What Pixar Got Right

March 27, 2014

Pixar is an inspiring place. In addition to prioritizing storytelling, they got a lot right when it came to process and human interactions.  Fast Company has a nice piece interviewing Pixar alumni, and I pulled out my favorite bits: “There’s still a back and forth between creative and the audience, and you can’t be like […]

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What Lurks Beneath the Surface

March 23, 2014

I’ll believe it with my own two eyes Humans have a tendency to focus on what they can see to the exclusive of other things. Many years ago, my wife and I lived in a shoebox in Manhattan. We couldn’t afford to buy a place in the city, but ironically we could afford to rent […]

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You Are Spending 3x-5x More Than You Should

March 12, 2014

In carpentry, the rule is “measure twice, cut once” because once you cut, you can’t go back. If you get it wrong, you end up wasting a lot time, money, and materials. Somehow, that concept has not made it into the vast majority of software projects. Even though “lean startup” has become a popularized term, […]

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What Is A Product?

February 23, 2014

The title is a question we have been kicking around at Neo for the last few weeks. I often refer to us as a product agency, as opposed to digital agencies that do marketing websites and campaign work. But what is a product? Here’s an initial stab. A product is a repeatable capability that delivers […]

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Creating, Improving… Managing?

February 15, 2014

I bet most of you have listened to Ira Glass on being creative. If not, ignore this post and go watch that video. His comments resonate with me deeply. Frustration with not being able to always produce work to the level of your taste. Demanding more. Overcoming that frustration through perseverance and relentless creating, making, […]

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The Misogyny Has Got to Stop

February 3, 2014

This weekend I was startled by a tweet from Margaret Wallace, a game industry executive whom I respect in New York. Welcome to my world: She Was Harassed By A Games Reporter. Now She's Speaking Out. http://t.co/hVx638XBQc #onereasonwhy — Margaret Wallace ♕ (@MargaretWallace) February 1, 2014 Margaret is referring to a series of unacceptable, appalling […]

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Myth-Making and the “Authentic Founder”

December 19, 2013

One of my pet peeves about startup-land is myth-making. I refer to the stories that get made up about a startup’s founding and trajectory. Entrepreneurs spin tales for two reasons: to get press, and, particularly, to get funding. Investors have a name for their intuitive filtering — they call it pattern recognition. But at the […]

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Lean… startup? enterprise? Just use your head

December 18, 2013

Andreas Klinger recently wrote an article that made some rounds in the lean startup circle entitled “why lean startup sucks for startups.” Putting the attention-grabbing headline aside, I found much of the piece rather bizarre. Is lean startup different for startups? Yes and no. Hoping for a detailed playbook is lazy, naive thinking. Lean, going […]

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Minimum Viable User Stories

November 27, 2013

Agile. How did a movement whose manifesto began with “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” get so caught up in ceremony? (“Humans” is the answer) Thoughtbot tweeted a thought-provoking article on “Replacing the User Story with the Job Story“. I am a fan of “jobs to be done” but do not think this is […]

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A lean case study with Time Inc’s Cooking Light

November 25, 2013

Giff Constable- Testing New Products Ideas at Time – NCCSF Neo Day Session 2 from NeoInnovate on Vimeo. We spent a fascinating 8 weeks with the team at Cooking Light magazine, part of Time Inc’s Lifestyle Group, helping them put “lean startup in the enterprise” methods into action. Our goal was to ideate and then […]

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