Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is key. We have been highly conditioned to evaluate things according to their superficial qualities and, in all fairness, in an increasingly virtual world, superficiality and reality often collide. Be fanatical about details. Go over each screen at least fifty times (literally). Sit down with designers and work on color coordination, branding, alignment, and overall UX. Your app’s design is telling users how much you care. Your app’s design is an ever-present…

About Network Effects

So, your plan is to ship a series of features, have thousands install your app and hope for the best? I’m sorry, but you need a better plan, specifically something that doesn’t include the word “hope” in it. Network effects happen when your application is deliberately designed to support such effects. Network effects happen when a critical mass of users is constantly enriching your platform and, such enrichment can be monetized. Network effects translate into …

Clash of Giants: Apple vs Google

Google and Apple are chasing the same customers from seemingly orthogonal angles. Apple wants a design conscious, privacy guarding customer with a refined taste and a fat credit card. However, Google is content with just about everybody as long as they open up their lives to the borg. Free vs paid, open vs closed, client vs cloud, is there a clear winner? In the article, Google on Apple: The end is near, Mike Elgan argues…

Love the Craft. Craft the Love

What is the key to success in building new things? Is it making the code run fast. It is proper financing, or maybe hiring the right people. At a technical level yes, those things matter tremendously. However, at a high level you should probably strive for a more general goal: crafting love. First you have to chose your craft, and make sure you love it. Only pursue fields you are passionate about. And only hire…

Ship When You Can Get Traction

Never ship unless you can start getting traction right away. That should be your hard benchmark before putting something out. Shipping is a complicated process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to invest in due diligence, MVP development and a myriad of administrative issues. Are your processes and maintenance procedures fully documented? Have you fully checked all your servers for updates, security patches, etc. Have you fully tested your system? Is the feedback superb?…

Network Effects vs Viral Growth?

Viral growth refers to dynamics built into your app usage that naturally foster an ever greater number of signups. This could be an increasing number of signups via referrals, greater traffic because of inclusion in Twitter lists that are in turn broadcasted in multiple channels, etc. Network effects on the other hand relate to competitive advantages gained by adding people or companies to your platform or service. A network effect of Android, for example, is…

The Path to Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero This is my inbox as of Thu May 28, 2015. How can this be? I manage several businesses, constantly develop websites, have account in over 200 social networks, etc. How can my inbox be empty, what’s the big trick? Are you ready for it? The obvious trick is to have a social media assistant. The key is to simply delegate all your your email and social media communications and share your inbox with…

How to Win

Focus on the prize. Focus on the goal. Never on your opponents. Then go to work, hard and fast and smart. Winning is an art in itself, to become a winner you need a different mindset. It all starts with your preparation.   Drop the nukes, then fight the ashes Step 1. You must prepare heavily to win. That might include waking up at 4:00 am every day for a couple of years to understand…

The Hyperlocal Graveyard

Secret has thrown the towel and recently announced they will close their doors and return the remaining money to its investors. It’s a major loss for the hyperlocal ecosystem and a major win for Yik Yak. However hyperlocal remains a painful graveyard filled with broken dreams and shattered hearts of dozens of remarkable entrepreneurs. Let’s go over some stories: Sonar They folded operations a couple of years ago after a tidal wave of interest and…

The Black Caiman Attack

It’s All About Strategy Is very important to get strategy right before engaging in wide execution. Most startups execute with discipline and precision but still lose out to larger competitors. What gives? Why are amazing teams with amazing ideas and amazing products failing to achieve mass acceptance in the marketplace? Lackluster performance usually arises as a result of anemic strategies. Bad strategies come about because founders are not thought leaders in the industries in which…