Phone Calls Are So Broken

I'm declaring a phone call armistice. Why?

When I call you, I’m essentially saying:

“Stop whatever it is you’re doing and pay attention to me right now.”

If you were doing anything creative, anything that involves flow, you’ve now had that interrupted. It could be hours before you get it back.

All for my phone call.

If – on the rare occasion – I’m calling you, I’m going to have a really important (read: time-sensitive) reason. Or we’re going to have scheduled this phone call ahead of time.

Exceptions should be made for close friends and relations, of course, but can we all just agree that we won’t abuse phone calls now that we’ve got countless of other ways to get someone’s attention on their terms?

Bring on the autonomous drones delivering medicine to remote villages, @AirWareUAS

Via WIRED. Awesome stuff, Airware. Proud to be a small part of the process.

What are some more positive examples of where drones are being deployed that people haven’t seen?

We’re involved in research funded by the Gates Foundation that looks at how we can distribute medicines and vaccines in rural Africa in a fairly automated way. Essentially the researchers at looking at creating a spoke and wheel system with drones as the spokes. So from a central distribution point in Africa where there is already an airport, or vehicles that bring medicines and vaccines in, we then distribute the stuff via drones. So that entails a whole collection of UAVs that on regular schedules fly out to these remote villages, drop the package and come back in a very, very autonomous way.

How come most sites can get away with such crappy treatment of users?

The NYTimes wrote a little while back about how hard it is to delete an account on most social networks and web services. I got to be a voice of dissent (and reason):

Still, not every site takes the “Never Gonna Give You Up” approach. Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the social news site Reddit, said that if users wanted to delete an account, “they should be able to do that as easily as they signed up.”

“It puts the onus on us to keep delivering a great product, and not retaining users simply because they can’t find the exit,” he said.

But really, why are sites like reddit the exception, not the rule? How valuable can 'trapped' users be? How much are you slacking on your product and business because you don't have to keep earning that user?