Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.
The Next Amazon (Or Apple, Or GE) Is Probably Failing Right Now (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “But all is not well. Stern and Guzman find that fewer of those ambitious startups are successfully becoming big companies. Put another way, the U.S. may have as many would-be Bezoses as ever, but it’s getting fewer Amazons. That finding is consistent with other recent research showing that even the most successful companies aren’t creating as many jobs as they used to. Together, the two trends suggest that the U.S.’s problem is less a failure to create enough new businesses and more a failure to help those businesses grow.”
New MIT Code Makes Web Pages Load 34 Percent Faster In Any Browser (Thanks to Matt Babcock for recommending this article) – “When you visit one city, you sometimes discover more cities you have to visit before going home. If someone gave you the entire list of cities ahead of time, you could plan the fastest possible route. Without the list, though, you have to discover new cities as you go, which results in unnecessary zig-zagging between far-away cities… For a web browser, loading all of a page’s objects is like visiting all of the cities. Polaris effectively gives you a list of all the cities before your trip actually begins.”
When An Argument Gets Too Heated, Here’s What To Say (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “Validating someone you’re having an argument with simply means giving credence to the debate and to the debater. Rather than negating the other person’s perspective, you accept two things: 1) it’s valuable to hear different perspectives and to ensure the team is thinking an issue through fully, and 2) the person you’re arguing with is adding value by presenting a unique point of view.”
The High Cost Of Digital Discrimination: Why Companies Should Care About Web Accessibility (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “A 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 2%, or 4.7 million American adults, said they suffered from a disability or illness that made it difficult or impossible for them to use the internet. For a growing number of companies, that inaccessibility comes at a cost. The US Department of Justice (DOJ), citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, has sued and negotiated millions of dollars in settlements with big brands such as Target, Disney and Netflix, for not designing their websites to accommodate the browsing needs of disabled customers.”
What Can We Learn From Our GitHub Stars? – “GitHub, by some potent combination of critical mass and ease of use, has added a significant community dimension to open source projects. OSS projects have become living things, growing and evolving through the attention and ministration of many intelligences. And there are 10 million of them! If you take a little time to dig around using GitHub’s API, you can start to get some idea of how interconnected they are, and how they inform each other.”
Don’t Let Your Mistakes Go To Waste (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “Looking for signs that you’re wrong is important in business, because being wrong is often not obvious until it’s truly painful: the strategy doesn’t fail right away, say, or the product limps ambiguously along while depleting valuable resources. Unfortunately, many people have a vested interest in being right after a decision is made. That’s why the trick is to ferret out potential mistakes before vesting the interests.”
Finding The Right Color Palettes For Data Visualizations (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “While there are an increasing number of good color palettes out there, not all of them are applicable to charts and data visualizations. Our approach to visualization color palettes is to make natural gradients that vary in both hue and brightness. By doing this, our palettes are accessible by people who are color blind, obvious for others, and works with anywhere from one to twelve data series.”