Weekly Wrapup, January 5, 2013, told through GIFs, images, video and more
Welcome to our first weekly wrapup of 2013! Every Saturday we look back at the week that was through GIFs, images, video and more.
Avoiding the fiscal cliff... for now
After weeks of breathless media coverage and intense debate in the halls of Congress and, a deal to stave off the fiscal cliff has finally been reached. Read some of the best coverage here, here, here, and here.
The Funding GIF
Quote of the week
A blind man's remarkable use of Instagram
Embracing the "Post-profit linkosystem"
Something about the new year makes everybody think they're an expert. Every year when the calendar flips, countless "10 things to look for in 2013" and "6 reasons 2013 will be the year of mobile" posts bubble to the surface. If these listmakers knew the secrets to success all along why'd they wait until January 1 to tell us? Luckily, we have William Hartnett keeping it real with the hilarious "15 ways news organizations can get ahead of the mobile bandwagon in 2013" (there are actually only 12, and the URL promises 18). Hartnett's tips include asking yourself, "What would Snapchat do?" using Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies" cards to guide your business, and embracing the "Post-profit linkosystem." Because after all, "No one ever made any other money by collecting an amount of revenue greater than their expenses." Right?
Story of the week
Our most-read story of the week was Nathaniel Mott's "How Mozilla plans to save developers from the tyranny of the app stores." With Firefox OS, Mozilla wants to make it easier for developers to create apps on their own terms, without being forced to play by the rules of Apple's App Store or Google Play. Mott is excited by the prospect, but knows that achieving it is easier said than done:
"As HTML5 becomes more powerful and better able to support quality applications, developers might be able to eschew vertically-integrated app marketplaces altogether. That’s the idea, anyway. Mozilla is just one of the companies who believes that because HTML5 should be the future of software development because its openly available, doesn’t come with a mile-long list of restrictions on what it should be used for, and is supported by all major platforms and browsers.
"Even supposing HTML5 is ready for primetime, which is still a contentious subject, plain-old human laziness could stop any non-official, non-default app marketplace in its tracks. Why go out of your way to download an app when you can probably find an app that does the same thing and has been vetted by one of the large companies?"
Comment of the week
In one of our most shared posts of the week, contributor Bryan Goldberg advised engineers and other technicians against starting companies unless they had something really powerful driving them (greed and peer pressure don't count). Commenter emmetgibney describes perfectly the reason why so many companies started by engineers fail:
"The great majority of businesses are started by people who are technicians who want more control over their lives, are sick of being told what to do by managers they do not respect, or want to strike it rich on their own. The fact that most businesses are started by technicians is simultaneously why most businesses fail, because these people are skilled at being a technician, not at managing a team or setting a vision that people will believe in. They end up doing less of what they actually enjoyed doing, and instead deal with all of the crap like legal, admin, investor relations etc etc.
"The point of what Bryan is saying (at least as I'm interpreting it) is that if you are a great technician, and you like being a technician, there is nothing wrong with staying a technician. Don't let your ego, or greed sway you to do something that you actually won't enjoy doing. It's not to say that many great companies won't be built by engineers, we all know that many successful companies are built by engineers. If you feel completely compelled to start your own company, nothing anyone is going to write is going to stop you, but DON'T for god's sake start a company because it's the cool thing to do."