The End of Trust

I listened to a Radiolab podcast recently about some new technologies. One is called Adobe Voco. Voco allows you to easily manipulate audio of another person. You can even make someone say something they never said before. The other technology lets you create a video of someone saying something they have never said before. Sort of… Read More »

A funny thing happened on the way to the domain server

Marketo forgot to pay their domain bill to Network Solutions. Thus their entire service went down today. Keep in mind, this is a billion dollar company which is part of a 10+ billion dollar private equity firm. There are over 1,200 people who work there. How could this happen? Well, the reality is that it’s… Read More »

Grinding

There are particular kinds of games where you have to spend alot of time doing simple things to get your level up. An example is killing a million squirrels in the forest so you can buy the sword to go after a dragon in a cave. This technique is called grinding. Some games specialize in… Read More »

An ABM Adventure

I am Head of Product for Engagio, a SaaS application with lots of features and users who use them. (Is there any other type of SaaS application?) Warning: This blog post throws data around the web with total abandon and gets confusing. You have been warned. My Mission: To activate and spur usage in the system.… Read More »

Why I eat food

I can think of five reasons I eat food. Hunger Boredom It tastes good Food is in front of me Other people are eating in front of me Hunger I almost never eat food because I’m hungry. When I was 17 I was hungry all the time. I could eat ALL DAY. However, this has… Read More »

Sphere of Influence, Control, Concern

An interesting way to frame an employee is by spheres, specifically three of them: Sphere of Control is the stuff you can decide on your own. This is people you manage and project you do the work personally. Sphere of Influence is stuff that you can guide through collaboration or subtle techniques. Your friendly co-worker… Read More »

The Sweet Spot

There are many manifestations of the sweet spot.  Some examples: Product Strategy In this image, the sweet spot is avoiding competition while also focusing on what you do best. If you focus on the customer needs and ignore your own capabilities then you run the risk of failure to execute. If you only focus on… Read More »

Managing Up, Down and Across

Career Phase 1 – Be Manageable When you get your first job you need to work on being manageable. This means taking direction, taking feedback, working hard, being responsible for your work, taking pride in what you do. In the dawn of your career, this skill will make you valuable in an organization. No one… Read More »

The UX of Marketing SWAG

In Engineering terms, SWAG stands for Silly Wild Ass Guess. It’s used to estimate how big a project will be. It’s pretty unscientific, but useful for planning. In Marketing circles, SWAG means Stuff We All Get. SWAG is generally a gift given to prospects and customers. (I think the SW is pronounced similar to the bicycle SCHWINN, not like the word SWAY.) SWAG should achieve three… Read More »

The UX of Figma

The CEO of Figma recently visited me and gave me a quick tour of their product. I think it holds great promise as a prototyping/design tool and I am giving it a try. The main benefit is real-time concurrent usage. In other words, two designers can collaborate live at the same time the way you… Read More »

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The Death of the Unsubscribe Link

I’ve been getting alot of email lately from SDRs using tools like Salesloft, Tout and Outreach. I have noticed a couple of important trend occuring. There is no unsubscribe link There is no content, just a request for a meeting/conversation They are not personalized or interesting to me the recipient It is hard not to… Read More »

The Simple Volume Control

We have Sonos speakers here at the office. The Sonos application is pretty cool. However, there is one part of the system that bugs me and it’s extremely simple. This is the volume control. Now when you have a Sonos speaker in a group environment, the volume is actually a crucial function. Some songs are recorded louder… Read More »

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Myers Briggs 2017

I had another Myers-Briggs for an executive team offsite this month. Previously my tests in 2014 yielded these results: 2014 INFP Introvert(11%) iNtuitive(75%) Feeling(12%) Perceiving(33%) Slight preference of Introversion over Extraversion (11%) Distinct preference of Intuition over Sensing (75%) Slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%) Moderate preference of Perceiving over Judging (33%) They call this personality… Read More »

Where am I from?

Ancestry.com has this chart to show me where I am from. (I sent in a sample of my spit) The little orange dots are matches for other people with connections in my DNA. As you can see, I am Eastern European. My ancestors lived right in the middle Empire central. The Holy Roman Empire, The… Read More »

Marketing Podcast 2017

I was interviewed on a podcast by marketers last week. Kristen Malkovich and Grant Grigorian did a great job making me feel comfortable and asking good questions. They need to buy some better audio equipment but otherwise, it went off without a hitch. I talked about the following topics: being the first employee at Marketo… Read More »

My Dream Prototyping Tool 2017

Here are the requirements for my dream prototyping tool: Cross-platform There are some that are mature and cross-platform like Axure, Justinmind, Balsamiq, MockPlus, Figma and Microsoft PowerPoint. However, the two that are not are Adobe Experience Design (XD) and Sketch. I clearly need it to work both in Mac and Windows. Has symbols (reusable components) This… Read More »

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Not how I wanted to lose weight

Around the holidays (3+ months ago), I got a stomach ache. It didn’t go away for a week. Since then, my appetite has diminished by about 50%. I noticed the issue quickly and bought a new scale that syncs to my phone. (It was on sale at the time) I strongly suggest getting a scale… Read More »

Adobe Experience Design (XD) – Almost

My design tools: Pencil (#2 Soft HB Dixon Ticonderoga) and paper Microsoft PowerPoint on Windows 10 However, over the years, I have tried numerous alternatives. So far, none have been better in terms of quick iterations, high (enough) fidelity, portability, and ease of communication. I have tried numerous prototyping tools, graphics editors of all shapes and… Read More »

Facts, Fakes and Fox

English is funny. Spelled different, pronounced the same, spelled the same, pronounced different. It’s like English doesn’t want to be “understood”. It’s like the language itself it trying to obfuscate the truth. Why is phonetic not spelled phonetically? Language is behind this whole issue. Whether you are in the world of product development or politics, the facts… Read More »

The UX of Android Auto

I recently got a new car lease. (Kia Sportage 2017) I liked the Nissan Rogue but the Kia has Android Auto and I wanted to give that a try. Otherwise, the cars were very similar in price and features. Here is my run down: The Good “OK Google” works well for a specific set of… Read More »

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Product Management Bullshitometer

Recently, I’ve been interviewing candidates for Product Manager and sometimes I hear phrases that set off my bullshitometer. This is a finely tuned piece of equipment that I keep with me at all times. It can detect bullshit intensity from any source. When I interview people, I keep a close eye on it. CEO of… Read More »

The Negativity Filter

Sometimes I will hear people talk about something and I will hear alot of negativity in the statements. This is especially true on twitter, reddit or other semi-anonymous forum. A former boss did this frequently. I ended up helping people by using a special trick I call Negativity Filtering. How does it work? Basically, you just think… Read More »

The (possible) Meaning of Life

There are infinite possibilities, but one sticks out for me. This is what I think life is and the meaning behind it and the secret to a successful life. First, you need to imagine that technology is taking us to a place where we no longer have fear, hunger, or death. The advances in technology… Read More »

The Department of Redundancy Department

This elevator control brought to you by the department of redundancy department. Why do we call the first floor L in this scenario? Why not just say 1? L for lobby just seems unhelpful. Plus, the door-close button doesn’t do a thing. It’s totally useless. Pressing it has no effect at all. It’s the little things in… Read More »

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New LinkedIn UI is Slow

I don’t know how many people have the new UI in LinkedIn. I can’t seem to get out of it. (Yes, I tried) It’s slow af. Come on guys. You have buko resources. You should focus on speed, speed, speed. This is unacceptable. It’s ugly af. Look at the picture above. Seriously, is this an improvement?… Read More »

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Obamacare is Terrible Branding

Medicare has a name. Medicaid has a name. Even unemployment insurance and Social Security benefits can be referred to with non-partisan labels. Names matter. The Affordable Care Act is a bill but if you have that health insurance, what do you have? You have ObamaCare. This is the stupidest branding move I can remember and… Read More »

Product Idea for an App: Told You So

I always had this dream of an app called “Told You So“. Here are the requirements: You sign in with Google or Facebook. It asks you to make a prediction. You sign it with your finger. It has a button for “I disagree” and someone else can sign that. It stores the predictions and signatures… Read More »

Mac Designers Need to Test on Windows

An open letter to designers who only see the world through Apple products. I’ll just jump right to the point. The rest of the world doesn’t see your work the way you intended. Take a look at this screenshot from my Windows 10 machine running Chrome. The site is a designers portfolio. I can’t read… Read More »

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UX = Value minus Friction

It’s a simple formula. UX = V – F UX = User Experience V = Value F = Friction If the friction or effort of doing something is higher than the individual perceived value then the majority of people will not want to do it. Some examples where the effort outweighs the perceived benefit and… Read More »

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Masterful Conversations

I’ve mentioned this technique in other posts, but I was searching for it and thought it deserved its own spot. The technique is one that I learned during my 12 months at Intuit in 2006 called Masterful Conversations. The basic premise of the technique is that we collectively spend all of our time talking about… Read More »