Team Focus

Startups & Tech

Even the best leaders often overestimate how many projects their teams can tackle.

Frequently, this happens because work output doesn’t scale at the same rate as team size. Adding new team members always comes with its own coordination, education, and communication costs.

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Vacation

Personal Growth

It’s strange how we’ve repositioned vacation as a career necessity.

What used to be about personal wellbeing morphed into another way to optimize your work. Vacations, the argument goes, help you refocus, increase productivity, and even cause a measurable boost to your long-term salary prospects.

These are all fair points. But after taking a week-long vacation to Mexico, I’m convinced those aren’t the really important benefits.

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Practical Skills

Startups & Tech

Imagine what organizations would be like if they were only filled with people with practical skills.

How much do we waste by hiring analysts who can’t implement and managers who can’t do?

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Start with Context

Personal Growth

If I only knew then what I know now.

When you’re learning a new skill, it can be tempting to dive right in. It’s always more fun to play with the new tool than read about it how others are using it.

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Quantifying User Adoption

Analytics Growth Hacking UX Engineering

The team over at Mixpanel wrote a wonderful article on measuring user adoption.

In the article, Mixpanel defines adoption as the process by which new users become acclimated to a product or service and decide to keep using it.

They suggest that user adoption conforms to this formula:

Adoption = Value / Effort

I think this is a solid start. If users see value in your product, they’re likely to use it as long as the effort of doing so isn’t too high. Too much time, too high a price, or too much confusion will sour the experience and decrease adoption.

But I’d like to suggest a few more nuanced measurements that build on this idea.

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The Voice of the User

Design

Too many companies view experience design as a tool for tricking users into doing things they wouldn’t do otherwise.

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Authority

Startups & Tech

All of us know deep in our guts that because I said so, I’m the CEO, and respect the office are all horrible reasons to do something.

Yet some leaders still insist on using authority like a hammer, pounding followers into submission.

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February 2019 SEO Update

SEO

When I committed to writing at least 100 words per day this year, I had two end-goals in mind.

One goal was entirely personal. I wanted to create a time and space for myself to think. So far, writing has done a fantastic job of helping me consolidate thoughts on design, startups, and personal growth. The proof is simply the writing itself and how I’m feeling about it.

Just as important, though, I wanted to start driving growth towards my classes and free tools.

Starting this month, I’m going to be recording my progress here on a monthly basis.

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Inputs & Outputs

Startups & Tech

Most goal tracking focuses on either inputs or outputs.

Output-focused tracking centers on a result. How much weight did I lose? How much revenue did we make? Input focused revenue centers on behavior. How many calories did I consume? How many sales calls did we make?

But tracking only one or the other usually isn’t very helpful.

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February 2019 Goals Update

Goals Update

At the beginning of the year, I set some big goals for 2019:

  • Writing – I committed to writing at least 100 words a day, every day, in 2019.
  • Exercise – Every weekday, do as many pushups, squats, and seconds of planking as the current day of the year. My team at Hipmatic is also doing this, so it makes it fun.
  • Health – Lose 15 pounds.
  • Financial Challenge – Save 55% of my post-tax income (up from about 40% last year).
  • Get My Wedding Planned – Enough said.

Here’s what I accomplished in February:

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