What I learned from: Edward Tufte’s Presenting Data and Information Course

My parents took this course in the 90’s. I picked up the book off their shelf at some point and had a few epiphanies. Yesterday I finally go the chance to take his one day course. 

Tufte is an elder statesman of design with being a true futurist, someone who reassures us that we’ve come a long way but have so much longer to go.

If you have a chance to take this course I highly recommend it. If you can’t make it the boots are also a field guide to creating great visual works and understanding how to better digest and present information.

A few of the highlights:

500 Year old Euclid manuscript.

Viz-O-Matic (Always a fan of the corny presentation breakup joke, reminds me of the Turbo Encabulatormy father loves to drop in his presentations to engineers)

The genius idea of managing your doctors like you would a business meeting (i.e. show up with a presentation of your questions and issues).

A reminder of how underrated spark-lines are. He’s been scratching the surface of a new evolution of this concept with waves and video here using Ultra HD, excited to see what comes of this work.

A presentation is a content experience, not a presentation or design experience. Design cannot save your content. Maximize for understanding.

jayparkinsonmd
jayparkinsonmd:

My watch is the only watch I’m excited about today. Call me a curmudgeon, but we look at too many screens and, already, get too many things vying for our attention. A wearable screen ready to distract us? Does that make us more present, or less? My iPhone has been my wearable since 2007. I wear it in my pocket. Do I really need another screen and another wearable?

Wearing a watch past today is going to be a different, important kind of mannerism. This is going to be a big moment for everyone in conscious disconnecting. This is more than not putting your phone on the table at dinner, it’s a going to be a statement from now on.
(By the way Jay, gorgeous watch - I’m an Omega fan & caretaker myself.)

jayparkinsonmd:

My watch is the only watch I’m excited about today. Call me a curmudgeon, but we look at too many screens and, already, get too many things vying for our attention. A wearable screen ready to distract us? Does that make us more present, or less? My iPhone has been my wearable since 2007. I wear it in my pocket. Do I really need another screen and another wearable?

Wearing a watch past today is going to be a different, important kind of mannerism. This is going to be a big moment for everyone in conscious disconnecting. This is more than not putting your phone on the table at dinner, it’s a going to be a statement from now on.

(By the way Jay, gorgeous watch - I’m an Omega fan & caretaker myself.)

rickwebb

rickwebb:

I’m excited to say today that I’ve taken a role on the leadership team at Percolate, as VP of People operations. I’ve been friends with Noah and James forever. Noah was a Barbarian back in the day, and established the planning department there. When he left to form Percolate with James in…

Very cool! Awesome to see such great people working together on important products.

marksbirch
Selling an enterprise-wide deal is a lot like getting a bill passed in Congress.

If SaaS Products Sell Themselves, Why Do We Need Sales? by Mark Cranney

If you have heard the Ben Horowitz story about Opsware or read his recent book, you would have heard the name Mark Cranney.  He was the weirdo that no one wanted to hire because he did not look “sales” enough.  Ben hired him against everyone else’s judgment and it probably saved the company.  This guy knows sales and from my own experience, enterprise deals are extremely challenging to navigate and close.

(via marksbirch)
fred-wilson

Interesting times ahead — As Troy Carter says in his interview to Guardian:

“Hollywood, record labels and tech giants such as Apple, Google and Samsung face immense risks and opportunities. Everybody should be afraid right now. We saw what happened to Nokia and BlackBerry and Motorola. Nobody saw Android coming. Nobody saw the iPhone coming. Nobody saw Samsung coming. No one is safe right now. Everything is moving so quickly.”

fred-wilson
The single most important lesson we learn from the short history of the consumer internet industry is that winning internet business models are engineered around consumers. In fact, consumer internet businesses must be designed, architecturally, to be more consumer centric than their physical world equivalents. This is because, fundamentally, the internet increases transparency and information availability to reduce friction, and thus shifts market power to users relative to physical world models. Therefore, competitors can and will exploit every opportunity to be more consumer centric, a dynamic fuelled by the quasi absence of barriers to entry into the industry.
Michael Zeisser (via datainsightsideas)
rickwebb

rickwebb:

In my 20s, I would rail to anyone who would listen about how frustrated I was that in all the history of civilization, I made it to the the next-to-last or maybe next-to-next-to-last generation born that will still have to get old. That our generations made it SO CLOSE to the threshold, but we weren’t going to make it. Had we been born in 1400 we’d have been miles away from the finish line, but as it is we were born and will die just inches from the finish line.

I’m mostly over it now, but if any of my old friends are reading, this is what I’m talking about.

lacienegasmiled

lacienegasmiled:

Demo of Beat It composed using only Michael Jackson’s voice

As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.

One of his engineers Robmix on how Jackson worked: “One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note”, etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57. He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.”

Reasons why I laugh when people say he wasn’t a real musician.

fred-wilson
The real story here that has been rattling around my brain the most is the story of innovation at the fringes beyond normalcy. Chris Dixon said when he made the investment in Coinbase that Bitcoin, “is one of the 5 best computer science ideas from the last forty years.” I agree. And, the idea that this brilliance came largely from one guy, acting in isolation, motivated largely by paranoia and distaste for existing financial infrastructure, is just wild. In this light the profile of Satoshi is the profile of an artist, or better yet, a maker. And like all makers, he is quirky, weird, one of the crazy ones.