I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking time to read the latest seasonal newsletter. This update is a recap of the spring months, March through May 2022. It’s being posted and distributed in August, but dated March 1.
Move Slow and Fix Things
In 2014, the phrase “move fast and break things” became well known as an internal motto for Facebook operations. In 2017, a book was written by the same title. [View]
Some aspects of the “move fast and break things” culture are to be praised — taking risks, thinking outside the box, taking on challenges before you fully understand them. It’s transformational for management to affirm that it’s okay to break things. This frees up employees to try something different and know they wouldn’t get fired if they mess up. It allows for the Thomas Edison types of people to try something hundreds of times and not give up until they solve a challenge.
There are ways to be creative and explore many possible ideas, solutions, methods, processes, and workflows without committing huge amounts of time and resources. Creatively imagining a variety of scenarios, like thinking through possible chess moves, can happen quickly in one’s mind. Computer models help save time and avoid mistakes.
Some testing and evaluation requires a long-term study of impacts and success. What we perceive as success in the short-term may eventually evolve into an undesirable outcome over a longer time.
Early limited shallow analysis can’t serve as well as long term, broad, and deep analysis. A popular format of reviews on YouTube are the long term reviews. These are observations and comments from a person who has owned and used a product regularly over a long period of time. Such reviews are very helpful.
With this website, and in other areas of life, I’ve been examining how to take a slower approach. For me, the “move slow and fix things” process is one that could be a hybrid of creative boldness combined with reserved patience. In my computer work, I’ve always proactively fixed problems. When I’m working on someone’s computer, I tell them I’m fixing the problems that are going to arise over the next year — before they happen. It takes a little more time initially, but saves time and frustration in the long run.
In March 2021, I shifted away from posting daily articles on this site to creating quarterly newsletters like this one. I want my own life to be less busy, and also for those who follow this site, I want it to be as minimalist as possible. It’s a good repository of information. There does not need to be driving pressure to keep adding more.
NOTE: In 2014, when I first heard the phrase “move fast and break things” the alternate statement of “move slow and fix things” naturally came to mind as a response. Apparently others had the same thought judging from a Google search on that phrase today. [View] There’s even a podcast by that title.
Iowa City Tech
Over the years I’ve launched some dedicated tech support websites for the Iowa City area. These have a specific goal for a specific geographic area. The most recent site has been Iowa City Tech. [View] The approach I’m taking with that site is to have an alphabetical directory of content. It’s intended to be a collection of support guides to the most common needs that I see in my work helping people with tech support.
Initially I was busy adding content to that site. Now, it’s fairly complete with answers to common questions and guides for most of what people need. I don’t feel a need to add content for the sake of adding content.
In April 2020, I created the “Walk and Talk” podcast where I would record the show while walking in the morning. [More] My inspiration for doing this was the quiet mornings during the initial days of the pandemic. The only sound was nature. The usual hum from the interstate highway was absent. I was able to use nature trails as a perfect recording studio.
I dedicated each episode to a familiar topic that I was interested in. These were like consultation presentations. Each episode answered questions that people ask me.
Some episodes were longer. What I tried to do is have a summary in the first few minutes. So, people could get the general idea of the episode and then listen further for the details, or skip to another episode. I try to do that with my writing as well.
After 56 episodes, I felt I had exhausted the list of topics I was familiar with, or that would be of interest to people. I didn’t have a news room conference table with a dozen people to throw around ideas for possible upcoming episodes.
I’m leaving the option open for more recordings to be added, but I don’t feel pressured to produce more episodes.
The Resources For Life website has changed over the years. At times it was more complex and colorful. The current presentation of the content is very minimalist. The simpler design seems to help the site load faster. Not only is what you see simple, the coding behind the site is simple.
I’m familiar with load balancing, caching, site optimization, cloud hosting, and content delivery network services. Those all help a person build sloppy excessive bloated website and have it load quickly. The accumulation of plugins, graphics, features, widgets, and connections to social media sites — these all potentially slow down a website.
Rather than taking the “we’ll fix it in post” approach. I decided to begin with a simple presentation of the content that didn’t require costly and complicated services for optimizing the site load times.
I wanted the content to be easily accessible on all devices, in all locations, regardless of how slow a person’s Internet connection may be or how old their computer may be.
To get notified when these seasonal newsletters become available, please click here. That’s about four emails per year.
I want to thank the global team of volunteers, contributors, and workers “behind the scenes” who help make all this possible. I’m very grateful to the many people who continue to uphold and advance the mission of Resources for Life. Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there is any way that Resources for Life can serve you better.
Greg Johnson | Director | ResourcesForLife.com
Postal: PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717 USA
Phone: (319) 621-4911
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