The state of Chef

Chef was cash-flow positive in the first quarter and is on track to achieve its first full year of profitability since it was founded in 2008


The privately held company doesn’t disclose detailed financial results, but said its first quarter was its strongest to date, including more than 100% growth in incremental recurring revenue. Chef has nearly 300 employees and is continuing to hire even as its operations have gone fully remote in recent months.

Original source: Chef hits key financial milestone as digital boom fuels demand for software automation

Americans don’t like sharing data with their government

He explains how it works. “A list of Bluetooth interactions are kept, encrypted and stored on a server, with no way to tie them back to a specific phone,” Applbaum said. “This scenario allows for an infected person to opt-in only after they learn of their infection. Then, a private key is sent to a server that triggers an alert to all of the phones of those whose Bluetooth signals crossed paths with the infected. They are informed that they need to quarantine—but are not provided any specifics.”

A country like the United States would be a perfect location for a contact tracing app because almost everyone carries a smartphone. The problem would be convincing enough people that such an app would be safe to use and not an invasion of privacy. And Applbaum knows that government would never be able to demand the public use the tool.

“On a policy level, it’s hard to imagine a government mandate to install a contact tracing application, though with enough education and instruction people can learn that it’s not that dangerous. And with a critical mass of adopters, everyone will be protected,” he said. “If people were open to downloading the application, and opted in to sharing data with epidemiologists, this would be simple. Of course, the emotional element of human behavior is tough to predict.”

What a pickle.

Original source: Technology for the Next Phase of Pandemic

Remote working predictions, VMware ed.

Pre-pandemic, Gelsinger said about 20% of VMware’s staff worked remotely. Even after companies return to the “new normal,” Gelsinger said he expects more than 50% of VMware employees will work remotely more than half of the time. “It’s going to be one of those game changing kind of things,” he said. “I’m going to have more access to talent, less carbon footprint. So we believe that we’re going to see a step function, increase in the amount of distributed workforce for the world. Period. Also, education. Also, telemedicine. Every one of these categories, you’re going to say it’s just better this way.”

Original source: VMware’s Gelsinger: Tech Is Better Than GDP, Software and Cloud Even Stronger

Dutch birthday calendars

There is debate over whether or not a deceased person should be crossed off after they have departed this world. An older Dutch person, who did not want to be named for this story, was opposed to the practice: ‘It’s depressing to go to the toilet and be reminded that all of your friends are dead.’


Original source: Gefeliciteerd! Why do the Dutch have calendars in their loos? m

That “old Disney technique”

This time, his kids say “shit” a lot, and it is a measure of Spielberg's insight that the word draws only a PG rating for the movie; Spielberg no doubt argues that most kids talk like that half the time, and he is right. His technique is to take his thirteen-and fourteen-year-olds and let them act a little older than their age. It's more refreshing than the old Disney technique, which was to take characters of all ages and have them behave as if they were twelve.

Original source: The Goonies movie review & film summary (1985) | Roger Ebert

Managers and agile teams often perceive agility differently

Wherever the Taylorist approach thrives, the perception gaps between senior executives and team members are large. Senior executives describe the company’s agile initiatives as successful and satisfying. Team members, who are closer to the action, describe them as disappointing and frustrating, not much different from traditional task forces.

People always think they’re doing a good job, esp. when they’re not doing the job.

Original source: Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos

Docker’s deal

“I can’t think of too many tools I’ve used that long without wanting to find something better,” he said. The new strategy is based on converting developers one at a time. The current pricing model for its software-as-a-service tops out at $9 per user per month, or a fraction of what most enterprise SaaS applications cost.

An overview of the current state of the Docker company, with lots of analysts and others commenting.

Original source: A smaller, simpler Docker looks to get its groove back

People who have more control over their lives are happier

“Managers should provide employees working in demanding jobs more control, and in jobs where it is unfeasible to do so, a commensurate reduction in demands. For example, allowing employees to set their own goals or decide how to do their work, or reducing employees’ work hours, could improve health,” Gonzalez-Mulé says.

“Autonomy” is one of the key drivers of worker happiness and productivity. I summarized the thinking at the time in my book, The Business Bottleneck and my “what's even is 'culture'?” talk.

Original source: Work Stress May Be Killing You

Ideas to expand telehealth beyond video calls

In other words, the narrow set of things health providers can do for us via a Zoom call today will soon include a broad set of services that are delivered through things like apps and connected devices.

All the great ideas aside:

  1. If each system is closed (you can only do it inside of one app), it'll fail because the company will fall behind innovations (the app will seem old and creeky), less people will install it because it's some weird app off in the App Store.
  2. I think we'd make huge advances (more efficient w/r/t to time, money, and access) if doctors and clinicians just used FaceTime and other consumer video services.

For example, I see a therapist in Austin over Skype each week. Before they didn't want to do remote conferences, now they do.

In contrast, back in the States, each year I had to renew my mind-drugs prescription with my doctor. As with all US clinic visits, they usefully would weigh me and take my blood pressure when I'd go in (the Dutch don't do this). Then my doctor would ask me a few questions (basically, “do you think about committing suicide?”), and then renew my prescription. All of that could have been a few minute video conference call – an email, and IM even.

There seems to be a huge amount of healthcare provided in person that could just be done on video, just audio even.

Original source: Telehealth’s future is bright. Here’s what it’ll look like in 2025

A good story adds value to a product

The more you can spread the narrative, the greater the potential force for your business. To what extent is impossible to know. As Shiller writes in his concluding paragraphs, “there are serious issues of inferring causality…these issues are not surmountable.” Even if we can’t measure it, or directly attribute causality, the effect of stories and narrative economics is real and powerful.

Were uncomfortable admitting that a totally made up “story” about a product increases the price for it. Luxury brands play off this: a Yeti is more expensive then a generic cooler, handbags and all that. The story of a brand makes the price higher. The same can be true for technology, no matter how targeted it is to engineers who believe they can’t be beguiled.

The right story can make a huge difference for technology adoption. Kubernetes’ success is due in large part to better stories than its rivals. It was just as hard to install, often had less features, definitely didn’t have the enterprise software ecosystem around it, had few enterprise reference cases…and so on. It’s story was fantastic though – you can be like Google!

Only the losers think this is a bad situation, of course. The winners see the story as helping adoption. The losers see good stories as cheating, as creating adoption.

Not all marketing is this, of course. Most of enterprise software marketing is about genuinely explaining the technology, describing how other organizations are using it (case studies and reference customers), and the hidden part of marketing, finding and reaching prospects: demand generations


Original source: “Narrative Economics and the Power of Stories.”

It’s hard to predict when innovation will go mainstream

Complexity theory has established that a process dominated by preferential attachment has a power law distribution of times between adoptions. The power law distributions observed in practice have no finite means or standard deviations. That means that traditional statistical methods of predicting the time till next event, or the number of events in a time interval, all fail.2 This puts project leaders into a bind: they cannot use standard statistical methods to predict how successful the future adoptions of their technology will be.

Original source: Technology Adoption

From seven to four

The four are all from the Management Domain and all need to be VSAN Ready Nodes – the storage-centric servers with plenty of disk slots and at least half a dozen Xeon or EPYC cores. Unlike Raspberry Pis or home-lab-centric micro servers from the likes of HPE or Supermicro, which are all options for testing Kubernetes clusters, Ready Nodes are not cheap or small or something you’ll plug into that old power board in your bottom drawer.

Original source: VMware reduces hardware footprint of its shiny new K8s-on-vSphere toys

Installing apps is a blocker to use, as is Bluetooth

“What we can say is the quality of the Bluetooth connectivity for phones that have the app installed running in the foreground is very good,” he said. “And it progressively deteriorates and the quality of the connection is not as good as you get to a point where the phone is locked and the app is running in the background.”

Original source: How did the Covidsafe app go from being vital to almost irrelevant?

Just doing something is enough innovation for most organizations

“Most companies are not really struggling with the ability to innovate,” Hightower said. “A lot of the stuff that they’re going to use are tools and there was innovation that went into producing those tools. The innovative thing that we’re asking companies to do is just pick a tool, literally pick one of the 10 and as soon as you pick one then that will be the most innovative thing that some companies do in a long time. Literally picking something. Not building the thing. Not actually knowing how to actually leverage it 100%. Sometimes the biggest hurdle for most companies is just the picking part.”

Original source: Is COVID-19 a ‘Forcing Function’ for Cloud Native?

He prefers Google Cloud

It’s not that AWS is harder to use than GCP, it’s that it is needlessly hard; a disjointed, sprawl of infrastructure primitives with poor cohesion between them. A challenge is nice, a confusing mess is not, and the problem with AWS is that a large part of your working hours will be spent untangling their documentation and weeding through features and products to find what you want, rather than focusing on cool interesting challenges.

Original source: Why I think GCP is better than AWS

Blogging as organizing, a commonplace book

It’s the writerly act of organizing and assembling inchoate thought that seems to helps me. That’s what I did with this blog; if I blogged something for “Beyond the Beyond,” then I had tightened it, I had brightened it. I had summarized it in some medium outside my own head. Posting on the blog was a form of psychic relief, a stream of consciousness that had moved from my eyes to my fingertips; by blogging, I removed things from the fog of vague interest and I oriented them toward possible creative use.

Original source: Farewell to Beyond the Beyond

The mechanics of black and white photography

The vast majority of her work is created in black and white or sepia tones. Her photographs strip her subjects back to their barest essence, often capturing a moment of raw honesty. The black and white image is fairly unique to photography, a medium which offers to capture the world exactly as it is for a fleeting moment of time. By creating the images in black and white, Arbus at once captures a fleeting moment of reality and also reminds us that she is the author of that image, stripping it of its colour and dictating the way we look at that moment.

Original source: Diane Arbus and the Use of Black and White