Jon Stribling

My own piece of the Internet
Jon Stribling

Learning how to ride a bike

I was nervous to start with. So was Gabe. The training wheels were off, it was dusk, and there was a warm breeze blowing in from the bay tousling his hair. He was desperate to become part of a club he had been obsessed with from his time wobbling around in nappies. He was desperate to start riding. He wanted to be mobile. I said, Gabe I’ll hold you so you can get the feel of the bike and balancing. Remember to keep your head up and to keep peddling. He nodded and we started. I ran alongside holding him and gently letting …

The importance of poetry

Poetry is important. My wife is a poet and fights against those who think poetry is irrelevant and an outdated mode of expression. WordPress say that “code is poetry”. Poetry helps kids learn how to read better – Dr Seuss.

If you use a donotreply address for your emails, you deserve to fail

There’s a convention that corporate transactional and promotional emails are sent from or This is normally followed with a nice message that goes something like: Please do not reply to this email. Any emails to this address will not be responded to. How rude and passive aggressive. What they are actually saying is: Don’t even think about responding to this email we have sent you because we can’t be bothered responding to it, or even looking at it. It would seriously cost us too much money. Have you seen how much digital talent costs these days? Don’t send us an …

It’s simple, all the best innovations are

I’ve been reading a lot about simplification recently. About removing stuff and improving products, disrupting markets, and smashing the lazy incumbents. It’s the kind of thing which when you see it, it smacks you in the face and you ask yourself why someone else or you hadn’t done this before. Some of the great innovations have been about removing steps, making processes easier, and challenging assumptions about that’s the way it needs to be done. As Evan Williams, founder of Twitter has said, “Everything is obvious once it’s successful. Big wins come when you can spot something before it’s obvious to everyone …

You are not creating content, you are creating

In his 2010 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Mario Vargas Llosa, spoke lovingly about what reading and literature had given him saying “Reading changed dreams into life and life into dreams”. He goes on to say that without literature, without writing the world would be a darker, more tedious place. “We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life.” You will note that Llosa did not speak …

Why anti-vacc campaigners, nut-bag christians, and pick-up artists should be able to hold their crazy conferences

It isn’t easy to talk at a conference in Australia these days if you’re a right wing conservative Christian, super sleazy dating coach, or anti-vaccination campaigner. In fact it’s almost impossible. If a conference is on the edgy/reactionary side and contrary to (left-wing) social media norms the conference venues are pressured via social media to cancel the booking. In all of the examples above venues have cancelled bookings because they don’t want any controversy attached to their venues. Presumably they just want to focus on arranging tables, water, fresh mints, and canapés.

Are you caught in a cyber-faustian moment of infinite loneliness?

Faust is one of my favourite texts. I like both Marlowe and Goethe’s telling of the old German story about the greedy Doctor Faust who bored with the tedium of ordinary life makes a pact with the Devil in exchange for knowledge, pleasure, and exquisite experience. So I was instantly engaged when I heard William Gibson, author of the seminal Neuromancer describe his chief protagonists ‘cyber-faustian’ moment in relation to his relationship with technology during a podcast.

Ideas are not enough

Ideas are awesome. I love nothing better than being inspired a multitude of earth rocking ideas about the world, my products, books, blog posts, what customers want, what makes people tick, why James Joyce wrote Ulysses and what it’s about, what the next big thing is, or what I fervently believe the government should do right now. I am a lover of ideas. But they are not enough.

The importance of story telling in product management

When I was a kid I spent my head locked away in a book anytime I could get. Reading was a way of discovering lives far beyond the fertile plains of Wagga Wagga in southern NSW. It was a way of learning about how the world was different, how people were different, and how I could be different, and that it was OK. My first lessons in deceit, murder, adventure, sex, love, hate. and joy were all experienced through books and stories.