JW on Tech

James Whittaker is a technology executive focused on making the web a better place for users and developers. He is a former Googler, former professor and former startup founder. Follow him on Twitter @docjamesw.
  • JW on Tech

    The Storytelling Manifesto

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    Tell us a story! Since the dawn of humanity the storyteller has been the center of popular culture. It began around the campfires of our ancestors where without scripts, screens or props they spun yarns that did more than entertain. Storytellers were...
  • JW on Tech

    We're Gonna Test Like It's 1999 (yeah try not to sing it!)

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    Modern software developers bear little resemblance to our forebears. We’ve forsaken their jackets and ties in favor of hoodies and t-shirts. We’ve quit their offices and cubicles to occupy hacker hostels and corner cafés. They had floppies...
  • JW on Tech

    Work Hard You'll Get There Eventually (hint: no you won't)

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    Linked-In made the article sound so promising: Jack Welch tells graduating seniors how to succeed! It took only a few minutes to read, but left me scratching my head. Here is Jack Welch, the man Fortune magazine named as manager of the last century, dictating...
  • JW on Tech

    An Ode to Reviews

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    (To be sung, with respect, to the general tune of John Lennon's Happy Christmas. ) So it's review time And what have you done? One set of commitments over A new one just begun But does any of it matter? This time we all make To fuss over ratings...
  • JW on Tech

    The Anti Meeting Culture

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    Wasteful meetings. We've all been there. We are all still there. Meetings are at once the object of our ire and the very rhythm of our business. How can something be so derided and yet so important? There are books, articles and blogs about better meetings...
  • JW on Tech

    The Growing Queue at the IT Morgue

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    “Wired” – a name better suited for a Starbuck’s employee newsletter than a magazine about technology – declared “ the web is dead .” The irony of a magazine unable to foresee Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular killing...
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    Microsoft vs. Google: Part 1 Grassroots Innovation

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    This is the first in a series of posts comparing aspects of the culture of Microsoft and Google from the viewpoint of the author who spent time at both. Today's topic is their approaches to grassroots innovation. Anyone who has worked at both companies...
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    Now you see it, in 20 years you won't

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    "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?" - T. S. Eliot Google's Marissa Mayer gave a Flintstonian glimpse at what search might look like in 20 years including "predicting what restaurant...
  • JW on Tech

    Why I hate search

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    The word 'search' is a negative word. It fairly reeks of loss and effort. You lose your car keys and you search for them. Your pet runs away and you search for her. Having to search implies loss. It implies effort. Search is a means to an end. You search...
  • JW on Tech

    Why I joined Microsoft

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    I suppose that pointing out that the Google to Microsoft transition is not particularly rare won't suffice as an explanation so what follows is a more long winded account. For those uninterested in the finer points, here's the short version: I think much...
  • JW on Tech

    Why I left Google

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    Ok, I relent. Everyone wants to know why I left and answering individually isn’t scaling so here it is, laid out in its long form. Read a little (I get to the punch line in the 3 rd paragraph) or read it all. But a warning in advance: there is no...
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