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Blair Enns on the rise of the New Peer Groups

25 Feb 2016

What many veteran network members might find surprising is the event participants communicate with each other far more than do the members of the traditional networks who’ve known each other for years. And they share – boy do they share! They don’t feel the need to be locked into a long-term network arrangement to solicit and offer feedback. They help strangers and expect to be helped by strangers.

Blair Enns from The Changing Face of Agency Networks

As a member of the Owner Summit / Owner Camp network, I thought this was a fascinating read about the history of industry peer groups. At the moment, it's become one of my best tools in my toolbox.

Quote  |  Misc

Embrace the jargon

16 Mar 2015

Don't discourage jargon use in your domain. Embrace it. Teach it. Invent it. Help your users learn it and find chances to use it.

Kathy Sierra from Badass: Making Users Awesome

For years, I have been convincing myself that we need to speak in non-industry terms with our clients so that we don't alienate them. Now I am left wondering if we've just created a new problem.

Quote  |  Misc

Portland: Opportunities and Challenges as an Evolving Tech Hub

13 Mar 2015

in general the report found that young and educated people are attracted to Portland because it’s a 'place where people come to live, recreate, and do business—differently.'

Skip Newberry, Technology Assoc. of Oregon from Evolving Portland’s Tech Economy: Livability and Stewardship Is Key

There isn't a week that goes by that I don't wonder if I would have been able to help build a company like Planet Argon in another city. There's something in the water here.

Quote  |  Strategy

Ambiguity

17 Sep 2013

Take advantage of the ambiguity in the world. Look at something and think what else it might be.

Roger von Oech

Quite often, we're approached by clients with a very specific idea in their mind. It's our responsibility to question it, tinker with it, evolve it, dismiss it, embrace it, and show them what we see it as. This process is riddled with ambiguity--until something comes to life that we can see and touch, both parties rely on trust. Trust that has been nourished throughout the course of our relationship. If our client doesn't believe that we'll act in their best interests, we'll never be able to make this journey through ambiguity together.

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Everything is ruined now

20 Aug 2013

Technology almost always democratizes art, because it gives us better tools, better access and a quicker route to mediocrity. It’s significantly easier to be a mediocre (almost very good) setter of type today than it was to be a pretty good oil painter two hundred years ago.

Seth Godin from Now it's ruined

Quote  |  Leadership

Never going to get anywhere

5 Aug 2013

There are queues everywhere. Do you know an entrepreneur-wannabe who is on his sixth or twelfth new project? He jumps from one to another, and every time he hits an obstacle, he switches to a new, easier, better opportunity. And while he’s a seeker, he’s never going to get anywhere.

Seth Godin from The Dip

As we near our 11th anniversary, I can definitely think of a few former clients that fit this profile. It's something we try to spot in potential projects now (and avoid, if possible). We aren't here to build pet projects. We're here to help you build a business. It's going to be difficult. We know what it'll take. We know how to put in the hard work... especially when it's not as easy as anyone hoped (it never is). Do *you* have what it takes?

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Goodbye Doug

3 Jul 2013

If you attempt to make sense of Engelbart’s design by drawing correspondences to our present-day systems, you will miss the point, because our present-day systems do not embody Engelbart’s intent. Engelbart hated our present-day systems.

Bret Victor from A few words on Doug Engelbart

Doug, we'll miss you. Thank you for opening up our eyes.

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Wrong or Right?

18 Jun 2013

So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.

Caterina Fake

Always ask yourself, "how does this benefit our mission?"

Quote  |  Misc

It's merely shinier

11 Jun 2013

Perfect doesn’t mean flawless. Perfect means it does exactly what I need it to do. A vacation can be perfect even if the nuts on the plane weren’t warmed before serving.

Seth Godin from Polishing perfect

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The lack of

14 May 2013

In part, it’s not your fault. If you grew up and went to school in the United States, you were educated in a system that has eight times as many high-school football teams as high schools that teach advanced placement computer-science classes. Things are hardly better in the universities. According to one recent report, in the next decade American colleges will mint 40,000 graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, though the U.S. economy is slated to create 120,000 computing jobs that require such degrees. You don’t have to be a math major to do the math: That’s three times as many jobs as we have people qualified to fill them.

Kirk McDonald from Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won't Hire You

Admittedly, I don't know who has a college degree in computer science on our team. I don't.

Quote  |  Misc

Did Google kill RSS?

13 Mar 2013

The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.

Aldo Cortesi from Google, destroyer of ecosystems

My RSS consumption was at an all-time high in the few years prior to Google Reader coming out. Once I migrated from a desktop RSS reader to Google Reader, I found myself opening it less often. Over the years, it's fallen off my radar. I only check a few times a month. Did Google kill RSS? On purpose? Accidental? Is RSS dead? Do we all need to rely on the sites we "follow" now via Facebook, Google+, and Twitter? Better? Worse? Inevitable?

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Avoid stupidity

17 Oct 2012

Try to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.

Peter Bevelin Seeking Wisdom

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On Rephrasing Problems

3 Oct 2012

Phrasing your problem as a question immediately gets your mind working on solutions rather than on the pragmatics associated with the project. For example, “Find new markets for XYZ” can easily be rephrased as “How can we expose more potential customers to XYZ?”

Todd Henry from The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice

Rephrasing problems into questions (that have a clear objective) can have a drastic impact on the conversation we're having.

Quote  |  Leadership

Where are all the women?

1 Oct 2012

“I have a four-year-old daughter and I want her to think that anything is possible, that no career in out of bounds,” she says. “If any other comparable industry had a female workforce of only 17% there would be an outcry.”

Belinda Parmar, Lady Geek from Why are so few women working in technology?

Enjoyed this article... but got a chuckle from, ""Developers tend to be good, straightforward sorts with a refreshing lack of ego, who genuinely enjoy collaborating."

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The only ones

23 Jul 2012

You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.

Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead

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Mobile - Getting all of our content on mobile

20 Jul 2012

First order business is getting all of our content on mobile, in a format that’s readable, navigable, and searchable. Someone called me out recently for calling that “content strategy,” suggesting that making that happen isn’t really a “strategy.” You know what? It’s not. It’s tactical, it’s wonky, and it’s hard work. It’s also our most important job.


If I could prioritize the efforts of our community over the next 3-5 years, I’d spend 80% of our efforts on the problem of cleaning up our desktop content and getting it all (at least, all the good stuff) onto mobile. Let’s use our 20% experimental time to explore how to prioritize content differently based on what we think we can intuit about user intention based on device and location. And let’s give each of those problems the appropriate weight in our discussions.

Karen McGrane, Bond Art + Science from Mobile > Local

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