Weekend Reading: Running Maps, Thinking, and Remote Work

April 20, 2019 • #

🏃🏻‍♂️ On the Go Map

Found via Tom MacWright, a slick and simple tool for doing run route planning built on modern web tech. It uses basic routing APIs and distance calculation to help plan out runs, which is especially cool in new places. I used it in San Diego this past week to estimate a couple distances I did. It also has a cool sharing feature to save and link to routes.

🔮 As We May Think

I mentioned scientist Vannevar Bush here a few days back. This is a piece he wrote for The Atlantic in 1945, looking forward at how machines and technology could become enhancers of human thinking. So many prescient segments foreshadowing current computer technology:

One can now picture a future investigator in his laboratory. His hands are free, and he is not anchored. As he moves about and observes, he photographs and comments. Time is automatically recorded to tie the two records together. If he goes into the field, he may be connected by radio to his recorder. As he ponders over his notes in the evening, he again talks his comments into the record. His typed record, as well as his photographs, may both be in miniature, so that he projects them for examination.

👨🏽‍💻 Best Practices for Managing Remote Teams

I thought this was an excellent rundown of remote work, who is suited for it, how to manage it, and the psychology of this new method of teamwork.

Let’s first cover values. Remote work is founded on specific core principles that govern this distinct way of operating which tend to be organization agnostic. They are the underlying foundation which enables us to believe that this approach is indeed better, more optimal, and thus the way we should live:

  • Output > Input
  • Autonomy > Administration
  • Flexibility > Rigidity

These values do not just govern individuals, but also the way that companies operate and how processes are formed. And like almost anything in life, although they sound resoundingly positive, they have potential pitfalls if not administered with care.

I found nearly all of this very accurate to my perception of remote work, at least from the standpoint of someone who is not remote, but manages and works with many that are. I’m highly supportive of hiring remote. With our team, we’ve gotten better in many ways by becoming more remote. And another (perhaps counterintuitive) observation: the more remote people you hire, the better the whole company gets and managing it.