Humane Design

It’s great to see a trend of humane design happening.  This is very much aligned with ethics too.  An area that I would like to study more, and one that I believe we apply at MoT.

We now live in a world of technology pervasively vying for our attention. This is causing increased levels of anxiety, lowered productivity and in some cases, causing real, unhealthy addictions to digital constructs like apps and games. While I don’t suffer from any of the above extremisms, as a single guy in his late 20’s with a full time job, a side business and a social life, the stresses of society certainly seem unbearable at times–the little things like notifications and outfit decisions add up. So with the rise of awareness about technology’s impact on our wellbeing, I dug a little deeper into the issue and stumbled upon the “Time Well Spent” movement.


Powerhouses controlling all the links

An interesting read from Rand Fishkin:

In the last five years, there has not been a single major website or dominant web property that has embraced, rewarded, or significantly grown their outlinking. We’ve reached an era of a less-connected web, a web focused on retaining users rather than sharing content. The blogosphere still holds on, clinging to its noble practices of sharing what’s share-worthy. And a few sites like Hacker NewsTechmemeMemeorandum, and SparkToro Trending, still prioritize and benefit from aggregation and sharing. But with the rise of voice answers and branded devices (Google Home, Alexa, etc), the future of referral traffic looks grim.

Marketers love links, all too much.  The trend of not rewarding links is not surprising, and one that I have personally noticed a downwards trend. It is getting harder and harder to get people to click on stuff.

Part of me thinks this is a good thing, perhaps, if it becomes so hard to get any results from inbound links then all the spammy marketeers will stop trying spamming us and perhaps make an attempt at being human. Maybe.

Redefining what publishing ‘stuff’ means to me

Of course, tech changes constantly, there is no denying that.

A while back Amy Hoy wrote about how blogs broke the web.

Intercom have written about how they’ve killed their blog (in favour of structured content), but ironically are keeping the ‘blog’ URL.

So many ‘blogs’ are started, then die just as quickly.  The pressure to keep writing is too much for most. And really organising things based on chronological order is stupid for most things.

Then there is social media, constantly posting updates.  The constant need to create that engagement and following. It can be tiring as they encourage you to scroll and participate.  But as ethics and security concerns grow, more and more people are starting to question things.

I’ve personally decided to not focus on any kind of personal blogging.  I will still write at times, and publish it on my website, I just won’t call it blogging.  Slowly, and over time, this website is becoming my playground of information, notes and timeline.  Some in chronological order, others as organised pages.  What I do with all my chronological/older posts here remains to be seen, I still have lots to figure out!

I figure, if people want to find me and what is happening in my life, then is where that will be at.  Not the latest social network.

And just to be clear, I’m not leaving or deleting Facebook or Twitter or any of those things.  They have just become less of a focus for me over time.

Sea wall successfully does job of protecting woman stood on dry land

This is in response to some news articles that have shamed me and labelled me a reckless mother. (Scroll to bottom for news links)

Last Friday a nosey onlooker looking to make a bit of extra money on a non news worthy topic took a photo of a mother and baby enjoying the great outdoors.

Rosie Sherry, a Director and Founder of a successful company and mother to 5 children, took some time out in between work calls to go out on a regular buggy run.  It was a bit windy, but definitely not stormy, and as a regular runner for the past 4 years she is educated and cautious about her exercise efforts.

“I took up running about 4 years ago.  And I realised that for it to work that sometimes I would have to run with one of my children.  Getting fit has changed my life and I believe fresh air is great for the mind, body and soul.  I’m actually a slow and careful runner. And I love to take photos of all my life activities to help me track and remind myself of my own progress.  Today’s world makes you forget all too easily of the life challenges that we overcome.  My photos are a reminder of that.” says Rosie.

Rosie stopped to take some photos and even some ‘Boomerang’ video type shots at Newhaven Beach. Whilst her baby was well protected with a rain cover from the mild winds.  And because Rosie has much common sense, she was able to make a decision on how far to place the buggy.  Snoopy photographers may be surprised that we were on dry land and not a speck of water ever touched us.

“I think it would be more dangerous to cross the road than place the buggy there.” says Rosie.

Rosie has used her Out and About running buggy for over 3 years.  It’s a wonderful piece of kit and she is sure the makers of such buggy could provide a demonstration of how great the breaks are.

This is in response to some news articles that have shamed me and labelled me a reckless mother.

The snooper and the publications that have published it should be shamed and ashamed!

Thank you for reading.

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Focusing on the right or wrong things?

I may have just added another book to my pile of to read/buy stuff!

If the most fundamental definition of design is to solve problems, why are so many people devoting so much energy to solving problems that don’t really exist? How can we get more people to look beyond their own lived experience?

In “Design: The Invention of Desire,” a thoughtful and necessary new book by the designer and theorist Jessica Helfand, the author brings to light an amazing kernel: “hack,” a term so beloved in Silicon Valley that it’s painted on the courtyard of the Facebook campus and is visible from planes flying overhead, is also prison slang for “horse’s ass carrying keys.”

To “hack” is to cut, to gash, to break. It proceeds from the belief that nothing is worth saving, that everything needs fixing. But is that really the case? Are we fixing the right things? Are we breaking the wrong ones? Is it necessary to start from scratch every time?

Empathy, humility, compassion, conscience: These are the key ingredients missing in the pursuit of innovation, Ms. Helfand argues, and in her book she explores design, and by extension innovation, as an intrinsically human discipline — albeit one that seems to have lost its way. Ms. Helfand argues that innovation is now predicated less on creating and more on the undoing of the work of others.

“In this humility-poor environment, the idea of disruption appeals as a kind of subversive provocation,” she writes. “Too many designers think they are innovating when they are merely breaking and entering.”


Getting better at doing nothing and being me

I definitely want to get better at being more idle, less productive, and just being me.

Overall I feel quite confident and calm about the direction I’m taking.  And whilst I may not ‘be bored’, I am personally trying and doing better at focusing on the things that matter to me.

This is a nice article on the topic.  I’ve also signed up to his newsletter to see what that is all about.  Innit!

View story at

Not all the tools in the box…

Stand-ups, planning, and retros are a tool and you should be putting a lot of thought into what tools you use.


It’s so easy to get carried away with doing all the things.  Often you forget about what you actually need.  At MoT we have very few meetings, once every week or two for different ‘depts’.  And then we catch up as and when we feel the need.

Not that I think what or how we do things is the best.  But I’d like to think we do what we can, the best we can, whilst adapting to the different needs of the team.


Things they don’t teach you running a business by yourself

I should probably write one of these myself.  But for now, it’s nice reading it from someone else’s perspective.

Yes, indie businesses are all the rage at the moment.  Little did I know I started one all those years back.

One of the most hotly talked about topics in tech right now is starting an indie business. What is an indie business? It’s one where you, and maybe a co-founder, attempt to start a business with no investor funding or large external influence. It goes by many names: boot-strapped, solo-founded, self-funded, indie-hackers…etc… and it’s pretty hot right now! Which is why we see a proliferation of sites like IndieHackers and posts on Hacker News (frequently making it the front-page). While I think it’s an exciting venture to take part of, I don’t think it’s for everybody. There’s a reason that folks seek employment over entrepreneurship, and we often forget these points when we see how “Joe Schmoe” went from an individual-contributor role to making $50k/mo with his side-hustle selling artisanal crayons out of his basement. Also, spoiler-alert, that kind of growth is an outlier, and not something to expect or bet on. A large amount of these run-away success stories are backed by years of failures and experience that catapulted them to where they are now.

Full article:

The Bullshit Web

So refreshing to read this.  Would it be possible to see a movement towards a minimalistic web?

So, with an internet connection faster than I could have thought possible in the late 1990s, what’s the score now? A story at the Hill took over nine seconds to load; at Politicoseventeen seconds; at CNN, over thirty seconds. This is the bullshit web.