Category: Scribbles

Is 20 percent project still followed at Google? One where every employee is recommended to spend 80% on the official job and 20% on the project of their choice? I wonder because every time we hear about the success of this particular experiment at Google, we hear about the same old handful of products. Mainly AdWords and Gmail.

Have there been no other successful products from this experiment? If yes, why don’t we hear more about them? If no, what has changed at the company? Has it grown too large to back small, hobby-like products? Is the environment not conducive for the small, hacky projects?

Marissa Mayer had famously quipped regarding the project, “I’ve got to tell you the dirty little secret of Google’s 20% time. It’s really 120% time”.

Maybe as the companies grow, the employees lose the sense of closeness, the sense of attachment they felt earlier. The sort of dedication that Mayer referred to just can’t be expected from an aloof employee.

I have unsubscribed from most (all?) of the daily newsletters about news. I am already bombarded with news that’s mostly about world’s burning. I do not want even my inbox to welcome me all the crazy updates from the world, but especially US. Most newsletters cover that and it’s the same news repeated in all. Same essays, editorials from same sources. The Atlantic. NYTimes.

I had already done a similar exercise with tech newsletters. And podcasts. Again, it’s same stories that I have already seen someplace else. Why read them again in the inbox? It just fills my newsletter to-read list.

I want to feel relaxed, open to read some meaningful words. Some essays that mean, matter for those who wrote them. Not a quick rewrite of what’s already been told zillion times.

I’m being very selective with what I subscibe to now. I want to read something that’s heartfelt. Not something that’s link log of trite news updates. Most daily newsletters deliver the later.

One of my dad’s closest friend passed away today. Understandably, my dad was very sombre for the whole day. He told me he had spoken to his friend just yesterday when he was all fine.

Just last week, my aunt too had lost her father. She also told me she had spoken to her dad just a day before and even he was all fine.

They both died due to heart failure. They both shared one more truth, though. They both already had a weak heart and both said that all the news around COVID and the resultant lockdown were making them lonelier. They felt burdened — even though they had their close family and friends always around them for support.

Will we also add these deaths to the this pandemic’s toll? Because, of course, these aren’t isolated cases. The psychological fallout is far-reaching than immediately noticeable symptoms.

We should. It has curtailed many more lives than those that get reported.

It’s not cute when you see a child struggling with a magazine because she thinks it’s an iPad; it’s sad. Give the kids books and magazines to play with before you give them a smartphone or an iPad. They will grow more better.

I’m not going to write about…

  • Facebook and Zuckerberg. And I think even the big publications all round, the likes of Wired and NYTimes, need to stop writing about the issues inside Facebook. They call their edits “exclusive”, tag them as an inside look at what transpired behind the tall walls. But that hardly matters – nothing ever changes at the crazy place. Because the people who can bring the change, don’t want to. For some reason that is hard to fathom to outsiders, they all are conflicted within.
  • Apple and Google. Too much is said about everything big and small about these companies. It piques interests in readers and so every publication has something to report about them. I can’t add anything more to what has already been said, that too by minds a lot smarter than mine. I don’t want to add to the noise.
  • Politics. Talking about the doesn’t help my morale. It rather makes me a lot angrier than I need to be. And to no avail.
  • Meta rants about Blog. Not my writing workflow. Not the minor tweaks I keep making every now and then. Not the struggles I go through to get things exactly right. Just write and edit what I wrote. Keep the place the way I like to see it. Hear what others have to say about the place, the workflow, tweak it if needed and forget.
  • Things I need to do. Announce them when ready. Instead of writing about it, start doing it. Get started.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

Mark Twain