100-year Life

The 100-year Life – Living and Working in An Age of Longevity,
Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, Bloomsbury Business, 2017

The three phase life (education, employment, retirement) is history now: gone forever. Maybe we will have (learn, work, rest, learn, work, rest…).
Or (learn, work/learn, work/learn, ..). I hope resting time can be in the mix occasionally. This change is due to the gig economy and longer life expectations. This book shows how to rethink your finances, your education, your career and your relationships and create a fulfilling 100-year life.

Another trend is involved. A hundred years ago, a doctor would know all about medicine, she would not be a specialist. Nowadays there is much more to learn so there are specialists, and there are more specialties every year. In fact the rate of specialization is increasing. Likewise in the engineering profession, law, software, and business.

A few years back Khan started the Khan academy, wikipedia exploded, and Google tied all the knowledge in the world together. In my line of work I solve many challenges with the help of Google, and that is an accepted way of work. What will be the next Khan-like innovation for learning? What will be the next generation of wikipedia knowledge stores, and how will you learn your next skill faser than ever?

Some people ask for a crystal ball so they can know which 4 year university education to get. Maybe they should get basic literacy then embark on a sequence of work/learn work/learn with the changes occurring more frequently over time.

How can we support this learning cycle with enhanced education on the spot, tuned to your aptitude and needs of the moment? A learning system which blends in with your work, with text / video / podcast / brain link? As Tim O’Reilly says in his recent book “WTF”, we need on-demand learning.

In the future perhaps the learning system could improve its knowledge base from your experiences automatically? Would this be a future of massive multiplayer machine learning on steroids (MMMLOS)?

the Start-Up Bubble

Disrupted – My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble By Lyons, Dan Book – 2016

Lyons was a technology journalist at the top of his career when the news industry imploded, leaving him screwed (in his words). He stumbled around, eventually getting work at HubSpot, the marketing support company. The job fit was so bad! When it ended about a year later, Lyons had a perfect chance to exercise his well practised skills in satirical writing and ‘take the piss out’ of Hubspot.

There are a few themes here:

  • ageism: Lyons was twice the age of the average Hubspotter, and he delights in detailing how green they were
  • VC start-up bubble: Hubspot and similar businesses make their founders millionaires while being unprofitable. The VC investors loose millions.
  • marketing: Hubspot’s ‘awesome’ capability was in spammy email campaigns.
  • culture: The company culture was laughable, and Lyons has a great time satirizing it.

The book is infamous at the moment. See Lyon’s Linkedin post, and Hubspot’s riposte. See also Lyons’ article in the NY Times.
Lyons’ Linkedin profile describes his experience at Hubspot succinctly as ‘Veni, vidi, scripsi’. Lyons may never again get a chance to work in a technology company, but he has revenues from a best seller, and I suspect he has a comfortable future as an author.

Software Craftsman

Software Craftsman : Professionalism, Pragmatism, Pride
By Mancuso, Sandro
Book – 2014

This book is for the working software developer. Do you see yourself as a professional? Or do you have pride in your skills a craftsman? Or is your work just a job, driven by a non-technical micro-manager?

Mancuso discusses the Craftmanship movement, which became strong around 2008, and compares it with the Agile and XP movements. This book will comfort you when deadlines are pressing. Better still, if you read it while in the early stages of planning a software project, you will plan and design quality code from the start.

Mancuso discusses this in the context of his own career progression from a green, cocky youngster through to a mature leader, showing considerable wisdom.

Here is the author‘s site.