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for software creatives.

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No 0017
Jun 7, 2024

Not Looking Like the Competition

The white sticky tape doesn’t look like the drill bit.

The massage oil doesn’t look like the bottle of wine.

The expensive pen doesn’t look like the metal watch band.

No 0016
May 31, 2024

Adding zeros

Starting something new, for me, has always meant being comfortable with the number zero.

Zero new subscribers to the mailing list.

Zero new followers.

Zero retweets.

Zero sales.

The first zero you get is expected. The second zero feels wrong. And the tenth you get is bad news. You will get a zero that you categorize as “the worst”.

No 0015
May 24, 2024

Ways to Add Value For Service Offerings

When putting together a freelancing service, or a consulting offering, you can offer different options, and each option can be a package of value. Let’s define a few of the ways your clients might define value.

No 0014
May 17, 2024

The Scary Version

Say you’re launching a new piece of software. You’re thinking of all the quality variables you can optimize for.

You optimize for the quality of the visuals, the edge cases, the robustness to a variety of uses. It should be like this, it should do that. It has to accommodate users like these. It has to have more features.

No 0013
May 10, 2024

Overthink, The Partner

The other day on Twitter, a guy mentioned that he had trouble with overthink, that his mind was often on overdrive.

I replied. I said that often you think you should think less, but instead I think we should focus on thinking better.

No 0012
May 3, 2024

Shortness and Attention

Today’s attention spans are short.

Shortest they’ve ever been.

So you better make your point.

Better keep it short.

A little like these paragraphs.

These short paragraphs don’t feel too good, don’t they? Something feels off. Is it that they’re too short? Curious, because when we read poetry, we’re used to shorter lines. But those lines don’t rhyme, that must be it. Maybe. How about this: those lines feel manufactured, trying to make a point, and your mind is distracted by that effort. Whatever the reason, your mind noticed the flaw. You should keep things short, but not like this.

No 0011
Apr 26, 2024

Judging Ideas by Their Risk Curves

You can be uncertain about a project. You can be uncertain on the details of the future of a product’s success. You can be uncertain about the side-effects of your business decisions.

No 0010
Apr 19, 2024

Beyond Features, Beyond Outcome

If you want to build a software product like everyone else, make a landing page, show features, show the benefits, maybe highlight the outcome.

But if you want to go beyond, you can go in these two directions:

No 0009
Apr 12, 2024

Juggling, Toggling, and the Myths about Focus

Being a beginner at anything feels about the same: you feel like you don’t master any of the important aspects, you feel like you’re out of your depth, you feel like somebody has the truth, surely not you.

No 0008
Apr 5, 2024

Two Purchase Stories

A home owner bought something completely unexpected, something they weren’t thinking about buying even a week ago. While they had been spending weeks looking at the market for bigger houses, they bought two pairs of high-quality headphones to watch TV late at night.

No 0007
Mar 29, 2024

High-Functioning Idealism

This article contains spoilers.

BBC’s modern re-telling of Sherlock Holmes had me hooked. Here we had Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) meeting in the smartphone era. Instead of sending telegrams from Baker Street, Sherlock flung texts from London Black Cabs. He used social media to sway cases to his advantage, the Internet to do his research.

No 0006
Mar 22, 2024

Not Selling, Most of the Time

The car salesman. The type of salesman I told myself I’d never turn into. The type that uses pressure and misdirection to make every sale. Aggressive. Determined. Sleazy. The hustler.

No 0005
Mar 15, 2024

The Brain, Sequential Data, and Long Sales Pages

A friend of mine, a software engineer, took a bit of a detour from his career path. After making a good buck from a stint at a large tech company, he decided he’d take up acting for a bit. Completely different mind exercise, and that was the point. He needed to explore new parts of himself.

No 0004
Mar 8, 2024

Focus: Make Sure You’ll Have Kept It

We’re spoiled that we can learn from some top-notch productivity principles.

Here’s a list.

Getting Things Done by David Allen taught me about always identifying, in a project, the immediate next step.

No 0003
Mar 1, 2024

The Backseat Buyer

“$99 a month! Whoa that’s expensive.”

“You find? But you’re going to make a few hundred more per month just by using this tool.”

“Yeah, maybe, but still, I’m going to have to pay this amount every month.”

No 0002
Mar 1, 2024

Manufacturing Confidence

To beat doubt, there’s little point in trying to create confidence.

That’s because you could say that doubt and confidence are two sides of the same coin. The coin of “results”. They both grow from prior conditions—you can manufacture neither.

No 0001
Mar 1, 2024

This Article is Below Average

If you’re creating something for others, there’s going to be a strong pull to publish only the best you can make.

That’s a bit of a mistake.

That’s because the best products are awful at many things. They’re awful at all the things they’re not meant to do. And they might only be good enough for the thing they’re built to do. And yet, they’re bought, and they’re used, and they’re raved about by the buyers who tell others.

Next article this Saturday