Best of the Web: Making apps; the dying IPO; tangled earbuds; and disruption theory

Best of the Web: Making apps; the dying IPO; tangled earbuds; and disruption theory

Ever wondered how apps are made? Then read this by Craig Mod on Medium.

“There is a method to making an app,” writes Mod.

“Iterative ceremony. Successive refinement not unlike in other crafts. App making as pottery?

“Place each button atop your bench wheel, sling your mud, refine the reactions on screen to touch, to sound, refine the movement of text, the size of text, the placement of text, typography macro and micro, to hyphenate or not (and if not, why, dear god, why), consider the images, to full-bleed or not to full-bleed, how to dismiss the images — a swipe or a tap or a dreadful.”

The IPO is dying

In this interview by Timothy Lee on Vox, Marc Andreessen believes excessive regulation has closed the IPO market to growing companies. Now only big firms can afford the legal and accounting costs. “Gains from the growth accrue to the private investor, not the public investor”.

In the interview he says:

“The problem is when your stock price gets hammered by any of this stuff, when your stock price gets hit by a false rumor, that in itself can destabilize your company. These companies that go public too quick are at risk of going into a death spiral at any moment in a way that’s super intense and very difficult to get out of it because it becomes self-reinforcing.

“And the kicker on all of this is: God help you if you ever need to raise money again. The shorts will drive your stock to zero to prevent you from raising money. So you are in extreme mortal danger if you’re public and you need to raise money.

“The result of all that is the effective death of the IPO.”

Andreessen also has harsh words for Thomas Piketty: “He has a lot more faith in returns on invested capital than any professional investor I’ve ever met.”

Why your earbuds always get tangled

The short answer is “physics”.  It seems that strings knot themselves spontaneously, and now there’s a scientific paper to prove it: “Spontaneous Knotting Of An Agitated String” by Dorian M. Raymer and Douglas E. Smith of the University of California at San Diego.

It says:

“A cord shorter than 46cm will almost never tangle itself when sealed inside a rotating box for a period. But between 46cm and 150cm the probability of a knot forming rises dramatically.

According to Business Insider, this is “magical”.

“The research shows that your earphones are indeed spontaneously knotting themselves. Sure, it’s because of their length and the agitation of the container they’re in. But the knots really do form as a matter of physics, not because of your personal lack of neatness.”

The disruption FAQ

This FAQ is both a rebuttal of Jill Lepore’s recent take-down of disruption, and a great explanation of disruption theory.

“Most asymmetric challenges are not taken seriously because they initially benefit the incumbent. The side-effect is that it lulls them into a sense of security resulting in a lack of response. Challengers have the child-like advantage of rapid growth and learning while incumbents are encumbered by their size and lack of flexibility.”

The FAQ provides insightful answers to questions like “is there a way to know disruption is about to happen?’, “how can disruption happen?” and “are there many types of disruption?”

Image credit:Flickr/jasonahowie


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