. There’s this public page, which Facebook gives to people who are “public figures.” My story of becoming a Facebook public figure is tortured (years ago, I went Facebook bankrupt after reaching my “friend” limit), but the end result is a place that feels a bit like…

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Social Facebook- 18 readers -
  • Please, Let’s Not Go There Again

    … to take power costs to zero, all while driving far more jobs than coal. Do we really want to go back? Well, Trump certainly does. WTF? The EPA was established in 1970, when our rivers were on fire and kids had to hide inside from killer smog attacks (I was one of them). Now, Trump’s EPA has repealed decades of regulations, and it’s run by a guy who…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 12 readers -
  • Pick Up the Phone and Call.

    … (cross posted from NewCo Shift) People in business who like to Get Shit Done fall in love with each version of The New. When I was a kid, new was the the Apple II. Then the IBM PC, digital phones and voice mail, the Mac — oh God, the Mac! — word processing, email, the cell phone, the Internet — mmmmm, the Internet! — and then the iPhone — oh…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 20 readers -
  • Bad Policy Makes Us Sick. Business Must Lead Us Back.

    … (Cross posted from NewCo Shift) Walking around Disneyland with my daughter the other night, I found myself face to face with one of our country’s most intractable taboos. (Disneyland is still awesome for me, as a kid from 1970s LA. Truly magical.) If you’re an observer of crowds, one of the more prominent features of the Disneyland crowd…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 16 readers -
  • Transparency vs. Infotainment

    … In the world of startups, few topics have garnered as much buzz as transparency—the act of sharing previously private company information with the inquisitive public. You can now find dozens if not hundreds of companies sharing, well, nearly everything. It’s an exciting development. After all, does anyone want more secrecy from the businesses…

    Gregory Ciotti/ Sparring Mind- 20 readers -
  • Written First On Medium. Discuss.

    Image Credit Arch Cape Inn So I had a thought about the state of the publishing world, specifically that part of it that we’d call blogging(1). And it struck me. Why haven’t we made our own Medium? No, wait, that doesn’t quite sound right. Medium is awesome, and in fact I am writing this post in (on?!) Medium.

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 18 readers -
  • 50 Must-Read Psychology Books

    … Reading is the supreme “lifehack” — distilled knowledge that often took years to assemble can be consumed in just a few hours. And the more you know about social psychology and human behavior, the better. At Help Scout we have learning stipend (here’s why) for our teammates so you can buy as many books as you need. You’re probably not surprised…

    Gregory Ciotti/ Sparring Mind- 23 readers -
  • Giving the Gift of Encouragement

    … Just as important as the work you do is the person you bring to work. Your mood, outlook, and actions echo out to those around you. One of the best ways to contribute to your surroundings to give the gift of encouragement. I’ve written—on multiple occasions—about the dangers of making “Great work!” an expected platitude. Let’s be clear: when…

    Gregory Ciotti/ Sparring Mind- 20 readers -
  • Information Transparency & The “True Cost” Calculator

    … of the effects production may have on the environment, in local communities, or on the people who grow and make what we sell. We believe a business should strive for not just the lowest prices, but the lowest true cost for all. Low prices benefit customers, but low true costs benefit everyone. To do this, we can’t sit on the sidelines until after a product…

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 17 readers -
  • The Creative Cringe

    … Creative work is rarely kind enough to grant the oh-so satisfying feeling of unquestionable completion. There is no right, there is no wrong. There’s just you and your ideas. Compare that to an assembly task, one with a defined outcome. When assembling a kitchen table, if you end up with three legs, you screwed up. Oh well. At least there’s…

    Gregory Ciotti/ Sparring Mind- 21 readers -