Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.
The Anatomy of the Credit Card Form (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Over the past 20 years, we’ve built a mental model of paying online: I pull out a credit card from my wallet, enter the card details into a web form, and click a submit button. But getting from A to Z can be a tricky journey, riddled with questions the user has to answer. And obviously, nobody wants an instruction manual.”
The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy – “The unnerving thing is that so much of the present and future of broadband has come down to the whims of a single company, and a company that, in many ways, doesn’t look or act much like most American firms.”
What Every Manager Should Know About Machine Learning (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “Machine learning has tremendous potential to transform companies, but in practice it’s mostly far more mundane than robot drivers and chefs. Think of it simply as a branch of statistics, designed for a world of big data. Executives who want to get the most out of their companies’ data should understand what it is, what it can do, and what to watch out for when using it.”
Despite Apple Music’s Launch, Spotify Just Had Its Best Week Ever (Thanks to Santi Murtagh for recommending this article) – “Regardless, the Bloomberg data shows that streaming apps in general seem to be benefitting from the sudden increase in options. Still, this success only really translates to dollars for the companies if users end up going premium. This data is only talking about downloads, and only within a week’s time.”
It’s 2015 — You’d Think We’d Have Figured Out How To Measure Web Traffic By Now (Thanks to Ben Reis for recommending this article) – “If uniques are people, how do 4 million, or 125 million, or 253 million people go missing? In an age when we assume our phones and laptops are tracking our every move, taking an actual head count of how many people go to a website is still almost impossible. There’s a blind spot at the center of the panopticon, and it’s roughly the size and shape of a cookie.”
Be Terrified of Working on the Wrong Things (Thanks to Todd Guenther for recommending this article) – “Dan Milstein explored what makes a difference for startups: information. It’s worth real money, he emphasized, and the way to make more money is to more quickly gather information that helps you figure out the right things to work on.”
The Simplicity Cycle: Soda, Swordsmen, and Road Maps (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Complexity is a two-liter bottle of soda. Doled out in reasonable quantities and at appropriate times, it’s not bad. In fact, it can be pleasant as an occasional accompaniment to a balanced meal or as a refreshing treat on a hot day. Unfortunately, we’re guzzling gallons of the stuff every day and it’s killing us.”