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Cooking, Big Tech's Story Arc, Having a Brand and Updates

Cooking, Big Tech's Story Arc, Having a Brand and Updates
By Zack Jones • Issue #68 • View online

Food and Cooking
4 Levels of Spaghetti & Meatballs: Amateur to Food Scientist | Epicurious
Fun YouTube series from Epicurious. I love watching the three chefs and the following food science analysis. I’m trying to get better at cooking. A lot of the learning comes from trying new things, which I’ve been doing. But another chunk of the learning comes from watching and listening to experts and this fills part of that craving.
I recently made granola and I feel confident that I won’t need to buy it from a store again thanks to this recipe. I also experimented with homemade bagels which were delicious, but pretty labor intensive. More bread-y things to come!
Tech, Business and Politics
The Longform podcast recently hosted Casey Newton of the Verge to talk about his coverage of Facebook. You may have read his recent story: The Trauma Floor: Secret Lives of Facebook Content Moderators in which he profiles a content moderation site in Arizona where employees work in conditions far from those you would find in Mountain View to filter inappropriate and oftentimes traumatizing content from the social network.
What I found most interesting about Casey’s work in the tech journalism space is this arc of story growth he’s seen in many big tech platforms:
They start out as science story - engineers trying to optimize algorithms, and grow massively scaled platforms. The question they’re trying to answer is: “Will it work?”
Then they become a business story - once the science problems are solved, monetization and profitability become the key priority. The question they’re trying to answer is: “Will it be sustainable?”
Then they become a politics story - now that Facebook is technologically stable and profitable, its focus is now in the political realm. The question they’re trying to answer (maybe) is: “What is Facebook’s role in politics?”
I’m not sure what’s next or if anything necessarily is next. Do they become a “branch” of government? of social services? education? That is to say, will they try to nudge us to be more productive? Will they help us find resources we’re unaware of?
Time will tell, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on what the next big question Facebook will have to tackle will be.
Longform Podcast #337: Casey Newton · Longform
On Having a Brand
The elegance of nothing | Seth's Blog
“If Nike announced that they were opening a hotel, you’d have a pretty good guess about what it would be like. But if Hyatt announced that they were going to start making shoes, you would have NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what those shoes would be like. That’s because Nike owns a brand and Hyatt simply owns real estate.” - Seth Godin
A great quote in a strong blog post from Seth Godin. While it seems like brands these days are going minimalist, or without branding, it’s actually the opposite. The brand isn’t the logo. The brand is the stance you take and the way you make people feel.
Updates
I spoke at Free Lunch Friday at Horn Entrepreneurship on Friday which was a wild, full-circle moment. For two years I hosted that event. I felt so grateful to have been invited to share Dual School’s story in front of 50 UD students.
I had a great time helping Startup Island and the Diamond Challenge kickstart connections for students from across the world on Saturday. I got to lead an activity for 150+ high schoolers from 20 different countries and as many U.S. states.
My Dad and brother visited Delaware this past weekend for an accepted students day at UD. It was great to spend time with them and enjoy the food on Main Street in Newark.
I recently started bouldering a little bit. There’s a rock within biking distance here in Wilmington that has been plenty of challenge for me thus far. I love how simple, yet difficult climbing is. It’s a great physical workout, but it’s also a calming experience in nature.
That’s all for this week! Thanks for being here,
Zack

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Zack Jones

Thoughts about education, entrepreneurship and creativity. Updates from my journey along the way.

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