Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

On Moving to New Zealand

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Hello, American friends!  President-Elect Trump has given his speech and begun to redact his campaign website of the obviously illegal and impossible campaign promises, and you look up from your keyboard through an election-defeat hangover and want to move to New Zealand. First of all, consider staying.  America’s problems won’t be solved if ...

Startups and failure

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

(Wynyard Group, an NZ tech high-growth company [or, perhaps, not-so-high growth] just entered voluntary administration. On Twitter, a friend was adamant bad luck had nothing to do with it. Instead of a tweetstorm, here's my response in a vintage retro format known as "a blog post") You can always look back at every ...

Job Titles

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Job titles don't matter, because it's the work that counts.  But job titles matter because they get you meetings with partners, interviews for next jobs, etc.  They send signals that can be useful so, conversely, life can be harder if you're sending the wrong signal. There's an implicit hierarchy in American ...

NZ Herald’s “News” Is Shit and Lazy

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

tl;dr: Today's NZ Herald drove me to this analysis/rant.  I'm giving the damn thing up and will get my news from other sites, Radio New Zealand and NewsHub.  You should too. I can't imagine how disheartening it is to work as a journalist in New Zealand.  Almost as disheartening as it is to ...

Kiwi Startups in Silicon Valley

Monday, January 4th, 2016

I was asked for comment by Bill Bennet from the NZ Herald, for a piece on Kiwi startups moving to Silicon Valley.  He built a nice little article, in which "Torkington says" features heavily.  My policy is that if I email journalists, I'll blog my side of the conversation for transparency's sake. I ...

Lighting a Spark Under Telecom

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Telecom New Zealand is changing its name to Spark. Most commentators regard it as a backward move, most recently Lance Wiggs who diagnoses marketing capture, distraction from executive and board, and the death of a valuable brand. I'd like to respectfully disagree. I might be a contrarian, but I think it's ...

Andreas Schleicher to NZ Members of Parliament

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Andreas Schleicher runs the PISA programme for the UN. PISA is the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, a test given to 15-year-old students from most of the world. Data about the students, countries, and education systems are analysed to see not just who is high-performing and who is improving, ...

What is PaCT and Why Did It Cost $6M?

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

(this post is about the New Zealand education system. I wanted to say more than Twitter made easy) NZ has an amazing education system. We went through the "Tomorrow's Schools" revolution in the 1990s, which devolved governance of schools to the communities in which those schools sit. A Remuera ...

Dear Boosted: Surprise Me and Succeed

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The NZ Arts Foundation has launched Boosted, a way to crowdfund arts projects. Now, if you're like me, you're probably wondering "don't we already have several ways of doing that? I mean, Kiwi artists have already used Kickstarter and PledgeMe to fund projects." Boosted's key point of difference is ...

Copywrongs and Katherine Mansfield

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Katherine Mansfield is New Zealand's literary icon: feminist, bisexual, incredibly gifted, part of the Bloomsbury circle of clever people pushing literary form before she died of tuberculosis. Her short stories are as moving today as they were when she wrote them almost 100 years ago. Her papers, and ...