A thoughtful and transparent post from Figma founder Dylan Field on their plans for re-establishing a hybrid / hub / remote model for the future of their teams.
In many ways, we followed our normal design process in revising this policy. We thought about the competitive landscape and ecosystem, collected data, explored different options and then converged on a solution. However, unlike making a product change, this was weirdly emotional for me—small changes in policy sometimes felt like we were leaping between potential worlds. I didn’t feel like I had a framework for the decision until the end of...
Rory Sutherland’s latest column for The Spectator:
Covid-19 will change how humanity works. Lockdown has revealed that a large part of the busyness of business is driven by the need to signal commitment (presenteeism), rather than the creation of value. Many people have realised that the most stressful part of working is not the worthwhile work itself but the accompanying worthless bustle. We have seen how commuting is frenetic and often unnecessary. In the future, perhaps people will go into the office when they need to or want to, rather than simply because they must.
This year’s UCI season was demolished due to COVID-19 like most other sports. All of the big monuments, classics, and at least 1 Grand Tour (Giro) were postponed. Milan—San Remo, Dauphiné, Paris—Roubaix, and a bunch of others all happening in the fall, if at all this year.
Originally the Tour de France was in that bunch. It normally runs around the fourth of July and Bastille Day, but was pushed with the season nominally continuing in August. Now the UCI and race organizers decided to try something new, running the race in Zwift, a cycling fitness game with real tracks...
We’re almost to the three-month mark since the lockdown started here in Pinellas. Pretty quickly all of the public beaches were closed, right in the midst of Spring Break season. For a county with so many of its economic drivers tied to tourism and beachgoers, that specific element of the lockdown was unprecedented, but given the unknown around the virus’s possible impacts, it was the right decision.
Earlier in May the county reopened the beaches, and naturally, the first weekend was mayhem. We’ve gone a few times throughout the month, and it’s certainly been busy, but not a ton busier...
As the country is becoming more and more anxious about ending COVID lockdowns (with some states opening while others rein further in), Tyler Cowen had an interesting post about the timing of lockdowns:
Let’s say you have a simple model of political sustainability where Americans will tolerate [???] months of lockdown — shall we say two? — but not much more. (Maybe three months if we had Merkel as president.) Then, if you scare/lock down in parts of the country where the virus is not yet evident, you create economic misery but not many public health gains. Who after...
Arnold Kling has been a great follow lately. On the Fed’s stimulus plan for COVID economic shutdown:
I have said all along that the checks being written to households and small businesses were just a fig leaf to cover a massive bailout of large corporations and the financial industry.
If we saw mobs breaking into stores, pulling items from the shelves, and walking out, we would recognize this as looting. But if we define looting as taking property without giving anything of value in return, then it is now widespread.
Tenants are looting landlords by not paying rent...
Benedict Evans looks at what could return to normal after coronavirus, and what else might have accelerated change that was already happening.
“Every time we get a new kind of tool, we start by making the new thing fit the existing ways that we work, but then, over time, we change the work to fit the new tool. You’re used to making your metrics dashboard in PowerPoint, and then the cloud comes along and you can make it in Google Docs and everyone always has the latest version....
Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, has been working on this site that gives up-to-date reads on Rt by state, giving a read on how fast the coronavirus is spreading.
These are up-to-date values for Rt, a key measure of how fast the virus is growing. It’s the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. If Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly. When Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading.
Tabbing between the time ranges shows how infection rates are changing over the last 4 weeks.
Daniel Gross has a good list of things that will change post-coronavirus lockdown — patterns of lifesytle, businesses, real estate, and others:
A few notable ones:
The (temporary) end of cities. We might see a temporary exodus to the suburbs until there’s a vaccine. A few realtors have told me interest in SF apartments is down while suburban homes are up.
Trust. Suddenly all humans are suspect of carrying biological weapons. How do you feel when you see a stranger on the street today? The virus increases trust between smaller groups, decreases it towards strangers.
This is the best piece I’ve seen on the swirling controversy around the coronavirus pandemic response: on experts, the WHO, government response. The problem is not that experts don’t always have the answer (which they clearly don’t), it’s that the mechanics of many institutions, but also individual reasoning methods, are incompatible with responding to data-poor situations.
People were presented with a new idea: a global pandemic might arise and change everything. They waited for proof. The proof didn’t arise, at least at first. I remember hearing people say things like “there’s no reason for panic, there are currently only...
March 12th was the last time I was at the office. We went full remote starting the next day.
The 13th was Elyse’s last day in person at her school. Spring break was slated for the following week anyway, but she started up “Zoom school” a couple weeks ago. She’s only 4 and in pre-K, so they’re just doing their “circle time” remotely. At least a chance to see her friends on cameras once in a while.
Other than the typical cabin fever of having to be at the house so much, I’m surprised how well the kids are handling...
A solid interview with Bill Gates with his thoughts on the COVID response. There aren’t many folks outside of the medical field more versed in this topic based on empirical experience than Gates. Interesting to hear his take.
It’s a weird time right now across the globe. People all over are quarantined, either because of government mandate or self-isolation from others to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.
I don’t think the world needs more sideline expertise or prognostication about what the virus is doing, how this period will end, or how the economy recovers. There’s already plenty of that out online and in the media — probably way too much.
But I wanted to write something down about this as a personal note for future me to read in the archives.
An interesting post from China analyst Dan Wang, who lives in Beijing, on the current state of the city in the throes of response to the coronavirus response and containment:
I see quarantine enforcement. One day in early February, a uniformed municipal employee set up a tent and a table outside my apartment compound, taking the temperatures of everyone leaving and entering. The next day, he gave me a paper slip, saying that I needed to display it every time I came in. It was a good thing that I received that entry card when I did, because I...