Now, generate 100 ideas

When I was in drawing class in college, my professor asked us to make 100 drawings. “Why would we want to make throwaway drawings?” we asked. The answer he gave stuck with me: “because you don’t know which ones are the good ones until you look back.” A similar problem affects idea generation – which…

Share some interesting things with customers every day

Here’s something interesting I read today on the effects of smartphones on shopping. The article matters because it’s about a big trend (changing habits in shopping, especially in everyday environments like grocery stores) and has long-term societal implications. For example, what will be the next social habit that’s disrupted or changed by smartphones? You might…

Make your idea simpler.

When you write out an idea it’s tempting to include everything. First, the part of the idea that was nifty; then the part of the idea that explained what you meant; and finally the words that convey the essence of the idea. When you say that idea out loud to someone who’s never heard it…

Your first MVP is Wrong

This essay is written as part of the Startup Edition project – check out the other essays here. It would be awesome if your first iteration of a minimum viable product (MVP) perfectly addressed your target market segment, delivered great value to your customers, and you never had to change it again. However, that’s not what…

The Feedback Machine: How do you discover what people really want?

  This essay is written as part of the Startup Edition project – check out the other essays here. How do you discover what people really want? People are not effective at self-reporting, or letting you know what they will do with your product when you’re not there to help them. Often, customers will tell…