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 Gray’s 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 , 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.
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.
April 11, 2020
Applying the culture, processes, business models & technologies of the internet era to respond to people’s raised expectations.
— Tom Loosemore
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
The other week, Venkat Rao posted 100 shifts on twitter and challenged other people to do the same. I had a try.
- Home cooking
- Normalisation of work from home
- School from home
- Competence based assessment in schools
- Touchless delivery
- Touchless doors
- Remote sales meetings
- Cross-border working
- Collocated teams
- Asynchronous collaboration
- Off peak travel
- Alone together/together alone
- Home offices
- Vaccination proof
- Papers please
- Social safety net increased where it already exists
- Depletion of social safety net where already in decline
- Broadband as essential public infrastructure
- Withdrawal of elderly from public life
- Stranger danger social distancing
- Performative public cleaning
- Item limits in grocery stores persist
- Outerwear as defensive layer
- Shoes off inside
- Decontamination-in-depth in houses
- Primary carers with children at home in the everyday remote workforce
- Synchronous remote socialising
- Work-at-home wardrobe (“the fourth wardrobe”)
- Second shift weekends (offset weekends)
- Split shift white collar work (9am-2pm; 7pm-10pm)
- Antibacterial packaging
- Prepackaged fruit
- Gloves on retail workers
- Gloves on public transport
- Masks in public in Western countries
- Bottle episodes
- One room plays
- Home gyms/workouts
- Local high tech manufacturing
- Surveillance socialism for the rich
- Surveillance capitalism for the poor
- Remote learning becomes the norm for most tertiary education
- Smaller university campuses
- Smaller planes
- Smaller busses
- Attendance logs for business meetings
- Subscription payments for hairdressers
- Public-private partnership “public” hospitals
- Telehealth for GP visits
- Tele-service centres for government shopfronts
- Wealthy keep more cash on hand
- High cash/asset ratio becomes key investment driver
- Antibody testing in normal check-ups
- printing and scanning at home
- rental agreements get public health subclauses
- Temperature scanning people in airports
- Less hugging
- Decline in cinema attendance
- Wider spaced seating in cinemas
- More bottom up “self care” talk in workplaces
- Changing speed expectations in workplaces (some things faster, others slower)
- More involvement of people with disabilities in the WFH workplace
- Retreat to deep exurbs, satellite cities with good rural broadband
- Only boomers shake hands
- Rise in experts as part of everyday news
- Public health statistics as part of every day news
- Large workplaces/schools/universities track employee/student health publicly
- Normalisation of tech-enabled state surveillance for subsets of diseases
- Disease-based discrimination magnifies race-based discrimination
- Long term tech boom follows massive public sector investment (20+ years away)
- In-home recording studios
- Cash is deprecated
- Shopping malls close
- Smaller retail stores
- Big box retail eats more local retail
- Niche sports narrowcasting
- Panel shows as grids of talking heads
- Local supply chains
- Micro factories
- Legacy media celebrities pivoting to solo local streaming
- New collaborative social media broadcasting from experts
- Conservative Keynesianism
- Unquestioned national budget deficits
- Barre (special inside joke for Australians)
- Regional international collaboration
- Government-supported cartels for essential services
- Socialised childcare
- Full unhinging of anti-vax / move underground
- Health minister (Australian govt position) gains equal prestige as Treasurer
- Blue helmet occupation forces
- Hand washing as a generational marker
- Better webcams in MacBooks
- External microphones as part of everyday kit
- Ring lights as part of premium mediocre kit
- De-gentrification of cities
- Quarantine rooms in houses
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.