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About damn time | On being not on time

On My Mind
About damn time | On being not on time
By Martin Wiesemborski • Issue #23 • View online
Ok, this is gonna be awkward…

Guess who's back
Guess who's back
Hey you guys! 
I know I promised weekly issues and then not delivered for way over 4 months. But I had good reasons, so hear me out.
Back in Oktober, I decided to shift my focus on other things. I also decided to let you know - with one last issue before I take the break. And well, as you have noticed, I didn’t even managed to do so. I’m terribly sorry I didn’t let you know. But I was also really encouraged when so many of you took notice and wrote me, asking whats going on. 
Now, many month later, I’m back 🎉
And in the meantime, my buddy Julian and I have been cooking something up. We call it ⚡️volt and it’s our own studio. We put a lot of energy in it (get it?) and you will hear much more about it in the future. We super excited for whats to come! And I’m proud to announce that this newsletter will officially become a volt product. Hell yeah!
I also have many many ideas on how to improve on the current format, so many new topics to talk about and most of all, so much excitement to be back again! 
Oh and I’m also thinking of renaming the newsletter. Someone recently described it with ‘tech for dummies’ and I really like the direction it takes the newsletter and it’s content. What do you think?
This issue is more a ‘guess who’s back’ note then a regular one as I decided to actually keep the original draft from October and just slightly edit it. I will be back with a regular issue real soon but can’t promise anything definitive quite yet. 
So without further ado: 4-5 months in the making - It’s about time.
It's about time
In this issue, you will…
⏱ Think about time like you never have before (because you probably never have)
📚Learn about how a book can help you manage your day
🌱 Read about this agency’s quest to make time meaningful again
🧮Understand hopefully enough to realize your password might not be safe anymore
💃 Remember Jennifer Lopez in an unexpected turn of events
🎼Laugh about the past
🎧Listen to some nice music
Let’s go!
⏱ A Brief History of Timekeeping
The overall theme for this last issue is time. So, quite fitting that I listened to the awesome The Secret History of the Future podcast, where in their lastest episode, they talk about the concept of time keeping. And it’s frickin awesome! 
So many interesting topics and angles on how to think about time. How to measure and describe it. The profound impact of timekeeping on everyday life. 
I found it to be so interesting to learn how much changed by simply agreeing on certain times, like ‘this is 12 o'clock’ and everything that followed by that. The role trains played in it. And how the biggest clock in the world gets build. 
I mean, so much of it seems obvious when you think about it. But how often have you really thought about the concept of time? 
So, do yourself the favor and listen to 33 minutes and 5 seconds of pure podcast gold.
The Secret History of the Future.
📚 Get more out of your day.
If you want to learn how to make more of your day, I recommend reading the book ‘Make Time’. It’s written by Jake Knapp, the inventor and author of the book by the same title ‘Design Sprints’ and John Zeratsky.
At it’s core, it is about optimizing 4 steps:
  1. Highlight - Start each day by choosing a priority
  2. Laser - Beat distraction to make time
  3. Energize - Use the body to recharge the brain
  4. Reflect - Adjust and improve your system
You don’t read the book from beginning to end. Instead, after understanding the basic concept, you’re presented with various ideas for each step. So you look for one idea on how to prioritize and then move on to the next chapter, picking a ‘laser’ idea. And so on.
And then you just try them out until you find something that really sticks. To me, the concept of the ‘distraction-free phone’ was so effective (as well as obvious, if you think about it), it was a real game changer. After successfully implementing it, I moved on to the next idea on how to beat distractions and build upon what I already learnt.
Again, this is not a page-turner but a very helpful guide on how to better manage everyday life. So from time to time I skip through it, pick up a new idea and test it. And you should too.
A Friendly Approach to Finding Focus and Energy in Daily Life
🌱 There's a pattern here.
Again, a story that in its core is about time: Super successful branding agency Gin Lane changes course. You might never heard of them, but chances are you heard of Everlane, Warby Parker, Hims, Sunday Goods or others. Gin lane pretty much invented these lifestyle brands that skip traditional retail and operate direct-to-customer instead. DTC (or D2C) brands have been hyped up for some time now but recently, the hype came to a halt when investors realized this success is primarily based on spending a massive amount of money on marketing. Casper’s IPO and S1 filling made this especially clear a few weeks ago.
Funnily enough, many of those digital brands turn to brick-and-mortar stores to increase it’s reach. Anyways, back to the story. 
Under their new name Pattern, Gin Lane will build upon many years of experience creating these D2C brands and will start creating their own. 
In a blog post, they explain why:
Today’s culture of addiction to work, productivity, and technology has left many of us in a state of burnout.
[…] At the same time, the attention economy has helped to create an addiction to smartphones and in turn, hijacked our ability to stay focused and reach a state of deep thought. As a result, in 2018, American adults reported being 39% more anxious than a year ago.
In this state of chronic burnout, our generation has lost the ability to find enjoyment in everyday moments — the simple pleasure of doing something (or even nothing) for the joy of it, rather than the end result of improving oneself.
We’re on a mission to bring this back.
They already launched their first brand and products and I’m excited to see what comes next as their message really resonated with me.
Pattern Brand
🧮 Faster then ever
Now, for the tech part of this newsletter, let’s talk about quantum computing for a bit and you will quickly realize, this is about time as well.
Google shared new details on their quantum computing project and recent breakthrough back in October. And what a breakthrough it has been! For the first time ever, as far as the public knows at least, they achieved quantum supremacy which means the quantum computer solved a task significantly faster than a conventional computer (see, it’s about time!).
Let’s not talk about how exactly a quantum computer works (because I have no idea) but instead what potential impact this could have. And specifically how it could change online security for the better or worse. 
Right now, the strength of a password is measured in it’s length and not so much by the choosing numbers and special characters as well, as many tried to make you belief for quite some time. That is because with every added character you password becomes much harder to guess.
In something called brute-forcing, a computer tries every possible combination in a set of characters. Right now, this takes a lot of time depending on you password’s length. And to be clear, we’re not talking about your instagram password anymore. If you have a quantum computer at hand, I pretty sure you couldn’t care less about someones instagram profile. We’re talking about encryption keys that protect online banking, sensitive personal data and even military secrets. Here, they use e.g. 128 bit encryption, resulting in keys like this 340.282.366.920.938.463.463.374.607.431.768.211.456
Not your average instagram password, right? They are so secure because it would take a conventional computer (and we’re talking super-computers) many many years to guess / calculate. And by then, the key got already replaced by a new one.
Get to the point, Martin!
Alright, alright. So here is the gist: A quantum computer could potentially crack this code in hours if not minutes instead of years, and thereby becoming a severe security risk.
But Martin, can’t we just generate longer keys?
Well yeah, but we’ll talk about that in another episode.
Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Isn’t the End of Encryption | WIRED
💃 20 years ago
This is just a crazy story that I never heard before. Basically, back in 2000 at the Grammy Awards, Jennifer Lopez wore a spectacular dress. So spectacular that people search for pictures of it online. But back then, Google only offered the basic search function. However, many employees were thinking about where to take the search functionality next. And with the high demand for J-los dress, they decided on image search. And that kids is how Google Images was born.
For it’s 20th anniversary, Google and Jennifer Lopez reinvented the now famous Versace dress.
Google and Jennifer Lopez reinvent the Versace dress that created Google Images - The Verge
🎼 One more thing
In this fun new (and now old) ad campaign Spotify demonstrates how much changes in a few years, comparing our past to our present in ads like this:
These Painfully Accurate Spotify Ads Want You to Get Back to Raging, Not Just Aging – Adweek
🎧 Soundtrack for this issue
On that note (ha!), here is your soundtrack for this issue. Enjoy!
The Dø - Miracles (Back in Time) [Live at l’Olympia, Paris]
The Dø - Miracles (Back in Time) [Live at l’Olympia, Paris]
Did you enjoy this issue?
Martin Wiesemborski

I'm a freelance UX strategist. Think of this newsletter as everything that is on my mind (hence the name): New and emerging tech and design trends, tools and ideas that I stumble upon and think are worth talking about.

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