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Watch your Cheese - MMM #15

Thomas Konings
Thomas Konings
Hi all,
After another week of writing, I now have my first summary published. Two more to go this week! In this week’s newsletter, I’ll go over some of the most curious items I came across on the internet. It’s an odd bunch this week.
📃 In this week’s mashup:
  • ⭐Highlight: watch your cheese, because it’s being stolen
  • 💰Investing: the wild west of NFTs and their “value”
  • 🌐Web: ex-Reddit CEO talks about the struggle of running a modern social media platform
  • 💽Data: data visualization thought process
  • 🎓Skills: Budibase, an open-source no-code platform
  • ⏭️Next
Have a great week!

⭐Highlight: Watch your Cheese
The price of cheese has been on the rise. And it shows. Earlier this month there was a “cheese heist” in the Netherlands. At the current prices of cheese the 1,600 kilos of cheese stolen are worth $23,000.
Detailed coverage by the Financial Times and the heist backstory by the New York Times below.
Major Cheese Heist Puts Dutch Dairy Farmers on Alert - The New York Times
💰Investing: NFTs and their "value"
Okay okay, I’ll admit that using the word “value” here is nonsensical. In the volatile market of NFTs (with no intrinsic value), all that exists is pricing.
The title of this article by The Guardian says it all…
🌐Web: How to Run a Social Media Platform
It’s not often that we get a deep explanation of what it takes to be at the helm of a social media platform, subject to (all of) society’s criticism, and regulation. Yishan Wong, ex-CEO of Reddit, wrote a long Twitter thread this week explaining why he thought Elon Musk (who put out an offer to take Twitter private, for real this time) wasn’t aware of what he was getting himself into. Regardless of your opinion on Yishan or Elon, the thread is very interesting, especially the part about “censorship” and the inability of platforms to be viewed as “fair” by either side of the political spectrum.
I've now been asked multiple times for my take on Elon's offer for Twitter.

So fine, this is what I think about that. I will assume the takeover succeeds, and he takes Twitter private. (I have little knowledge/insight into how actual takeover battles work or play out)

(long 🧵)
💽Data: #30DayChartChallenge
Colin Angus describes his thought process as he creates a data visualization of Scotland’s drug deaths problem. The entire thread is worth reading if you want to get better at thinking through data visualization issues, something we all encounter at some point.
Colin Angus
I posted this graph yesterday as part of the #30DayChartChallenge and a few people have asked some reasonable questions about why I chose to present this data in this way.

So I thought I'd write a thread to explain my thought process...
🎓Skills: Budibase and no-code in general
I’m a firm believer that no-code or low-code app building will be the future. A few reasons:
  • The world is way too dependent on spreadsheets that are error-prone, easily breakable by users, and hard to keep in sync. We need to move towards full-fledged databases for more of our daily operations. But: databases are complicated and not understood by most end users.
  • There is increased demand for accurate recent data throughout organizations to support decision making (through forecasts, dashboards, pricing info, etc.)
  • Having a separate team (IT) build systems to achieve a better data situation creates friction, as they are not aware of the end user’s needs and need to figure those out first.
No/low-code solutions mitigate all these issues. They allow tech-savvy end-users to create apps on top of databases that look like spreadsheets, but have constraints (i.e. you cannot enter text in a date field). They can share these apps with colleagues who can add/change/remove data with forms, and build dashboards on top of it all. The data can be freely imported into other tools for forecasting, etc. No more scraping PDFs to find data, or manually copying data from emails.
No-code has the potential to revolutionize the way we work to the same extent as the humble spreadsheet. This week I discovered a great option that I’ll be trying out: Budibase. It’s open-source, which means it’s free to host it yourself (for unlimited apps) and they only charge for enterprise support. They also have a great trial account (that they host for you) that can run up to 4 apps.
If you want to stay ahead of the pack in terms of IT skills, no-code app development will be something to get into sooner rather than later.
Budibase | Create business apps in mins | Open-source low-code platform
Due to the summary workload, I haven’t managed to create a blog post or video this week. Hopefully, that’ll change soon 😁.
Have a great week!
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Thomas Konings
Thomas Konings @tkon99

Every Monday morning I will send you an email with things I discovered during the week that I found helpful. Ranging from interesting theories to practical Excel tips and insightful articles I read, this newsletter will make your Monday a little bit better for sure!

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