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What's Product Design?


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What is product design?

Product design is the entire process of taking a product from idea to customers — and everything in between.

“There’s a widespread misconception that design is all about aesthetics,” product designer Eric Eriksson writes. “Most people don’t seem to understand that it’s about solving problems instead.”

There’s another, more limited, definition of product design which we’re not going to explore in detail here. But basically, that other definition is talking just about how a product looks and functions. For the sake of product design for startups, we’re focusing on the more holistic, process-oriented definition.

What’s the difference between product design and product development?

While product design is part of produc...



Article

What Happens After I’ve “Made It”


  

I grew up ridiculously poor.

By the time I was 19, I founded my first startup, with less than $20 in the bank. I chose the one career that could somehow make me way, way poorer.

Within the first year I had racked up over $100,000 in personal debt, which took me from "poor" to "infinitely poor.” Today we call that college debt.

Sometimes "The Bet" Pays off

Within a few years some of the startup bets I had made began paying off.

Before I knew it, I was shopping for exotic cars, a new home (I was still living in a campus apartment at the time) and writing a single check to payoff all my college debt (a smaller check since I dropped out so quickly).

In my mind, I had made it.

But then a funny thing happened... nothing. Nothing at all. I woke...



Article

The FIVE worst work habits I see in the 200+ Millennials I employ.


  

I have written the post on the 8 reasons that make me different as a millennial boss. I think Millennials are bad asses and can harness their power for good. Remember though that I am on the cusp of generations. I identify about half and half with Gen X and Millennials. I consider myself a bit of a generational fairy….. 🙂

That said, I also have a few bones to pick with my generation after watching and supervising my peers for the last 10 years. Please don’t take it personally, Millennials! I still love you….xoxo.

Here we go:

1. Complaining you worked 70 hours a week once you become salaried.

Every time I hear someone say this I envision myself with imaginary steam coming out of my ears. When I used to hear someone say this I would try to b...



Article

16 Surprisingly Educational Hobbies


  

Question: What unrelated hobby has taught you the most about business?

Marathon Running

“Running involves discipline and a lot of hard work. You can’t fake it when it comes to finishing 26.2 miles. You definitely get out of it what you put in. Not only does it involve physical toughness, but a considerable amount of mental strength and focus as well. Comparisons can be drawn to business when it comes to knowing your capabilities, working hard, using your wits and not giving up.”

Michael Quinn
Yellow Bridge Interactive
@ybinteractive

Poker

“Poker is a game of incomplete information. You know what cards you have but are making educated guesses and playing odds based on your opponent’s cards. Business is similar...



Article

Three Millennial Productivity Hacks for 2017


  

80% of Resolutions Fall Short in the First QuarteR

Usually, after the third month of the year your crisp new running gear and fitbit has been designated to the back of the closet as a guilty reminder, and you are counting your steps to the subway station as your day’s exercise. You are not the only one. In fact, according to U.S. News, nearly 80% of resolutions fall short by the second week of February

While Millennials are better than their parent’s generation at sticking to new year’s resolutions, their frantic work and social lives make it hard to stick to plans on the long term. Millennials are ‘experience motivated’ and take up new hobbies and regimes with great intentions, but according to Statistic Brain only 8% achieve their resolut...



Article

The Challenges and Rewards of the Blended Workforce


  

The blended workforce is made up of people who work full-time and part-time, as well as temporary workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

The so-called “gig economy,” or the rise of popularity in freelance work, that took root with the recovery from the 2008 recession and expanded with the advent of the Affordable Care Act is making the blended workforce the workforce of the future and the workforce of today. Around 40 percent of today’s labor force is made up of non-traditionally working people, including freelancers (sometimes referred to as agile talent, 1099s, consultants, contractors, etc.), temporary workers, and self-employed workers.

As with any labor force, the blended workforce offers advantages and disadvant...



Article

Do Founders Need to be Good Managers?


  

Being a Founder doesn't imply one is a good manager. It just means we were around when the company was formed!

Sometimes Founders do grow into great managers — and sometimes they were great managers already. But the real question is: "Do Founders need to be good managers?"

Ideally, yes. But it's not a requirement.

We can fake it for a minute

In the formative years, when we only have a small team, we can usually get by without being great managers.

That's because the team is still small, and mostly operates in a flat "team" structure without a lot of management to be had. That's also why Founders often don't realize they are shitty managers until later on because they ran for so long in an unmanaged structure.

Eventually, though, it catch...



Article

5 Steps for Earning Respect as a Leader


  

Every few days, my tech-savvy father sends me a simple reminder via text—an image, a saying, a blessing or a piece of wisdom to remind me about what’s important in life. The other day, he sent me this powerful quote from Bryant McGill: “You have to accept that you’ll never be good enough for some people. Whether that is going to be your problem or theirs is up to you.”

This message was especially well timed, as I had recently been doubted and disrespected. I was told that my dreams were too big and that I was naive to think I could be part of pulling off the proposed vision with my level of (in)experience. As much as I proactively fine-tune how I present myself, being doubted because of my age was not a first-time occurrence. I’m convinced...



Article

A Four-Minute How-To on Hustling Your Way Into a Startup


  

Exactly one month ago, I landed a job at Roam Co-Living as their Channel Management Consultant. Roam is an international network of co-living and co-working spaces, designed for global travelers and digital nomads who want to see the world without sacrificing convenience, community, and comfort.

Working at a small, rapidly-growing organization like Roam has been an incredible experience, and I would recommend it to anyone. But, I didn’t get this opportunity through a job search, career fair, or recruiter.

It took hustle, plain and simple.

This journey started in November, shortly after I buried the VR startup I had been working on at the time. After a very brief mourning period, I decided to check out an organization called Venture for Ame...



Article

Company Activities That Will Strengthen Any Culture


  

These days, culture is paramount for having a strong team to execute your business’ vision. Ideas are worthless on their own; without a strong team, you won’t succeed. When building a business, you want employees who deeply about the company. A big piece of that is recognizing that, at the end of the day, they’re just people with normal daily stresses and worries.

My company TheSquareFoot is an unconventional business—we’re taking commercial real estate into the digital age—so we’re used to alternative practices. But like our business model, our unconventional ways have a purpose and rely on three major points: team building, nourishment and fun. Throughout our growth, I’ve recognized a few unconventional ways (that anyone could try) to pos...



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