DPL Reading List – August 14, 2015


| August 14, 2015 | in

Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Want a Better Pitch? Watch This. (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “Again: audiences are skeptical. So you must give them evidence that the future you’ve laid out is, indeed, attainable. Musk does that by letting his audience in on a secret: Powerwall batteries have been supplying the energy for the auditorium in which he’s speaking. (As proof, he zooms in on the meter above, which registers zero power from the grid.) For early- stage companies and products, demos like this can serve as evidence, though results from early (or beta) customers are more compelling. Least persuasive— but better than nothing — are testimonials from potential customers explaining why they would buy.”

As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to Coding for Career Change – “Whether the on-ramp proves to be a lasting pathway to high pay and stimulating work remains to be seen. The boom-to-bust cycles in the tech business can be wrenching, like the last downturn in the early 2000s after the dot-com bubble burst. Nearly everyone in the industry was hit. Yet software development and engineering jobs held up better than ones in finance, marketing, sales and administration.”

Who Needs an Architect? (Thanks to Todd Guenther for recommending this) – “Architectus Reloadus is the person who makes all the important decisions. The architect does this because a single mind is needed to ensure a system’s conceptual integrity, and perhaps because the architect doesn’t think that the team members are sufficiently skilled to make those decisions. Often, such decisions must be made early on so that everyone else has a plan to follow.”

When It’s OK to Ignore Feedback (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “As my business has grown and my visibility has increased, I have received a steady stream of feedback. And for the sake of my own sanity — and accomplishing the goals that are most important to me — I’ve generally decided to tune out other people’s suggestions and advice. Here are the strategies I use to determine when to ignore feedback.”

If You Think Women in Tech is Just a Pipeline Problem, You Haven’t Been Paying Attention (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “When researcher Kieran Snyder interviewed 716 women who left tech after an average tenure of 7 years, almost all of them said they liked the work itself, but cited discriminatory environments as their main reason for leaving. In NSF-funded research, Nadya Fouad surveyed 5,300 women who had earned engineering degrees (of all types) over the last 50 years, and only 38% of them are still working as engineers. Fouad summarized her findings on why they leave with ‘It’s the climate, stupid!’”

7 Ways to Damage a Brand (and What to Do Instead) – “To build a strong brand, you must create products and services that customers love, and then devise an easily recognizable brand image that epitomizes and reinforces that emotion. By contrast, it’s surprisingly easy to damage a brand.”

The Two Essential Entrepreneurial Types – “Given all this, it is interesting to consider in which direction today’s advances in information and communications technology are taking us: Are they encouraging more path finding or more path creating?”

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