April 19, 2020

Weeknote CW17 (S2e1)

Hello, internet! This is season 2 of weeknotes. It’s also all this. You know what I mean.

Last season I was using the weeknote questions from the Sartori Lab, choosing five from a randomised list in a spreadsheet. (find those questions at item six in this post by Sam Villis.)

This season I’m using Mathias Jakobsen and Dave Grays Question Cards. Each week I’ll pick two beginnings”, two feelings”, one insight” and one action”.

But first, a short summary of the week.

Monday-Friday: on leave. Which meant I spent slightly more time on the couch and slightly less time at my desk. I mostly baked and watched stupid things on YouTube. We also kicked off a new project with Enigma Enterprises 1, so that’s cool.

And now, the questions.

What do I currently believe to be true?

About myself: I need a shave! I’m sleeping in more than I used to. I might be procrastinating more. It’s hard to say.

Really, question cards?

About the world: It’s kind of screwed up, isn’t it? Through no real fault of our own. Those posters that ask what did you do in the pandemic, Daddy — the right answer for me is stayed home, like a total legend”. It’s about what we do now we’re in this. Is UX the right thing? Maybe.

What do I wish would be different?

Can we get back on the other timeline where we only had one generation-defining problem to solve?

In the less generation-defining sense, I’d like more certainty for my team. More than half of them are in limbo, employed but not really. All I can do is the same as always, get good work out the door and find other people who want what we provide.

Who drains my energy?

Everyone. People who meet me professionally don’t believe it, but I am very introverted, in the sense that social interaction is draining and I need downtime. Being in the house with my family is ok, because we’re all the same, so the house is quiet and we leave each other alone.

Zoom (Skype, Teams, whatever) calls are tiring in a different way. There’s those articles that were floating about social media explaining why but that doesn’t make them less so.

What am I sad about?

Generally, all this. Specifically, that my team are stood down and I don’t have good answers for them about when things will go back to normal.

What are my assumptions?

This week is full with work for me. What we do is still in demand as companies try to figure out how to provide their services in a better way.

My family is ok. School-from-home starts for Ms11 and Mr15 tomorrow so that will be an adventure. We have two different school’s approaches to navigate.

Longer term, I assume that we will get back to normal”… never. We’re in the liminal space. Get used to it. Things will want to snap back. We will want them to, as well. The longer we’re in this space, the more new things and practices we’ll invent to cope. The old ways will decay, the new ways will strengthen. The new normal will be the same, but different.

Who will I ask to hold me accountable?

Ask? Everyone will hold me accountable. If I don’t cook, no-one in the house will eat. If I don’t do my work, my team let me know.


  1. All company names are made up and are not consistent week to week. No similarity etc etc.

weeknote
April 11, 2020

Digital is…

Applying the culture, processes, business models & technologies of the internet era to respond to people’s raised expectations.

Tom Loosemore

April 11, 2020

Fox in Dre

April 5, 2020

Tired / Wired

Tyler Cowan had a great before and after table for the old world and the new world we find ourselves in. You should check it out. This one made me laugh in shock.

Old: $100k for college

New: Not paying $100k for a webinar

April 5, 2020

Covid-19 Shifts

The other week, Venkat Rao posted 100 shifts on twitter and challenged other people to do the same. I had a try.

Post-Covid-19 Shifts

  1. Home cooking
  2. Normalisation of work from home
  3. School from home
  4. Competence based assessment in schools
  5. Touchless delivery
  6. Touchless doors
  7. Remote sales meetings
  8. Cross-border working
  9. Collocated teams
  10. Asynchronous collaboration
  11. Not-handshakes
  12. Off peak travel
  13. Staycations
  14. Alone together/together alone
  15. Home offices
  16. Office-at-the-node
  17. Vaccination proof
  18. Papers please
  19. Social safety net increased where it already exists
  20. Depletion of social safety net where already in decline
  21. Broadband as essential public infrastructure
  22. Withdrawal of elderly from public life
  23. Stranger danger social distancing
  24. Performative public cleaning
  25. Item limits in grocery stores persist
  26. PPE-chic
  27. Outerwear as defensive layer
  28. Shoes off inside
  29. Decontamination-in-depth in houses
  30. Primary carers with children at home in the everyday remote workforce
  31. Synchronous remote socialising
  32. Work-at-home wardrobe (“the fourth wardrobe”)
  33. Second shift weekends (offset weekends)
  34. Split shift white collar work (9am-2pm; 7pm-10pm)
  35. Antibacterial packaging
  36. Prepackaged fruit
  37. Gloves on retail workers
  38. Gloves on public transport
  39. Masks in public in Western countries
  40. Bottle episodes
  41. One room plays
  42. Home gyms/workouts
  43. Local high tech manufacturing
  44. Surveillance socialism for the rich
  45. Surveillance capitalism for the poor
  46. Remote learning becomes the norm for most tertiary education
  47. Smaller university campuses
  48. Smaller planes
  49. Smaller busses
  50. Attendance logs for business meetings
  51. Subscription payments for hairdressers
  52. Public-private partnership public” hospitals
  53. Telehealth for GP visits
  54. Tele-service centres for government shopfronts
  55. Wealthy keep more cash on hand
  56. High cash/asset ratio becomes key investment driver
  57. Antibody testing in normal check-ups
  58. printing and scanning at home
  59. rental agreements get public health subclauses
  60. Temperature scanning people in airports
  61. Less hugging
  62. Decline in cinema attendance
  63. Wider spaced seating in cinemas
  64. More bottom up self care” talk in workplaces
  65. Changing speed expectations in workplaces (some things faster, others slower)
  66. More involvement of people with disabilities in the WFH workplace
  67. Retreat to deep exurbs, satellite cities with good rural broadband
  68. Only boomers shake hands
  69. Rise in experts as part of everyday news
  70. Public health statistics as part of every day news
  71. Large workplaces/schools/universities track employee/student health publicly
  72. Normalisation of tech-enabled state surveillance for subsets of diseases
  73. Disease-based discrimination magnifies race-based discrimination
  74. Long term tech boom follows massive public sector investment (20+ years away)
  75. In-home recording studios
  76. Cash is deprecated
  77. Shopping malls close
  78. Smaller retail stores
  79. Big box retail eats more local retail
  80. Niche sports narrowcasting
  81. Panel shows as grids of talking heads
  82. Local supply chains
  83. Micro factories
  84. Legacy media celebrities pivoting to solo local streaming
  85. New collaborative social media broadcasting from experts
  86. Conservative Keynesianism
  87. Unquestioned national budget deficits
  88. Barre (special inside joke for Australians)
  89. Regional international collaboration
  90. Government-supported cartels for essential services
  91. Socialised childcare
  92. Full unhinging of anti-vax / move underground
  93. Health minister (Australian govt position) gains equal prestige as Treasurer
  94. Blue helmet occupation forces
  95. Hand washing as a generational marker
  96. Better webcams in MacBooks
  97. External microphones as part of everyday kit
  98. Ring lights as part of premium mediocre kit
  99. De-gentrification of cities
  100. Quarantine rooms in houses
covid19
April 5, 2020

Meet the new boss

The big dog:

After COVID-19, nothing will be the same. The previous sentence is bullsh*t. On the contrary, things will never be more the same, just accelerated. Covid-19 is just making the future happen faster.

He’s also got something to say about miners and pickaxes. If you can’t be a superstar brand in higher-ed (a miner), start selling pickaxes and denim.

There will be enormous opportunity to substantially upgrade SaaS teaching tools, as anybody who has used Blackboard can attest.

(I’m always here for dragging on Blackboard.)

Not sure how this dynamic applies to Australia where many of our Universities are already massive. The idea that there are a small number of ringers, or superstar teachers, who are the shining lights, seems to be greatly influenced by model of the US system. In Australia, I’d expect to see the Matthew Effect of research prestige and funding continue to hold.