Category Uncategorized

Product Designers, Focus on Copy Early

Words are an essential part of software product design. They are a key ingredient for both usability and customer success. Yet, from what I have seen, far too many designers delay working on copy until late in the process. I’m all for sketching (rough draft culture!), but even a sketch should have thought and purpose…. Continue reading

The Tyranny of Shareholder Returns

When Hillary Clinton recently took aim at hit-and-run activist investors, hedge-funder Donald Drapkin retorted that “Management forgets that shareholders own the company.” This is legally true, but conceptually problematic. Short term investors really own an abstract object, which I’ll call a chit. They think the chit will go up or down, and they either invest… Continue reading

My Journey to Code Literacy

On March 30th, I gave a 5-min Ignite talk at the Product Insights conference. This time around, I shared a personal story about my winding journey to become more code literate. I am including the slides and basic story here. (p.s. I love Ignite talks, not just for the speed and discipline it brings, but because they… Continue reading

You’ve got to really want it

For as much as we like innovation, most people aren’t cut out to start a tech company or even join one in a super-early stage.  That’s my point of disagreement with Chris Dixon on his latest post, “Every time an engineer joins Google, a startup dies“. Smart entrepreneurs try to mitigate risk every way they… Continue reading

Two zinger quotes

Ran across these two quotes today that brought a smile: “By the time a big company gets the committee to organize the subcommittee to pick a meeting date, your startup could have made 20 decisions, reversed five of them and implemented the fifteen that worked.” — Steve Blank, Speed and Tempo “the running joke [on… Continue reading

Donors Challenge & the Harlem Renaissance

In this era of information overload, we get very good at tuning out and in with snap, subconscious judgements.  Sometimes that means valuable things get missed, which is what happened with Fred Wilson’s first post about his Donor’s Choose fundraiser.  When he re-posted about the topic, it registered on my brain, especially when I saw… Continue reading

Follow-up to Evernote analysis

Just a quick follow up: the other week I quickly threw together a model trying to extrapolate Evernote’s cohort churn and premium conversion based on some data shared in NYTimes and TechCrunch articles.  I think the growth/churn estimates were decent, but I found a sneaky bug in the premium conversion method and in re-reviewing the… Continue reading