Web Excursions 2021-05-05

🌟 [Post of The Day] Efficiency is the Enemy

  • If you ever find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, sinking into stasis despite wanting to change, or frustrated when you can’t respond to new opportunities, you need more slack in your life.

  • In Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency, Tom DeMarco explains that most people and organizations fail to recognize the value of slack. Although the book is now around twenty years old, its primary message is timeless and worth revisiting.

  • Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency.

  • Total efficiency is a myth

  • As a practical matter, it is impossible to keep everyone in the organization 100 percent busy unless we allow for some buffering at each employee’s desk. That means there is an inbox where work stacks up.

  • Without slack time, one way or another, something gets delayed. The increase in busyness may well be futile

  • DeMarco defines slack as “the degree of freedom required to effect change.

    • Slack is the natural enemy of efficiency and efficiency is the natural enemy of slack.”

    • Slack represents operational capacity sacrificed in the interests of long-term health.

  • Slack consists of excess resources. It might be time, money, people on a job, or even expectations.

  • In general, you need more slack than you expect.

    • You also need to keep a vigilant eye on how fast you use up your slack so you can replenish it in time.

  • Now, even as slack keeps becoming more and more vital for survival, we’re keener than ever to eliminate it in the name of efficiency.

Efficiency Is the Enemy | Hacker News

  • mlac: I think we are getting to the point where all of the systems that were designed to take away the need for administrative assistants may once again require an assistant to navigate efficiently.

The Instagram ads Facebook won't show you

Facebook’s own tools have the potential to divulge what is otherwise unseen. It’s already possible to catch fragments of these truths in the ads you’re shown; they are glimmers that reflect the world of a surveilling stranger who knows you. We wanted to use those same tools to directly highlight how most technology works. We wanted to buy some Instagram ads.

We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to.

Ant’s Halted IPO Takes the Shine off China’s STAR Market

  • The Shanghai Stock Exchange, the board’s parent company, terminated 37 STAR board IPO applications from January through April.

    • That compares with three cases in the same period last year.

    • JD Digits, the fintech unit of e-commerce company JD.com Inc. , is one high-profile company that recently withdrew its application.

  • It used to take an average of six months for a company to get listing approval, but the process has now lengthened to at least nine months

  • In April, the China Securities Regulatory Commission issued revised listing guidelines for the STAR Market, which is also known as the Science and Technology Innovation Board.

    • The guidelines ban property-, financial- and investment-company listings, and say financial-technology IPOs will be restricted, without specifying what that entails.

    • The guidelines added a requirement to ensure listing candidates have strong research and development functions.

  • E.g.: DaoCloud Inc., a cloud-computing specialist.

    • DaoCloud had planned to list in mainland China because of the sensitive nature of its business, whose clients include state-owned banks and brokers.

    • The company had dismantled a legal setup known as a variable-interest entity structure in preparation for a STAR IPO

    • Such structures are used by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and many other tech firms to allow foreign shareholders to invest in sensitive sectors.

    • In a VIE, the listed company is registered offshore and relies on contracts to control its operating businesses in mainland China.

  • Regulators have begun conducting random spot inspections of listings candidates, prompting several to withdraw applications.

    • Lawyers say authorities are also taking measures such as examining executives’ bank accounts and identifying controlling shareholders.