Amazon opens its first real bookstore — at U-Village | The Seattle Times

Amazon opens its first real bookstore — at U-Village | The Seattle Times:

Amazon is betting that the troves of data it generates from shopping patterns on its website will give it advantages in its retail location that other bookstores can’t match. It will use data to pick titles that will most appeal to Seattle shoppers.

Reminds me of banks and branch networks, the doubters when Apple announced retail stores, and how things both change and stay the same.

Nine of world’s biggest banks join to form blockchain partnership

LONDON Nine of the world’s biggest banks including Goldman Sachs and Barclays have joined forces with New York-based financial tech firm R3 to create a framework for using blockchain technology in the markets, the firm said on Tuesday.

Commonwealth Bank of course joined earlier.


Best Google / Alphabet coverage I’ve read

Includes this and many other insights:

Alphabet’s plan to report Google’s results on a standalone basis will likely reveal that the search-and-advertising company investors have bought stock in is, absent the financial blackhole of Google’s moonshots, doing even better than most suspected. Unfortunately for said investors the additional clarity will only serve to illuminate just how much money is not being returned to shareholders and is instead being spent by Page and Brin on what they think matters. Will investors trust Page to spend it wisely?


Now that’s what I call a pivot!

Now, I think the word “pivot” is way overused – but what better example of a pivot is there than this!?  How do your so-called pivots compare…?

The sensational aspect of the current Mockingbird/Watchman kerfuffle centers on Harper Lee’s radically different characterizations of Atticus Finch in the two books, specifically the less-than-knightly portrait in Go Set A Watchman. How could America’s avatar of decency turn into a racist? Why would Ms. Lee do that? Has the hero of To Kill A Mockingbird been tarnished forever?


To me, that’s not the story at all.


Since Watchman was written before Mockingbird (even though the time period in the book is later), Harper Lee did not “change” Atticus. The characterization in Watchman was the original. It was her first shot. It was Atticus 1.0.


The real story, if you ask me, is that Harper Lee rethought, reconceived, and reconfigured the Atticus of Watchman into the icon of honorableness that he became in To Kill A Mockingbird.


Think of that for a minute from a writer’s point of view. How hard is that to do? I can think of few things that are harder, not just from a practical point of view (the work, the recasting, the reimagining) but from a psychological perspective. How do you manage your emotions? How do you submerge your ego? How do you let go of expectations?

Source: Writing Wednesdays: Atticus Finch 2.0

I’ve read The Lean Startup, and I’m also familiar the reasons a mechanisms of true changes to strategic direction.  But most times I hear somebody say “pivot” I can’t help but think they are really just re-tracing their footsteps.  So what if you pivot, then pivot again, then pivot again and end up back where you started?

It’s all about what you learnt along the way if you follow the mythos.  But you’d better be congratulating yourself on what you’ve learnt if you’ve ended up back where you started – because it cost you a lot of time and money to get there (again).  Let’s not forget that sometimes you can apply what you’ve learnt before you start, and sometimes it’s better to call a mistake a mistake before you re-charactorise it as a “pivot” to try and sound hip.

Real pivots burn bridges – in fact, is it still a pivot if you can go back to it?  Don’t forget if you’re not going through the whole lean startup cycle (build, measure, learn, etc) you’re not making an informed pivot, you’re just arbitrarily changing your mind.

Simple rules to direct your mobility spend

From my old notes. It should be a simple process to identify the opportunity space for innovation – in mobility for example – whereby a quick view of the total potential set of benefits can be identified.  It’s then just a matter of investment priorities and execution. Simple, right?


What is the minimal thinking about strategy you should do before execution?

Diet versus resource use

I find this interesting. The meals themselves have changed dramatically – but from the graph the resources haven’t changed that much at all. It seems like all theses grains for example are now just spread out into our meats etc. Same too with the less palletible meats – used industrial food processing perhaps. 

“Diet. We have a tendency to romanticize “the good old days” of fresh foods and home cooked meals. Yet when you look at what the majority of people were actually eating on an average day in 1930, it looks considerably less appealing: fresh vegetables in season, yes, but the rest of the year it was grain, milk, more grain, beans, and cuts of meat, like salt pork and calf’s liver, that most Americans won’t touch today. Bread and milk was an actual meal that many people ate for supper, and not because it was homey and charming, but because most people could not afford the rich diet of the modern American.”  

Graph also from above article:


Exponential Organizations

Worth a watch – a well defined “collaboration architecture” :

The book is also good.

WSJ: Data Is the New Middle Manager

 Or rather, data management is the new decision-making logic….

(As always, Google the article title to get the full text)


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