2014 was a busy year.
In few moments of reflection, it feels more like 3-4 years. Anyway, let’s try to see where was the interesting stuff on this blog.
- New projects’ site
After two years, I’ve decided to go with a little ‘makeover’ to the site. It’s still work in progress, but we can see the improvement so the trend is good.
- Top Posts
- Yahoo finance hidden API – It’s an old post, but I guess people are still looking for ways to get fresh finance data.
- Chrome OS
- How to use indexed DB simplest
The first part of the year was devoted to Google cloud platform. So here are some of the highlights from that period.
- Compute Engine
- Google cloud storage migration backup and archive
- Big Query
- A bit old post but still getting (a lot of) views: Startups secret strength.
- Startups best practices
- Startups Tips
It was a year full of great routes both on the bike and on foot.
I really enjoy these books over the past year:
- Zero to one – Peter Thiel on startups and building your next idea into a profitable business.
- The Alliance – Reid Hoffman took his experience from the past years into describing what is broken in the current employer-employee relationship. Managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: You cannot afford to offer lifetime employment. But you cannot build a lasting, innovative business when everyone acts like a free agent. The solution: Stop thinking of employees as family or free agents, and start thinking of them as allies on a tour of duty. IMHO, a must read for any entrepreneur.
- Think Like a Freak – I’ve saw on amazon that Malcolm Gladwell did a review, so here you go: “In one of the many wonderful moments in Think Like a Freak, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner ask the question: Who is easier to fool—kids or adults? The obvious answer, of course, is kids. The cliché is about taking candy from a baby, not a grown man. But instead of accepting conventional wisdom as fact, the two sit down with the magician Alex Stone—someone in the business of fooling people—and ask him what he thinks. And his answer? Adults. Stone gave the example of the staple of magic tricks, the “double lift,” where two cards are presented as one. It’s how a magician can seemingly bury a card that you have selected at random and then miraculously retrieve it. Stone has done the double lift countless times in his career, and he says it is kids—overwhelmingly—who see through it. Why? The magician’s job is to present a series of cues—to guide the attention of his audience—and adults are really good at following cues and paying attention. Kids aren’t. Their gaze wanders. Adults have a set of expectations and assumptions about the way the world works, which makes them vulnerable to a profession that tries to exploit those expectations and assumptions. Kids don’t know enough to be exploited. Kids are more curious. They don’t overthink problems; they’re more likely to understand that the basis of the trick is something really, really simple. And most of all—and this is my favorite—kids are shorter than adults, so they quite literally see the trick from a different and more revealing angle. Think Like a Freak is not a book about how to understand magic tricks. That’s what Dubner and Levitt’s first two books—Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics—were about. It’s about the attitude we need to take towards the tricks and the problems that the world throws at us. Dubner and Levitt have a set of prescriptions about what that attitude comes down to, but at its root it comes down to putting yourself in the mind of the child, gazing upwards at the double lift: free yourself from expectations, be prepared for a really really simple explanation, and let your attention wander from time to time. The two briefly revisit their famous argument from their first book about the link between the surge in abortions in the 1970s and the fall in violent crime twenty years later. Their point is not to reargue that particular claim. It is to point out that we shouldn’t avoid arguments like that just because they leave us a bit squeamish. They also tell the story of the Australian doctor Barry Marshall, who overturned years of received wisdom when he proved that ulcers are caused by gastric bacteria, not spicy food and stress. That idea was more than heretical at first. It was absurd. It was the kind of random idea that only a child would have. But Dubner and Levitt’s point, in their utterly captivating new book, is that following your curiosity—even to the most heretical and absurd end—makes the world a better place. It is also a lot of fun.”
- Delivering Happiness -Tony Hsieh, the widely-admired CEO of Zappos, tell his story and how to make happiness (part of) your business model.
- Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt -Flash Boys is remarkable for its moral outrage as it reveals how high-frequency traders have hoodwinked both investors and the public. Another must read if you investing for yourself.
- Business adventures – I’ve got to the middle of the book and it got some interesting ‘war stories’ that you can learn from.
- King and Maxwell – I listen to these 6 books during the long runs. Excellent story and overall performance.
- The Escape – David Baldacci is great. It’s a good 3rd book of the series about John Paller.
- Made to stick – Mark Twain once observed, “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can even get its boots on.” His observation rings true: Urban legends, conspiracy theories, and bogus public-health scares circulate effortlessly. Meanwhile, people with important ideas–business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, and others–struggle to make their ideas “stick”. If you communicating ideas to others, this book is a great one to read and learn from. It full with practical examples you can use.