Posts tagged ‘style’

October 13, 2011

Overheard on the Subway – Good Start Up Advice

by: Mike Alwill
commentary / formatting by: Doc Harvard

Doc Harvard: It’s not often in the start up world that you get clean, straight forward and non-snake oil advice but I believe that Mike Alwill from Google has hit on something solid here. Normally I have a picture with my blogs but for this one I will forgo it to bring more focus on what is being said.

Take it away Mike –

What We Hear When We Listen

I have a tendency to overhear other people’s conversations without even trying. While at a bar, walking down the street or riding home on the subway, the words just find their way to me and all of a sudden I’m an audience member to someone else’s discussion.

Last night on my ride home I overheard three guys (a white dude, a black dude and an asian dude) discussing hiring strategy for startups. From their speech and clothing, I could tell they: A) had been drinking and B) were business students at NYU (they specifically mentioned the school several times).

The white dude also seemed to have his own startup (of 10 people) and was imparting his past experiences on the other two guys. Some of the topics included:

  1. Joint-hosting a party of several startups that required each attendee to bring two people who were not in a startup but who would be good for one
  2. The need to drink with a candidate to get their honest stance on particular issues
  3. Making sure you find out that a candidate would “go to happy hour with you at 3pm on a Tuesday but stay at work until midnight on Wednesday”
  4. Difficulty during salary negotiations such as “offering someone $33k but not knowing how to react if they ask for more OR the worry that if they do accept, maybe you could’ve offered them even less”
  5. How startups don’t make formal offers but instead are likely to make an offer while out drinking with a friend or candidate

The general theme seemed to be about assessing candidates and making sure you figure out how to get at their inner selves so you know if you’re getting someone of quality which from what I could infer seemed to be someone who drinks, doesn’t take a high salary and follows whatever work schedule you want them to.

Not once did these guys mention selling or proving themselves to the candidate as a justification for why a candidate would want to devote themselves to their startups.

This is why I can’t stand the majority of entrepreneurs:

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September 28, 2011

New Dynamic Blogger Templates Pretty but Useless

Blogger Dynamic Templates
Click to read original blog

I’d like to say that the music for the above presentations is pretty kick ass. The team that put it together did an excellent job designing the marketing presentation of the new dynamic templates for Google’s Blogger. The beauty of the presentation doesn’t eclipse the beauty of the new Blogger dynamic templates but it does neglect to mention that there’s not a whole lot you can do with it.

My Opinion

Concept = Success
Implementation = Fail

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September 19, 2011

Who Pays for Bad Design – Listening to the User

NewsDesigners bare a curse. It’s the curse of invisibility, well sort of. Most designers have to fight tooth and nail to get the resources they need. Then they are often relegated to obscurity. Until –

That is until there is a bad design. What defines a bad design can often be as ambiguous as what defines a good design. You can follow all the design principles you want and still end up with a bad design because the users don’t think it’s a good design. When it’s a bad design a designer hears all about it and the change to the design has to be near instantaneous.

The question, though, who really pays for bad design? Of course the designer gets flack for not magically knowing what should and shouldn’t be in the design, what it should and shouldn’t do, and so forth. The developer gets flack if the functionality doesn’t follow the design or breaks the design. The project leader / manager gets flack because they didn’t know the design was going to break. Well, you get the point. The things is, even with all the flack flying around these aren’t the people who are paying for the bad design. Users pay for bad design.

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July 24, 2011

Sketchbook Pro for Android – Tablet

Sketchbook Pro for Android - TabletAutodesk is at it again. If you’re like me, you sketch all over the place. I was using Autodesk’s Sketchbook Mobile. This version is designed to work on smartphones and not tablets; so of course I had challenges. Now there is Sketchbook Pro for the Android Tablets and so far it seems to integrate well with the desktop version as well as with Photoshop. To the bottom is a quick 30 second sketch to test just how good it worked with a stylus so I’d know if I should kick it back to the market.

Lots to learn with this new version. I’m actually pretty excited about it. Going to play with the Sketchbook Pro trail for the PC and see just how art like these programs combined together really are.

My two biggest complaints is the inability to change canvas size and to make groups. Haven gotten used to grouping in Photoshop I pretty much expect it in Sketchbook. We’ll see if it comes out in an update.

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June 6, 2011

A Dash of Color

Color Picker

Come across the ColourLovers.com blog and it has some nice sample color palettes and figured it’s kind of handy. You can look at/use some prefab color schemes and download the ColorSchemer software.