Bloat

Good software is built by helping people do what they need better than they can currently. Adding new features does not necessarily have that result.

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What I learned co-founding Dribbble

Dan Cederhom recently announced that he is leaving Dribbble, the company he started over 10 years ago. It’s one of those 20-things-I-learned kind of posts, but hang in until the end where he makes a great point that hits close to home. Under point 19, aptly named Take care of yourself first, he shares a little about his experience with anxiety. Anxiety is a medical condition—it’s biological. A chemical imbalance where our primitive “fight or flight” response kicks in at times it shouldn’t. It’s also a condition that’s often misunderstood by those that don’…

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I'm walking away from the product I spent a year building

Derrick Reimer shares the story of his last year. He had left Drip and started working on Level, an alternative to Slack (reminds me a lot of Twist), before choosing to walk away. His desire to build a calmer chat tool is laudable and the story is interesting. But one point leapt off the (web)page and grabbed my attention. After building an early prototype and sharing with interested users, the results were not what he had hoped: The response did not live up to my expectations. Only a subset of people who paid booked an onboarding session. Of those…

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Product fit

Justin Jackson makes the case that, while market fit is very important for anyone building a product, it’s not the only consideration. He states that one should first ensure the product fits the founder. If there is not fit there, the problem shows itself every day: Serving an audience you don’t like is one of the worst feelings in the world. You have to show up every day and answer their emails, fix their bugs, reset their passwords. To do customer research you need hang out with them a lot. To get sales? You have to go to…

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Entropy crushers

It’s hard to know where to start with this piece. It’s classic Rands. But it also hits close to home after discussing the validity of product managers recently. There are so many quotable bits from this essay, but let me share those that caught my attention. Image courtesy of the Wildbit blog. First, he wisely takes the time to frame the discussion. What is the difference between project, product, and program managers? A project manager is responsible for shipping a product, whereas a product manager is responsible for making sure the right product is shipped. A program manager…

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Are product managers a burden to productive teams?

The fine folks at Help Scout asked that question. And co-founder Nick Francis seems to indicate that the answer is yes. I quite enjoy the Help Scout blog, specifically the writing of Gregory Ciotti. But this particular piece didn’t sit well. It starts with a somewhat inflammatory opening statement. The one in big bold text: To build a great product, you need design and you need engineering. Somewhere along the way, and especially as companies grow, another mysterious role enters the fray: the Product Manager.Take the work that someone does and add a drop of condescension and you're…

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