Unstructured time

Unstructured time

Faiz Hussain

Unstructured time

Thinking about thinking #5 4th March 2022

I can't do much but acknowledge the war in Ukraine and how much it occupies my attention. The doublespeak in my feed is getting more weird now that China has picked a side after a week of non-reporting. This week I cleared my calendar of meetings. Part intention, part accident. Even though I'm in Month 8 since quitting full-time, it's rare to have dedicated time like this to think about the future and clear to-dos.

Visibly, I refreshed the websites in my care, faiz.design and mito.coop so that I can point to them with pride. What's different in 2022 is that I can deploy these directly from my knowledge management tool, Notion using Super. Because websites are databases too. It closes the gap between where we work and how we present ourselves, removing dozens of immediate steps and intermediaries. The data is also live. A minute after input and 2 refreshes. Pages can also be provisioned so that each editor has their own sandbox to write in, that can then be aggregated. Members can maintain their own profiles and any public-facing data about them. Making reporting data transparent from accounting to environmental impact is a click away. The boundaries are starting to melt the right way.

Websites are still treated as special. In the way that people still yield and duck around other people taking pictures – as though framing is still laborious and the photos still analogue and scarce. They are yet to really feel like a commodity, despite the degree of visual sameness promoted by platforms, templates and restrictive software.

Most new businesses start with a 'landing page', which they can use to collect email addresses or an action they have convinced people to do (buy, upload, download, share, etc). This data is considered proof that there are willing buyers and a function that turns a profit. This 'rigour' of evidence is often joked about as the standard of proof that we can get investors to agree to – and codified as a working process by Venture Studios like Founders Factory. To me, it's a depressing model of suspending disbelief, like a rubber band that will snap. The website is just an avatar.

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