Industrial Literacy

An excellent, short post from Jason Crawford containing things that everyone who lives in a modern industrial society should know.

My favorite:

That plastics are produced in enormous quantities because, for so many purposes—from food containers to electrical wire coatings to children’s toys—we need a material that is cheap, light, flexible, waterproof, and insulating, and that can easily be made in any shape and color (including transparent!) That before plastic, many of these applications used animal parts, such as ivory tusks, tortoise shells, or whale bone. That in such a world, those products were a luxury for a wealthy elite, instead of a commodity for the masses, and the animals that provided them were hunted to near extinction.

I definitely recommend reading the whole thing.

The Management Flywheel

The great Camille Fournier has another blog post that is worth reading:

The managers who succeed in this may have big ideas about the technology, the product, and the talent and culture of the team, but they don’t just start with these ideas. Instead, they identify the little things that can be changed. Questions like “how do we decide what we’re working on today” and “do we have clear responsibilities for core tasks” start to get resolved. These managers may tackle confusing on-call schedules, or onerous project management expectations. The best will look across the projects and quickly re-prioritize work to gain focus for the team.

From The Management Flywheel