UX Suggestions for Scoop

Scoop is a carpooling/ride-sharing service. Basically, I put in when I want to leave and it matches me up with people who want a ride near my work/home. They pay $6 and I get $5 of that per trip. The service in general is greatly appreciated, but the experience leaves much to be desired. Here…

Published
Tagged ,

Maybe I’m a …

I never really thought about this until recently, but my first job as a product designer came when I was 32 years old. Maybe it’s best to backtrack and show the progression of what I thought I was. In 2nd grade, I made a sculpture of my father’s head. It looked better than the other…

Published
Tagged ,

Uncomfortable Chairs

I spend a good deal of my life sitting in an office chair. It’s a good bet that you do as well. The chair at my desk; I have adjusted to have the right parameters of height and position. However, it’s still fairly uncomfortable. When I get up, I find it hard to stand up…

Published
Tagged ,

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v4

UX Candidate Design Challenge – v1 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v2 UX Candidate Design Challenge – v3 As I am now hiring more people on the design team, I came up with a new design exercise. However, to jump to the end, it was too damn hard. So I only used it about 6…

Published
Tagged ,

Thoughts on Creativity (2018)

There are lots of threads/books/posts/podcasts on the topic of Creativity. Here is a sampling of my thoughts on the subject. Creativity is combining two unrelated items to form a new thing. I imagine our brains as a home office. We have our desk where we work on things. We have file cabinets with old memories,…

What I Look for in a Designer Portfolio 2018

Disclaimer: My own site isn’t perfect. There are much better portfolios than mine. I have done a terrible job of showing the problem, iterations, and case studies for the work I have done over the past 205 years. I put plenty of energy into this blog, but not as much into the portfolio section. With…

Published
Tagged ,

New MacOS User – Week 2

After using Windows beta operating systems since 1992, I now have a new 13″ 2018 MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar.  I have it plugged into a 34″ widescreen monitor. I keep the MacBook open on a stand to the left of the monitor. Here are my thoughts after using it for one week. Keyboard…

Hiring UX Designers 2018

I am settling into my new position at Treasure Data. The people have been great. Currently, I have one immediate open head count, plus more coming soon. If you are interested in working with me, please let me know via LinkedIn. Here are some good things to know: We are going to use Figma, although…

Published
Tagged

An Unexpected Job Change

At the end of 2005, I was interviewing with Craig Walker at a company called Grand Central. They didn’t have funding at the time, so I ended up taking a different position at Intuit. Two weeks later, Craig calls me up and here is the conversation: Craig: We got our funding, we can give you…

Published
Tagged

Caffeine 2018

My first job out of college was as an assistant to some guys at Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. I worked for David Ozer and Jeff Wolf. (Shout out!- I can’t remember their bosses name.) I learned to sign their names and I taped their receipts to pieces of paper for expenses. My computer was an…

Published
Tagged

Eat Club Review

What is Eat Club? For those of you who don’t know, Eat Club is a service where they gather lunch dishes from many local restaurants and package it up for delivery. The model is interesting since they don’t just pick it up and deliver. The Good They have a menu system with nice photographs.  One…

My Presentation Process

I used to speak more often to groups. Its quite enjoyable for me and I hardly ever say “no” to invitations. Here is my process to prepare and give a presentation. It’s the same process I suggest to people just getting started. Step 0: Define the Parameters This is usually given to you. Who is…

2018 – My Year of Mostly Rejection

It’s been a strange year for my household. My eldest son got rejected from all but one university he applied to. My middle son got rejected from several musical groups that he was more than qualified for. He also failed his drivers license test 3 times in a row. My youngest got in a fight…

Joining SiteTracker and Designing using Salesforce Lightning

I joined a new company called SiteTracker this month as their newly minted Head of UX. Just to be clear, I am the only designer, so “Head” is a little high falutin. I will post eventually about my interview process and lessons learned. SiteTracker is a Series A startup growing quickly in Palo Alto, CA…

The UX of Interviews (From both sides)

For the last couple of months, I have been talking with different companies about my next position. It’s a fascinating experience for me because I have been on the other side of the table for the last dozen years. Specifically, I am fascinated by how different people approach talking with candidates. This following is a…

Published
Tagged

Looking Forward

For the last half-year I was working with a stealth startup. Unfortunately, it did not work out as hoped. It’s an interesting space, but team dynamics is always a crucial factor. In this case, the ingredients in the crock-pot did not yield a pleasing taste. (Too much salt!) So, I find myself looking forward and…

Published
Tagged

Talent Marketing

I was just talking with a friend who is in marketing. They are trying to hire someone and we were brainstorming different marketing techniques to land the candidate. We noticed a pattern. Recruiting is exactly like Marketing. The parallels between them is striking and it made me wonder why we recruit people the way we…

LinkedIn Connection Algorithm

Do I personally know you? Accept. Did we meet within the last 7 days? Accept, I guess. Was it longer than 7 days? Dude, come on. Fine. Jesus. Accept. Are you famous? I make that impressed frowny “not-bad” face. Acceptaroonie. Are you a product designer? I click the mouse like I am giving you a…

All Politics is Local

A phrase closely linked to Tip O’Neill, which has been on my mind lately. Specifically, I was thinking about how companies make decisions. When you gather a diverse set of people in a room to make a decision, people usually try to lobby for the decision that is best for their locality. Let’s imagine the decision…

Published
Tagged

Decision Models

In 2005, I worked for a year at Intuit and they claimed to be Customer-Driven. This came from a specific story. Originally the company produced Quicken, a personal finance tool. When they watched their customers, they realized that many of them were using it for business purposes. They realized this market and produced QuickBooks, which…

Interview Questions for a First Marketer

I have a bunch of questions for Product Designers that I have evolved over time. However, I don’t think I have ever done the same exercise for Marketing. The context is the “first marketer” in a company. At Marketo, this was Kelly Abner. He did an awesome job and helped the product development by being…

Published
Tagged

The Care Pie

We all care about lots of decisions. However, it’s not healthy to argue about every single decision. In fact, it’s not healthy to argue about 90% of the decisions that are made. I talk to people about the Decision-Care Pie. This is a pie-chart that has two parts. The first part is the 10%. These…

Product Responsibilities Framework v0.2

Product Responsibilities Framework v0.1 Frameworks for how to organize your product team are sometimes difficult to follow and figure out who does what. Product managers are often given too many job responsibilities and end up being spread too thin. Lately, I have been thinking about this and wanted to redo my v0.1 framework and add…

Published
Tagged ,

Startup People

What makes someone a really good employee for a startup? I was at a company culture outing a few years ago (small startup) and some people said they wanted to work there because they wanted to be part of a rocket ship. They thought the previous experience of the leadership team was such that the…

Published
Tagged

Great Team or Great Players

I often hear people say they want to work at a company because they are led by a great team. What they usually mean is that the team is comprised of people who were successful before, or at least they were at successful companies. The same goes for venture capital investments. They often will invest…

Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite

For a business, I think Office 365 is a better choice than GSuite. Office 365 G Suite Rich Desktop Apps Nope Online Web Apps Same Separate identify Confused with my personal gmail Microsoft Teams (for Chat) Need to buy Slack Skype for Video Need Slack or other SharePoint (Wiki) Need to buy Confluence Works on…

Moving on from Engagio & MarTech

After 9 years of Marketo and 2 years of Engagio, I am moving on to a non-martech product. Engagio has a great future ahead of it and as a shareholder, I fully expect them to go public and be worth billions of dollars. I think I have built a good product foundation at Engagio that…

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…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Hiring UX Designer 2016

I am starting my search for a UX Designer to join our team at Engagio. I actually prefer people in the earlier stages of their career. (Directors need not apply) Designer Characteristics: Creative. Can come up with new solutions to problems. OCD. Does it bother you that their is a mistake in this question? Productive.…

Published
Tagged ,

Happy is not my preferred state of being

My mom asks me all the time, “Are you happy?” I find the question to be annoying. (Sorry mom) The reason is that I don’t actually want to be “happy”. Happy to me implies blissful cow-like behavior. It implies sitting and staring at the sunset and thinking, “Gee, this is swell.” To me, it’s boring to…

Published
Tagged ,

Hiring a Product Manager – 2016

I just started a search for a product manager on my team at Engagio. Summary Smart, intuitive, empathetic, energetic, friendly, fun person who can put on a professional game face for customers and partners. Here are some additional qualities I look for. Works well with others A Product Manager works with engineering, sales, design, customer…

Published
Tagged

The Gooey Emotional Center

Marketo Retrospective Part 9 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. This might be the last one. It’s the part that very few people understand, but I think it is the reason Marketo did well. Some people call it Product Market Fit, but to me that doesn’t do…

Marketo Marketing

Marketo Retrospective Part 8 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. Today, I focus on the Marketo’s Marketing. Like building a Sales Team I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. Content Marketing…

Email Transparency, Pandora’s Box

If you have a corporate email address, you should read this post. You currently may not realize, but IT and the management of the company have full rights and access to your email..right now. They can copy your entire inbox and see every message. This probably doesn’t bother you too much because the reality is…

Building a Startup Sales Team

Marketo Retrospective Part 7 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. Today, I focus on Building a Startup Sales Team. I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. In the beginning of…