July reading is a new feature this month. I have started to curate a list of things that I’ve read at various points that interested me and saved them as a draft post on the blog with a little curated comment. I’m hoping to cover topics like User Experience, Business and Startups, Human Rights/Equality, the Environment, Politics, and Sports.

The other challenge I’m going to try is to manage this entire workflow on my iOS devices — no laptop or desktop interference. I do the majority of my reading on an iOS device, so it would make sense that I keep it on the platform.

User Experience

  • How to read body language while conducting research on UX Matters. It’s pretty important, y’all.
  • I gave a talk about the consequences of bad design and it featured a lengthy section on the F35 Lightning II plane. Since then, I’ve done some reading. It’s even worse than that:
    • The F35 Lightning II has cost more than NASA. All of NASA. Since it’s inception. That one plane has cost the US government more than the adjusted-for-inflation cumulative cost of NASA since it’s founding in 1958.
  • We, as designers, have a pretty myopic worldview. Smashing Magazine has a great interview with Jenny Shen around localizing design for cultural nuances.

Business/Startups

  • Now that I have my MBA, I’m even more plugged into shit like HBR or MIT Sloan Management Review as an aggregate source of business-y guy information. With my Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises focus, I’m not giving up reading things like Product Hunt. When I see startups like Aventify featured and it makes me cringe for a few reasons:
    1. This sounds like a dumb Silicon Valley pitch: “With Avenify, investors fund students and earn a return when they succeed, enabling students to finance their education debt-free.” 
    2. What happens when someone wants to pursue a 6 year undergraduate degree like me? Does this funding only apply to tech gigs? (Answer: Yeah, probably. Because Music Education or Art Appreciation won’t get these 100x guys their returns.)
    3. The long-game payoff is at least 2-4 years before a student makes any sort of money that could potentially satisfy their debt obligation. Is it worth it, even with interest, when a student could just declare bankruptcy and write it off? I’m glad that Aventify has lawyers who wrote their agreements, but is an EULA enough protection in bankruptcy court?
  • Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. 10 years later, it’s made over $18 billion at the global box office. I was happy with my 7% YTD rate of return on my 401k investments, but that’s just bonkers. And, even more nuts? That’s just box office receipts!
  • Turns out, open offices are as bad as we all thought. As someone working in an office with cube sharing due to our building being at capacity, I get it. At the end of the year, we’re going to an open office floor plan. Looks like I’ll be working from my home office a lot more…
  • BMW announced a plan to charge $300 for lifetime access to CarPlay, or $80 for yearly access to CarPlay. If I’m Apple, I’m livid for 2 reasons: (1) It’s going to hamstring adoption of CarPlay as a Platform with that paywall; and (2) BMW is charging for a service they do not own! CarPlay runs in iOS and connects to your car’s infotainment unit via either a Wi-Fi connection or via a hardware device connection via Lightning cable. BMW does literally nothing except host the interface.

Equality

  • Iceland made it illegal to pay women less than men. C’mon, you American troglodytes – get with the program.
  • NASA Confirms first-ever all-woman space walk in March. I can – and can’t – believe that this hasn’t happened yet.
    • NASA revealed earlier this week that two of its astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station will make history later this month: Anne McClain and Christina Koch will conduct a spacewalk outside the station on March 29th, something that’s not uncommon on its own, but this will be the first with the entire team involved made up of women. Why did it take this long?!

Sports

History Made: Stanley Cup Champions

Our broken country