One of the most important things I learned when becoming a product manager was being able to see my product as an equation. In the startup phase it’s easy, there’s just costs and they’re often tangible: people, hardware, software. Then you add marketing in various forms each with a different cost/revenue profile, then revenue streams [...]
That’s right, Alex Osborn started popularizing brainstorming in the late 1930′s. It’s a classic tool I still use, but I have to wonder if there’s something better. Brainstorming is simple, and I would bet this simplicity is the key to its popularity. Yet even the basic rules that Osborn set out aren’t very common. Brainstorming [...]
The first book from Rosenfeld Media, Mental Models, is hot off the press (get 10% off with discount code FOSMEX10). I bought a copy this week, and was struck by how widely the alignment diagrams in the book could be used. In case you haven’t seen an alignment diagram, it basically groups similar mental concepts [...]
In my keynote talk at the 2007 IA Konferenz in Stuttgart, Germany this month, I argued we need to create fewer artifacts and more tools. We’re already doing this, but it’s easy to get stuck in a make-more-web/mobile-sites rut and that could lead to irrelevance. Here’s the slides… | View | Upload your own By [...]
In the evolution of programming languages, we’ve been moving to higher and higher levels of abstraction, for example from binary to assembly to C to scripting. Writing code gets easier, but the more generalized functions are balanced with less flexibility, which limits how much abstraction is practical. Bill Scott’s Protoscript is a small but significant [...]
Scanning the Internet-centered design mailing lists these days, I have to wonder if the inward-looking conversations aren’t doing more harm than good. Earlier in my career, mailing lists and blogs were incredibly useful tools for learning my craft. The mass media hasn’t really covered the story of blogs as more than journals and citizen journalism. [...]
Late last year I finally became frustrated with using whatever lame pen happened to be on hand. I did some research, tried several options, and corrected the situation. Here’s a summary: On the inexpensive end, many people like the Pilot G2, though I think the Uniball Signo 207 is as good. Both are refillable rollerballs. [...]
Richard Powers, winner of the 2006 National Book Award, reports how his speech recognition software has altered his experience of writing to be more like that of traditional oral culture… …I can write lying down. I can forget the machine is even there. I can live above the level of the phrase, thinking in full [...]
The fools at Fast Company lent me the keys to their blog last week. Here’s what I scrawled in lipstick on their bathroom mirror… Once in while I hear someone talk about innovation as leapfrogging the competition. I love this phrase because it’s so bold. It not only says we are going to innovate on [...]
http://www.ideagenerationmethods.com/ The methods have been drawn not just from the worlds of creative problem solving and innovation, but also from other worlds such as organisational change, strategic planning, psychotherapy, the new sciences and the creative arts.
Lou linked to an inspiring report of Alan Gutierrez’s wiki set up in the wake of hurricane Katrina… When I awoke, I found that the Xavier families, has simply kept the Wiki page going without me. I cleaned up the their markup, buth the information is there. Now, I’m finding the page gets updated, nice [...]
Well, new to me anyway. Move Design has posted Mac OS X and Windows versions of their n-gen layout generator, a nice example of designing a tool for design rather than an artifact.
If you ever get a chance to hear Andrew Zolli make sure you do. He’s a great speaker, weaving compelling ideas and statistics into a story and injecting it with the right amount of humor. I saw him last week where part of his talk included his idea of the “chain of meaning” where a [...]
In 1960 Theodore Levitt wrote “Marketing Myopia” which questioned which level of abstraction was right for businesses to match their capabilities with the desires of customers: Those behind the railroads are in trouble not because the need for passenger transportation has declined or even because cars, airplanes, and other modes of transport have filled that [...]
Someone – not sure who – makes a compelling argument for using Flash for planning designs rather than Visio. It might also help collapse some of the distance between direct and indirect design; the planning tool is also the prototyping tool. This is a good thing for at least two reasons: Interactive media are dynamic; [...]