Death to Clickbait

January 28, 2015

I’ve decided I’ve had it with blogger clickbait, in particular the tendency to toss a highly controversial title in front of a non-controversial post. The ones I fall for usually claim that something I believe is wrong (or “dead”). Then they proceed to explain how the idea was right after all, albeit in need of […]

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Making Innovation Unsexy

January 21, 2015

(This post was originally posted on the Neo blog) “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison, 1929 Many years ago, […]

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Startups: Don’t Wait to Build Exit Relationships

January 12, 2015

Paul Graham’s latest essay warns of losing time and focus to “corporate development” staffers out there sniffing for companies to buy. I agree with him on the corp dev side. But I wouldn’t want people to think that you should ignore potential buyers until “you want to sell your company right now.” It’s a question […]

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What is good product management?

November 24, 2014

I gave this talk to the CTO School in NYC the other week. The focus was on three key topics: what is good product management, how can the head of engineering be a good partner, and how to hire good PMs. Enjoy: What is good product management from Giff Constable

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The Virtual Thief (and what that means for privacy)

November 18, 2014

In 2006, we created a online marketplace for virtual goods in Second Life. Our competitor had a daunting network effect advantage, but we had no intention of fighting over the existing market. The real market in our eyes was consumers yet to come (they never really came, but that’s a different story). To drive traffic, […]

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Fighting Our Own Biases

November 8, 2014

In 2010, I became minorly Internet-known as an early adopter of lean startup. I blogged as I went. I made plenty of mistakes. One was not defending adequately against my own biases. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs of any kind. That’s one of my big honking biases. Liz Crawford and I were working […]

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The Post-Lean Era

October 28, 2014

Stuart Eccles, CTO of Made By Many and early adopter of lean startup, half-seriously announced the other night after a few beers that we were entering the post-Lean-Startup era. At first I thought he was referring to something we’ve discussed many times: the pendulum has swung a little too far towards lean testing and could […]

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Enterprise Innovation – A Proposed Structure for a New Business Studio

October 15, 2014

These are raw notes for an opinion piece on how to structure an “innovation” group. Comments very welcome. You’re a senior executive. You know “software is eating the world” and you have to embrace technology and disruption more aggressively. How do you approach it? If you are gunning for sustaining innovation (i.e. optimizations and extensions […]

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Innovation: to sandbox or not to sandbox?

October 3, 2014

Adrian Howard has a great talk on enterprise innovation up from the last Lean UX conference. In it, he is very down on sandboxed innovation groups. I actually both agree and disagree with him. I think sustaining innovation must be done within existing operational groups, and agree with many of the things Adrian recommends: training […]

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Predicting Failure from Failure?

September 18, 2014

Shane Snow’s new book Smartcuts is is a master class in weaving anecdotes together to make a point in an interesting way. He’ll take A, add B, weave in C, to get you to D. I’ll write more on the highly enjoyable book later, but the tricky part is if one component in the mental […]

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