Categories
Market

Colour and Meaning

Choosing a product name is hard. There are two schools of thought:

  1. Spend time finding the right name, it should be memorable, unique and descriptive. Your URL should be easy to remember.
  2. Name isn’t important. Your brand builds its own meaning over time. Choose the first random words that come to mind. Any domain will do.

I’d suggest that these are both right.

Your name is important. Your brand does build its own meaning over time. Your name should be memorable, but only needs to be unique in your niche. Finding a good URL can be helpful, but isn’t that important.

Should your brand be descriptive, like Meetup.com, GitHub, or iPhone?

Or, should your brand be random, like Gimlet, Apple, or Drupal?

I believe the best names are a mix of both. They use metaphor to allow both colour and meaning. Consider:

  • Google – A googol is a huge number, a metaphor for the amount of results.
  • Amazon – The largest river in the world, just like the online store.
  • Basecamp – An area used for staging a long climb, or your project.

Find a metaphor for your product, and from that, find a word which is short and memorable. You’ll figure out a domain name that works.

Categories
Interact

A Smile, and Nod

One of my favourite ways to start the day is with a quick dip in the surf.

Every morning I’m on the beach I see the same people. We don’t really talk much, nothing more than a smile and a knowing nod, but seeing them there helps me feel like I’m part of a small community of early-morning beachgoers.

Likewise, creating communities for our Products doesn’t need to be a fully fledged forum or social chat. All it needs is a smile and a nod.

This might take the form of a high score list, featuring profile pictures in appropriate places, or simple emoji reactions.

How can you enable your users to cross paths?

Categories
Ideate

Wouldn’t it be cool if…

“Wouldn’t it be cool if…” is a phrase I hear myself saying quite a lot.

It may, on the surface, seem a little unacademic, but I’ve found the expression to be very useful.

Wouldn’t it be cool if…

… sets people at ease
… invites collaboration
… invites exploration
… encourages new thoughts and ideas
… is a starting point for User Stories

Wouldn’t it be cool if,
as <persona>,
I could <do something>,
so that <reason>.

How can you structure your user feedback into Wouldn’t It Be Cool Ifs?

When you do that, feedback like “Your Product needs an external service integration” becomes “Wouldn’t it be cool if your Product integrated with an external service?

Now you have a new idea which is exciting, explorable, and actionable.

Categories
Interact

Create a Café Culture

I love coffee, and I adore my barista, Silas. He is a world championship winning barista, and runs one of the most celebrated boutique cafés in Australia.

Silas knows the secret to a great cup of coffee. He knows that it’s about more than the tamp, the pressure, the timing, or the latte art. The secret ingredient is community.

What makes Silas’ coffee so good isn’t the coffee itself, but the conversations that happen around every sip. Everything inside his café is setup just for you: So you can be inspired, laugh with friends, and create treasured memories.

Because what matters isn’t the product itself, but the experience that the product creates.

How can we create a cafe culture within our products?

What would a community sprint, rather than a development sprint, look like?

What if our people came for the community, instead of the product?

Categories
Focus

Shh…

Silence can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s like meeting new people, or pulling a bandaid, or writing. At first, it seems tough, daunting even. You (your lizard brain) questions whether or not you can actually do it. But, with a change in attitude, energy, identity, it’s easy.

Sound expert and conscious listening instructor, Julian Treasure, recommends spending just 10 minutes each day sitting in silence. Listening, and noticing the quiet.

Meditation helps you practice silence. It allows you to cultivate the skill to let thoughts and feelings bypass your brain. It teaches you how to regenerate and self heal.

Sabbath helps you practice silence. It doesn’t have to be religious, just one day a week set aside. No work, no habits, no phone, no internet. For an extra challenge: no writing. Just allow thoughts to germinate, settle, and maybe disappear. Just let them go.

We’re so busy continually sowing and harvesting, sowing and harvesting, that we never leave time for our thoughts to rest. They never have an opportunity to grow wild and drop their fruit and renew the soil, without being harvested.