Jason Fried talks Basecamp, 37signals, and taking a product to the next level at @Chicago_CM.
This growing desire among designers to bring their user focus, strategic vision, iterative methodologies, and propositional thinking to the still-geeky, tech/engineering-centric world of startups promises to be transformative and explosive.
This is exactly why I left the ad agency world and ditched all clients after an amazing 11 year run. The future is incredibly bright.
“Newsflash: Your idea probably sucks, and it doesn’t matter because your business will probably turn out to be something completely different.”
Paypal started out as a way to beam money from one Palm Pilot to another, of course after you connected your Palm Pilot to your computer and dialed into the internet. Flickr was born from a photo sharing feature inside a pointless online-game called “Game Neverending”
Just start the process of turning your idea into action and you’ll usually find your way along the journey.
IDEO looks at the ways that the Chinese culture and business environment is redefining 服务 or service. This article provides great examples of reassurance, abundance, measured and adaptive service that any western business can learn from.
The market is handing you steak and you’re choosing the gristle. The market is handing you gold bullion and you’re taking the nickel.
As a designer, you enjoy building things for other people’s use. Your value is determined by the degree to which you can empathize with groups of people around a given topic. Historically, this relationship has required a large(r) company to act as mediator for the emotional mass-transaction. Companies provide you with an audience inasmuch as they have customers, and that’s enough for you because you just want to design stuff that solves stuff.
The internet kills all middlemen.
You now have direct access to the raw vein of popular attention. The pixels you’re pushing have a higher exchange rate than you’re giving yourself credit for*. No hounding client payroll, no selling other people’s stuff, no building other people’s wealth, no nephew’s cousins stepping in with the authority to change everything you’ve been working on.
There has never been a greater opportunity for designers, makers and doers. Well said!
If you Don’t Understand People You Don’t Understand Business
Sinek argues that as individuals and companies, everything that we say and do is a symbol of who we are. And it is only when we communicate our beliefs authentically that we can attract others to our cause, and form the bonds that will empower us to achieve truly great things.
We had been writing a plan and basing decisions on what investors told us they wanted to see.
All that chasing left them living off credit card debt and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So the team made a decision: Stop chasing a funding event and figure out how to make money.
Armed with a working prototype, the team kept hustling. But now they were hustling for customers instead of investors.
**Note to self. Re-read this article.
You know the trouble with many agencies [designer, startups, entrepreneurs, studios] is that they don’t really think in terms of selling. They’ve never written direct response. They’ve never tasted blood.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I envy you. For forty years, I’ve been a voice crying in the wilderness. Today, my first love is coming to its own. You face a golden future.
Forty years ago the advertising and marketing visionary, David Ogilvy, talked about the new “secret weapon” of direct response with it’s specific and measurable results. If he were alive today during the internet age, I’m certain his message would remain the same.
Don’t let creativity take over your ability to sell on the behalf of a client, account, product or business.
Don’t get ahead of yourself. Companies need time to figure out what they want to be.
- Bart Decrem
I agree 100%
It’s official, Style Hatch has now doubled in size. This week it grew from simply myself to add on Jess Brown as the Director of Customer Experience. Already he has tackled a killer new setup to handle even faster personal support for all the premium Tumblr themes. Plus far better documentations is on the way!
In addition to helping everyone out with the themes, as a talented jack-of-all-trades he will work with me on the design and front-end for future Tumblr themes and the upcoming Virb premium theme market.
Finally, the latest Style Hatch premium theme, Swell is live! Although the design is a bit more on the simplistic side there is an insane amount of detail that went into the build and overall experience. Early next week I’ll write up a post going into the details of how I pull off some of the more intense features. For now, here’s an overview of some of my favorite features:
After seeing real-world usage of Swell I already have a growing list of tweaks and improvements for the theme. Most of them are focused on increasing performance so that the theme is lightning fast when hundreds of posts are on the page at once. Across all the Style Hatch themes I’ve pushed live nearly 100 updates, so this is only the beginning.
If you have any questions, ideas or issue email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I always try to get to emails within a day with the exception of weekends and holidays.
At the beginning of May I decided to start taking a portion of each theme’s sales to give back and help do good in developing countries. Now, for every 5 themes sold 1 person will be given access to clean water through Charity Water. At the close of the month I will share more details, including the ability to track and see specific freshwater projects that were made possible through Style Hatch. I really hope that this doesn’t come across as a marketing gimmick. Honestly I’m extremely excited to give back to something that makes a real difference. Already hundreds of people will be helped. Learn more about what Charity Water is doing—Why Water?
There is a lot going on behind the scenes with Style Hatch right now as I’m working to launch even more premium Tumblr themes and move to other platforms (no plans for Wordpress themes). On Monday Jess Brown, my first full-time employee, starts working with me at New Ezra and Style Hatch. His official role will be the director of customer experience which will cover support, outreach, as well as many other things. The future is extremely bright!
Find meaning in what you’re doing. Work to improve your industry. Get joy from making a customer’s day. Surround yourself with the kinds of people and environment that keep you engaged. Figure out the details and day-to-day process that keep you stimulated. Focus on how you execute and making continual improvements. Get off on how you sell, not what you sell.
Process is what motivates me and moves me forward. Product launches are fun and full of energy, but it the tweaking and refining of the process and customer experience where you will see the most gains.
Like quality over quantity, put process over passion.
This week is going to be a good week. I’m extremely excited to reveal details on all three later this week—especially the ‘giving back’ portion. Starting yesterday, May 1, a significant portion of every Style Hatch premium Tumblr theme sold goes directly to funding clean water projects across the globe. For quite some time it has been my goal to integrate giving into each of the companies started under New Ezra, including Style Hatch. Now it is a reality!