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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Follow: @c2dev2, RSS, JSON, Feedly, Micro.blog.

Seth Godin on Google’s Promotions Inbox

Seth Godin, in an open letter to Google:

Imagine that your mailman takes all the magazines you subscribe to, mixes them in with the junk mail you never asked for, and dumps all of it in a second mailbox, one that you don’t see on your way into the house every day. And when you subscribe to new magazines, they instantly get mixed in as well.

I briefly turned on Google’s separate Inboxes feature a few weeks ago. I found it maddening and turned it off within a few days.

Choosing without deciding

Seth Godin:

We can save a lot of time and effort by making our meaningless choices effortless. Pick the first one, or the one in alphabetical order or flip a coin. Merely have a rule and make the choice.

This point made by a recent post by the inimitable Seth Godin strikes the same chord as my SPARK Talk at this month’s NEPA Tech meet up.

I advise several companies and speak to dozens of entrepreneurs. Many of them make the same mistake – they give too much weight to some of their very early decisions and never getting started because they can’t decide.

I see it all the time. In many facets of business. Another way to phrase this situation is paralysis by analysis.

The example I used in my SPARk Talk was that of programmers that become dogmatic in their language or framework choice, or can’t decide at all which to use, or always want to jump to the latest buzz worthy trending language or framework for very early versions of their product. The result is that they never ship anything.

Choosing a language or framework is an important decision. But, not at the cost of starting. Just get started.

While we’re on this subject, let me be clear about how I would advise a company to make this choice. In many cases is doesn’t matter whatsoever what programming language or framework you decide to use for your app. At least not for the first few iterations of the product. In general, the customer will never know or care what you used to write the app. So, in this respect it doesn’t matter. However, if you’re going to maintain the code longterm, use a language or framework that makes you happy to type. If you’re going to hire a large team, use a language or framework that has the largest pool of talent to pull from. But please start!

Avoid being great at Twitter

Seth Godin:

You can be good at Twitter in about five minutes a day. Spending ten minutes doesn’t make you twice as good… in fact, there’s probably little measurable improvement. To be great at Twitter might take five hours of daily effort.

At over 48,000 tweets I do not need any more Twitter practice. Lately I’ve been spending just 30 minutes now-and-then to go through my Twitter Lists and retweet that which I find positive, interesting, creative. Twitter has become such a mire of hate and political bunk that I simply avoid it otherwise. So while Seth’s advice is to save time by being happy with being good at Twitter as opposed to being great at Twitter I’m limiting my exposure to it simply for my own well-being.

Side note: the above may lead some to believe I no longer find value in Twitter. I do. Twitter Moments and Trends and Searches are still incredibly valuable. I simply find no value in keeping Twitter open as I used to. Partially due to the fallout from the US political core but also from Twitter’s own product decisions to algorithmically castrate its timeline.

I agree with Seth, read more blogs

Seth Godin, on his blog:

Other than writing a daily blog (a practice that’s free, and priceless), reading more blogs is one of the best ways to become smarter, more effective and more engaged in what’s going on. The last great online bargain.

I obviously agree with Seth. Everyone should blog. And should read blogs.

Also, this bit from Seth:

For those of you that have been engaging with this blog for months or years, please share this post with ten friends you care about. We don’t have to sit idly by while powerful choke points push us toward ad-filled noisy media.

Done. Looks like I needed to touch up my teach a friend RSS post from 2011 as it mentions services that no longer exist. So I did that Seth. Like Seth, I too use Feedly. If you want to subscribe to this blog on Feedly you can do so here.