“What happens when I tell the story to another person, is that all these other things show up, without me asking for them… The person you told the story to will tell you what they thought of it, they will help you make your story and your character better. I encourage everybody to keep telling your story over and over again in order to make it better. You’d be surprised how good your stories become over a short period of time, and you don’t have to sit alone in a room with thinking if it’s good or bad or whatever. Somebody can tell you, if you ask.” - The art of storytelling | Pixar in a Box | Partner content | Khan Academy
They had what they thought was an amazing idea for a new online marketplace. They built and launched a website, then spent months improving it until they were pretty sure it was perfect. But despite their efforts, the new service wasn't catching on....they weren't even making enough to pay the rent. Hoping they could turn the business around before running out of money, the founders took a somewhat desperate measure. They stopped their engineering work, left the office, and tracked down a handful of their customers. Then they interviewed them. One at a time, face-to-face, they watched people use their website...Their website was riddled with flaws. Even simple issues--such as picking a date on a calendar--confused people. When they returned to the office, Joe and his cofounders spent a week fixing the most glaring problems, and then released a new version to their customers. Revenue doubled to $400 a week, and Joe checked to make sure it wasn't a bug in their accounting system...they did another round of interviews and another round of improvements. That growth didn't stop. That startup was Airbnb. Pg.210
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas by Jake Knapp, introduces how to prototype to test in just 5 days using Keynote. Also, watch this video to see my favorite prototype example.
"Finally after about six hours of this (prototyping and testing), we get it just right. It's a symphony of efficiency, not a wasted motion." The movie The Founder directed by John Lee Hancock shows how McDonald brothers built "Speedy System" of making the hamburgers for the first time in the food market.
Answers about your mission and answers about your team. You'll attract the employees you need if you can explain why your mission is compelling: not why it's important in general, but why you're doing something important that no one else is going to get done. Pg.121
If you've invented something new but you haven't invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business–no matter how good the product. Pg.130
Whoever is first to dominate the most important segment of a market with viral potential will be the last mover in the whole market. At PayPal we didn't want to acquire more users at random; we wanted to get the most valuable users first. ...We needed a smaller niche market segment with a higher velocity of money-a segment we found in eBay. Pg.137
1. The Engineering Question
Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
2. The timing Question
Is now the right time to start your particular business?
3. The Monopoly Question
Are you starting with a big share of a small market?
4. The People Question
Do you have the right team?
5. The Distribution Question
Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product?
6. The Durability Question
Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
7. The Secret Question
Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don't see?
Zero to One by Blake Masters and Peter Thiel, talks about how successful businesses do what others cannot. Copying what a successful company is doing won't make your company be successful like them. The book talks about how to become a monopoly by finding secrets. Peter says the best place to look for secrets is where no one else is looking, and continues talking about what to do with secrets to protect their monopolies.
You want work that meets the three requirements of joy, money, and flow. The closer you come to your ideal intersection of these three qualities, the happier–and more successful–you'll be. This book is designed to get you there–to be your ticket to your lottery-winning career. –pg.54
Develop the habit of being a humble expert. Be interested more in how other people do things than in telling them how you are doing it. Your work will speak for itself. I still struggle with imposter syndrome, but over time I've tried to support as much as possible in specific ways. –pg.122
When the stakes are high and you need to choose whether to give up on any project or course of action, ask yourself these two basic questions:
1. Is it working?
2. Do you still enjoy it?
You'll be far more successful in the long term if you're honest with yourself about each of them. –pg.296
Born for This By Chris Guillebeau
When you are developing a product you need to see how people are using it. Don't be afraid of getting negative feedback or seeing how people don't use the product the way you want them to. It's obvious that testing tells you what is not working. Be careful not get too focused on feedback from people and carefully plan what you will change. I recommend you to read Steve Krung's “Don't Make Me Think” to learn how to think like a usability expert.
“Community is critical for creative folks because creating the work is so inwardly focused. … Participating in a community becomes a way to let some sympathetic people into your process so you don’t go crazy, while still protecting the work in its unfinished and fragile state. I see community as people working parallel to one another, sharing information and resources freely with each other. This is how useful information spreads around and how creative people find new opportunities.”
– Frank Chimero
You are stuck in what you’re doing because either your brand idea isn't still clear or you are so focused on figuring out how to build technical or design skill-sets. Don't let your time be wasted on your first draft prototype, always make sure to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, like your brand purpose, and check if you are following your brand strategy. Instead of keep working on the project, try to visualize your strategy and make sure the process is on brand and is delivering effectively.
If you don't have a clear promise, you are confusing your customers. Luca de Meo, Head of Sales and Marketing at Audi, states that consistency and looking for what is relevant to the consumer is the key to success in Business Marketing. Watch full video
A new cool visual won't fix your business problem or deliver a unique and remarkable experience. What is the most important job for your product/service? And how can you walk through the process effectively? Click here to read "Design principles: what to do when nobody is using your feature"
I don't like telling people that I am a graphic designer because often the expectation of my job is delivering a quick and easy magic solution or some nice extra thing. Successful companies deliver unique and remarkable experiences, and I know a new cool visual won't deliver them. It also won't fix their real business problem. Researching and planning are crucial for every design and I need a good amount of time to understand the story, the company, competitive set, cultural tensions, customers, the list goes on. If you are a founder who is into a quick solution, you should just use sites where you can pick your style and set a price range for your design.
It's like clients are insulting you when they order what to create and uninterested in work that is not actionable or focused. It drives me crazy even more if they are incapable of receiving feedback. Does anyone know if there is a course that creators can suggest to their clients on how to face and accept the reality and restructure how they work?
Once you decide on a strong purpose and brand attributes that make you stand out from your competitors, stick with it. Everything you put into the world should be consistent and that should be the way of building awareness and trust between your company and customers.