Notes for July 14th 2023

  • This has been a stressful week. For many reasons, but at the tip of the spear has been a notice that I owe some money to the revenue as a result of unpaid capital gains tax from ESPPs in my previous job. Dozens, if not hundreds of tech workers are in the same boat (primarily from HubSpot, Salesforce & Workday according to my newly acquired tax accountant). I'm not badly hit or anything, it's inconvenient, but the stress was really not worth the punishment.
  • Van Moof, the creators of my beloved eBike that has done in excess of 1,000km in mostly short bursts (to/from work mainly) is going down. Their finances always seemed murky. I don't know what the margin profile of a bicycle company is, but it probably didn't allow for over-investment in self-branded retail, expensive service contracting and men who run around cities to get your stolen bike back.
    • Focus on your go-to-market with the product you have. Sell what's on the truck, and don't get distracted. Your 5-year vision doesn't need to be a 6 month vision.
  • A rival eBike company, Cowboy, developed a little app to allow Van Moof riders to secure their secret keys from the bike's API. Just in case. This turns out to be the most dystopian cyperpunk thing of the year. So far.
  • My wife works in the media world broadly (film, mostly). So I've been close to how shockingly bad RTÉ has been for years and years. Watching it self-immolate and cause a circus effect has been entertaining. I have written here, and elsewhere, for years, that it needs to be disbanded, broken up and sold for parts. It's bloated, mostly pointless and trying to appear to be a premium product while producing Ryanair-quality service.
  • A mate of mine was pushed out of a company a few years ago. He went onto bigger & better things very quickly. But he still harbours a weird dislike for the boss he had (who herself ended up being pushed out of the company for being so deeply incompetent). This week's weird and hilarious update is that she's building a podcast for women. Her "trailer" is so tragic and cringe-inducing. For a podcast, reading from a script (as if on gunpoint) and then not actually investing in any audio equipment or editing software is sort-of manic. And I don't write this here to nasal-gaze or poke fun, but to note that these folks exist everywhere. And I do think it's a bit of a mental health issue. Modernity is not fun for a huge swathe of society, and they've no idea how to get success so they just swing for the trees.
  • This weekend, my wife & I are in Galway. She's over for the annual Galway Film Fleadh for work, and I'm here for one night off from the kids and a dinner in Aniar. The dinner was actually for my birthday but various events delayed that. It's really nice to have the kids be at fun ages where they can go be minded by aunts/uncles/friends/grandparents.
  • I walk about this a bit more on my climate blog. But the intensity of heat and dramatic shifts in temperature over the last while have been really, really concerning.