Thoughts/Essay

No, Email Really Is Broken (and here's how to fix it)

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 - 10:00pm -- Isaac Sukin

First: stop thinking about this from a technical perspective. The problem and solution are not about how we build new protocols. That's just implementation, and as fun as it is to talk about that, nobody cares about your implementation. It only matters that it works and makes people's lives a little less painful.

Instagram is not worth $1 billion to Facebook

Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - 12:27pm -- Isaac Sukin

This is based on a comment I wrote on the Mashable post Why Instagram Was Worth $1 Billion to Facebook which has absolutely no explanation of why Instagram was worth $1 billion to Facebook.

How can you have a whole post about how Instagram was worth $1 Billion and have absolutely zero numbers in it? Yet that's what we're seeing all over the internet in the wake of Facebook's billion-dollar acquisition. Many people have explained why Facebook bought Instagram, but few have explained the valuation. Explanations for the purchase generally break down into these points:

Social Noise

Fri, Feb 17, 2012 - 3:43am -- Isaac Sukin

I brought up something in my last post about friend/follow relationships that I think deserves more attention than I gave it: the social graph -- as it is currently constructed at least, where all relationships are equal and mean the same thing -- is not the same thing as an interest graph. The implication is that using a standard unweighted relationship network to predict what content should show up in my activity stream will result in me seeing a lot of content that I'm not really interested in. That's inconvenient at best. As Hunter Walk so charmingly put it, "I like you, but not everything about you."

Cars Don't Kill Cities (Silly Assumptions Do)

Thu, Jan 26, 2012 - 5:35pm -- Isaac Sukin

Today I came across a post on Twitter (via Hacker News) called Cars Kill Cities. It uses Atlanta as an example, and since I grew up there, I feel compelled to explain why the author is way off the mark.

First: is Atlanta -- the 9th largest US city, world's 15th largest economy, and 4th-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies -- dying? Not at all. Atlanta was hit hard by the collapse of the real estate bubble, but it still has a rapidly expanding, very highly educated population. It's a global economic center with a significant concentration of high-tech and white-collar industries and good local universities. This suggestion is silly, probably a poorly-researched one made out of convenience rather than conviction.

So let's address the topic of the article instead:

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