What to Read
💩 Giving a Shit as a Service — Allen Pike
In a globalized society, there's an abundance of services from massive companies that lack the extra level of care you might expect from a smaller operation. Allen Pike shares a mental model for the value you can get from smaller service providers:
In some ways, that’s the fundamental value proposition of a small boutique, whether it be a furniture shop or a software studio. Giving a shit as a service. Sure, you can always get a commodity good from off the shelf – when you’re selling soybean oil by the 100 ton lot, nobody wants to have a conversation with you about the subtle flavour profiles of different bean oils. But sometimes, you want to buy from someone that’s obsessed about the final product.
🎞 What Are Quota Quickies? — The Cinema History Blog
Post-WWI Britain had a problem: Its film industry, which was previously a global leader of the emerging art form, was struggling and faced stiff competition from American studios.
So parliament signed a bill called the Cinematograph Films Act, which mandated that by 1936, 20% of all films shown in cinemas had to be British.
These were films that raced through production in order to hit the quota.
Films were churned out in a matter of days. Budgets were tiny.
And… most of them weren’t that great. Surprisingly. [...]
Did It Work?
To everyone’s surprise, it did. Sort of.
See also: Strathern's insight — "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."
(Thanks to my friend Jim for sharing this bit of history with me.)
Tweets of the Week
Head into this week with the kind of confidence that lets you name COVID variants: