He pulled out a brand new iPod touch and set it on the bar. We relaxed a bit. It all seemed legit. Then, he pulled out a jar of his own urine and set that on the bar beside the iPod.McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: It’s a Trap!
But every reworked component of a product also resets that process of refinement.Stagnation Or Stability?
In other words, effective management depends on the situation.Startup Management Best Practices: Situational Management
How is it that most highly self-motivated people ironically suffer from periods of low motivation? My friend Sam recently wrote a post about his struggles with motivation. I can relate a lot to Sam’s opening sentiment:
Most of the time I disappoint myself.
I’ve struggled with ups and downs of motivation my whole career—from feeling very optimistic and energized to, well, not. I used to think that if I could unlock the key to motivation that I would always be in an “on” state, but as I’ve turned the corner into my fourth decade of life, I’m beginning to think a little differently.
I’m learning to focus less on being productive and more on simply showing up—stepping into the arena day after day and doing work. Shipping has a way of motivating me. Solving problems does, too. To feel this kind of motivation requires merely being present in my work each day.
I’m also learning to step away from my work when I’m not feeling it or not being productive. I don’t beat myself up nearly as much as I used to because I’ve come to expect these times; I know motivation will return. More and more, I take this as a cue to just do something else.
So, here I am. A guy that loves being highly productive and building great products, but also struggles with not always wanting to—not having motivation. But, I’m learning to just keep going and to enjoy the process, and sometimes that means taking a break.
By far the dominant reason for not releasing sooner was a reluctance to trade the dream of success for the reality of feedback.Kent Beck in Approaching a Minimum Viable Product
I hope that your idealism hasn’t been worn down at such a relatively young age. I hope you want your work to be imbued with meaning, purpose, and value no matter what form that work takes. More than that, I hope you want your life to be defined by more than work.Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup
But we should be clear: gestures aren’t limited to touchscreens. Gestures may not involve touch at all.On gestures
Obedience is an unpopular word nowadays, but the artist must be obedient to the work, whether it be a symphony,Madeleine L’Engle
a painting, or a story for a small child. I believe that each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me.’
In an age of data-driven decision making, we should not lose our grasp on the place for intuitive thinking. Having a well developed intuition about what makes products appeal to customers is essential for creating great products. Data-driven and scientific methods will not by themselves result in appealing products for humans.Make Better Product Decisions
Turns out, the whole time I was building up to the unveiling, people just thought I wasn’t doing anything. By not communicating, I lost trust. My “big unveiling” was underwhelming and too little too late.Tada! – Why Big Unveilings Don’t Work
Why you should read it: so you don’t waste your life by building something nobody wants.Why only fools write code first
I wrote an article on the Treehouse blog about the Kano model, a useful framework for categorizing & prioritizing product features based on the impact they will have on customer satisfaction.
The only meaningful definition of a “generalist” is a specialist who can relate his own small area to the universe of knowledge.Peter Drucker (from The myth of the generalist)