Tim’s Weblog Tim's Weblog
Tim Strehle’s links and thoughts on Web apps, managing software development and Digital Asset Management, since 2002.

How to get a job with a small company

Seth Godin – How to get a job with a small company:

"Small businesses always need people who can sell, because selling pays for itself. It's not an expense, it's a profit center.

Learn to write. […] There's more writing in business today than ever before, and if you can become a persuasive copywriter, you're practically a salesperson, and even better, your work scales."

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 09:49:27 +0000

A focus on the stuff that matters most

Tim O'Reilly – A focus on the stuff that matters most:

"Profit in a business is like gas in a car. You don't want to run out of gas, but neither do you want to think that your road trip is a tour of gas stations."

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 21:05:11 +0000

Smart Bear Live: Talk to thirty people

Jason Cohen in the Smart Bear Live! podcast, on talking to thirty people before you start building a prototype, to find out who would buy it and what they'd want you to build (starting at 1:33:58):

"It sounds so easy – "I'll just go talk to them and discover some stuff." It's really hard and most people don't do it. Like I'm telling you this, and if I had to bet, I would bet – definitely, like, very good odds – that you won't talk to anyone. And the next best odds is you'll talk to maybe three people and then make a decision one way or another. Neither of those is right. But that's what most people do. […] You tell them to go talk to thirty people. They hear me say "thirty people" and they're like "eh" and they'll talk to three people and they sort of make up their mind. That's not it! It's thirty people! Not three, thirty!"

Tue, 25 Oct 2011 21:25:44 +0000

How to bring good design to a platform

Marco Arment – How to bring good design to a platform:

"Demonstrate from the top that high quality and attention to detail are prioritized and appreciated above everything else, including being the first to market, having the most features, or having the most aggressive prices."

Thu, 20 Oct 2011 06:44:35 +0000

How Non-negotiable Features Kill Software Products

Matthias Marschall – How Non-negotiable Features Kill Software Products:

"You dug your technical grave, but the rest of the company is celebrating a huge win! No one outside the tech department noticed how huge the technical debt you've just taken in order to deliver.

[…] If features are pre-sold without any option to negotiate what's important and what may be left out, you inevitably end up with too much complexity."

Tue, 18 Oct 2011 07:54:01 +0000

DMR, 1941—2011

Tim Bray – DMR, 1941—2011:

"Unix combines more obvious-in-retrospect engineering design choices than anything else I've seen or am likely to see in my lifetime.

It is impossible — absolutely impossible — to overstate the debt my profession owes to Dennis Ritchie."

Thu, 13 Oct 2011 07:40:32 +0000

The Noun Project

"The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so we may share them in a fun and meaningful way."

Beautiful website, beautiful, free, high-quality SVG icon collection.

And a store with nice iPhone cases and t-shirts.

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 06:57:15 +0000

What I learned from Steve Jobs

Guy Kawasaki – What I learned from Steve Jobs:

"Not everyone will believe—that's okay. But the starting point of changing the world is changing a few minds. This is the greatest lesson of all that I learned from Steve."

Sun, 09 Oct 2011 18:41:05 +0000

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

Steven Levy at Wired.com – Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011:

"After what seemed to be a successful initial surgery, Jobs would vary from his circumspect stance just once, in his address to the Stanford graduating class of 2005. That speech, by the way, might be the best commencement address in history. When designing computers, Jobs and his team built the one they wanted for themselves. And now he gave a speech that Steve Jobs would have wanted to hear if he had graduated from college."

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 19:05:00 +0000

Steve’s Legacy

Tim Bray on the death of Steve Jobs – Steve's Legacy:

"What were the Really Big Things?

Proving that user experience matters more than anything else in computer-based consumer products. Even more: that it matters more than everything else put together."

Thu, 06 Oct 2011 07:29:57 +0000

The making of a "minimum awesome product"

Joe Wikert of O'Reilly Radar interviews Flipboard's Evan Doll – The making of a "minimum awesome product":

"Every time you present the user with a non-essential decision to make, you have failed as a designer.

[…] Focus less on producing a "minimum viable product" and more on making it a "minimum awesome product."

Wed, 05 Oct 2011 20:43:09 +0000


Leo Babauta – focus : a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction. From the free PDF version of the book:

"In the days when computers took up only part of our lives, there were times when we could get away from them, when we were disconnected from the grid. Unfortunately, many people still filled much of that time with watching television, which isn't much better.

[…] When it's not a pre-appointed time to check email, have it closed. This principle, by the way, also applied to any other forms of communication, such as Twitter, Facebook, IM, forums, etc.

[…] I'd recommend using headphones — it doesn't matter what kind — to further block out distractions. It also means coworkers are less likely to interrupt you if they see the headphones on.

[…] Take responsibility for your life. If your job forces you to rush, take control of it. Make changes in what you do, in how you work. Work with your boss to make changes if necessary. And if really necessary, you can eventually change jobs.

[…] Meetings are usually a big waste of time. And they eat into your day, forcing you to squeeze the things you really need to do into small windows, and making you rush.

[…] Practice being comfortable with sitting, doing nothing. […] Try standing in line and just watching and listening to people around you. It takes practice, but after awhile, you'll do it with a smile.

[…] You do your work, one task at a time, each task done with full focus and dedication. You spend time with loved ones, as if nothing else existed. This is summed up very well by something Charles Dickens once wrote, "He did each single thing as if he did nothing else."

[…] When you walk, you can think, which is something that's hard to do when you're sitting and distracted all day. When you get to your destination, write down all the notes from your walking contemplation. When you walk, you can also clear your head, meditate, or just enjoy your surroundings and relieve stress.

[…] The employee comes in, sits down, and figures out what matters most for today. What are the 3-5 tasks that most need to get done, that will make the most difference for the company or organization? No checking email or voicemail at this point — just quiet, and focus. He then sits down and, with a completely clear desk, blocks out all distractions — no phones or other mobile devices, no email, no notifications, nothing to disrupt. He works on the first task on the list."

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 20:58:58 +0000