I have had this idea of reviewing books that I’ve read with a very short review – only the gist of them, the main theme so to speak – and it shouldn’t be more than five sentences. So, here goes the first one.
My Rating: 8.5/10The Innovator’s Dilemma – this book argues that the processes and resource allocation priorities that are setup in big corporations are not startup (new idea) friendly. For this very reason, it argues that big corporations often miss the boat on the new emerging and disruptive technologies. Because they are setup to keep churning more and more revenues from existing products and services. Their focus is to improve existing line of products and services, and ignore the new emerging technologies that are initially not directly competing with them.
Eg; Telcos – SMS vs Whatsapp, Taxis vs Uber, Hotels vs Airbnb etc.
Eric Ries who has popularized Lean Startup methodology has done an AMA on HackerNews. When he was asked “Are there examples of lean startup ideas going wrong or being misunderstood and leading startups straight to failure?”
He had this to say:
“Tons! I think about this all the time, since I feel a responsibility to try and talk about lean startup in such a way that prevents misunderstanding.
I would say the three most fatal misapplications are:
- “Up and to the right“ disease.
Here you split-test everything and just do whatever moves the numbers. pretty soon you are selling porn or psychic hotlines.
- “No vision, no problems“ error.
It’s like trying to do science without a hypothesis. In lean startup we emphasize that people trying to predict the future are often wrong, so it’s best to experiment and pivot as you learn. But some people interpret this to mean that the future is unknowable, there’s no point in having any kind of vision, and you should just ship something and see what happens. the problem with this plan is you are guaranteed to succeed – at seeing what happens. after-the-fact rationalization will prevent any learning, because if you can’t fail you can’t learn. having a big expansive vision is really helpful because it provides lots of falsifiable hypotheses for testing.
- “Minimum Viable Crap” sloppy execution.
Some people think MVP means just throw garbage at the wall and see what sticks, especially since the M makes people think lean startup is for doing something small. but the truth is if you’re doing something small, you don’t need MVP or lean startup. you only need an MVP if you’re trying something large. further, part of the MVP process is to learn what customers actually value in terms of quality, so we can build something that they perceive as excellent. shipping crap isn’t the goal, and people that go on TechCrunch with garbage and then claim “but it’s an MVP!” are doing it wrong. the hard truth is that spending more time “perfecting” a product in the absence of feedback often makes the product worse, not better.”
I can see the No3 in many startups. You can read the full AMA here.
Initially I just wanted to provide some feedbacks to @MyMaybank via twitter, but there were simply too many things to tell, so I thought it would be easier to write a blog post about it.
Native mobile apps that are extensions of existing web services are a great way to make your service more accessible and enjoyable for your customers. If done correctly, it can boost your customer satisfaction and increase your customer loyalty.
Today I will be reviewing Maybank’s mobile app for iOS and giving some constructive critique. I hope they will take feedbacks of mine with an open heart and improve their app further, so that it can be a better app for their customers in general.
A big no-no – placing an ad on app startup
One of the big no-no’s in mobile app usability is to display an ad during the app startup. Because this slows down the process of user reaching to his objective (i.e main screen, where he wants to log into his account) thus increases his frustration. Because that’s what user wants to do, login to his account and do some transaction or check his account balance.
Well, Maybank thought that it would be a good idea to display a banner ad that lasts whole of 8 seconds (see screenshot to the left) until user sees the main screen of the app. These 8 seconds feels like 20 second for the user..
This is a typical problem in big corporations. Where different product managers who are in charge of different products (in this case Maybank Malaysia Open event) within the corporation are always fighting for eye balls and visibility on company’s website, mobile app, newsletters etc.
Suggestion: Get rid of the ad and make the app snappy, let it go straight to the main page. If startup image has to be placed, then it shouldn’t be longer than 1-3 seconds. Continue reading
Everyone knows how great MailChimp is at what it does. As a tech startup, they have achieved a lot and they are definitely one of the startups who are doing things the right way. So, it’s only natural that when UX team of Mailchimp releases a new eBook that everyone should read it.
It’s an easy read. It’s divided into major sections like: Collaboration, Research, Design, Development and Refinement. It’s written from their own perspective, so there are a lot insights into how MailChimp approaches things like building a functional team, creating conducive office environment, how each team do what they do etc . I’m sure everyone can find something beneficial in it. I did.
Download the eBook: http://theuxreader.com
Here is a collection of cool loading indicator icons in SVG format. It’s free and open source.
Download them directly in zipped format here.
If you are a fan of IFTTT, then you will love Zapier too. Zapier is like an advanced version of IFTTT that is primarily targeted on power users and web developers.
Below is a recipe of mine that I created, it does the following; when I forward particular email to Zapier email, it creates a new card in my Trello account, in the predefined Dashboard, under the “To-Do” column. Attachments of the email is also passed on to Trello card as attachments. You can also tag particular default users to the newly created card. It just saves tons of time..
This is what Steve Jobs said in his popular Commencement Address in 2005 at Stanford University regarding “connecting dots“:
..you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
Full screen web design has been around for some time now, it used to be particularly popular in design agency websites, photography sites, web designer portfolios etc. However, it looks like 2015 will be the year for full-screen web design.
Here are some of the websites which have implemented full screen design:
This sums up nicely on how to build a minimum viable product (MVP) correctly.
source: author unknown.
Why founders of startups get replaced by the board when a startup starts to grow fast? Why many startups fail to integrate into a parent company after an acquisition? And why big corporations struggle to launch a successful startup from within?
Concept of RPV
RPV stands for Resources, Processes and Values.
At the initial stage of a company, all you need are good and reliable people that can get the job done i.e resources. At this stage resources are crucial, if you have a web technology startup and happen to find a great coder and UX developer then you are in luck. On the other hand, if you happen to hire the wrong developer, you will have a tough time launching that MVP (minimum-viable-product) of yours. Similarly, if your lead developer leaves at this stage to a competitor, it can greatly affect your product and even your startup as a whole. But this is also the stage where it’s easiest to solve your company’s problems, because most of the problems will be related to resources and usually they can be settled by hiring a new person or firing an existing employee.
When your startup is at the stage where it has a product or service that has achieved a product-market-fit, and you start hiring a lot more people to grow both your company and its revenue, that’s where the processes come in. That’s because you want your operations, customer service, support, billing etc to be run efficiently. That’s when you start to setup company-wide processes, different processes for different teams and departments, KPIs (key-performance-indicators), SLAs (service-level-agreements), SOPs (standard-operating-procedures) etc. This is the stage when efficiency is most important to the company, because efficiency is directly related to company’s revenues.
The final stage is when a particular startup has become an established corporation. At this stage “company values” are normally setup to guide employees in their daily work, dealings and most importantly in decision making. Values are guiding principles that dictate how the company is run in all walks of its life. At this stage, while still important, resources won’t be as important as they were at the “resources stage”. Hiring and firing happens quite often. Individual opinions within the company doesn’t really have any weight unless the person is a c-level. Continue reading