The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

In 2010 we visited Ireland for the first time. My wife and I made Galway our first stop. This was the first time we'd been this far away from the kids so we wanted to make sure our mobile phones worked properly. Sure enough, as these things have a way of working out, we were … Continue reading The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

Agile doesn’t have a brain

  My friend Bill Scott once said at a conference, "Agile doesn't have a brain." What he meant by that is due to Agile's software engineering roots many organizations that have adopted Scrum, XP and similar methodologies have done so through their engineering departments. This has led to the creation of amazing software development departments that … Continue reading Agile doesn’t have a brain

Clients don’t want to buy experiments

When Josh Seiden, Giff Constable and I first launched Proof (now Neo NYC) we had a vision for a studio that designed and built meaningful, successful digital businesses for our clients. We would work with agile methodologies and incorporate lean thinking into our process focusing heavily on early experimentation, validation and course correction before committing … Continue reading Clients don’t want to buy experiments

Do you really have executive buy-in?

Seven years ago I moved back to the East Coast and took a job at an agency. Before accepting my offer I asked my potentially new boss how much support she believed the agency had for interaction design (they were strong on visual design and content). She replied with a note from the President of … Continue reading Do you really have executive buy-in?

I have no idea what I’m doing

The difference between successful teams and leaders and those less so boils down to humility. Specifically, it's being humble enough to admit they don't know the answer up front. That simple admission changes the dynamic of the team immediately. It levels the playing field by letting everyone else admit that they're not confident in their … Continue reading I have no idea what I’m doing

Quantity trumps quality (at first)

I found the following excerpt on Derek Siver's blog. It's from a book called Art and Fear: The ceramics teacher announced he was dividing his class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio would begraded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right graded solely on … Continue reading Quantity trumps quality (at first)

Democratize creativity

In the industrial-era model of managing a company creativity was reserved for the executive suite. Only leaders and managers were allowed to determine what the company was going to build and how to implement it. These decisions were then pushed down to the execution teams who took this direction and executed it to the letter. … Continue reading Democratize creativity

Turn Left!

  Change is hard and often scary. Change in the enterprise is even scarier because it involves changing the way people work, how they're compensated and incentivized, how they manage (and are managed) and what determines success. Whenever I work with organizations undertaking a significant change -- like becoming more agile or building in lean … Continue reading Turn Left!

Purity vs. Pragmatism

  “That’s not Agile!”   “We’re not being lean enough.”   “We’re not supposed to make deliverables!”   Sound familiar? I hear these statements all the time from teams moving towards a more evidence-based approach to product discovery, conception and production. Somewhere, someone made a decision for the teams to now “do Agile & Lean” … Continue reading Purity vs. Pragmatism

7 things I learned at Lean Day: West

Earlier this week we put on Lean Day: West in Portland, OR. The goal of the conference was to bring together practitioners of lean, agile, lean startup and lean ux from the enterprise and share their stories of success, failure and most importantly learning. Our hope was that every attendee would take away at least … Continue reading 7 things I learned at Lean Day: West