Great Post on Startup Trends

Great Post on Startup Trends
- Amazon acquires some big brick and mortar store.
- Pure Play ecom is going away
- Facebook is killing it at social, Google is loosing/lost

Amazon’s approach to product management

Work Backwards and by doing so focus on the customer is amazon approach to kick off a project.

“For new initiatives a product manager typically starts by writing an internal press release announcing the finished product. The target audience for the press release is the new/updated product’s customers, which can be retail customers or internal users of a tool or technology. Internal press releases are centered around the customer problem, how current solutions (internal or external) fail, and how the new product will blow away existing solutions.”

While I think this approach is a great tool to keep in the box I can’t help but wonder what products that have been successful wouldn’t have sounded great in a press release. Imagine the press release for the original mouse? Twitter? I think at the end of the day Jobs was right when he said, “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”.

Gilt Groupe – A look back

Great article on the history of the Gilt Groupe. Its easy to look at companies who have succeeded as models but far too often we don’t take advantage of learning from the companies that have struggled or failed. My take aways:
Over-extending: How do you know you are when your in the heat of the moment? I think it comes down to looking at your business model(s) unit economics and asking yourself if you have a path towards profitability and sound financials
Risk Management: An easy thing to not pay attention to when your hot but its so important.
Focussing on blind growth w/ no optimization based on fundamentals setups a big fall.

Onboarding Process

Good read on onboarding process, how to do one and insights into if you should do one. My $0.02 is that as soon as you move past the one pizza box team size it is worthwhile to invest and maintain one.


Android vs iOS app development

Great article detailing experience developing Android and iOS development.

Some choice nuggets:
- Building and releasing on Android costs 2-3x more than iOS
- Android has less sophisticated tools and more cumbersome APIs.
- By building for two years’ worth of Android (as we did originally with 4.0+), you’ll support about 40 percent of the U.S. smartphone install base. Removing 4.0-4.1 support leaves you with one year’s worth of OS compatibility, and that number drops to 12.5 percent.

Outdated UX Patterns

Great article on some outdated UX Patterns. I don’t know if I agree with the Lightbox/Modal as an old pattern but not done right the points and alternatives are definitely valid. Its also worth calling out this great quote,
“Carousels exist to keep people from beating the shit out of each other in meetings.” — Brad Frost

Patterns to watch out for

Patterns to be aware of in execution across teams

A-Synch Ad Tags

Here’s a great article detailing the problem with synchronous ad loading. Looking at this description of how ad impressions are counted It would seem this approach could have an effect on impressions in the case where hits are recorded when the loading of assets in the ads. If you optimize your page so the time to load the page is minimal the you can get the content to your users quickly as the ads load and load the assets asynchronously so users see content much faster and just a big later.

The IAB even has a document out detailing best practices in A-Sych Ad Tech but it was written in ’08 and doesn’t mention using the approach Krug’s article mentions.

Great Article on Github Workflow on Your Team

Here is a good clear workflow to use for using github with your teams

Gaming Com Score

Interesting article on a person gaming com score and getting punished for it. Readers also benefit from more insight into how com score and other services work their numbers.