Links for July 17, 2022
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
Second-order effects are everywhere.
Head into this week with the kind of confidence that lets you name COVID variants: