Info Diet offers a peek into the personally curated feeds and media habits of the people shaping the future. In each installment, a different builder spends two days chronicling all the content they consume in order to stay ahead of the curve. This time: Rajiv Ayyangar, cofounder and CEO of the virtual office app Tandem. Rajiv was born and raised in Menlo Park, California, and lives in San Francisco.
8:30 a.m.: I start the morning with coffee and a chapter of Mac creator Jeff Raskin’s classic book The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems . I t was recommended by our head of design, Andriy . I’d asked him if he had a favorite book (expecting fiction), and he absolutely raved about Raskin.
Raskin elegantly lays out a first-principles approach to usability. I find that reading one chapter at a time is both enjoyable and also evocative of new UI ideas. This morning’s chapter is about interaction efficiency: Raskin observes that the classic Fitts’s Law and its discrete analog Hick’s law both have a logarithmic form, much like Shannon entropy from information theory. In other words, the rate at which you can input information into a computer via interaction (e.g., clicking a button) is proportional to the amount of information you’re communicating to the computer. (If you click one button among 10, that transmits more info than clicking one huge button with no other options). Intuitive, perhaps, but a beautiful parallel nonetheless.
9:15 a.m.: On the way to getting my car repaired, I listen to a rock-climbing podcast called The Nugget . I’ve been a serious climber for nearly two decades — there’s something transportive and freeing about finding a path up a rock. (I wrote a bit on why I climb here). This particular episode features Mike Kerzhner, a friend and web3 engineer, who also happens to be a world-class climber. It’s frank and in-depth.