Your Keyboard as a Bottleneck

It surprises me how many new developers fail to internalize their main development computer as an integrated system. They think that a computer is simply a collection of parts and routinely forget considerations about ergonomics when purchasing new hardware. Many of these recent grads are coding complex web applications using a laptop keyboard that is probably worth less than ten dollars; their use of portrait screens, secondary monitors, specialized track pads and voice recognition software…

An Update on Web Assembly

Yesterday, I posted about the imminent release of Web Assembly in 2016. And guess what? Here it is! You can now test several experimental Web Assembly releases across browsers. See the quote below:   WebAssembly is an emerging standard whose goal is to define a safe, portable, size- and load-time efficient binary compiler target which offers near-native performance—a virtual CPU for the Web. WebAssembly is being developed in aW3C Community Group (CG) whose members include…

Probabilistic Analysis and Information Architecture

Web development is more than pixel crunching. To create high-traffic web properties you need to think like a mathematician. Yes, retention is important, and so is user-centered design; but probabilistic analysis is most certainly what differentiates great properties from average websites. To make your traffic go up, statistical analysis is still more powerful than design hacks. How to Tilt the Odds in Your Favor 1. Limit the number of options. Initially, it’s best to have…

Become an Engine of Change

Focus on the change that you want to see in the world. Read every day about leadership, technology, finance or personal improvement; don’t waist your hours in nonsense. Because, if you use your time well, you can become an engine of change. You can be the connector that refers key people to world-changing entrepreneurs. Or the clever programmer that comes up with a faster algorithm that changes an entire industry. But, in order to do…

Market Segmentation and the Quantcast Growth Hack

Market segmentation is a marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumers, businesses, or countries who have, or are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them. Market segmentation strategies are generally used to identify and further define the target customers, and provide supporting data for marketing plan elements such as positioning to achieve certain marketing plan objectives. Businesses may develop…

Forget About Reading the News. Focus on Making News.

People largely talk about similar issues: news, celebrities, new policies, etc. But you are different, you want to make a dent, to craft a legacy, to have an impact by improving a critical sector of our daily lives. I get it. Making big social contribution starts by getting ahead of the mainstream train of thought and actually working on making news instead of constantly following or reporting on news. Being an innovator is all about…

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…

Model-View-Controller and the Separation of Labor

Few architectural choices are more critical for your project’s success than MVC (model view controller). The idea being that by separating code into three separate entities, the application can grow more naturally and be easier to update. To give some context around the premise for MVC, here are the words of Trygve Reenskaug, one of the first  MVC practicioners: I have sometimes been given more credit than is my due, so I should stress that…

Building a Community of Ambassadors to Reach a Million Users

One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community. Albert Einstein Community building is key to reaching a high user base with a grass roots movement and minimal marketing expenditures. You recruit the first…

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 …