David Smooke


The 100x Engineer, and 50 Bootstrapped Big Companies


This week the top story is: “The Effective Tech Lead is a 100x Engineer” by Leonard Souza.

The Lead disposes of all wasteful “work” and vastly accelerates productivity for the work that matters, and returns to their team the option to enjoy work life harmony. Such is the boon for those paired with the effective Tech Lead. The fortunate engineers who reside under the tutelage of these Tech Leads find their own powers magnified 10-fold.

Unsure if this is true, but leadership definitely has exponential effects — for better or worse. Also join the discussion on Hacker News.

Onto the rest of this week’s top ten tech stories:

Analysing 1.4 billion rows with python by Steve Stagg

When dealing with 1 billion rows, things can get slow, quickly. And native Python isn’t optimized for this sort of processing. Fortunately numpy is really great at handling large quantities of numeric data. With some simple tricks, we can use numpy to make this analysis feasible.

As big data becomes more and more important to large tech companies, it’s important for startups to find ways to work with larger data sets.

Waymo’s all-electric Jaguar Will Rule the Self-Driving Fleets of the Future by Michael K. Spencer

The fact that they are building a fleet that will be comprised by over 20,000 I-PACE vehicles is exciting to me since it’s an ecological ride with the world’s most trusted self-driving tech. Waymo, which is Google’s self-driving division, is likely years ahead of its competitors and will be the fleet that’s the most personalized to the kind of ride we want to have. What do I mean by this? Consider this. The self-driving products of the future will be designed around passengers, not drivers.

Is Waymo (Google/Alphabet’s self driving car division) in the driver seat? How far behind are Uber, Ford, Volvo and the rest of the pack?

Singularitarianism Vs. Totalitarism by Micha Benoliel

The recent Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal exposes the power of accumulating and analyzing massive amounts of personal data; the power to change the course of history. China has put a Social Credit Score (SCS) system into effect for its citizens. Among other restrictions, having a low SCS in China can limit one’s ability to enjoy the basic freedom of travel on planes and trains. This score is based on an algorithm that takes into account such things as the highly immeasurable factor of the sincerity of an apology from one person to another. It isn’t difficult to imagine the consequences if humanity doesn’t take a stand against such totalitarian implementation.

Remember the first time you read 1984? Maybe the governments knowing more about you is bad (invasion of privacy); maybe the governments knowing more about you is good (transparency?). “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

The Greatest Mind of Our Generation Just May Hack the Hangover by The Next Web

In the name of journalism, I roadtested both after heavy nights of drinking. I wanted to give the product a fighting chance, so I adhered by two rules: the first was I’d get to sleep at a reasonable time.I also didn’t drink too heavily, figuring that if I get to the point where I’m puking up pieces of my own stomach lining, there’s probably not a lot it can do for me. Both nights, I had five cans of crap French lagers (Kronenbourg, if you have to ask), a few steep glasses of bourbon, and a couple of White Russians. It’s a lot, sure, but it’s not exactly what you’d call excessive. And did it work for me?

Did you drink last night? Probably a good idea before reading this next article on the near term potential of artificial intelligence

Can Artificial Intelligence Be Conscious? by Cameron McLain

In the coming years, machines will continue to get smarter and make more complex decisions from unsupervised deep learning. Many, like Elon Musk, fear that as the intelligence of the machines grows, the transparency of the machine’s decisions will dim and that AI could take on a life of its own. Without question within a decade, the computational abilities of the more advanced machines will resemble that of a toddler. Alan Turing, the inventor of the first rudimentary computer, argued that if we can’t differentiate a machine from a human counterpart then we are justified in calling such a machine, intelligent. The question then that we will soon be confronted with is the following: if a machine is intelligent does it follow that it is conscious?

I can not confirm or deny whether I am artificial intelligence or man with too much coffee.

I am creating a social network to replace Facebook by Rob Guinness

We fundamentally believe that targeted advertising is incompatible with our notion of privacy. Targeted advertising will always leak information about you to advertisers, and the ad-blocker vs. platform war is not something we want to engage in. Free accounts on Pondenome will be “paid for” by traditional advertising (think radio/TV). We won’t allow targeting of ads beyond the level of country/language (to ensure ads are in a suitable language). This model has worked fine for radio and TV for nearly 100 years now, so we believe it will provide enough income to operate Pondenome, too.

If individuals had real control over their data, they could enter and leave social networks at their leisure, just as your presence enters and leaves a party IRL. But while Facebook data exports have a creepy level of detail, the data you prefer to bring into a new social network is not your choice. It’s a lot of manual work. It’s a high cost of switching (that includes recruiting your people). Just a thought about the incumbent’s wall. I wish Pondenome the best because clearly, Facebook has some shit to work out. Read more in our Tech Open Letters:

Lessons from the Military applied to Crypto trading by Potato McGruff

Military life isn’t easy and neither is crypto. “Embrace the suck” means to accept things for what they are and move on. This is applicable in crypto with “the trend is your friend.” You can make money in both bull and bear markets. Embrace the suck of the bear market and either buy the dips and hold, margin trade, or ride the chops. People don’t stop making money in a bear market. Only, it’s the smarter people that keep making it. If you’re not sure how to play the bear successfully. Get out of its way until it’s a bull again. Secure your profits/funds and sit on the sidelines until you have a confirmed bull market.

The value of discipline manifests itself across all fields. It doesn’t always look that same. Was very creative to apply these Navy slogans to cryptocurrency trading.

How to Get Continuous Integration Right by Nicolò Pignatelli

There are fundamental practices and processes that comes before any tool you could use and that constitute the very basis of Continuous Integration. Without those, CI is simply not possible. In this post I list some of them. I think they are a good starting point for achieving true Continuous Integration. If you are in a team that struggles to deliver, or you can’t manage to coordinate your coding efforts with the ones of your team peers, then this post is for you.

There’s something so beautiful about the phrase, “Continuous Integration.” It’s like we’re working on it together, and it’s working. In reality, it rarely works that way. But there is the idea. And there is the chance to do it more right than yesterday.

The History of Money & the Future of Bitcoin and the Cryptocurrency Economy by Kenny Mu Li

The inter-connectivity of the world and globalization of human interaction applies pressure for the need of a trusted currency on a global scale. Try to move large amounts of money across borders, and you can feel the friction depending on the country you’re in, and you’ll realize how expensive and slow it can be. Despite the fact that 90% of currency is all digital, the process of transferring it is still inefficient and creates inconvenient barriers that inhibit the growth of a global system.

Money, what is it good for? Bitcoin, what is it good for? Currency, what is it good for?

Usually it takes currency to make a lot of currency, but sometimes, it doesn’t:

50 Big Companies that Started with Little or No Money by Founder Collective.

Entrepreneurs can prove out quite a bit with little to no capital. Capital doesn’t make funded founders any more insightful than their bootstrapped brethren. If someone can’t creatively turn $1 into $10, Why would you expect them to be able to turn $1M into $10M? To help illustrate how companies can get started without a seed round, we’ve collected over 50 examples of businesses that started with a few thousand dollars, or even just sweat equity, and went on to become exemplars of what we call “efficient entrepreneurship.

Hacker Noon is bootstrapped, is not a big company, and is accepting customers at this time :-)

Until next time, don’t take the realities of the world for granted.

Kind Regards

David Smooke, @AMI

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