Lessons learned so far from our transition to...
Sean Ellis detailed at the Growth Hackers Conference on three key stages of growth(1). With his experience working with various startups including Dropbox and Eventbrite, he coined a concept “Growth Pyramid”, from product market fit, then transition to growth, and eventually, growth. At Buffer, in recent months, we have been focused on the transition to growth. This post intends...
Making Improvement the Centerpiece
WIth summer just around the corner, wedding season is kicking into full gear. My best friend, busy preparing for her sister’s wedding, was telling me about the exquisite centerpiece in great enthusiasm. A centerpiece, I quickly learned, is the most important item in the middle of the dining table. On the table, a centerpiece is a large central object which serves a decorative...
Connecting the 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.’ - Steve Jobs As the topic of career transitions came up...
Rethinking Our Diet
So, Google reader is closing down. It feels as if a familiar restaurant in the neighborhood is going out of business, one that I have grown to like and frequent for convenience. I am one of those people that likes to go the same restaurant around my neighborhood and orders the same food that I know I like. When a restaurant closes, it abruptly ends the cycle and it is uncomfortable. On the...
High leverage opportunities
Recently I caught up with a former coworker from the investment bank where I spend my first three years of my professional life at. Speaking with her about decisions at cross-roads, now 5 years into her finance career, it reminded me of a lot on my journey so far. What Chris Dixon recently said really resonated in me: Great institutions can prepare you for great things. Credentials can open...
Key Takeaways from the Marketing and Getting...
Here are the notes for the Marketing and Getting Traction Section at Startup Product Summit 2013. Omissions and errors are mine (please let me know if you find any, thank you!), credit for the wisdom is entirely the speakers’. “Your Product is your Marketing, and You are Your Product” - Eric Kim, Co-Founder & CEO, Twylah Essential foundations of a personal brand: Thought...
Key Takeaways from the Roadmapping and Execution...
Here are the notes for the Roadmapping and Execution Lightning Talks and Panel at Startup Product Summit 2013. Omissions and errors are mine (please let me know if you find any, thank you!), credit for the wisdom is entirely the speakers’. “Building a Great Product Through Communication” - Joe Stump, Co-Founder, Sprint.ly Product manager’s role is to capture,...
Key Takeaways from the Design Thinking and Rapid...
I had the privilege to attend the Startup Product Summit yesterday, it was a great lineup of speakers and a full room of buzzing energy and great conversation. Without further adieu, I’d like to share some key learnings of each panel. Please let me know if I omitted or made any errors in the references. Credit for the good stuff is entirely the speakers’ (link to twitter handles...
Choice over default
Do Creating over consuming. Action over inaction. Fail fast over stagnation. Ask for forgiveness over permission. Why not over why. Discipline over indulgence. Listen to your heart over head. Fear fear over fear. Think Abundance over scarcity. Exploration over quick-fixes. Present over past. Possibilities over limits. Experience over status. We over me. And over or....
Think of life as a prototype. We can conduct experiments, make discoveries, and...– Brown, Tim (2009-09-16). Change by Design (p. 241). HarperBusiness. Kindle Edition.
arjunbalaji: “1. Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity. 2. Say yes to everything. I have a lot of trouble saying no, to an pathological degree — whether to projects or to interviews or to friends. As a result, I attempt a lot and even if most of it fails, I’ve still done something. 3. Assume nobody else has any idea...
Creating over Consuming
Recently, I have found myself scaling down consuming and scaling up on creating. The mobile era has brought to us unparamounted convenience in accessing information. We can read, share, and save content on the go, always connecting, self-documenting. Since moving to San Francisco, due to the costly iPhone plan, I switched to an Android phone and an AT&T phone plan, which consistently ran...
The You in Ten Years
Recently I came across this old Canto-pop song. It first came out in early 2008, when I graduated from college. It was one of my favorites, and a great timing as I was looking forward to beginning my life after college. Fast forward five years, as a midpoint check, the decisions I have made so far have mostly fared positively to the questions this song posed. Dear new graduates, I wanted to...
Problem-focused versus Solution-focused
Last week I had coffee with a serial entrepreneur, who started and sold two companies and currently on his third venture. His journey was very inspiring to me. Amidst a good conversation, he asked, “What is your dream company?” For a moment, I could not articulate an answer. Later that night, I reflected upon his question and realized the fundamental disconnect between my belief...
Making Change a Habit
Recently I have joined the club of waking up early. Starting from 6:30am, I shifted my schedule to more recently 5:30am. Following the structure suggested by The Power of Habit, there needs to be a cue, action and reward. My cue has been simple, putting the alarm clock far away from my bed, so that I have to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. In fact, it is placed on my yoga mat which...
Common Pitfalls in Building Products and How to...
New year is a great time for reflecting past year’s learning. In 2012, I brought a product from ideation to market, acquired customers for it and implemented features from customer development of Lean Startup model. I realize, there are a few common pitfalls that first time entrepreneurs, including myself, are prone to fall prey to, and how I would do differently in the next...
Acknowledge You Don't Have All the Answers
Yesterday I came across two scenarios, both related to asking questions and reacting to them. While both situations involved lots of questions, the responses to the questions were divergent. One with one of the co-founders of my company. I brought up a few product and market related questions. We had a great discussion regarding the product direction, and the main problems the team is...
In 2012, I brought a product from ideation to market, acquired customers for it and implemented features from customer development of Lean Startup model. Second half of the year, I delved into programming, gaining a deeper understanding in the technical possibility in products. In 2013, my goal is to learn more about how products are designed for usability and growth. While technology...
2012 in review
2012 has been a huge year in terms of personal and professional growth. On the professional front, I progressed significantly in pursuing my passion in products, from defining and building a product from scratch and selling it to real customers, to getting hands on with code. On the personal front, I moved from my hometown Hong Kong to the Bay Area in Jun and have been meeting many amazing...
Life in Abundance
Not related to haves/havenots, or worldly riches. But from security, giving and receiving, gratitude and not settling.
1) Take chances and not let fear get in the way of making a change 2) That...– Chrissie Wellington – Announcements, nervousness and new beginnings
The truth is that we don’t need everyone to like us, we need a few people to...– She Who Dies With the Most ‘Likes’ Wins? | The Nation
Twitter is a steady stream of mostly joy and makes my life better. Facebook is...– Why I love Twitter and barely tolerate Facebook — I.M.H.O. — Medium
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they...– Steve Jobs via Wired One of my favorite quotes by Jobs and calls to mind many of the startups that pass my way. I have met plenty of founders that have passion and energy and technical chops, but little experience. While this may have suited consumer web and mobile apps, entrepreneurs that are...
Decide or Perish: How to make the right call -... →
Great article. Worth re-reading and regurgitating.
Being design-driven means treating design as a partner (and a leader) in the...– Building a Design-Driven Culture | Cap Watkins
It takes time to come across situations where you notice something missing. And...– How to Get Startup Ideas
Which means, strangely enough, that coming up with startup ideas is a question...– How to Get Startup Ideas
Many founders believe they are at a disadvantage to someone who knows how to...– Hackers vs. Coders | Amir Khella
You need to be able to shift decisively from brainstorm mode into execution...– Startups should think big and start small
When we are presented with moments of crisis, large decisions or new...– You just have to do something - Jonathan Moore
3 weeks ago I packed up my belongings and moved to san francisco. I got rid of my 4 year old apartment with the first set of own designed bed and sofa, packed up 6 boxes to move back to parents’ and 2 suitcases to board a direct flight to SFO. Since I landed, I started working the next day. My life has just been turned around 180 degrees. I started a new routine (more on that next week), and...
If you look at Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, you can see they are all focused...– David Karp (via GigaOm)
“This decade is about using the Internet to enable real-world...– 1 | 3 Big Insights From Today’s Top Design Thinkers | Co.Design: business innovation design
Learn to be proud of your ability to test things that people traditionally...– » The Willingness to Think Differently :zenhabits
Do. Wake up early. Show up. Learn how to think. Be genuine, but appear nice....– Do. | Dustin Curtis
For the first time we’re seeing a mobile-first product pull a 180 and...– Quote of Andy Johns’s answer to Instagram: How will web profiles help grow Instagram?
Visual Exploration behind Signal vs. Noise by Mig... →
Behind the redesign of my recent most favorite-designed blog
Paul Graham and his path to founding YCombinator
On seeing possibilities: For people who are stuck in rigid ways of seeing, the familiarity of an old application hypnotizes them into not seeing its other possibilities. What it all really comes down to is the possession of a flexible, adaptable mind—something that is often enough to separate a successful inventor or entrepreneur from the rest of the crowd. On successful...
What Can I Make for Dinner
(via What Can I Make For Dinner With The Ingredients That I Have In My House)
Cutting things back means that you’ve favoring what’s left. You pick the...– Pruning: Making room for something new by Jason Fried of 37signals
What stops most of us from doing so is not inability. It is comfort and fear,...– Perspective, Daniel Tenner
Real time, same voice translation from English to...
“Just over two years ago, researchers at Microsoft Research and the University of Toronto made another breakthrough. By using a technique called Deep Neural Networks, which is patterned after human brain behavior, researchers were able to train more discriminative and better speech recognizers than previous methods - Rick Rashid, head of Microsoft Research