I read a lot of interesting things out on the internets. So in the style of link collection blogs, here’s a compilation of a few of the more interesting posts and essays I’ve seen in the last couple of days.

From Helpscout: ARPA: A Framework Alternative to the RACI Model. Or, as I would describe it: a model for managing our mutual expectations. There’s a theme in business that I think about periodically of “top down” hierarchical positional authority, versus “bottom up” collaborative self organization. I have a longer version of that, but each has benefits, and a model like ARPA seems like an interesting synthesis of both.

Via Dru: GTD in 15 Minutes. A nice refresher on the mechanics of the classic personal productivity system, Getting Things Done. But with less selling you on the concept, for people who (like me) are already bought in.

One of those hidden gems of Quora: How did the concept of money emerge from the barter system?. Answer: it didn’t. A tour of barter, trade, and currency, starting in the Bronze Age. Plus, how This One Weird Finance Hack of 1,200–700 BC Babylon influenced 18th and 19th century economic thinking. Debt goes beyond our personal finances, it’s a mark of human collective behavior that goes back millenia. And it’s a common metaphor (e.g., ‘technical debt’), so it’s interesting to think about.

Writing docs at Amazon. Amazon is famous for their emphasis on generating written documents for decisionmaking. Whether it’s the ‘press release first’ or the famous ‘six-page memo’ for meetings. This post is a nice overview from someone on the inside of the benefits and how-tos of writing well for business. We could all learn from this, as I strongly believe that writing is a much more scalable way to transmit knowledge within a business compared to talking.

Emergent tool use from multi-agent interaction. Crazy how some simple rules, and a high fidelity physics simulation, can create complex behavior out of randomness.

Top 20 fastest growing (requested) skills, from Upwork’s Skills Index. Upwork is a marketplace for freelance workers, and they published an index of the most-requested skills for jobs posted on the site. That’s a nice snapshot of current industry trends, and could highlight a couple areas I’d like to learn more about.