Katz Got Your Tongue

Tilde Co-Founder and OSS enthusiast

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The Feeling of Existential Threat

Something I’d like any Trump followers to think about (if I have any): when the Nazi party is cheering someone on, it’s very hard not to experience that as an existential threat.

And existential threats make people panic into self defense mode. It’s very hard to turn back the clock on the election, but the existential threat is real.

If you think people are exagerating it, help make that true. If the KKK is cheering your reaction on, rethink. Talk. Listen. I’m happy to talk to anyone privately if you reach out.

But reflecting on my own thoughts, this is a big part of what happened this election.

Existential fear is a mofo.

Please please please let’s work together to marginalize the KKK and the nazi party as I know you believe they should be.

A follow-up from Twitter (https://twitter.com/wycats/status/798592720394563584)

This sentiment is the result of a tremendous amount of...

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The Art of Making What Appears to Be Impossible Possible

(All emphasis mine)

Part of the problem with just empathy with professed goals is that empathy doesn’t do us anything. We’ve had lots of empathy; we’ve had lots of sympathy, but we feel that for too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible. And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible.

Hillary Clinton, 1969, Student Commencement Speech, Wellesley College

We passionately rejected the notion of limitations on our abilities to make the world a better place. We saw a gap between our expectations and realities, and we were inspired, in large part by our Wellesley education, to bridge that gap. On behalf of the class of 1969, I said, “The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.” That is still the challenge of politics, especially in today’s far...

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Let’s go do it!

Another favorite Steve Jobs quote is from his 1997 WWDC fireside chat with developers, which happens right after everyone knows “Steve is back” but before he’s been announced as CEO (or even iCEO, the cutesy shorthand they gave him for Interim CEO).

Like many people, Steve struggles to understand how it is that better solutions don’t get the adoption they deserve.

And so, it’s amazing to me that something as obvious as email is so broken out there. Netscape’s is awful. I mean, everybody’s is awful. And if something so obvious as email is so broken…

And the other one I mentioned before: spreadsheets.

If you use Improv or Quantrix for a week, you would go, “How come this hasn’t completely replaced Excel?” for 75% of the people out there.

25% will still want Excel, for good reason.

But for 75% of the people, why hasn’t this replaced it?

And there are no answers to these questions...

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There’s a Tremendous Amount of Craftsmanship Between a Great Idea and a Great Product

One of my favorite quotes about building great products (or indeed, great open source projects) comes from Robert Cringely’s 1995 Lost Interview with Steve Jobs:

You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease.

It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.

And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product.

And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it.

And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make.

There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do.


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