Making decisions

People rarely have all the information they would like to have when making decisions.

Get as much data as you can. Learn as much as you can.

Eventually, you must make a decision based on what you know, what you’ve been told, and the advice you’ve received. You must make a decision based on what you believe about your product, your business, your team, and yourself. Know your vision, know your mission, and build something great.

In fashion, you cannot make a decision with 100% of the information. You can collect all the data and conduct all the focus groups, but that is a picture of the past. You have to [make decisions] based on demand, feelings, rationality, and emotions.

Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci (Fast Company, December 2016/January 2017)

2015 Accomplishments: good eats, books, and JavaScript

My most serious goal in 2015: make homemade pasta.  I waited until today, December 31, but I achieved this goal.

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I made homemade fettuccini noodles with a puttanesca sauce.  Delicious!  If you’re curious, I used a recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s “Pasta” cook book.

I read numerous books in 2015 – about 25 in the past year, but I’m probably forgetting a few, too.

A few of my favorites from the past twelve months:

  • Becoming Steve Jobs – Brent Schlender & Rick Tetzeli
  • All the Light We Cannot Sea – Anthony Doerr
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
  • The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker
  • The Martian – Andy Weir
  • Killer Angels – Michael Shaara
  • The Bully Pulpit – Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Frederick Douglass
  • Terry Pratchett (a smattering of Discworld novels)

I had several useful career accomplishments in 2015.  I attended conferences like Velocity, organized Amazon’s internal web development conference in Seattle, and presented about web development career paths to international teams. I had a big impact through numerous contributions to our front-end framework (changes which you either have seen or will see).  All-in-all: a good year.

I had a good year in terms of open source development.  While many of my changes were minor documentation improvements, I made a few bug fixes and improvements to tiny libraries, and continue development of my own side projects in the open on GitHub.  The one I’m most excited about is the development of my first iOS app using React Native.  I’m calling it “Well Versed” for now, and I’m hoping to release it early in 2016.  It’s been a great way for me to learn new JavaScript features and skills (ES6 / ES2015, Babel, React Native, flux pattern, codemods), and I’m hoping to have more opportunity to apply these skills in the future.

So what’s my plan for 2016?  More good eats.  More books.  More JavaScript.  Let’s do this.