“Step back so that you can see better”

Poking the Box

All great programmers learn the same way. They poke the box. They code something and see what the computer does. They change it and see what the computer does. They repeat the process again and again until they figure out how the box works.

Godin, Seth (2011-03-01). Poke the Box (p. 10). The Domino Project. Kindle Edition.

More gold from Seth. The best AP teachers push some of these, but our nation needs more challenges with an explanation of how it is relevant.

I can’t wait to be a father for this reason - to be a teacher.

This type of writing is inspiring. The weaving of details in and out to make a story come alive. The type of writing that leaves you disappointed at the end when you run out of words to read.

“I’m afraid there isn’t one. I’m still naive enough to think that if I build a great product then everything else will take care of itself.”

It’s so easy to get hung up on the itinerary, the features and the specs, but that’s not real, it’s actually pretty fuzzy stuff. The concrete impact of our lives and our work is the mark you make on other people. It might be a product you make or the way you look someone in the eye. It might be a powerful experience you have on a trip with your dad, or the way you keep a promise.

The experiences you create are the moments that define you. We’ll miss you when you’re gone, because we will always remember the mark you made on us.

There’s a sign on most squash courts encouraging players to wear only sneakers with non-marking soles. I’m not sure there’s such a thing. If you’re going to do anything worthy, you’re going to leave a mark.

Process Improvement requires People Improvement

People don’t buy version 1.0 of a product for a reason. I’m a big believer in continuously iterating until you make something excellent:

And then of course, big companies are bad at product development because they’re bad at everything. Everything happens slower in big companies than small ones, and product development is something that has to happen fast, because you have to go through a lot of iterations to get something good.

Fantastic insights on The Talk Show with Dan Benjamin, John Gruber, and special guests Marco Arment and Craig Hockenberry. Some favorite points I noted down:

  • An App Store is like the checkout line at the supermarket. When the prices are low, there are a lot of impulse buys.
  • An App Store provides a friction-free purchasing experience.
  • For years, people working in the Windows XP enterprise have been taught not to install software. Having a trusted purchase, install, and use experience is very important to application developers.
  • The Mac App Store is similar to something like MacHeist, which bundles apps at a lower price to make up the profit in volume.
  • The Apple App Store contains 45 million credit cards (which, when combined with a friction free experience is great for developers).
  • The Mac App Store is not for current OS X developers. It’s designed for iOS App developers who are used to using the App Store to handle all of the painful logistics of selling products (payment gateways, etc.) to expand the trusted application purchase experience to consumers.

Great Manifesto.. working on it.