Weeknotes 2024.06

This week with a slightly different format, exciting personal news and links around Technology, Business Culture, Spreadsheet Horrors, Everest and Mobility.

So even before I could announce that I’m available for work via my company, someone snatched me up. BTW, I’m available for freelance work via BackstageWorks[1], however availability is already limited 😉.

BackstageWorks existed for a while now, but more in a dormant state. Now I’d like to wake up the beast. Next week, I will reveal the new and improved version of BackstageWorks. It will start as a commercial label for apps I’m working on and as a consultancy to hire me and others[2].

I’m still committed to independent creators, which the new identity of BackstageWorks will show front and center. More details will be revealed this week.



I won’t get into (or link) the drama surrounding Continuous Discovery Habits and its alleged negative effect on UX Researchers. I rather link to Emily Webber’s excellent Why can’t we all just get along? and leave it at that.

How companies benefit from sabbaticals

Automattic continues to show that some things aren’t just possible (although business “experts” will want you to believe otherwise), but have a positive impact on the company.

The CEO Matt Mullenweg is taking this benefit for the first time, a paid three month sabbatical every five years. Everyone at Automattic has this benefit! In an Ignite talk before heading into the sabbatical, he shares how this makes the company more resilient, since they have to plan for 5% of the company being unavailable at any given moment. (via)

Shape Up Example

The team behind HEY published an example of how they applied the Shape Up methodology to release a feature.

Swift OpenAI Generator 1.0 (aka Swagger support)

Swift OpenAPI Generator reaches 1.0. Now Swift has some Swagger as well. Another piece of the puzzle.

Make SQLite act like DuckDB

Stanchion is a virtual column-oriented table implemented in Zig. My eyes went 🤩, until I saw the license 😭. Not for me unfortunately. (via)

Apple Vision Pro available (in the US)

From the reviews I’m seeing it sounds like a solid first generation release, in both its good and its bad ways. Here is The Verge’s take.

The spreadsheet horror continues

When will those departments (you know who you are) ever learn? Ars Technica with some of the more recent blunders.

Transforming the Business

HBR asks if Business Transformation has become obsolete? I say yes and no. The big transformation projects to move a company to a different paradigm certainly are over. By the time you’re done, you can start the next one and get little to no benefit from the one before. In order to have benefits, a company needs to have two properties:

Senate hearing of Social Media companies

Social Media companies were summoned to a Senate hearing and even though Zuckerberg paid condolences to the affected families, the replies by the companies were underwhelming. If companies can’t take better responsibility of the products they make, we have to make them accountable by force (fines & jail-time).

That said, the xenophobic attacks against the TikTok CEO were uncalled for.

Rye as an example of good software

I may not use Python as much as I used to, but Rye should probably find a home in the PSF to encourage more contributors to join. It makes creating a clean Python environment a breeze (even for beginners, I’d argue) and builds on existing tools. (via)

EUs DMA and Apple

We’re about a week into Apple’s new EU developer agreements, and people continue to find (valid) issues that should have been found by Apple. I think their legal team dropped the ball here. Here are some summaries from John Gruber and Micheal Tsai.

If you heard enough hot takes from pundits, check out Steven Sinovfsky’s Building Under Regulation. According to Dave Verwer it’s more than 18.000 words long, but I stopped counting after one meter of article 🤯.

Cargo bikes rule!

Cargo bike usage leads to less car ownership. Cargo-bikes are amazing, yet they can be pretty expensive. My hope is that this will lead to subsidies for cargo-bike ownership, whether it’s electric or not. It would change individual mobility overnight in many places.

Graveyard Mount Everest

The deadly geography of Mount Everest has some chilling visualisations that make Mount Everest look like a graveyard. As my brother said, if it was a sunken ship, it would be off-limits by now.

One for the motorsport nerd (like me)

The reactions to F1’s rejection of the Andretti-Cadilliac entry have been universally negative. The reasoning was laughable at best. The arrogance cringeworthy. By those measures 3-4 teams should be thrown off the current grid.

That’s all for this week!

  1. For legal reasons, I have to mention at least once that the full business name is BackstageWorks UG (haftungsbeschränkt). You gotta love German bureaucracy. ↩︎

  2. more about that later. ↩︎