Your Idea Isn't a Business May 20, 2015 As a technical guy with a few startups under my belt, I’m constantly bombarded with people pitching me their ideas. It’s not just my friends and family – complete strangers will pitch me ideas when they hear what I do; executives of large companies will pitch me when I’m in their office for a contract. I take it in stride. I’ve created a process for dealing with these kinds of pitches: I simply ask the following 3 questions: ...
How to Share Your Business Plan May 15, 2015 Writing a business plan is overwhelming. There are so many moving pieces, so many parts, it’s hard to know where to start. Even if you do manage to put something together, it’s easy to miss something vital. Maintaining a business plan is hard. Things can change so quickly at a startup: your target market today may not be your target market a month from now, or you may completely change your value proposition based on real-world feedback. ...
Immediately Improve Communication: The Buzzword Technique Apr 23, 2015 I recently did an experiment in which I asked over a dozen designers for their definition of the term “web design”. They fell into 3 groups. Here they are (amalgamated and paraphrased): The Purists: Web design is the visual aesthetics of a website; the layout, the colour scheme and the look and feel. The Hybrids: Web design is not only the visual design, but also how the user interacts with it. ...
You don’t need a developer to start a business Apr 08, 2015 I was having a chat with a friend who runs a successful cultural meetup group; essentially he connects culture providers with people interested in Japanese culture. He’s currently trying to transition this group into his full-time work. I took the opportunity to ask him about his business: Me: What’s stopping you from making a living on this? S: I don’t make enough money per event that I set up. Me: So what’s the next step? ...
Always do this BEFORE you talk to a programmer: mockups Mar 09, 2015 “They just don’t GET IT!” – everyone who ever talks to a programmer about their idea Have you ever tried talking to a programmer about your idea and became frustrated when they didn’t seem to understand? Or even worse, they pretend they understand, but you can tell that they really don’t. Why can’t they just UNDERSTAND you? Isn’t that their job? Actually, no, it isn’t. Their job is to understand the technology. ...
How to get an interview for your dream job Feb 20, 2015 One of the biggest gripes I hear from technical people is the fact that their job sucks. Good news everyone: if your job sucks, you can find a new one! It’s a simple fix, but the fact is that many technical people don’t like the process they have to go through to find a new job. And why would they? There are a million places out there that CLAIM they can get you a better job – monster. ...
My agile process: a battle-tested workflow Jan 22, 2015 In a previous post, I talked about why I don’t do fixed-time, fixed-price projects. In this post, I’ll talk about an alternative workflow that I’ve developed over the last few years. It has, so far, been effective for teams of 2-12, and can be implemented by absolutely anyone. First, let’s define what we’re trying to accomplish. The Goal: to make good software quickly …that’s it! It might sound simple, but at the beginning of the project, you have to define what “good software” means. ...
Why I don’t do fixed-time, fixed-price projects Dec 22, 2014 It seems that fixed-time, fixed-price (FTFP) contracts have become something of an industry standard in software development, even though most other long-standing professional-service industries (lawyers, contractors, etc) typically won’t ever work under those terms. I’m firmly against FTFP contracts for software development; I think they are bad for clients and bad for service-providers. Below I’ll tell you why. FTFP contracts often feel dishonest …because software is too dynamic to accurately estimate The estimate is at the core of the FTFP contract, but software has too many unknowns to create accurate estimates. ...
How I Set Up Gmail to Increase Productivity by 50% Sep 23, 2014 time to read: 20 mins time to implement: 30 mins potential time savings: 30-45 mins a day Email is a productivity tool, but if you use it wrong it can quickly turn into a time-vacuum. This is especially true for those who use email as a main point of contact – people like managers and freelancers. In this article, I’ll show you how to make the most of one of the best email tools on the market – Gmail. ...