We must endeavour to be more transparent about our revenue sources.
Dishonesty is easy. Dishonesty by omission is even easier.
Sometimes, dishonesty disguises itself as innovation. For example, Google is dishonest about the user data it collects. This crafty monetisation strategy is easy to justify: Free Search, Better AI, etc. But it’s still dishonest, and it leaves a bad taste.
Facebook is another example of deceptive innovation, trading your privacy for profit. They’ve built an amazing product, but at what cost?
Apple understands this principle. Since they don’t compete in the big-data arena, they can uniquely offer their products as more private. They advertise this, knowing that privacy influences buying decisions.
User awareness of these ethically-grey practices is growing. As a result, there now exists a “Free-Pause” – a hesitation while our audience asks what’s in it for you?
There’s no need to throw away big-data innovations, but we must commit to being more transparent with our customers about how we make money.
How can you to set your audience’s cynical minds at ease?
How do you transform an idea into a product? Open your calendar.
I had a conversation with a close friend today. While we talked, a product idea surfaced. The more we explored the possibilities around this idea, the more excited we became.
This experience happens to everyone, frequently. But most of the time, that’s where the idea stops. Nobody is sure of the next steps, and even if you were, nobody thinks they have enough time, anyway.
So, what’s the next step for transforming an idea into a product?
Traditional Product Management might tell you to Validate your idea. That’s terrible advice. Validation this early only serves as a means of letting negativity and pessimism end your product before it started.
No! Trust your instinct. Back yourself. Worry about validation later.
A better first step is to open your calendar. Find just one day in which you can cancel all your other meetings, take the day off work, and create a prototype or MVP.
When that day is done, you’ll have a number of things: something visual, something usable, something to demo, something to validate. But more importantly, you’ll have momentum.
The best names use metaphor to allow both colour and meaning.
Choosing a product name is hard. There are two schools of thought:
Spend time finding the right name, it should be memorable, unique and descriptive. Your URL should be easy to remember.
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.
Creating community within our Products doesn’t need to be a fully fledged social chat. All you need is a smile.
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.
The secret to a great cup of coffee isn’t the tamp, the pressure, or the timing. It’s community.
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?
Silence can be hard, but with a change in attitude, energy, identity, it’s easy.
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.
I love a good card trick. We can apply the illusion of choice to user interactions within our Product.
I love a good card trick.
In one of my favourite trick endings, I’ll lay 6 cards out on the table, facedown. I secretly know the position of your chosen card. Then I’ll ask you to point to 3 of the cards.
If your card is one of the 3 you pointed at, I’ll take away the three you didn’t choose, letting you assume I was asking you which cards to keep. Otherwise, I’ll do the opposite, letting you assume I was asking you which cards to remove.
Repeat this step by pointing at 2 cards, and then again (if required) for the very last card. In the end, you feel like you’ve chosen exactly which card was left on the table.
We can apply this illusion of choice to the user interactions within our Product. We often see this when an app asks us for our review, either “Now”, or “Later”.
This can be implemented in any number of ways to influence the behaviour of our customers.
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What user behaviour would you like to change? How can you use the illusion of choice, to help them make that change?