The 11 most important lessons I’ve learned at Microsoft

(Alex Hinrichs, a long-time Microsoft release manager, just announced his retirement. Here are some of the lessons he’s learned, posted on LinkedIn). I heartily agree with all of these!    Engineering is all about people. Big software projects are built by giant human systems, and giant human systems run on relationships. Good relationships require trust. Trust is built via daily face-to-face rituals. When there is trust, then and only thendo you have an environment where the best ideas win.   Define and agree on the PROBLEM… And then work on the SOLUTION. So often, people will argue and argue about how to solve something, and 95% of the time, they can’t agree on the solution, because they don’t agree on the...

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Inventing the Future: Everything Old is New Again (iPhone 6S edition)

I’ve been really excited to see new innovations in interaction with phone, mobile device and wearable interfaces lately. Some of these innovations are doubly exciting…. because I helped invent them, seven years ago, and these new ways of interacting with data and with devices are only now coming to the mass market. For example, it was fascinating to have Walt Mossberg trumpet the praises of the iPhone 6S this week at Apple’s launch event. Here’s what Mossberg said: Anyone who thought there was no more fundamental innovation to be wrung out of the smartphone is just wrong. The 10-finger multi-touch interface made mainstream by the iPhone 8 years ago has now taken a leap forward with Apple’s 3D Touch. This lets you view content in apps...

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Runcible – Monohm at MWC 2015

Runcible – Monohm at MWC 2015

I am so impressed with the craftsmanship and creativity shown by the Monohm team with their new “heirloom device,” the Runcible. Even in the first generation of this smartphone, the device no longer feels like a technological interloper on your life. Instead it feels like a natural part of your daily wardrobe, part of your life, and part of your family experience. This is what a “next generation wearable device” should feel like: it should be organic and beautiful. The Runcible device is a round smartphone that fits readily in your pocket, is crafted with care (both software and hardware), and delivers a personalized experience that does not interrupt your life, but instead accentuates what you really care about in your daily experience. I...

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Trains, planes and Seattle supercommuters

FLASHBACK — TWO YEARS AGO… This is an interesting article in Seattle Times written about my commute to California, when I was working for Xerox PARC in Palo Alto.   May 18, 2012 at 1:00 AM Trains, planes and Seattle supercommuters By Lora Shinn / Special to NWjobs For two years, technology product manager Ned Hayes would rise before the sun at 4 a.m. every Monday to drive to SeaTac airport from his home in Olympia. He would hop a flight to San Jose, Calif., and arrive at his workplace in Palo Alto just in time for the weekly 9:30 a.m. team meeting. To stay in touch with his family, Hayes read books to his two children over video chat and spoke with his wife using Skype. He returned home on Wednesday or Thursday night in time for dinner. Despite...

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