August 2011

My Weekend at the Fringe

Having enjoyed the Edinburgh Fringe when I attended for the first time last August, I was determined to do it all over again. A long bank holiday weekend and a number of shows by comedians I’ve been longing to see, left few excuses not to return. Here are my thoughts on each performance I saw this time round.

Steve Jobs’ Best Quotes

August has been a crazy month in the technology press, but no story has had the same impact than Steve Job’s resignation as CEO of Apple. Whilst I’ve been enjoying commentary and many stories regarding his 14-year tenure, it’s the man’s own words that have been most insightful. From this collection of Steve Job’s quotes, an answer given during an interview with Wired caught my eye:

I’m 40 years old, and this stuff doesn’t change the world. It really doesn’t.

I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much – if at all.

These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that.

But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light – that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important.

Only a few weeks ago I was bemoaning the overuse of the phrase ‘change the world’. I heard this said far too often when I worked in the Valley, so it was heartening to read Jobs’ thoughts on the matter.

I do so hope Steve will have plenty more opportunities to part with such wisdom as he enjoys his retirement.

Zerply

Zerply is a professional network that helps you find like minded people by tags, skills, location and more. Essentially it’s a simpler, classier replacement for LinkedIn. It gained a degree of traction this week after being featured by Tina Roth Eisenberg, who perfectly summed up my problems with LinkedIn:

I had fallen out of love with LinkedIn a long time ago, but last week’s sneaky move (read about it here) pushed me over the edge. What a lost opportunity. LinkedIn was built on such a fantastic core idea. And then they tried to be twitter-and-facebook-and-everything-else at once. Bummer.

I’ve deleted my LinkedIn account. You can now find my professional profile on Zerply.

Thoughts on Adobe Muse

This week Adobe revealed Muse, yet another web application but this time aimed at print designers looking to transfer their skills to the web. However this app has created some controversy, not only due the quality of the code it outputs, but also the claims made in the marketing videos.

Change the World

Facebook’s continuing hoovering up of top design talent has been worrying me for some months. The shopping spree continued earlier this month with the acquisition of Push Pop Press, a promising start-up building an innovative digital publishing platform.

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