It’s easier to link to this text than it is to repeat the intuition every time. Those who learn fastest win One of the core reasons why, as I write this in mid-2018, Silicon Civilization has the world in their teeth is because they figured out that it wasn’t just about learning. It was about learning quickly. Look at it from their perspective. A startup is a hypothesis looking for validation. Those startups that are able to learn fastest have a greatest chance of pulling up before the runway runs out. Those that learned survived takeoff. Those that really thrived never stopped learning. They win because they got really good at learning. It isn’t purely about data, it’s about how[…]

Data scientists spend so much time focused on learning: both machine learning and human learning. A machine can learn. A data scientist spends a lot of time just trying to persuade a machine to learn. It just takes a lot of labelled data. What about collections of people? Organizations can learn too. It’s just that the data isn’t all labelled well. Why Organizational Learning is Important I was so impressed with Carl Anderson’s synthesis two years ago, about Data Driven Cultures, that I unpacked it and applied it to startups and strategy. Coming back to it now, in 2018, a lot of what he was saying is purely about learning. Carl Anderson, 2015, described a data driven culture as on that:[…]

We visited Koh Tao from March 18 to April 1, 2018. Here are some notes for fellow Canadians thinking about visiting Koh Tao. Getting There: The Flights A wise graduate supervisor once advised that one should always break up my trip so that you’re spending no more than 8 hours a day traveling. Eight hours in an airplane is a good work day, and you want to show up refreshed and ready to go. We didn’t do that. For the first leg, we did Cathay Pacific 829, Toronto to Hong Kong. Flight time was 15h30 minutes. It departs Pearson at 0h130 and lands the next day at 05h00. The way this flight works is impressive. There are stands to manage[…]

Who do you trust to manage your attention? Because now that the news cycle has surfaced Cambridge Analytica issue – that’s the real thesis question. Let me explain. How the Newsfeed manages your attention I really can’t understate just how powerful amplified engagement really is. When you overlay the like/share verbs on top of a network of individuals who all have something in common, or who procure people who have something in common, you get some pretty strong effects. Don’t believe me? Just check out the clothing in your drawers and the items in your fridge. You, my friend, are an outcome of considerable social contagion effects. Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm shelters you from a power law distribution of content that the[…]

We visited Buenos Aires from Feb 9 to March 1, 2018. Here are some notes for fellow Canadians thinking about visiting Buenos Aires. Taking a vacation in Buenos Aires as a Canadian requires some planning. If you do not enjoy planning, don’t go just yet. If the trend holds through to 2020, it’ll become easier and easier to visit. These notes are for Canadians. Getting There: The Flight We did Air Canada 92, which flies to Buenos Aires via Santiago, Chile. The flight was late because of mechanical issues prior to its Morning run to Beijing, via Vancouver. Delays are the rule, not the exception, with AC 92. Check out FlightAware to verify for yourself. It has a terrible on[…]

This is the second in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science. In this series: Why Agendas; Why Prepare For A Meeting; Why Document A Meeting; Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag; Why The Bullet Point. Why Prepare For A Meeting Because your time is valuable and non-renewable; Because time is valuable and non-renewable; Because you want to get off the critical path or continue on the critical path. When To Prepare For A Meeting Before the meeting. How To Prepare For A Meeting Read the agenda; If there is no agenda, ask for the agenda; Does the agenda indicate a decision, situation, or consultation that you need to be prepared for? If you need to gather[…]

This is the first in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science. In this series: Why Agendas; Why Prepare For A Meeting; Why Document A Meeting; Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag; Why The Bullet Point. Why Agendas Because you want to know what the meeting will be about; Because you want to prepare for the meeting; Because you want to inform others about what to prepare for. Where Agendas In the calendar invite directly. When Agendas When you send the calendar invite; Update in the calendar invite as amendments are made. What Agendas Default Berry format: Outcome: What can be done to <arrive at a decision about something> Hi! What are the facts about XXXX? What[…]

This is the fourth in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science. In this series: Why Agendas; Why Prepare For A Meeting; Why Document A Meeting; Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag; Why The Bullet Point. Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag in the subject line Because you are calling out that an action is required; Because you are calling out that a specific email is important; Because clarity is more likely to cause action; Because it is not always clear which emails are important and which are not important. Where to use [ACTION REQUIRED] In the subject line of an email. What is [ACTION REQUIRED] The Addressee is asked to undertake an action that is important,[…]

This is the fifth in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science. In this series: Why Agendas; Why Prepare For A Meeting; Why Document A Meeting; Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag; Why The Bullet Point. Why The Bullet Point Because they’re readable; Because they’re short; Because readable and short things are more likely to be read. What Is The Bullet Point <—- This right here; It’s sometimes it’s used as an item in an unordered list of items; The line has blurred between the ordered list and the unordered list. Where To Use The Bullet Point In powerpoint presentations; In email; In blog posts about bullet points. When To Use The Bullet Point When you want[…]

This is the third in a series on The Basics of Organizing For Data Science. In this series: Why Agendas; Why Prepare For A Meeting; Why Document A Meeting; Why The [ACTION REQUIRED] email tag; Why The Bullet Point. Why Document A Meeting Because data is getting generated by people; Because data is getting organized or disorganized; Because the probability of full quorum approaches 0 as the number of participants increases to 12 and beyond; Because decisions are at their clearest when they are documented and circulated; Because those that come after you can trace the intuition for a decision. Which Meetings To Document Meetings with a strong decision component should be documented; Meetings with a very strong situational awareness[…]