Frog's eye

Learning is a lifetime trial

164 notes

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming


Given my post on libraries, a few folks linked me to this recent piece by author Neil Gaiman. My favorite part:

I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him: Why? Science fiction had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

It’s simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.

To have imagination, you have to spark imagination.

It is probably the most simple and straight forward “data-driven Analytics” example: know your question, gather your data/answers, derive the trend, and act on the result. Whether this will work we don’t know. But happy to see science fiction is openly welcomed as pop culture

39 notes

How The iPhone Came To Be


Farhad Manjoo:

Given the popularity of the iPod and its centrality to Apple’s bottom line, Apple should have been the last company on the planet to try to build something whose explicit purpose was to kill music players.

Disrupt yourself or be disrupted. If you had to give one reason as to why Apple is now in the position they’re in — by far the most valable company in the world that everyone is trying to emulate across a range of sectors — it’s this. Most companies are terrified of harming their cash cows, let alone going directly after them. (See: Microsoft, as a prime example.) Apple, on the other hand, said: “fuck it — this is going to happen, and we need to do it.”

Can’t agree more. Apple is also the one that refuses to chase its customers around, instead, it created things that changed people’s habits and lives. Maybe a couple times it may lose its grip. But that is how a business consistently keeps up with an ever growing loyal customer base.