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#89:


Little light on local news this week, but I have a good selection of reads for you.
Where do you draw the line on an invasion of user privacy?
Superhuman has come up in the last year as a power app for email – it's users swear by it and pay $30/month for the privilege.

Last week saw a serious controversy flare up for Superhuman – Superhuman is spying on you was an in-depth critique of privacy-invasive features of the product.

Twitter has been incredibly polarised. But the issue is pretty nuanced as designers everywhere stretch the ethical limits of maximising user engagement.

CEO Rahul Vohra's thoughtful response makes for a case study in how to defuse and react to controversy.

📺Meanwhile, if you've ever wondered how a firework works:
ज्ञान
Apple released a seemingly-minor feature that I think is absolutely wild.

A minor tweak to Facetime video will make it look like the person you're talking to is starting at you (i.e. the camera), rather than the screen.
This story ignores the current controversy around the 737 Max and steps back to consider the root of the problem: a merger in the 1990s.

Boeing was a legendary company where civilian engineers were in charge, but government-led consolidation gave the power to financiers. This laid the ground for a change in culture away from a pure love of engineering.

Good read. Today's subject line is from this article.
You've seen versions of them in TikTok, FB live and most other video live-streaming products but it's worth a read into the origin of "bullet comments"

Bullet comments, or 弹幕 (“danmu”), are text-based user reactions superimposed onto online videos: a visual commentary track to which anyone can contribute.

Each comment is synchronized to an exact moment in the video, and will fly across the screen on cue on every subsequent replay. On particularly popular videos, they pile up so thick that they can cover the original entirely. The result is a viscerally social experience, like an opening night crowd at a movie theater that you can summon anytime.
What index funds, Seth Rogen, and golfing have to do with the benefits of being average.
What every company gets wrong about developing for the emerging world, and how to do it right.

Bit of a dated article, but the fundamental point is strong:

Instead of entering new markets with an open mind, [companies] approach with a strategy in place and then look for the people who prove their theories right. “The only thing worse than not asking the questions, is not paying attention to the answers that don’t fit into their world view, because it’s inconvenient."
“You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited,” says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking.

“Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.”
Costco pioneered a fascinating business.

Many parts of the business fly in the face of all conventional wisdom: you pay a membership fee to get to shop there, their markups are tiny compared to the market norm, and they stock massive volumes of a small selection of products.
Tidbits
Quotable
"Any sufficiently advanced logic is indistinguishable from stupidity”

– Alex Tabarrok
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