Good and Bad Procrastination

Paul Graham writes:

There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I’d argue, is good procrastination.

That’s the “absent-minded professor,” who forgets to shave, or eat, or even perhaps look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. His mind is absent from the everyday world because it’s hard at work in another.

That’s the sense in which the most impressive people I know are all procrastinators. They’re type-C procrastinators: they put off working on small stuff to work on big stuff.

First Five Slides

Cliff Atkinson writes:

Lets see how a persuasive story looks in the form of the first five slides in a PowerPoint presentation to a board of directors, where the presenter is seeking approval for a new product. Instead of using a category heading, the top of each slide features a simple statement that addresses each category of information that the board needs to know about the story, as described here.

Slide 1: Establish the setting

The headline of Slide 1 reads: Our sector of business is undergoing major change. The subject of this headline establishes the common setting for the presentation, and relates the where and when for everyone in the audience.

Slide 2: Designate the audience as the main character

The headline of Slide 2 reads: Every board faces tough decisions about what to do next. The subject of this headline establishes the members of the board as the main character of this story, establishing the who of the story.

Slide 3: Describe a conflict involving the audience

The headline of Slide 3 reads: Six new products have eroded our market share. The subject of this headline describes a conflict the board faces which has created an imbalance, in the form of the erosion of market share. This explains why the audience is there to solve the problem.

Slide 4: Explain the audiences desired state

The headline of Slide 4 reads: We can regain profitability by launching a new product. The board doesnt want to stay in a state of imbalance, so the subject of this headline describes the boards desired state, describing what the audience wants to see happen.

Slide 5: Recommend a solution

The headline of Slide 5 reads: Approve the plan to build Product X and well reach our goals. This final headline recommends a solution, describing how the audience will get from their current state of imbalance to their desired state of balance.

Ajax for Mobiles

Ajit Jaokar thinks that mobile AJAX will replace both J2ME and XHTML as the preferred platform for mobile applications development.

AJAX clearly solves two problems – namely a superior UI and a standardised form of data retrieval.

These two problems also apply to mobile devices and by extension, AJAX addresses them as well.

However, I believe that it does far more!

Specifically, it solves the following problems in the mobile context.

a) The problem of market fragmentation
b) Porting woes (specific to downloading applications like those built on J2ME)
c) Application distribution without walls

Besides, it has the developer community behind it which is a significant plus!