Thinks 450

Fred Wilson: “I have learned that on any team there are always a few members who are extremely difficult to replace. While most team members are “fungible”, there are always a few “non-fungible people” and retaining these NFPs can be incredibly important to the long-term success of the business. The first, and most important, NFP is the founder. The person who originally conceived of the opportunity, recruited the first few team members, scoped (and often built) the first product, brings immense value to the business, mostly around long-term vision, setting the culture and values, and knowing when something is “off.” Retaining the founder’s interest in and involvement with the business is critical. There are times when the founder is bringing more difficulty to the business than value and they should depart. But those situations are to be avoided if possible because of how important a founder is to the business. NFPs are usually individual contributors, not managers. The management function is much easier to replace than a uniquely skilled individual. A common mistake that I and others have made is to promote an NFP into management when they are much happier not managing people. A classic role for an NFP is the CTO of the business. In this role, the person sets the overall technology direction of the business, makes the hardest technical decisions, builds technology themselves, but does not manage the engineering function. In many companies, the CTO has no direct reports.”

FT on Wordle’s virality: “A single design choice took the game viral. After noticing a group of players in New Zealand sharing their results online using coloured emoji squares, Wardle wrote code in December allowing players to copy their daily results on to Twitter. The resulting graphical maps are a deceptively smart invention: they make the game immensely shareable, each readable as a miniature story with its own emotional arc. When I see a row of incorrect grey letters followed immediately by a correct answer, I feel the swooping uplift of that player’s luck. Conversely, seeing a player guess four letters correctly every time but never uncovering the fifth is a classic tale of frustrated ambition — the almost of it all…While most tech products try to capture as much of the user’s time and attention as possible, Wordle does the opposite. Nothing is monetised. Wardle has designed the game so players can spend no more than a few minutes daily on his site. The shareable emoji grids don’t even include a link for promotion. It runs counter to the wearisome trends towards addictive and ethically dubious monetisation strategies in tech. Wordle succeeds because it genuinely respects its players.” Leher Kala: “The shrewd Wordle developer releases just one game a day, ensuring a hooked audience is anxiously waiting for it to drop.”

ThePrint about youth in UP: “Afternoons are for charging phone batteries up to 100 per cent, evenings are for playing digital games in sportsgrounds, and nights are for climbing rooftops to catch the network signal. This is when mobile data is the cheapest and fastest, and so it’s the perfect time to plunge into the three Ps: political propaganda, pornography, and potboilers like the action-drama Pushpa, which is currently all the rage. This is how many among Uttar Pradesh’s “generation nowhere”, a term that scholar Craig Jeffrey has used to describe educated, unemployed youth in India, spend their days. There are few job prospects, college degrees gather more dust every year, and there is usually no family money to bank on, but these youth do have something to keep the abyss at bay: their standard daily quota of 2GB of data…The more pervasive trend in the 2020s among unemployed youth, however, is the pursuit of distraction. When anger or despair do arise in this brave new world, they are usually quickly scrolled away and quietened by hours on Instagram reels.”

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.