Hello Friends,

I am 6 issues deep into this whole email malarky, the exact number that I stopped publishing the last one at and I can’t wait to get this one out the way. Although I enjoy writing this one much more than my last, I always set my sights on publishing this 6th iteration of GTT (I did a couple before changing the name) to get it out the way and prove to myself this time it’s different.

The truth is I have started so many things over the past couple of years only to pull back because I didn’t have time to do them well. So new projects always give me a bit of anxiety until they really get going. My podcasting days are over now, I have far more time to focus on the thing that I enjoy most — writing.

My blog posts come and go, and only really come when I have something to write about, but there is something so easy about writing to you al that the words just flow out and I have the outline done only an hour or so after the notification from my Todoist reminder. I don’t feel like my email has to be written a certain way and don’t pretend to be professional about it.

I am quite often reminded of a post by Nitin Khanna talking about his perfectionist habits towards blog posts. Don’t Moleskin your blog sums this up perfectly, too often I am trying to come across as the perfect writer on blog posts, but here in my own little bubble it feels like I am just typing out a letter to you — which of course I am.

Todoist Ambassador

Last week I become a Todoist Ambassador, helping them spread the word and help people discover the app in different ways. The Doist team approached me out of the blue following my recent posts and it’s a no brainier to join such an awesome team.

This is unpaid and I receive nothing from it, unless you sign up using my affiliate link. I do get inside knowledge, access to updates and communication with the team but most importantly it doesn’t change anything about me. I wont be spamming you to get you to sign up, I wont be publishing anything I don’t want to, I will be working with their team to get my content into other places on the web including their blog.

The Imitation Game

I am at the stage of my life when I really don’t care who did what, and why things happen. I am perfectly ok with companies copying features that make life easier, but are we all ok with blatant design rips offs now?

Admittedly this isn’t a new thing, and not exclusive to technology products either but such blatantly rip-offs have become so common it is hard to tell the difference. Walking around the streets I see imitation AirPods (the stems are usually longer and thicker) which is part and parcel of the status symbol they have been come attached with. They are sold in shops of a dubious nature for a fraction of the price and of course much of their features missing.

Image from The Verge
Image from The Verge

However, that is nothing when comparing big brands like Oppo and Xiaomi ripping off designs and selling them like everything is ok. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, but copying such horrible designs as the notch in the iPhone X(S) is downright stupid. Yet here we are, with the tech press perfectly ok with it, and nothing done by regulators.

Above is the new Oppo Watch, a product that is undeniably a rip off of the Apple Watch. This in itself doesn't really matter, after all there isn’t match you can do with a smartwatch, but the watch faces and overall software design is so blatantly copied that it can’t be taken seriously. This should be sold on markets stalls and corner stores, not taken seriously. Yet all the big outlets are reviewing it so this must be an acceptable practice now.

My Place In Tech

I have been thinking about this since Matt Birchler wrote about it a few days ago. Matt has managed to carve out a huge market for what he has to say and often attracts a large audience and invitations to many podcasts. In many ways he does what we lowly blogger dream of, and all whilst not really trying — and being amazingly talented.

I hope that I am a sobering voice in the world of tech bloggers. I don’t try to write things that are scandalous or are just written to stir the pot of controversy, and I am not on any company’s list for getting pre-release hardware for reviews, so I don’t tend to go viral.

Is it right to think, or worry, about such things instead of just writing? I think it is nice to know where your angle is and stick to your guiding motivation. Otherwise, you can end up being one of those people that moves themselves into camps easily and publish content just to point towards one of them. Things that get picked up and get you loads of views are great, but often only fall into the extremes of arguments. No one is paying attention to the write-ups of their Magic Keyboard in which they are measured, objective and make sound judgements — which is where the issues can start to arise if you’re not careful.

Everyone wants views, clicks, watches, whatever the metric is that defines you, but we must stick to our principles and make sure we find our place in the market whatever we are doing. It’s easy to present them as facts, but presenting our ideas and making them rational and easy to understand is key to staying true to yourself and others. I hope I do a good enough job at this because it is one of my main focuses when hitting publish.

https://medium.com/diesdas-direct/notion-encourages-busy-work-and-im-tired-of-it-b1e049edb663

I know Notion has lots of fans, but it is one of the worst designed and thought out apps I have ever used. It’s too powerful for its own good and features just don’t seem thought through fully.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/26/21270193/sony-zv-1-camera-vlogging-rx100

The ZV-1 looks like Sony are finaly listening to what the majority of their small camera users want. I used an A6400 for quite a while and just small little things made the experience more complicated than it needed to be.

https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/bad-temper-lockdown

I thought this was my imagination that everyone seemed to be more aggressive, but looks like many people are suffering more than they think. Don’t let this be you - chill out.

https://medium.com/revisionmagazine/becky-kane-every-employee-is-a-writer-4ad8750ec3e1

I love this view on writing and sharing your thoughts. I wish more companies allowed their employees to share posts freely or nurtured a culture of expressionism like some do.

Books

I have picked up and finished two books in the past couple of weeks that are well worth a read. I think I read these in the wrong order, but they both compliment each other perfectly and give you a great insight into two companies that started out very similar but went different ways entirely.

No Filter: : The inside story of how Instagram transformed business, celebrity and our culture and How to Turn Down a Billion Dollars: The Snapchat Story are two of those books I couldn’t put down and don’t take much reading. They also give a huge insight into the workings of Facebook and a tale that I am sure many of the companies acquired by them will have gone through.

Until next time I want you all to get out and enjoy the better weather, but stay two meters away from each other and wash your damn hands

🤙