Here’s some tasty articles for your reading pleasure:
- The Friendship That Made Google Huge Coding together at the same computer, Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat changed the course of the company—and the Internet. In last week’s newsletter, we had a link to an article about how developers are distributed according to the Power Law; Dean and Ghemawat are examples of developers who have extreme outlier output. Google ranks all of its developers according to a Level 0 – 10 scale. Dean and Ghemawat are the company’s only Level 11s.
- I fell down the rabbit hole of researching better headphones and this article usefully summarises the key considerations: 4 Tricks to Improve Your Headphone Sound I’ve settled on the Beyerdynamics DT770s (80ohm) and a headphone amp.
- I wrote recently on why customer service is a rarely-deployed competitive advantage. Customer service is either a delight or a bugbear for me. I love great service and I will promote the hell out of you if you give me it, whilst bad customer service will linger long in my memory. Brian Chesky of Airbnb has talked about the concept of 11 star service (Reid Hoffman talks about this in How to Scale a Magical Experience: 4 Lessons from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky.) In a nutshell, what’s the very best and most ridiculously good version of your customer experience that you can think of, and how can you dial this back in to something that you can implement and scale? How could McDonalds or Sainsbury’s or Amazon give you 6, 7, or 8 star service?
Books I’m reading this week: What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture by Ben Horowitz and The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman.
This was an email newsletter first sent through my Substack on Jan 14 2020.