Benn Stancil
A weekly Substack on data and technology, with some occasional conversations about culture, sports, and politics.
Created 15 Dec 2019
  • Fine, let's talk about data contracts
    23 Sep 2022 1 0
    We’’re supposed to haggle. The walls have been closing in for a while now. Data contracts first entered the conversation at a safe distance: On LinkedIn.1 But recently, they’ve started inching closer ...
  • How Fivetran fails
    16 Sep 2022 23 4
    The biggest threat to Fivetran: The outlet mall. Sometime in 2014 or 2015, we were trying to figure out our next move at Mode. At that point, we’d built a query and visualization tool that was a solid...
  • If data is a product, what is production?
    09 Sep 2022 32 14
    An “ad hoc” traffic pattern in San Francisco. We did it, y’all—the “data as a product” hype cycle is officially complete. Over the last few years, the idea rocketed through the maturity curve, startin...
  • How Snowflake fails
    02 Sep 2022 34 32
    If we had to mark the moment when our hubris peaked, sometime around 1 p.m. on March 24, 2022 is as good a point as any. Like much of the tech industry, data companies came roaring out of the pandemic...
  • The past is not precious
    26 Aug 2022 29 15
    For the last 1,189 straight days, I've filled out a short survey that I made for myself about what's going on in my life. Some fleeting curiosity in 2019 led me to wonder if the events and moments tha...
  • What do we do when we get it wrong?
    19 Aug 2022 16 17
    Sometimes, we miscalculate. Every once in a while, to the great displeasure of my coworkers and colleagues, I have the opportunity to “get my hands dirty on some real analysis” at Mode. In these brief...
  • Down with the DAG
    12 Aug 2022 25 25
    Data pipelines: Nothing makes sense and everything is backwards. If a thousand startups have died on the hill of building a better note-taking app, a thousand masochists have died on the hill of build...
  • Analysts should have portfolios
    05 Aug 2022 35 19
    If I left Mode tomorrow, would you interview me to be an analyst on your data team? Perhaps you like this blog, and think you might. Or maybe you hate it, and you’d rather put your business in the han...
  • The powder keg of the modern data stack
    29 Jul 2022 14 2
    High school social studies didn’t teach me much, but it did teach me that you can’t use the term “powder keg” unless you reference the Balkans in the 1910s. It's 2032, and the halcyon days of the mode...
  • Do data-driven companies actually win?
    22 Jul 2022 50 24
    Imagine, if you can, that you're a venture capitalist. Your Twitter bio says that you're a proud parent, a lucky spouse, and that your DMs are open to passionate entrepreneurs. You don't wear Allbirds...
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