An email from a friend who works at Microsoft sent me back in time and got me started on #shityousayinenterprise last week. Ray Wang asked me to convert it to a blog post, which sounded like a fun project. For each sentence you hear in the enterprise, I added a short explanation for the startup gang…
What do you mean you can’t build this feature? I am going to escalate it to your manager
Escalation is one of the most commonly used threats in the enterprise. A customer complains? Let’s escalate to the head of engineering. You can’t accept a task someone from Marketing asked you to finish? He will escalate it to your manager. Someone made a nasty comment? Let’s escalate to HR. Read the rest of this entry »
Until yesterday I thought that Mailbox nailed their launch. They seem to have done everything right: created hype, designed a great-looking app, came up with an intriguing video, built a robust waiting list, and got tons of press.
The icing on the cake was their brilliant plot to shoot up to the top of the iTunes most-downloaded app list (currently number 4 overall): they sent everyone on their waiting list an email which asked the recipients to download the app in order to check their position on the waiting list. Read the rest of this entry »
Here is a common advice: don’t send emails when you are angry. You will regret it later once you are calm and had some time to think about it. The problem is that when we are mad, we can’t really control the urge of sending this mail and tell those corporate goons/our boss/our spouse what we think of them. When we are mad, we want revenge and email is the nerd’s machine gun… Read the rest of this entry »
The first time I viewed a professional focus group I was impressed. We sat behind a mirror wall, were served great food and wine and watched business owners answer questions asked by a professional moderator. For a long while, I was in love with the concept: pay some money and get a glance into the future, read your potential users minds and build the perfect product that they will use for ever. If only it was so simple…
Later in life I understood that the most important thing to remember about any user feedback is that people don’t tell you what they think, they tell you what they think they think… Read the rest of this entry »
I just finished reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. In short, the book uses new brain research to explain how habits are created and how one should go about changing personal or organizational habits (anything from eating a dessert after your meal to produce products of higher quality…). The book is worth reading: the short of it is simple- habits are automatic stored procedures in our brain. They start with a cue, and end with a reward (cue-finishing lunch, habit- eating dessert, reward-sugar…). I will stop at that- read the book if you are interested…
What the book only touched on briefly is measurement as a way to build or modify a habit. Say that you live half a mile from your local grocery store and you go there 3-4 times a week to buy fresh produce. You know that walking there will save you money and add some points into your health jar but than again, you still get into the car and drive there since it is easier. Read the rest of this entry »
Most designers secretly or publicly hate their managers. It can be a CEO in a startup or a product manager in a larger company. They hate us all. Some of it has to do with the fact some of them are just precious flowers and their work can not be criticized by regular humans but often, it is only our faults.
Here are some dos and don’ts that will make your designer much more productive, and therefore creating better products:
Your “gut feeling” about the design is not important: We all watch baseball matches but don’t think we can play professionally. We all watch hospital dramas but don’t think we can operate on anyone. We all use web products but we DO think we can design them better than the designer we hired. Your design expert is the designer you hired. If he/she are not good enough, replace them. You are unlikely to be better than them. Read the rest of this entry »
I am not going to Austin for SxSW this year and a minute before I apply my “don’t show me anything tagged #SxSW on Twitter” filter, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites in the city, in case you are looking for good places to eat or play. The source is my very own Bizzy List from my two visits in Austin last year…
Amy’s Ice Cream- The very best ice cream in Austin. Don’t miss! My Original comment: “Like Cold Stone but with high quality ice cream”
The Steeping Room- In the middle of the town of ribs, greasy food and Mexican beer you can find this elegant place with awesome coffee and tea selection and sophisticated brunch food. A bit out of the way but can be a great place for a meeting away from the crowd. What I said back then? ” I am back in the sane world where they serve artisan coffee and organic granola and yogurt. This place is my new BFF (plus an amazing selection of teas)”
BBQ Heaven- BEST. BRISKET. EVER (Ellen makes a better one but only once a year or when a friend is having a baby). Open really late and a perfect place to get a late night sandwich you’d never forget. “Same awesome Brisket, same great people. Best (immobile) food truck ever.” Read the rest of this entry »
I hate the gym. I really hate the gym. I f***ing hate the gym. At the same time, I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week for the last 5 years (yes, it was my 2007 new year resolution…) despite my hectic (at most times) work and personal life. I developed few little rules that helps me persist that I wanted to share with other people that try to stay healthy… I’ve written it from my perspective (ever changing work schedule with some flexibility) and I am pretty sure it will not work for everyone , but worth trying if other methods failed you before…
Plan to go every day: No, I don’t really go every day. I just pack my gym bag, get everything in place and plan a convenient time based on my next day schedule. Sometimes the day goes as planned and I end up going and sometimes something changes and I don’t but since I plan to go every day, I still get to go 3-4 times every week in average.
Treadmills are evil: but at the same time, they are the fastest way to get a good 30 min of cardio. At first, I tried the classic “30 min workout” music on my iPod to stay engaged but I couldn’t get myself to persist. Than I tried TV but there is never something good and the commercial breaks are huge downer when you run. Than I tried to listen to audio books: it was an improvement, but still, the 30 minutes felt like 30 days. Just when I felt I could not listen to one more book, I bought an iPad. Since I rarely watch TV at home, there are million TV dramas that everyone talks about and I never got to see. I started downloading seasons and watch one episode every visit to the gym (right now I am watching Breaking Bad, gym TV at its best). Now since my rule is that I can’t watch it at home, I kind of looking forward to get to the gym and enjoy 30-40 minutes of good, commercial free TV. Read the rest of this entry »