Entropy in Business

Entropy is the loss of energy in a system to the point that it is no longer available for doing mechanical work. It is the reversion to mean; nature’s effort to return everything to stasis.

Entropy is occurring everywhere, all around us. It is a fact of our life. Companies are fighting entropy as well. Without concerted effort and capital being invested, and ensuring there is talent deployed throughout all levels of the business, the expectation is they will wither and die. People working within companies are also fighting their own entropic decline. Over time, people get bored, burnt out or generally lose interest in their job, which can lead to a decline in performance.

To fight entropy in business you need new inputs of energy. This can come from bringing new employees into the firm, who have new ideas and ways of thinking that can jolt the business and offer new opportunities. The business can find new products and markets and establish challenging goals to feed motivation and drive performance. Another option is investing in business improvement and better systems to automate work, thereby transferring the risk of entropy to machines and information technology, and away from individuals.

The laws of nature define that entropy cannot be defeated, but we as humans have become very adept at fighting it. Within companies, the fight against entropy also rages, and its the job of the board and management to set a direction and focus effort towards initiatives that will motivate the organisation to continue to battle to keep it at bay. The problem is that entropy is incessant. Companies need to continually guard against its debilitating effects, or suffer the inevitable consequence of decline.

Comments are Enabled

So as an experiment, I have enabled comments for the site. I’m not totally convinced that it’s a good idea, and fear that managing spam may outweigh any possible benefits. Nevertheless, in true scientific fashion, let’s run the experiment.

As for the real readers, play nice, okay?

Turning my Kid into a Meme

My lovely wife took a humorous photo of our son having a babyccino, a classic drink in Australian coffee shops these days, purpose designed for the little ones.

The photo was super-cute and funny in its own right, but I couldn’t resist turning it into an image macro meme. I like to think it makes a funny photo into something just a little better.

black coffee meme

Now You CV Me

In a further effort to establish andrewcanion.com as a genuinely useful resource for all things pertaining to me, I have now included a page dedicated to showcasing my curriculum vitae.

I was looking at my current CV a few days ago which still exists as a Word document based upon a custom design I cooked up about 15 years ago. Since it’s creation I’ve just continued to add to and tweak the design rather than build a new document. This ‘lazy man’ approach has been made easier by not actually moving jobs very often. Turns out, staying put has some advantages!

My CV, though, was an artefact of a paper-based era. I wanted to have something that was more dynamic, and a little more design-oriented that could offer some visual queues about the relevant stages of my career to date.

The de facto place for online CVs in the work world that I occupy is LinkedIn, so of course I keep my record of employment there. It’s where recruiters, acquaintances and stickybeakers all go to check out your professional bonafides. The cold hard truth is, however, that LinkedIn is just another social network funded by venture capital that is leveraging your information and privacy to sell advertising and ‘premium’ memberships. So if I’m promoting myself, I also want to be able to do that on a site which I own and control completely, and that isn’t using my information to make money for others.

So the first version of my self-hosted CV is now online. I’m sure I will continue to tweak and adjust it, but that’s part of the fun. It’s a resumé and a creative outlet all rolled into one.

Day One Goes Subscription

So Day One has become the next software application to adopt a subscription pricing model. This app developer has monkeyed around with its price/product offering for some time, and Day One has always been towards the expensive end of the curve for what could harshly be described as a glorified text editor. I guess it was inevitable they would ultimately end up converting to a subscription model in an effort to smooth revenue flow. Currently the developer is stating it will continue to support the current app and won’t force a move to the subscription version, but there is no doubt the first foot has fallen. At some point, I’m sure the other shoe will drop and it will be subscription or bust!

I’m not against subscription-based business models for software. I pay subscription fees for YNAB, Setapp, 1Password, Fastmail, Headspace, and maybe some others. I am willing to pay for software that I use and enjoy, and that satisfies my own price/value decision matrix.

Day One’s announced subscription seems expensive, especially when converted to Australian dollars. Expensive enough that rather than happily paying to carry on with an app I have used for more than 4 years, I am instead casting around for alternatives. The best and most immediate alternative I can see is to move my journaling to Ulysses. I’ve found a Workflow, ah, workflow that auto-populates date, time and location into a neat header box so the journal entry has a basic level of context. What I would lose from Day One is the pretty and additional metadata and the journaling-specific user interface. Photo import can be replicated, albeit perhaps not quite as seamlessly. The major problem with Ulysses is that it just doesn’t feel like a journaling app – at least not yet. Maybe I would get used to it in that context with time?

As mentioned, I’ve used Day One consistently for four years, and it has gained enough of a mental grip on me that I might miss it were I to migrate. Still, there is a limit to the number of subscriptions my budget can handle. When I have other, fully paid apps just waiting to be used, it becomes difficult to justify paying yet more money on an on-going basis.

I’m probably still on the fence right now, but Ulysses may be taking the lead…