Rian van der Merwe

2,930 Flips | 5 Magazines | 27 Likes | 8 Following | 1,528 Followers | @rianvdm | Product manager, speaker, author. You look nice today.

How an Offer to Sell Wistia Inspired Us to Take On $17m in Debt

Recently, we had to make a decision: sell Wistia for a life changing amount of money or keep building the business ourselves.<p>Most founders dream of …

Business Strategy

Make your Venmo transactions private. Seriously

A new data-driven project reveals just how much personal information is publicly available on the app.<p>When you think of companies that violate your privacy online, chances are Facebook is one of the first names that come to mind. But there’s another common app that should: Venmo, the PayPal-owned …

Vietnam

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm's four-day week an 'unmitigated success'

If you can have parents spending more time with their children, how is that a bad thing? Andrew Barnes<p>The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success,with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their …

New Zealand

The Twitch streamers who spend years broadcasting to no one

Looking for connections in 2018<p>When John Hopstad first descended into the virtual world of <i>Dark Souls</i> in 2013, his mission was to save a decaying world. Famed for its brutal and exacting gameplay, <i>Dark Souls</i> is a popular game to live stream: if you’re going to die hundreds of times, you might as well …

Internet

Apple HomePod smart speaker

It's after 5pm on Wednesday, and I'm finishing up the listening part of my review of Apple's wireless speaker, the HomePod ($349). On a whim, I've …

Audiophile

How To Get Your Kids To Do Chores (Without Resenting It)

Back in the early 1990s, psychologist Suzanne Gaskins was living in a small Maya village near Valladolid, Yucatán, when she struck up a conversation with two sisters, ages 7 and 9.<p>The girls started telling her — with great pride — about all the chores they did after school. "I wash my own clothes," …

Parenting

A Lost Secret: How To Get Kids To Pay Attention

Fifteen years ago, psychologists Barbara Rogoff and Maricela Correa-Chavez ran a simple experiment. They wanted to see how well kids pay attention — even if they don't have to.<p>They would bring two kids, between the ages 5 to 11, into a room and have them sit at two tables.<p>Then they had a research …

Parenting

Is Facebook the problem with Facebook, or is it us?

<i>Nicholas Carr is the author of “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” among other books.</i><p>The only thing worse than being on Facebook is not being on Facebook. That’s the one clear conclusion we can draw from the recent controversies surrounding the world’s favorite social …

Social Media

Jotto - Managing Remote Teams (and how an internal blog can help)

The Trickiest Parts about Remote Teams<p>Distributed teams can be amazing — you can pull together amazingly talented people from wherever they may be. …

Swiss Army Knives

Tips from the Most Adventurous Family in the U.S.

Next month, Dan and Alice Clark will head out their first family backpacking trip with their two kids, Koby, 9, and Ava Fei, 7. Their itinerary is a little more ambitious than most families with small children: a 30-day, 120-mile traverse of the Canadian Rockies, with 45,000 feet of elevation gain. …

Parenting

The best Schiit ever, the Yggdrasil digital audio converter

Schiit Audio, yes it's pronounced just like you think, but that didn't stop Schiit from becoming a force to be reckoned with in the affordable audiophile gear marketplace. Most of their products are priced well <i>under</i> $1,000 and I've reviewed a lot of them but for one glaring exception, the Schiit …

Audiophile

How to Foster Psychological Safety in Remote Teams

NPR Music's 40 Favorite Albums Of 2018 (So Far)

<i>Let's face it: We live in an era dominated by playlists. Whether you listen to one of the chart-defining destinations on Spotify, let YouTube's algorithm be your guide, follow a friend's listening habits or create your own mixtapes, the idea of listening to an entire album in one sitting becomes</i> …

Indie Pop

Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse

SAN FRANCISCO — The people who called into the help hotlines and domestic violence shelters said they felt as if they were going crazy.<p>One woman had turned on her air-conditioner, but said it then switched off without her touching it. Another said the code numbers of the digital lock at her front …

Domestic Violence

The Saxophone’s Unlikely Journey Out of Meme Hell

After decades of mainstream banishment, artists like Kamasi Washington are ushering in a saxophone renaissance.<p>In the three years since his sprawling 3-hour debut album <i>The Epic,</i> jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington has achieved a level of crossover and mainstream appeal that straight-ahead jazz …

Kendrick Lamar

“Bursty” Communication Can Help Remote Teams Thrive

Working from home is becoming more mainstream, but large employers are starting to wonder whether remote work actually stifles innovation and …

Why the old way of parenting no longer works

<b>(CNN) —</b> Every couple of years a book or article arrives diagnosing parents with catastrophic spinelessness. The power pyramid has been inverted, they warn, and the children are in, and therefore out of, control.<p>"Command. Don't ask. Don't negotiate," instructs Leonard Sax in his 2016 book "The …

Parenting

‘Heaven and Earth’ by Kamasi Washington Review: Musical Miracle Worker?

Kamasi Washington has been heralded as the savior of jazz, but his latest album casts him as a creative ambassador reaching across genres and styles.<p>No one can accuse Kamasi Washington of lacking confidence. The cover of his latest recording depicts the saxophonist literally walking on water. …

Horns

Inside Netflix’s TV-Swallowing, Market-Dominating Binge Factory

Above, Ryan Murphy, Spike Lee, Laverne Cox, Alison Brie, Jane Fonda, Robin Wright, and Jason Bateman.<p>“What do you think about gas in the tank for the …

10 Ways to Raise Brave Girls

The other day my seven-year-old daughter, Pippa, and I rode the flow trail at our local mountain bike park. We’d heard it was smooth and gentle enough for kids and she was desperate to try it, so even though it was her first day on a fat bike, and the sign at the top read “Technical Trail: Advanced …

How Spotify Discovers the Genres of Tomorrow

Jun 07, 2018<p>Spotify data alchemist Glenn McDonald turns numbers into music experiences.<p>Ask Glenn McDonald what he does at Spotify, and a wry smile …

Powerless And Fully Dark

The hail was the first thing to wake me up. First a light patter, like pennies falling off the counter and onto the floor, but then it got worse. …

You Love Wine Science Until it Detracts From the Magic in Your Glass

6 minute Read<p>New York magazine’s Grub Street recently released its list of The Absolute Best Wine Shops in New York, with Chambers Street Wines …

GitHub Is Microsoft’s $7.5 Billion Undo Button

Oh, GitHub, we knew ye … pretty well, actually, over the past decade. At least programmers did. To us you’ve been comically unavoidable, from your …

As Rental Cars Fade Away, Avis Will Try Anything to Survive

A tidal wave of change is barreling toward the auto industry—and as with any wicked swell, some of the surfers in the water will ride to glory, …

How Instagram’s algorithm works

Instagram users were missing 70 percent of all posts and 50 percent of their friends’ posts before the app ditched the reverse chronological feed for an algorithm in July 2016. Despite backlash about confusing ordering, Instagram now says relevancy sorting has led to its 800 million-plus users …

Music to their ears: Why you should play music for your children's developing brains

Listening to, singing or playing music is something that humans are drawn to for personal reasons like self-exploration, social bonding and mood …

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.<p>It is a scene that plays out each weekday morning across Tokyo. Suit-clad office workers, gaggles of schoolchildren, and other travelers gamely wend their way through the city’s sprawling rail stations.<p>To the …

Trains

50% of people cheat at Monopoly, so Hasbro redesigned it for them

“We were literally sitting around thinking, ‘what would really corrupt Monopoly?’ And someone said, ‘what if we cheated?'”<p>Identity theft. Squatter’s rule. Price gouging. They’re not terms you’d normally associate with the friendly board game Monopoly. But that will change this June, when Monopoly …

Board Games

The Apple Watch has found a surprisingly useful home

When the Apple Watch launched in 2015, it wasn’t exactly clear who, or what, it was for. It was a phone accessory meant to curtail some of the notification anxiety the phones themselves had created by paring your digital life down to only the most essential disturbances. For many consumers, though, …

Smartwatches