A review of my new Hide & Seek, Bellroy Wallet

I got a beautiful new Bellroy, Hide & Seek, wallet for Christmas, from Rose. Upon opening it, I was a little hesitant. I’m very selective when it comes to wallets and have aimed to keep mine as slim and functional as possible. You can see my old one as a prop in my post about the future of money.

However, I was wrong to be concerned. Bellroy, the maker of the new wallet, is focused on providing beautiful and minimilist products. It’s designed to be slim and even has several hidden sections to allow you to keep things stored safely away, without increasing the width or carrying superflous things.

Wallet

The other thing I really liked, is how well the brand has been designed. Upon opening, you’re presented with the card you can see in my picture above. It teaches you how to put things in your wallet! Crazy, I know, but there are in fact many secret hidden panels that I wouldn’t have found were it not for the card. Check out this great video below, walking me through how to find even more secret sections in my new wallet.

Finally, Bellroy also have a great blog at Carryology.com which has heaps of interesting articles about carrying less and how to do it. There’s also a beautiful piece called ‘A return to craft’ that speaks to the authors desire to take products currently made through mass production and return them to the hands of a craftsman. It’s a great post with 5 other companies, one of which is in Melbourne, that are returning to crafting their goods. All in all, the whole unboxing experience has been awesome and it’s a lesson for others to follow in regards to taking a simple item and appreciating how important it is to the new owner. Well done, Bellroy!

Identity in the workplace

How do we manage identity in the workplace, and why does this matter? In yesterday’s post we discussed a few ideas around twitter and how that’s currently the standard for lightweight identity on the Internet. But how do we scale that lightweight identity within an organisation?

Identity is very important in an organisational setting. Identity links directly with expertise, which links directly with the ability of that organisation to get things done. In the comments of his original post, Fred discussed that blogging had provided him the ability to recognise his expertise. As he put it, you can’t fake 5,587 posts.

A VC_ Lightweight Identity

Assessing this level of expertise in organisations is the next step for connecting people internally at a workplace. Because you can’t fake 5,578 posts. There are a multitude of services which sit externally, such as LinkedIn, which can provide a good view in to who’s who in the zoo, and can provide some indication into expertise based on past roles. Yammer, which sits internally, will also continue to help in this area as people become more and more connected internally around various forms of expertise and information. It provides the ability to understand what someone might be great at that’s excess to their role.

As an example, Rose had expertise in endurance sports and trekking, built up over years of personal and professional experience. She’s turned that expertise into Team World Vision, a fundraising platform for World Vision Australia which has this year raised more than $144k for the organisation, and $1.4M in food aid and relief essentials for the people that need it the most. Being able to bring her expertise to bear on the organisation, has allowed that program to flourish.

We’re not there yet, and there is still a lot of expertise that goes to waste in many organisations around the world. How is your organisation moving to connect this expertise and how are you discovering what your people are good at?

Lightweight Identity on the internet

Fred Wilson wrote a great post recently, Lightweight Identity. It has some really important themes in it, but the main contention of Fred’s post is that Twitter is, or has become, the lightweight identity on the internet. It’s obviously public, which means we don’t hold mental tension around people finding us there. There are things about me on Facebook which I wouldn’t want shared publicly, which forces Facebook to think more about how they build their service around identity. It can’t be open, because you fundamentally need to friend someone first.

Twitter is the lightweight identity of the internet at the moment. At least, that’s true for me. This last week as I’ve been blogging more I’ve been more inclined to mention the people that I’ve been spending time with. Many of the posts for this week have directly stemmed from conversations with those people and I felt it important to share with you who those people were. When I’ve done that, I’ve shared their identity on Twitter.

The idea behind this is directly linked to useful identity. If you’re interested in following more of that conversation, you can do so by seeing what those people are talking about right away. It also removed me from the middle of that relationship, as you don’t need my permission or help in connecting to Alex, Ross, Pete, Tim or anyone that has been mentioned here this week.

The third category of technical debt

Tim Bull posted a fantastic comment on my last post about Technical Debt and I thought it would be good to share it again broadly here. 

“There’s a third category of technical debt which is subtly different.  Decisions that are made knowing that there is a better solution, but that the business stage or problem doesn’t validate that level of effort yet.

I think this is increasingly common in Lean Startups, where you do the minimum to validate the idea, but you are often left you with Technical Debt (we know this won’t work when we get to 100,000 users, but it’s fine for 1,000).  You know there is a better solution, but you trade speed and validation for future benefit.

You’re spot on when you say that it’s the ability to pay it down that matters – like with all debt really.  Technical debt isn’t inherently bad, but if you take on more than you’re ability to repay it in the future you’re in trouble!”

Yesterday, Alex talked about a government that was continuing to use a traffic model created in the 70’s to plan their roads and new infrastructure build. Besides the point that it’s not really very lean to be still using a template from 40 years ago to define today’s new roads (!) but I also feel comfortable saying that’s a direction that should have been pivoted a long time ago. However, the government had sunk a significant cost into creating said new roads.

Has anyone heard of any organizations out there, not working with code, that have been working in a more agile way to pay back their debt/sunk costs?