Folks who are new in tech, when faced with real-world business constraints, always try to reach for “agile” as a silver bullet.

Let’s implement scrum! Story points! SPRINTS! Yay! Innovation! Let’s show our managers our burndown charts so they know WE MEAN BUSINESS.

Perhaps, forgetting that “Agile” is a process packaged nicely in a box, sold as a cure-all by snake oil salesmen from Atlasssian, Deloitte, Accenture, and their ilk. The Scrum of the Earth.

It’s really not rocket science.

Processes like Scrum and SAFe are appealing, because they’re binary. You’re either “doing agile” or “not doing agile”.

It appeals to our deepest fears about…

A look into how and why we migrated the TenX Wallet apps to React Native

Disclaimer: I’m no longer working at TenX. This post is the original article I wrote and published on the official company blog, while I was an employee. Since the company decided to move their blog from Medium to a self-hosted site (the moved version is here), this article is now published under my personal account.

In 2018, my team at TenX decided to rewrite our flagship app, TenX Wallet, from standalone native iOS/Android apps to a unified React Native codebase.

Launched two years prior, the Wallet app went through multiple design iterations, and accumulated significant technical debt.

In this two-part…

A deep dive into how and why we migrated the TenX Wallet apps to React Native

This is the second part of a two-part post. You can read Part 1 here, where I introduce the context and motivation behind our decision to port our standalone native iOS/Android apps to a unified React Native codebase.

“Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”

— Walter Gretzky

As a product team, building a resilient and sustainable product that enables tomorrow’s effort is our top concern.

This is why, in trying to solve our development pain points, we didn’t just consider the merits of Javascript development versus native mobile development. …

The story of Apple and Microsoft, and their wildly differing ideas of what it means to be a creative today.

Apple’s new touchbar-equipped, port-deficient MacBook Pros reflect the new realities of what it means to be a “creative professional” today.

It used to mean graphic designer / illustrator / 3D artist / video editor / motion graphics designer / audio engineer / photographer.

“It’s important to teach problem solving, or teach to the problem and not the tools. Let’s say you’re trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, ‘We’re going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.’ This is a very difficult way to do it. A much better way would be, like, ‘Here’s the engine. Now let’s take it apart. How are we gonna take it apart? Oh you need a screwdriver!’”

This is not an article about Elon Musk.

You shouldn’t care about Elon Musk.

You should care about what he said about…

It’s often said that Art and Design serve different masters, or perhaps they are the masters that all manner of human creation serves. Art is said to ask, and be useless, and Design is said to answer, and be useful.

But is this a symbiosis or a dichotomy? Or perhaps a false dichotomy.

In a dualistic subject-object world, Art is purely subjective and Design is purely objective. But in a monistic world, are Art and Design one and the same? What is the relationship between them?

In the past there was no distinction. Before industrialization, there was little need for…

The future is too much for most people to handle.

features ≠ benefits

Sci-fi writer William Gibson famously remarked that “the future is already here,” it’s just not evenly distributed.

And the reason it’s not evenly distributed could be it’s out of reach to most people. Or that new technology isn’t ready for mass adoption. But more than anything, it’s because people aren’t ready for it.

Apple’s new mono-port, insanely light, ostensibly overpriced MacBook is one such example.

Tim Cook called it a notebook from the future.

Like most new product introductions from Apple, it’s incredibly polarizing. This one drew more flak than others. “One port?!,” the technorati cried…

Why it’s flawed to recognize creativity with awards.

The “middle ground”

The problem with Oscar voting is it tends toward the middle ground. Is Birdman better than Boyhood? Not necessarily, it just means fewer people think it doesn’t deserve an award.

And the divisive films — the ones we either love to bits or hate to death — lose out in this process. Because while hardly anyone will say Birdman is such a bad film it doesn’t deserve the award, you will find passionate naysayers who feel Boyhood doesn’t deserve it.

Truth or Dare

So here we have a classic dichotomy.

Artistry / Authenticity / Timelessness


Popularity / Relevance / Timeliness

This whole…

Culture is what’s valuable, not content.

Is it any wonder that Apple (and Google) is famous for baking culture into their products?

A decade ago, in the Information Age, Apple wouldn’t have succeeded as well as it did. But we are now in the Connection Age.

In the Information Age, content that sold was, well, information.

In the Connection Age, content that sells is culture. Culture is what connects people.

Regardless. In any “age” there are always waves:

  1. The initial gold rush where there are many players,
  2. then the crowning of a few kings where everything converges to a few places,
  3. and finally the third wave…

A video response to the Spotify-Uber alliance

“You pay so much fucking money for these cabs, you should have the option to listen to whatever kind of music you want.”

Andric Tham

Product Manager & Designer. Maker of software. I live for the everyday magic and moments of serendipity. ✨

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