August 30, 2004

  • Posting Is Sparse

    My posting has been, and will probably continue to be sparse over the next few weeks as I work on a few big projects that are all coming to a head in September.

    During this busy time I was lucky enough to be introduced to fellow blogger Tim Grayson. Tim’s feed is now a regular read.

    One of the interesting side-effects of blogging is that you get to do a lot of your small-talk and connecting before having your first meeting. By reading Tim’s blog in advance of our lunch together, I was able to find a bunch of things that we were mutually interested in and (I think) we hit the ground running.

August 8, 2004

  • Thought

    I just sent Basecamp a testimonial:

    “I’m lovin’ Basecamp and so are our clients!

    Not only does Basecamp provide the project transparency we think clients deserve, it also serves as a stunning example what a truly effective online application can achieve. We’ve found that, after using Basecamp, our clients are more interest in creating compelling experiences for their customers.”

August 4, 2004

  • Falling In Love With Software

    I was just asked by June Macdonald to contribute brief comments for an article she’s writing about “online services we love”. This was my response…

    Is it possible to fall in love with a piece of software? Yes it is. FeedDemon entered my life several months ago and has radically changed the way I think about the web, how I communicate, and my very conception of what it means to be connected.

    FeedDemon looks a lot like Microsoft Outlook or other desktop e-mail applications, but rather than checking every ten minutes for new messages on one mail server, FeedDemon goes out every hour and checks literally hundreds of web sites, news sources, and blogs that I told it to monitor. If it finds an update, it sucks down the information and has it waiting for me when I check FeedDemon. I now keep track of over 275 websites in almost real-time. There is no other way to be so wired.

    And best of all, the underlying technology (XML feeds in RSS or Atom formats) is essentially spam free and one hundred percent permission-based.

    William Gibson famously stated that “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” Well, if you want to live in the future now, download FeedDemon. In two weeks e-mail and the web will feel very old fashioned indeed.

    (And no, creator Nick Bradbury didn’t pay me to say any of this.)

August 1, 2004

  • Thought

    Peter Merholz has a great post about the cumulative impact of complexity:

    “Objects aren’t simple any more. They don’t just turn or push. They behave. And these behaviors are often played out over many steps, in particular orders. And each step is an opportunity for failure. Through the work that my colleagues conducted on business value and user experience, I learned the six sigma concept of ‘rolled throughput yield.’

    Basically, this means that the more steps you take, the likelier failure is. Even each step has a high probability of success, when you add them up, the likelihood someone can get through all of it becomes startlingly low.”

    Another way of thinking about this (from more of a marketing and sales mindset) is “the more people you lose at any given step in your sales funnel, the worse your overall results”.