Showing posts from July, 2020

A Steve Jobs masterclass (from a decade ago)

A decade ago, Steve Jobs sat down at the D8 conference for an interview with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg . What followed was a masterclass in both company and product management. The whole interview is worth watching, but I thought there were a few segments that stood out. Caveat: Any time someone talks about a tech-titan, there’s reflexive blowback from parts of the tech community: “ He wasn’t really an engineer ”, “ He wasn’t really... ” - This post will ignore all of that. Even if you strongly dislike him, there are lessons to be learnt here. Let’s begin... What matters most: The interview starts with Kara and Walt congratulating Jobs, because Apple had just bypassed Microsoft in Market Capitalization . Right out of the gate, Jobs makes it clear: It’s surreal to anyone who knows the history, but: Jobs: It doesn’t matter very much... it’s not what’s important.. it’s not why any of our customers buy our products.. It’s good for us to keep that in mind, remember what we’re doing an

Good UNIX tools

aka:   Small things done well  We spend a lot of time sweating the details when we build Canary. From our user flows to our dialogues, we try hard to make sure that there’s very few opportunities for users to be stuck or confused. We also never add features just because they sound cool. Do you “explode malware”? No.  Export to STYX? No.  Darknet AI IOCs? No. No. No..  Vendors add rafts of “check-list-development” features as a crutch. They hope that one more integration (or one more buzz-word) can help make the sale. This is why enterprise software looks like it does, and why it’s probably the most insecure software on your network. This also leads to a complete lack of focus. To quote industry curmudgeon (and all around smartypants) Kelly Shortridge : " it is better to whole-ass one thing than to half-ass many" . We feel this deeply. Most of us cut our teeth on UNIX and UNIX clones and cling pretty fastidiously to the original Unix philosophies ¹ : Make each program do on