The short version: Emily Ross and I are writing a book on subversive go-to-market strategy called Just Evil Enough. We’ve been asked to create a live online course to go with it, and we’re doing some research.

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Take me to the survey!

One respondent will win a keynote talk or workshop, to use as they see fit — something we normally charge a lot for. Another will receive access to the course, absolutely free.

If you want some context, read on.

When Lean Analytics was first published in 2013, few startups were talking publicly about the data that drove their…


A toss of a perfect coin is pure randomness. And by perfect, I mean unflawed coin, ideal conditions, perfect 50/50. Similarly, a game that involves only rolling one perfect dice has total randomness. 1/6 chance of a six-sided result.

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Photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash.

Games with multiple dice are still random, but within predictable patterns: the Central Limit Theorem says that a pair of 6-sided dice are most likely to add up to 7, simply because there are more possible combinations of dice that make 7.


I got an Oculus Quest for Christmas.

I’ve been a fan of consumer VR for decades, ever since Snow Crash planted the seed. I was an early backer of Oculus (I still have the Developer Edition hardware) and bought both a Rift and an HTC Vive to see where they were headed, because I firmly believe it’s the future.

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The Quest is so close to ready—in an Apple, it-just-works kind of way. So much so that it’s suddenly easy for me to believe that Apple will launch truly consumer-ready, phone-incorporated VR within 2 years. …


Knowing basic multiplication by rote is an accelerant. It’s why our times’ tables are drilled into us at school. And while there are the usual flash cards, multiplication grids, and car-ride pop-quizzes, they’re seldom fun.

I’ve posted before about making boardgames as a way to teach art, creativity, game theory, and fairness. Why not add learning math to that? So I went and bought a couple of bags of dodecahedra—12-sided dice. They’re cheap, around $7 for 20 of them on Amazon.

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And then, of course, it’s time to make a variant on a well-known dice game in which you try…


A couple of weeks ago, I spent a wonderful weekend in Berlin with friends. In between a hidden gem of Indonesian food one night, and a “textile-free” visit to Spa Vabali, I roamed the city searching for a guilty pleasure of mine—Christmas Markets.

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What’s not to love? Not pictured: A giant disco ball on an iconic building.

If you don’t know what these are, let’s just say they’re everything bad for you in the best way. Spatleze. Raclette. Roasted chestnuts. Marzipan. Candied nuts. Sausages. You get the idea. But while the markets might vary, there’s one constant: Glüvein. …


Science fiction authors like to start with the world as we know it, and then change one aspect of that world: Aliens exist; time travel is possible. These stories tickle our brains because they dwell on how one fundamental shift has widespread consequences, creating a world almost unrecognizable from our own.

Imagine that one day, you woke up and a universal constant had changed. Maybe the speed of light was slower; maybe gravity had been cut in half. Assuming you were even still alive, your world would be vastly different. Buildings might collapse; or things might fly away into space…


Embrase — the team behind Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletech — has been running events for a decade. In that time, we’ve worked hard to ensure that the diversity we want to see in the world is represented on stage. But as Rebecca pointed out last December, the real challenge is that even when event organizers make their invited speaker lineup inclusive, they aren’t guaranteed that sponsors will do the same.

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Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash

Sidenote: While we recognize that diversity has many faces, we decided to focus on gender representation because it’s where the disparity is most egregious — and most visible. But there…


There’s plenty of debate over whether AI is real. The very definition of Artificial Intelligence keeps changing — show a computer scientist from 50 years ago a modern algorithm’s ability to drive a car, identify images, compose text, or diagnose diseases, and they’d immediately conclude that AI was here.

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A shot from the 2017 main stage.

But AI is brittle. It makes mistakes. At best, it complements human intelligence. It’s not artificial — it’s different. Is it still a cause for concern? Or will it never amount to a real threat to human work and jobs as little more than augmentation?

Why we need to act

Do we need to plan for…


One of the most striking and consistent pieces of feedback from our 2019 content survey was this: We’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

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Many people tasked with IT transformation are already true believers. They want to know how to manage digital innovation, and what to avoid to maximize success. And while technology training is useful, digital transformation is more than tools — it’s people. Culture, not tech, is the real challenge.

That’s why we’ve adjusted FWD50 to this new reality, and packed the lineup with content on culture and transformation. …


Fifteen years ago, the term “cloud computing” was on the front page of every tech magazine. For that matter, fifteen years ago, we had tech magazines. Today, the term has almost lost its meaning in many IT conversations. We don’t say, “cloud storage”; we say “storage,” and assume on-demand, third-party-operated computing systems are part of that strategy.

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Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

And this is a big year for Federal cloud infrastructure. More than a dozen government departments are embracing a cloud-first strategy.

To understand the magnitude of this shift, we first need to nail down terminology — which, even a decade after the first…

Alistair Croll

Writer, speaker, accelerant. Intersection of tech & society. Strata, Startupfest, Bitnorth, FWD50. Lean Analytics, Tilt the Windmill, HBS, Just Evil Enough.

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