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Gareth Dwyer

2020 05 Retrospective

May 2020 was my last month trying to launch Ritza while being full-time employed. My last month (hopefully ever!) as a full time employee was fairly busy with handovers and whatnot and this impacted progress on Ritza, so I’m looking forward to being able to stop splitting focus (spoiler for next month’s retro, the first week has been pretty great!). Launching ritza.co: the two kinds of feedback I launched ritza.co in May.

April 2020 Retrospective

I did a 2020 Q1 retrospective pretty late, so this is more focused on the 10-30 April period. Ritza progress Ritza is still evolving at what feels like a slow pace. I launched ritza.co today (actually it has been live for a while, but it had a brain dump on the homepage which I rewrote today to have more structure and provide more relevant information). I shared it on ZATech, HackerNews, and the EUTech telegram group and got some good feedback (thank you if you were one of the people that provided this!

2020 Q1 Retrospective

A large part of my 2019 retrospective focused on Ritza: a concept I have been playing with which aims to Produce high quality technical tutorials and articles Allow companies to buy and publish these tutorials (hopefully instead of buying targeted advertising) Pay full time writers, editors, programmers, and designers to produce this content at scale I also talked about some other stuff like visas and leaving South Africa, but I’ll focus on Ritza progress in this article.

2019 Retrospective

People overestimate what can be done in one year and underestimate what can be done in ten. Someone, probably The quote above gets thrown around a lot in my circles, but I think it is useful in several ways. Most people are too concerned with short term value, too ambitious with their short term goals, and unwilling to stick at something for very long. This bias leads companies to focus too heavily on monthly or quarterly (or weekly!

Process

Process is designed to make systems more efficient, but it often slows them down. The real purpose of process is to make systems, and especially employees, more fungible. If you are lucky enough to work with a small group of intelligent people, dedicated to a single cause, process is probably hurting them more than helping them. You should remove it. Nearly all.

No Code

Pieter Levels, the guy behind NomadList and RemoteOK, and bunch of other interesting ideas wrote a short post earlier today about the future of building applications without code. It is at https://levels.io/no-code/. I agree with most of the ideas, including It’s getting easier to build applications that can solve complex problems and generate value, without writing code More companies will do this over time We’re still far off from finding a more efficient way to build complicated applications than ‘manually’ stiching if statement and while loops together.

Survivorship bias through annoying 'success stores'

Most people who are successful acknowledge the role that luck plays. Some people don’t. I’m going to assume that there is some element of luck - 100 businesses may be nearly identical in all aspects generally regarded to be likely to affect the success of the business. One of them might do very well for no easily discernable reason, while the others fall into obscurity or disappear altogether. The one who is successful will probably write a story telling the world how they achieved success.

Overcoming Self Refuting Statements

A self-refuting statement is a statement that logically proves itself false. Philosophers and logicians have been arguing about exactly what this means for years. For now, I’m going work from a broader definition of a statement that’s mere existence makes the reader immediately assume that the opposite is true. For example, “This is not a pyramid scheme” is a phrase usually only used during the attempt to get someone to buy into a pyramid scheme (or now, more often in comedy too).

Bets

Sometimes I disagree with people about things. Sometimes I am right, sometimes I am wrong, and sometimes the disagreement is about something that cannot be proven either way for many years. This is a list of some of those things, for the record and for fun. Remote working Remote working will become far more normal in most industries. Currently, people are flocking to cities and hubs in unsustainable ways. They pay a huge amount of rent for a tiny apartment, and leave it empty most of the day.

Paradoxes in Marketing

Sometimes, aiming at a goal is the best way to ensure that you hit that goal. At other times, the relationship is more subtle (for example, what you think might be goal, could actualy be a measurement). In many cases, aiming at the goal, or at least what seems to be the goal, is surest way to miss the goal. Take, for example, the fairly modern fad of “networking”. The basic idea is that “networks” are valuable – you don’t know exactly which of your connections will help you in what way or at what time, but it is very common for somone that you know to provide you with value.