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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


In OneZero. More on Medium.

In our search for easy answers, we give up control.

The evidence is overwhelming: we are far more powerful than the technology that is supposedly mind-controlling us. It’s not even close.

As I’ve discussed here and in many other places, we need to give ourselves more credit. Instead of passively accepting the idea that we’re all being puppeteered by some sort of menacing tech bogeyman, we can hack back distractions.

To be clear, too much social media can be harmful. No one disputes that too much of all sorts of good things can be bad, whether it’s too much news or too much booze.

But the popular narrative that distractions…

Analyzing the hot new app through the Hooked Model reveals its strengths and weaknesses.

Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

Nir’s Note: This article is part of a series on “The Hooked Model in Action.” Previous analyses have included Slack, Fortnite, Amazon’s Echo, Tinder, and The Bible App. I never take compensation from any company profiled.

Maybe you’ve heard the buzz around Clubhouse, the drop-in audio chat app. It’s a bit like Twitch for conference calls. If you have no idea what “Twitch” is, you’re probably over 40. In your case, the closest analog might be those 1–900 party lines you saw advertised on late-night TV in the 1990s — but a bit less sleazy and in app form.


Here is the answer to the question that everyone asks me

The numbers may surprise you! Photo: Shelby Church

I started making videos in 2009, back before being a YouTuber was a thing. I always enjoyed editing videos and photos and started posting them on YouTube when I was 14. I was too young to drive, didn’t live within walking distance to any of my friends, and had way too much time on my hands. Back then I never would have dreamed that this thing I did in the summer because I was bored would become what it is now. I just enjoyed putting together these videos, and for years I didn’t make any money from any of them.

On whether to raise venture capital, how much to target, and how to spread it out

Credit: BlackSalmon/Getty Images

Should you raise venture capital for your startup? If so, how much?

At first blush, the answer to these questions seems fairly obvious — raise as much money as you possibly can at the highest possible valuation in order to grow your business. John Doerr famously compared fund-raising to attending a cocktail party. When the waiter comes around with the tray of mini hot dogs, you should always take one. The reason being that you never know when in the course of the remainder of the cocktail party the waiter will make it back to you. In similar fashion, the…

I found myself Googling whether to leave my job — while leading PR at Google

Credit: nadia_bormotova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Step 1: Take lots of online quizzes, looking for sudden enlightenment.

It all started with a quiz — several of them. Week after week, I’d hop on Google and search “how to know it’s time to quit your job.” I’d write it just like that, a complete sentence, wanting to do full justice to my question. The first results were always quizzes:

  • Is your boss a horrible person?
  • Would you hate to have your boss’s job?
  • Are you woefully underpaid?
  • Do you wake up each morning dreading going into the office?

I did them all. I never scored 10 out of 10. No, I didn’t totally hate my job. No, I…

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