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19 Jun 2012

We try not to spend money on things that don’t matter to customers. Frugality breeds resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for headcount, budget size or fixed expense.

Amazon from Amazon Leadership Principles

Some food for thought.


Riding the Rails... for over seven years

7 Jun 2012

Programmer Robby Russell began exploring the framework just over a year ago. Within weeks, he was hooked and evangelical; he launched a crusading blog, “Robby on Rails,” and realigned his consultancy, Portland, Ore.-based Planet Argon, to work exclusively on Rails development and hosting.

Stacy Cowley, CRN from Riding The Ruby Rails In A New Direction

It's crazy to think that this was written over six years ago.


An Occupying Force

1 Jun 2012

Ultimately, the organization’s instinct is to protect the ground that’s already been taken rather than take new ground. Every organization begins as an advance force and ends up as an occupying force.

Todd Henry from The Accidental Creative


People are the web

29 May 2012

Beyond the baseline demographic data of age, race, sex, location etc, we should ponder some questions: Who are they? How are they? How well do they sleep? Are they anxious? Are they extroverts displaying their digital peacock feathers? Are they introverts who can socialize but head home early because their feet hurt and they’d rather read a book? Are 52% of them introverts who live voyeuristically through the safety of glowing screens? What is it that they want? Can we provide for them? Do we have to?

Dave Allen, director, interactive strategy for NORTH from Memorial Day musings: Facebook, Bob Dylan, Paul Krugman and introverts

It sounds like Dave had a lovely weekend down in Palm Springs and busted out this thought-provoking post about Facebook's recent IPO and what they are likely going to need to focus on as a business... while raising a lot of good questions for us all to ponder.

Quote  |  Misc

Where are the women?

23 May 2012

A survey of 11 recent Portland tech startups, ranging from companies with four employees to 80, reveals that their total workforces were typically 70 percent to 80 percent male, while their development and engineering teams—i.e., the people who write the actual code—have even fewer women. In many cases, none.

Ruth Brown from Willamette Week: Where the Tech is She?

It's good to see this issue getting more and more attention.

Quote  |  Strategy

Conversion Rates as the wrong metric

18 May 2012

For any e-commerce site, I have the perfect advice on how to raise their conversion rate significantly. All they have to do is stop marketing. Once they stop marketing, the number of visitors will drop to only those who are already loyal customers.

Because those visitors are loyal, they are probably only coming to buy something. The ratio of purchasers to visitors will skyrocket. Sales will likely drop, but conversion will go sky-high.

Sounds great, right? That’s the other problem with the conversion rate ratio: it’s not at all related to the other business operations.

Jared Spool from Avoid Ratios For Metrics – Moving Beyond Conversion Rates, Part 1

Let's avoid getting too focused on conversion rates.

Quote  |  Strategy

comScore provides mobile social media insights

15 May 2012

The 25.6 million Twitter mobile users had an average engagement of nearly 2 hours during [March]. By comparison, people visiting on their computers spent just 20.4 minutes on…

Mobile Metrix 2.0 findings from comScore's latest press release

In terms of mobile trends, what is perhaps even more significant than the above statistic is this: The average U.S. smartphone subscriber spent 441 minutes engaged with either the Facebook app or mobile site. This is in comparison to the 391 minutes that the average Facebook user spends interacting with the desktop site. Yowza! Mobile! I expect to see the same trends when I check the analytics of my soon-to-be wildly popular dating site, OkDeluded (OkStupid was taken).

Quote  |  Work

McMenamins - another happy customer

5 Apr 2012

I have nothing but positive things to say about our relationship with Planet Argon. Their team really has followed through with everything as promised, on time and with an admirable work ethic. A refreshing experience… we’re working with true professionals! I look forward to a long and strong partnership.

Jon Sokol, Director of Internet Technology at McMenamins from Client Testimonials

To be fair, they've been great too.

Quote  |  Leadership

High school dropout

25 Oct 2011

Joanne had one requirement: Her child must be adopted by college graduates. So the doctor arranged for the baby to be placed with a lawyer and his wife. But when a boy was born—on February 24, 1955—the designated couple decided that they wanted a girl and backed out. Thus it was that the boy became the son not of a lawyer but of a high school dropout with a passion for mechanics and his salt-of-the-earth wife who was working as a bookkeeper.

Walter Isaacson from Steve Jobs

Definitely been an enjoyable read so far...

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