March 31st, 2012

What happens if you don’t use personas?

A potential client once asked me to write this up to help her convince the powers-that-be to invest in the project. Thought I’d share with all y’all.

Every website, product, or service should be built on a solid, shared understanding who your customers and users are and what they want and need. This is important, not only because satisfying customer goals equals making money, but also because focus on users enables diverse internal teams to communicate using a common language and make decisions that add up to effective products. Personas are ‘fake people’ and, in some cases ‘fake companies’; they are detailed descriptions of your key customers and users built out of your knowledge of your customers, your business objectives, and data.  Read More


February 17th, 2012

If you build it, and they come, so will money.

Awesome interview in Fast Company today with Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Ventures on why they decided to invest in Pinterest–even though there’s no clear monetization strategy:

How does a “product-related, user-generated” media company like Pinterest make money?

There are no specific ideas or projects in the works. Much to the Pinterest team’s credit, they subscribe to the Facebook theory on how to build a really valuable business: You don’t worry about [monetization] for a while. You focus on one and only one thing, which is building a product or a platform that consumers love to use over and over again. If you have a rabid fan base among consumers, eventually you’ll have so many ways of monetizing it that you just don’t worry about that. Read More


September 15th, 2011

The Peter Principle. Inescapable.

The Peter Principle. It’s just so freaking true.

Here it is, according to wikipedia:

The Peter Principle states that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”, meaning that employees tend to be promoted until they reach a position at which they cannot work competently. It was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous [1] treatise which also introduced the “salutary science of hierarchiology.” Read More