What’s Next — 2018, Review, Goals

by Jordan Gonen | 1.1.2018

Hi! Welcome to 2018 🎊

I just published my “2017:Year-in-Review,” sharing my experiences and learnings from the past 365 days. Thank you for an awesome year. It is a 12 minute read but I think you will enjoy.

I am wishing you the best for 2018 — always here to help. Articles to Read.

Default Alive or Default Dead?:

When I talk to a startup that’s been operating for more than 8 or 9 months, the first thing I want to know is almost always the same. Assuming their expenses remain constant and their revenue growth is what it’s been over the last several months, do they make it to profitability on the money they have left? Or to put it more dramatically, by default do they live or die?


Adversarial Collaboration Wiki:

In science, an adversarial collaboration is a scientific experiment conducted by two groups of experimenters with competing hypotheses, with the aim of constructing and implementing an experimental design in a way that satisfies both groups that there are no obvious biases or weaknesses in the experimental design.

Adversarial collaboration has been recommended by Daniel Kahneman[1] and others as a way of resolving contentious issues in fringe science, such as the existence or nonexistence of extrasensory perception.


The Neuroscience of Intelligence:

Richard Haier is a Professor Emeritus at the University of California Irvine and is the author of the Neuroscience of Intelligence published by Cambridge University Press. Over his career he has used neuroimaging to study how brain function and structure relate to intelligence, and the ways in which “smart” brains work. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal Intelligence and the past president of the International Society for Intelligence Research. I reached out to him earlier this year to ask about his new book. What follows is an interview conducted with Quillette via email.


2018 and Beyond — Tokens are eating the firm:

One of the most fascinating outcomes of the 2017 gold rush into open-source protocol development is the growth of “community management” — a business function that combines elements of marketing, business development, investor relations and human resources.

Community managers are being hired en masse. Their job is to oversee all matters relating to a blockchain project’s community of supporters. This includes interacting with core developers, contributors, investors and even end users. The role of the community manager is vital to the success of a protocol; so vital that a ‘cottage industry’ has propped up overnight to offer community management as a service.


What it’s like to be a developer at…:

From popular tools to code review, deployment to daily life, get a peek at the developer experience at Digital Ocean, Fastly, GitLab, Lyft, Rainforest, Sauce Labs and Slack.


#DefineCTO at OpenAI:

In August 2015, OpenAI was just an idea articulated over a dinner with Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, me, and a handful of others. We’d each come to the dinner with our own ideas, but Elon and Sam had a crisp vision of building safe AI in a project dedicated to benefiting humanity. I wanted to contribute however I could. Sam and I started rallying a team to turn this idea into reality.


Alexa, Where Art Thou?:

When you spend enough time on the road, much of what you miss back in your home tends to be the mundane stuff: your bed, a favorite chair, etc. The past few trips, I’ve noticed myself longing for one thing far more often, because the lack of it absolutely changes my daily behavior: Amazon’s Echo.

Believe me, it’s as weird for me to type this as it is for you to read it. But it’s true, I miss Alexa. The reasons why should be fairly obvious: I now use the Echo to do a number of things in my house throughout a day, and that number continues to grow.


Slipping Toward Homelessness:

The holidays haven’t been so happy for 69-year-old Jim Lamm — he is about to be homeless.

Lamm has reached out to a dozen public and private agencies in Salt Lake County, seeking assistance to stave off eviction until he can find work. But he has had no luck. Some have said they can’t help him because he isn’t homeless or has not received an eviction notice.

“I’ve worked all my life. I’ve never asked anybody for anything,” he said recently. “I don’t want charity. This is humiliating to me, but I don’t want to end up on the streets.”


How to build a hard tech startup:

A few years ago I had a jarring discovery. I’d spent more than 15 years building and launching technology products, but all of a sudden the skills and instincts I’d honed seemed irrelevant. In fact, if I stuck with them, they’d likely lead my company to ruin. That’s the realization I had with my company Lytro, which is building a new kind of camera and software for creating movies, TV shows, and virtual reality experiences. With Lytro I’d embarked on a new kind of challenge — that of a “hard tech startup.” These are companies where, at the outset, you don’t know whether the core tech needed for your invention will work at all. The forces of physics, biology, and Moore’s Law can bedevil you in unexpected ways. Building a winning product is already challenging enough; with hard tech startups, the obstacles are even greater.


More to Check Out:
- Kowalski Gallery (cool artwork)
- The Best of Farnam Street 2017
- The IphoneX
- Why Japanese Web Design is so Different
- An Efficient Approach for Managing EmailSee My Full Reading List


My Update:

- Published this comprehensive year in review and shared a ton of my learnings and experiences. I think you will really enjoy it.

- A lot going on in January of 2018. I will be headed to New York on the 9th (let me know if you would like to meet up!). I then head to Barcelona on the 16th, Singapore on the 24th and Hong Kong on the 28th. Going to be a wild ride!

- Redesigned the newsletter to try and make it easier to read and have a higher focus on content. Let me know what you think.

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