Product Designers, Focus on Copy Early

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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. Don’t just think about the …

The Tyranny of Shareholder Returns

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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 or short accordingly. They don’t …

Best birthday present ever

Giff Constable Uncategorized

This year I turned 40. To celebrate I disappeared into the Catskills for a private hackathon with a few close friends. Playing in the mud, making stuff — it was the best birthday present I could have asked for. Aging is a funny thing. Some people get stuck in a rut. I feel like my learning and creativity is only increasing. …

My Journey to Code Literacy

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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 give me an excuse to …

Startup Hiring Filter: Are you “pre” or “post” product market fit?

Giff Constable Uncategorized

Your startup finally has the financial resources to expand the team. That’s both awesome, and dangerous. So here is one more filter for you to think about as you evaluate each candidate: Is your company “pre” product-market fit*, or “post”? (I’m not talking about your pitch to VCs but your own honest assessment) And has this candidate spent most of …

My Next Step: Proof

Giff Constable Uncategorized

2012 is going to be an awesome year. Here’s my news: I’m joining forces with two of my favorite people in the lean/agileUX scene, Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, to create a consulting company called Proof. In short, Proof is an product innovation and design studio that (not surprisingly given our team) delivers a lean/agile, cross-functional, results-oriented approach. Our goal …

You’ve got to really want it

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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 can, but let’s not sugarcoat …

Two zinger quotes

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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 raising VC] is that as …

Donors Challenge & the Harlem Renaissance

Giff Constable Uncategorized

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 his comment “This is one …