Rocket live streams, the $30 Billion dollar algorithm, and Snowden vindicated

Originally published at The Scattershot.

Its Thursday, September 3rd and the formless shapeless void of my week has been given form. Manifest from the ether as a newsletter. Hi 👋.

Here are a few things that made me move my eyebrows and made me ask some questions. I’m playing with the format, but I’m aiming to send out a weekly letter with 1–5 topics of interest and more sparingly doing deep dives of things that continue to rattle in my skull.

TikTok is for sale. It is an absolute social media behemoth. Estimated to be going for $10–30 Billion dollars…

It was a time of productivity and grief, creativity and pain

These past twelve months weren’t a meme, a curse, or a referendum on reality, but they had meaning. Its hard for me to articulate how I’ve felt and its hard to feel like my struggles are worth writing about in a year that has seen so many people buckle and break under its weight.

This was year that made the world feel so much smaller for so many people. The walls of our collective bubbles groaned and cracked. The world broke in, all of it at once, and kicked us in the gut. …

Marginally more grounded sub-title with a hint of this post’s actual content

A reference to a time when you we’re doing something casually aspirational like wrapping up a meeting with your team discussing your own success, but felt something nagging in the back of your mind… subtle questioning that your life not as exceptional as you imagined?

A quote that is just vague enough to be meaningless

Ignorance of the quote above in its entirety and a subtle pivot back to what matters: Yourself.

Casual explanation of how you’ve been doing things right:

  • Reference to your positive mindset
  • Allusion to your excellent habits
  • Quick reference to your last successful venture

A series…

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love over-communication

I’ve worked with remote teams before. Partially remote. They we’re remote and the “company” was in one place. Anyone who has worked with clients or in a customer facing role could probably reasonably abstract things out to a person working remotely without too many new skills in their toolbox.

But there is no easy framework when part of an office becomes removed from you. The remote worker is the “other”. They have the hard job of figuring out what you are thinking.

I recently began working with a team that is for the most part remote:

The Developers, frontend and…

There are many side projects in my ideas graveyard, but most had valuable lessons to give before they faded like a match on Tinder.

Better still: the appearance of consistency is King. Podcasting taught me that new and current events are tough because they are antithesis of “evergreen” content. And if I wanted my podcast to succeed I had to live and breathe my content far more than I already was. Before I had even started the constraints I chose for my side project we’re working against me.

Consistency to your end users doesn’t have to even remotely resemble the…

I’m not the world’s most compelling writer, comedian, marketer, or french toast maker, but I do occasionally pour some feeling and thought into my blog posts. That’s why I’m upset.

I wrote a listicle and it was wildly more successful than my last blog post.

It wasn’t even remotely close

It was so successful by comparison that I debated titling this post You won’t believe these 3 reasons my blog went viral. But I didn’t. Because a man has to stand for something.

And in this post I’m standing for principled but drastically reduced engagement metrics.

See you in the next listicle, friends.

Sometimes the only way to shake a bad idea is to write it down… So, these are now free for you to use in perpetuity, forever.*

  1. Punchbowl in the shape of a punching bag
  2. A dating service for people who only drink Soylent
  3. A subscription box service for moving boxes
  4. Software that tells you what sports stadium you resemble. Call it: Ballparker
  5. A wearable that tracks how many times you say “Umm” per day
  6. A social network
  7. A TV stand shaped like big chair. Call it: TV Sit
  8. A sun visor with solar charging
  9. A sun visor without solar charging

Submarine Internet Cable map of the United States —

The internet may never have been a medium that could by its design afford you privacy. The nature of digital communication and rapidly affordable computing meant easy surveillance happened long before easy privacy.

What afforded us protection with analog technologies in the past may not just have been the warrants required to tap them so much as the physical difficulty of placing yourself between data and its destination. In its early days the internet rode on the same analog infrastructure and perhaps those same protections just seemed implicit. …

Tracks from the Curiosity rover crossing dunes on the Dingo Gap on Mars


I just finished watching the movie The Martian and I must admit I haven’t read the book, but its just jumped to the top of my list.

I walked out of the theater feeling refreshed and hopeful, which a lot of movies have made me feel before, but the source of that energy felt different this time around.

So much achievement in films is from a characters unknown inherent ability, fate, magic or Deus Ex Machina. Occasionally a training montage sees a protagonist rise from her relative obscurity to full fitness for whatever challenge the movie presents.

But in…

Part I of an infinite part series

In May of this year I stepped into the role of Product Manager, but I haven’t taken a lot of time to stop and reflect on everything i’ve stumbled over in the process. I figured I’d try to nail down some the intangibles I would’ve liked to have known before getting onto this rollercoaster.

I’ve had good mentors and a lot of support to help me get here, but hopefully this can light the way just a bit for those heading down the same path.

Redefine what Success is

Coming from an engineering and QA background I’ve found that I calibrated success to concrete…

Jóhann B. Hannesson

Just a man standing in front of the web and asking it to love him. Product Manager, Amateur Rabble-rouser, America’s 17th most influential Jóhann.

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