Random Thoughts from 2010 for 2011

Some random thoughts from 2010 for 2011 based on articles I’ve read or seen in the past 10 days:

Mobile Apps and the Open Web

It’s really great to see books like Building iPhone Apps that teach people how to use web app techniques instead of just another book on using Objective C for iPhone, Java for Android, etc. With tools like PhoneGap, Dojo Mobile, EmbedJS, and far too many others to name, hopefully the tide is turning back to using web open technologies for building great mobile apps.

Great Marketing in 4 Hours?

I really love the title of Tim Ferriss’ new book, The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman. I wonder if he again used AdWords to choose the book title? Or is Facebook Questions or a Facebook ad campaign or a set of Twitter links the new way to test a book title in 4 hours? And why 4 hours and not 3 when it comes to the body? (Queue reference to There’s Something About Mary)

Getting Too Meta?

Running Java inside JavaScript? Seriously? I mean, we can already run JavaScript inside Java, and create JavaScript code from Java, if that’s your cup of tea (it’s not mine). Regardless, I think 2011 will be the year where bringing some cohesiveness and order out of the millions of microprojects and microtoolkits will happen, because developers only have so much time to look at your 500 new projects each month on GitHub.

Always Add Value

Will you mentor me. No is a simple article I saw on Hacker News. It should remind you that whenever you’re asking for something, it’s better to add more value than what you’re asking. Get to the point, remember that everyone is always busy, and make the person you’re asking the favor of have a reason to care. And backup what you say with what you do.

Your Favorite Tech or Site is Already Dead

Whether it is email, the web, the PC, Java, J2EE, or anything else you love, everything evolves and changes, or else it dies. And until it is officially declared dead, it’s not really alive. JavaScript the language is finally undergoing some pretty massive changes to help developer productivity right now to prevent it from dying sooner than it should.

The Transporter

Seriously awesome physics breakthrough in 2010. And strange irony to be linking to Fox News for its coverage. Now, if I could just find a good climate change article… never mind.

JavaScript Game Engines

2011 will be the year when JavaScript becomes a seriously powerful enough platform for non-console game development. Crafty and Impact are just two of many examples to emerge.

iAd Producer

iAd Producer really fascinates me. It gets ad agency designers off the Flash crack for creating HTML5 Ads, but it also shows the power of creating tools for building very focused apps, sort of like Palm’s Project Ares

Git vs. SVN

I actually still like SVN over Git for many reasons. I find it fundamentally difficult to manage larger projects with Git+GitHub. That said, maybe I’ll learn some new SVN to Git lessons and change my mind? That said, why do we have to all switch to one source control system? Is SVN truly dead? Is Git? It seemed so much easier getting my brain on vim.

Dislike Button

Everyone is waiting for the dislike button, because right now not liking something is the same as disliking it. That said, while I agree with Stallman on WikiLeaks and freedom, I think the FSF’s article on disliking Facebook because of its control over the net is both brilliant and awful. It hits way below the belt, and comes across as authored by conspiracy theorists and being alarmist, rather than sticking to the provable facts about why a closed ecosystem is fundamentally bad for the world. I never really understand the idea of giving people reason to disagree with you just to draw attention to your point. To summarize: open ecosystem, good, scaring people into not using Facebook at all because big brother can watch you more easily, not good.

The Pains of Launching

keep trying to smear him. And he keeps getting stronger.

Dark Patterns

The evil things people do to trick you into using or buying their product. They know what you want. And yes, I know, that’s a title of a great book on a similar topic.

Better Twitter Client

Will a better Twitter client come along now that Tweetie for Mac seems all but dead. Twitterific and TweetDeck are both interesting, but neither quite do it for me. I guess if TweetDeck had better UI I’d probably switch.

So Glad I Never Finished

One of the best lessons I learned was not finishing my Ph.D. It seems others are agreeing with the diminishing returns and value of our doctoral degree and near-slave labor system for training new scientists.

Computing Your Skill

A truly awesome article on Computing your Skill. I hope to have time in 2011 to finish reading it.


In 2011 I plan to try and sleep more. For many many years I’ve averaged 5-6 hours per night. This year I’m aiming for 7. Perhaps there’s an app for that?

Overused Buzzwords

Per LinkedIn, here are 2010’s most overused buzzwords:

  1. Extensive experience
  2. Innovative
  3. Motivated
  4. Results-oriented
  5. Dynamic
  6. Proven track record
  7. Team player
  8. Fast-paced
  9. Problem solver
  10. Entrepreneurial

Bummer, I’m all of these. Have we run out of unique words to describe ourselves?

Digg and Delicious

It was a brutal year for two of my favorite services. Are they dead? Or has Kevin Rose’s halo effect worn off in a Twitter-centric world? If only social networks were around in previous decades.

WiiFit, without the Wii

It seems like many of the good Wii ideas are being morphed onto other platforms. Is FitFu the WiiFit for the iPhone?

Inspiring VCs

The world has truly changed for me, as I now find several VCs to be inspiring. Mark Suster’s Both Sides of Table blog is always a good read. I recently enjoyed his post on running more effective meetings.

Cash Cow Disease

Is Cash Cow Disease really any different than Dutch Disease, but on a corporate rather than country level?

FlyerTalk, TripIt, Trip Advisor and Seat Guru

4 web sites I spend far too much time on.

The Art of Action

The Art of Action offers tricks to learn from the Prussian army and more. Seriously cool article, need to find time to read the book. A prime quote: “Specifying too much detail actually shakes confidence and creates uncertainty if things do not turn out as anticipated. Furthermore, trying to get results by directly taking charge of things at lower levels in the organisational hierarchy is dysfunctional, for a leader thereby “takes over things other people are supposed to be doing, more or less dispenses with their efforts, and multiplies his own tasks to such an extent that he can no longer carry them all out.” Thanks BA for this read on a recent flight.

This post originally appears at http://dylanschiemann.com/2010/12/21/on2011/.

One Response to “Random Thoughts from 2010 for 2011”

  1. […] on the proliferation of choice ties in nicely with my “getting too meta” point in my random thoughts from 2010 for 2011 post. Basically, we need to make choice less difficult, without losing the power of many options […]

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