Mastodon for Fun and Profit: The Fediverse for Brands

Twitter and Facebook appear to be in trouble. Twitter has been hemorrhaging users, with the Elon deal as a tipping point. Facebook just laid off thousands in an effort to re-focus on their core business and improve profitability. In light of that, and the sudden traction of Mastodon and the Fediverse, I started thinking aboutContinue reading “Mastodon for Fun and Profit: The Fediverse for Brands”

What I Learned from Interviewing 85 Product Manager Candidates in 18 Months

This post was originally published on Inside Q4, stories and lessons learned from the Q4 Inc. R&D team. The requirement was extreme: hire 15 Product Managers (and one Director of Product) in the next year and a half. When I arrived at Q4 in October of 2021, we were entering a period of hyper-growth in ProductContinue reading “What I Learned from Interviewing 85 Product Manager Candidates in 18 Months”

Watching Your iPhone Work to Protect You from Covid-19

Much has been written about the Apple + Google Covid-19 Exposure Notification framework. This is the software that is now part of Android and iOS (13.5+) and powers Covid-19 detection apps for Android and iPhone like COVID Alert (much of Canada), COVIDWISE (Virginia) and dozens of other jurisdictions around the world . I’m in OntarioContinue reading “Watching Your iPhone Work to Protect You from Covid-19”

Ramblings on No Code and the Permanent Revolution

Since leaving Borealis I’ve spent time some time getting to know “no code.” Low Code Application Platforms (LCAPs), or “low” or “no code,” “No Code,” seem to have broken through. The promise is that non-programmers can point-and-click their way through building mobile/web Apps and deploy them with a click.

Connecting Humans with What They Need

A year ago I wrote that 2016 would be the year that consumer AI went mainstream. In one sense, I was wrong. The average consumer still doesn’t interact with an AI application on a typical day. Siri, Cortana, Google Home, and Allo are making inroads but still have small reach when compared to, say, AndroidContinue reading “Connecting Humans with What They Need”

Why Consumer AI Goes Mainstream in 2016

In October of 1994, Netscape released Netscape Navigator 1.0, the first commercial web browser. Over the next decade, the web went mainstream as it became increasingly usable. In October of 2011, Apple announced that Siri — the mobile personal assistant it acquired in 2010 — would ship on the iPhone 4S. Siri has continued to improve, as have GoogleContinue reading “Why Consumer AI Goes Mainstream in 2016”

Metrics vs. Depth

I often see teams that maniacally focus on their metrics around customer acquisition and retention. This usually works well for customer acquisition, but not so well for retention. Why? For many products, metrics often describe the customer acquisition goal in enough detail to provide sufficient management guidance. In contrast, the metrics for customer retention doContinue reading “Metrics vs. Depth”

How BuzzFeed built value by designing awesome experiences inside other platforms

In some recent client work, an emerging theme is that consumer tech. / media start-ups no longer control the most important bits of their UI. Today, if you’re a consumer technology or digital media company, nearly all of your customers will first encounter you through a channel like Facebook, Instagram, twitter, an app store orContinue reading “How BuzzFeed built value by designing awesome experiences inside other platforms”

Most of Facebook’s valuation is driven by 0.15% of Mobile Gamers

As you read the breathless reviews of Facebook’s Q2 2014 results, remember that the entire App economy depends on a tiny group of whales who spend hundreds of dollars a month on in-App purchases. This is terrifying. Facebook’s stock price is the second derivative of in-app purchase revenue. Things are highly geared, and incredibly risky.Continue reading “Most of Facebook’s valuation is driven by 0.15% of Mobile Gamers”