Eat Local?

If I go to Flori­da, am I behav­ing eth­i­cal­ly by eat­ing food grown there? What if I eat New-York-grown food there? What if I bring New-York-grown food with me to Flori­da and share it with a friend? Am I the only one of the two of us that is behav­ing eth­i­cal­ly in that sce­nario? Is the very fact of my trav­el­ing to Flori­da the uneth­i­cal part?

Harbingers of failure: meet the customers you don’t want to love your product

What if cer­tain cus­tomers just don’t have great taste? Or, more pre­cise­ly, what if their tastes don’t match up with those of the rest of the pop­u­la­tion? Pos­i­tive feed­back and ear­ly sales from these cus­tomers might actu­al­ly not be good news—they could be a sign that the product’s going to tank

No, You Can’t Manufacture That Like Apple Does

At least once a week, I have a con­ver­sa­tion with a founder that wants to design some­thing that mim­ics an Apple prod­uct. Maybe it’s a sur­face with no ejec­tor pin marks, or some com­plex tex­tur­ing, or laser drilled holes, it doesn’t real­ly mat­ter: it’s impos­si­ble for a start­up to do cer­tain things. “But no,” they say, “Apple does it. Why can’t I?”

The Secret Life of Shabbos Goys

A Jew can’t demand that a Shab­bos goy per­form work for him, so he can’t expect it either. This puts Shab­bos goys in a unique posi­tion. Their pri­ma­ry qual­i­fi­ca­tion is that they are not Jewish—that they do not belong. Yet in order to choose to help a com­mu­ni­ty, they must also feel in some way that they belong. They must have some sim­ple affec­tion for its peo­ple, patience enough to deal with lit­tle old, blue-haired ladies. They need trans-reli­gious good­will.

More Bad English, Please

Mil­lions of peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in Eng­lish-lan­guage mail­ing lists for using and devel­op­ing open source because it’s the most com­mon lan­guage among par­tic­i­pants. But for many, it’s not their first (or even sec­ond, or third) lan­guage and the only prac­tice they may get with writ­ten Eng­lish is par­tic­i­pat­ing on FLOSS mail­ing lists. So, along with a vari­ety of cul­tur­al per­spec­tives, you also get some folks whose Eng­lish skills (or their esti­ma­tion of their Eng­lish skills) are less than per­fect.