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Apt Reading

We use Instapaper to remember to read good stuff on the web. We thought you might find some of it interesting too, so here’s what we’ve been reading lately:

Starred picks:

The Shazam Effect — The Atlantic

Record companies are tracking download and search data to predict which new songs will be hits. This has been good for business—but is it bad for music? Gluekit…

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/12/the-shazam-effect/382237/

Hiring Mobile Engineers vs Training Engineers On Mobile – AVC

We have watched many of our large “web first” portfolio companies struggle to make the change from web first to mobile first. By now, most of them (but not all…

http://avc.com/2015/02/hiring-mobile-engineers-vs-training-engineers-on-mobile/

My Thoughts on Codecademy - O'Reilly School of Technology

There is yet another new wave of start-ups emerging in the educational technology space and like those that came before, most of this new wave neglects to…

http://blog.oreillyschool.com/2011/12/my-thoughts-on-codecademy.html

What Customers Want from Your Products - HBS Working Knowledge

Marketers should think less about market segments and more about the jobs customers want to do. A Harvard Business Review excerpt by HBS professor Clayton M.…

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/5170.html

Reid Hoffman: The network philosopher (Wired UK)

Investor. Founder. Thinker. Connector. Reid Hoffman has been called the best-networked man in Silicon Valley. Now he wants to use all he’s learned to change the…

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2012/04/features/reid-hoffman-network-philosopher?page=all

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Convertible Note Seed Financings (But Were Afraid To Ask) | TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Scott Edward Walker is the founder and CEO of Walker Corporate Law Group, a boutique corporate law firm specializing in the representation of…

http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/07/convertible-note-seed-financings/

The inadmissible assumptions - Charlie's Diary

Underlying all debate on the future of the internet are a constellation of unspoken assumptions. These include: a) Advertising is socially neutral or good, b)…

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2012/04/the-inadmissible-assumptions.html

The Tim Ferriss Effect: Lessons From My Successful Book Launch - Forbes

If you had a book coming out, and you were considering how to get people excited to buy it, read it, and talk about it, which would be most valuable to you: 1)…

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelellsberg/2012/01/11/the-tim-ferriss-effect/print/

Killing Orson Welles at Midnight by Zadie Smith | The New York Review of Books

The Clock is a twenty-four-hour movie that tells the time. This is achieved by editing together clips of movies in which clocks appear. But The Clock is so…

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/28/killing-orson-welles-midnight/?pagination=false

To read:

The Netflix Tech Blog: Netflix Recommendations: Beyond the 5 stars (Part 2)

In of this blog post, we detailed the different components of Netflix personalization. We also explained how Netflix personalization, and the service as a…

http://techblog.netflix.com/2012/06/netflix-recommendations-beyond-5-stars.html

Essay: Dumb-dumb bullets

By T.X. Hammes As a decision-making aid, PowerPoint is a poor tool Every year, the services spend millions of dollars teaching our people how to think. We…

http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/essay-dumb-dumb-bullets/

How Water Cuts Could Affect Every Community in California

The size of the circles shows daily residential water use, in gallons per capita. The colors show how far above or below the state average of 77142 gallons…

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/01/us/water-use-in-california.html

9 Case Studies That'll Help You Reduce SaaS Churn

Reducing churn is critical to the success of your SaaS company. David Skok, who is a must read for all startups , explains that as a SaaS company grows, the…

http://conversionxl.com/reduce-churn/

Churn prevention: How Help Scout keeps monthly churn rate below 1%

Hey All, Welcome back to our series ‘Cutting Churn’ where we interview founders of successful startups and find out how they have been keeping their churn rate…

http://blog.bestunning.net/nick-help-scout-kept-churn-rate-1/

The Shazam Effect — The Atlantic

Record companies are tracking download and search data to predict which new songs will be hits. This has been good for business—but is it bad for music? Gluekit…

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/12/the-shazam-effect/382237/

Michael Bierut on The Great Discontent (TGD)

In addition to its quarterly print magazine, TGD publishes new digital content on thegreatdiscontent.com throughout the month. For updates, subscribe to TGD’s…

https://thegreatdiscontent.com/interview/ https://thegreatdiscontent.com/interview/michael-bierut

Hiring Mobile Engineers vs Training Engineers On Mobile – AVC

We have watched many of our large “web first” portfolio companies struggle to make the change from web first to mobile first. By now, most of them (but not all…

http://avc.com/2015/02/hiring-mobile-engineers-vs-training-engineers-on-mobile/

The digital lives of Millennials

Born in 1980, this first generation of digital natives entered high school as the web became a public space. Half of this group, those age 26 and under, entered…

http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/reports/survey-research/digital-lives-of-millennials/

SaaStr | Why Tilting Just a Smidge from Self-Service Can Grow Your Revenue 30x

Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with a number of outstanding entrepreneurs building self-service SaaS business at the bottom of the market.  A…

http://www.saastr.com/why-tilting-just-a-smidge-from-self-service-can-grow-your-revenue-30x/

Archive:

Apocalyptic Schadenfreude — Matter — Medium

By Steven Johnson There’s a certain kind of story, and a certain kind of tone, that runs through the recent history of the East Coast writing about the West…

https://medium.com/matter/let-it-rain-ac793178d51c

Holawhat? Meet The Alt-Management System Invented By A Programmer And Used By Zappos

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh offered his nearly 4,000 employees an ultimatum last week: accept Holacracy or leave. While the word may conjur images of a new-age cult,…

http://www.fastcompany.com/3044352/the-secrets-of-holacracy

This is How Coursera Competes Against Google and Facebook for the Best Talent - First Round Review

When John Ciancutti joined Netflix in 1999, he joined a team of four engineers. A couple years later, he became an engineering manager — a role he had never…

http://firstround.com/review/this-is-how-coursera-competes-against-google-and-facebook-for-the-best-talent/

Encountering Miles — Cuepoint — Medium

It didn’t take me very long into my first encounter with John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme to know that there was something special about it. My saxophone…

https://medium.com/p/bf593069537f

The Religious Experience of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” — Cuepoint — Medium

It didn’t take me very long into my first encounter with John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme to know that there was something special about it. My saxophone…

https://medium.com/cuepoint/the-religious-experience-of-john-coltrane-s-a-love-supreme-e52635a17617

Reverb Promises Publishers Better Data About What People Read And Why

If you’re an online publisher, you’ve got plenty of analytics tools to choose from, but they’re mostly focused on telling you which pages and articles are…

http://social.techcrunch.com/2015/02/24/reverb-insights/

How a start-up got companies like Apple, Amazon and Google to trust it with their office secrets

It was Anne Toth’s first week at Slack, and she already had a crisis on her hands. “TeamNameGate,” she now calls the episode. Last October, a blogger pointed…

http://fusion.net/story/39066/slack-security-privacy/

Weekend Read: Disruption Is Not About Slaying Giants but about Serving New Customers

3:53 pm ET Mark W. Johnson Mark W. Johnson, co-founder and senior partner at Innosight: You can go to a conference called Disrupt, get a degree in disruption…

http://blogs.wsj.com/accelerators/2015/01/23/weekend-read-disruption-is-not-about-slaying-giants-but-about-serving-new-customers/

You don't need a growth hacker

Startups don’t need growth hackers  – at first. They need products that are really working in the market. This means users love it, that there’s lots of…

http://andrewchen.co/2012/09/17/you-dont-need-a-growth-hacker/

Jane Litte explains the DoJ suit very well, and I have a couple of points to add – The Shatzkin Files

Jane Litte at the DearAuthor blog has written a remarkably concise, clear, and cogent piece about the DoJ case. This whole paragraph is a link to it. That’s a…

http://www.idealog.com/blog/jane-litte-explains-the-doj-suit-very-well-and-i-have-a-couple-of-points-to-add