headline reading doesn’t benefit society

the Internet is running amok with headlines. Why read headlines?

Person A reads a headline, it gets saved into Person A’s brain. Skips the entire article.

Person A tells person B at a party, ‘hey I read about this interesting article’. Essentially regurgitating the headline, or doing a mashup-up of what Person A knows, plus her own interpretation of the headlines.

Person B finds this information interesting, passes it along to Person C, and so on. The venue may be a party, or on the Internet over social media. Pick your platform.

What’s the point of this? We just managed to spread headlines throughout society.

I think the world would be a better place, if people digested the entire article and form opinions on topics. Of course, it’s a utopia dream.

If the article isn’t worth reading, it should be skipped entirely. Even better, it should not be written at all!

Unfortunately, people don’t have time to form thoughts. They’re rather just read the headlines and move on. In a perverse way, subconsciously I suspect most people just need that few seconds shot of “dopamine knowledge” to fuel their cerebral activity during idleness.

Personally, I’ll try to avoid headline reading. I’ll focus more on the things I know, and allocate some time to explore other topics every now and then.


MatchScorer algorithm

Today I learned how to use the MatchScorer algorithm  in a search function.

Previously, our search results were pretty bad. If someone typed ‘zombie tower defense’ in query, it would return the latest search result that had ‘zombie’ OR ‘tower’ OR ‘defense’, and sort it based on timestamp.

This means, only newer games would appear at the top of search results. If we had a game whose title was exactly ‘zombie tower defense’, and if it was released years back, the search would be buried under newer zombie games.

With MatchScorer in default mode, it ranks in terms of keyword density. This means, the probability of the game ‘Zombie Tower Defense’ appearing as the first search result is very high, because the search query indexes everything from title, to short description and long description.

Assuming the editor-in-charge typed in enough metadata containing these 3 keywords, it would easily be more keyword-dense than all other zombie games of different genres, pushing it right to the top.

sort_options = search.SortOptions(match_scorer=search.MatchScorer())

search_query = search.Query(
search_results = index.search(search_query)

separating founder from business entity


I’ve had a few mishaps recently due to certain business processes that weren’t correctly fool-proofed. I have to admit, I could have had more oversight on how things developed, but alas, I am but one person.

I think it’s important that founders be aware that their real self shouldn’t be tied directly to the companies that they run.

WRONG assumptions to make:

  1. If the company performs 10% worse today, I, the founder should feel 10% worse
  2. If the company gets a scathing review on the internet, the I, the founder should feel the burn right in the heart
  3. If the company doubles its revenue, I, the founder should feel twice as good

Though 3) can help, I feel that celebrating it too much will cause deeper confusion between founder and the business entity. Hence, the saying goes : “The highs are really high, and the lows are really low”. The founder, if she’s too vested into the company feels the crushing blow.

On the other hand, if the company hits a low, the founder shouldn’t just raise her hands up and say ‘Oops’. Abdicating responsibility doesn’t work either.

Rather, I recommend the ‘Oh, that happened. How do we fix this?’ approach. No extra ideas should form beyond that statement. No self-assessment, no nothing.

Fix the issues, apologise to whomever deserves one, and move on.

interesting insight from boom

I listened intently to Blake School on the pod. I figured a good takeway was his quote, where “the amount of effort to run Boom is about the same as his mobile app company”.

Having a problem set that on the surface looks much harder (such as supersonic travel at Mach 2.2) requires just as much energy as solving problems in a mobile app company.