Things I have learnt this week

5 things I have learnt this week – week 44

Some of you may be familiar with the theory of Marginal Gains, or “Be 1% better every day” by James Clear. This idea resonated with me since the very first time I came across it, and have decided to put it in practice ever since.

One of the ways I am doing so is by sharing a weekly curated list of the best articles I have read in the last 7 days. The motivation behind it is twofold. On the one hand, it helps me reflect on the new ideas I am exposed to so that I understand them better. On the other, it helps reward all these authors that take some time to share their learnings with the world, making it a better place for everyone.

This is the recap for this week.

Empathetic design: designing to help users solve their business problems

Source: Speckyboy
Topic: UX and Product Management

UX designers don’t work to display their creativity to the world, but ultimately to help solve a customer problem. This article describes why is Empathetic Design so difficult but so instrumental in combating design bias to build consumer products that users will love.

Chrome Dev Summit 2017: Why Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are the new bar for web experiences

Source: Dan Fabulich
Topic: Progressive Web Apps

At the last Chrome Dev Summit in San Francisco (all videos available here), a lot of the discussions were around the user experience benefits made possible by new Web technologies with a number of case studies. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) represent an unparalleled opportunity to raise the user experience bar for Web sites/apps, and are the recommended route to follow by Google.

Segwit2x: What is the next Bitcoin fork, and why does it matter?

Source: YCombinator
Topic: Crypto-currencies

Bitcoin has already undergone several forks (more info here), and Segwit2x is the fork that will follow next month – currently targeting 16/November. Segwit2x is remarkable because it will be a bit different from previous forks given it will change the blocks passed and stored in the blockchain from 1MB to 2MB. What is a fork, why does it matter and why does it represent an opportunity/threat to the platform as a whole is well-covered in this article.

Hashpower: Crash course podcast on blockchains and crypto-currencies

Source: Investor’s Field Guide
Topic: Crypto-currencies

Now I am a little biased on this one since I am a big fan (and strongly recommend following) The Investor’s Field Guide podcast. In these 3 episodes I have gained a deeper understanding of how blockchains work, what cryptocurrency investing looks like from the founders of Coinbase or Polychain amongst others.

Share buybacks: A way to compensate investors, or to mask financial performance?

Source: Harvard Business Review
Topic: Finance

Buybacks, i.e. firms repurchasing stock from investors, are, alongside dividend payments, a common way for companies to reward investors. However, some people argue that the cash used in repurchases may better be invested in value-creating opportunities for the firms. This article deep dives in these antagonic visions, and throws some data at them.

 

Have you come across any other articles you would like to recommend? Help the world be 1% better in the comments.

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