Category Archives: Leadership

Be Excellent At Saying No

Steven Sinofski has written another great post on his “Learning by Shipping” blog. In this one, titled “8 steps for engineering leaders to keep the peace” he focuses on things an engineering leader can do when his or her ‘manager’ …Continue reading

Have a Plan

Yesterday someone asked me to share my thoughts on the secret to building excellent things. I summarized what I know as: “Put the customer first, have a plan, create a shared mission, get early victories, remove process, and make it …Continue reading

Businesses Buy Differently

My post on Why Nobody Can Copy Apple has become one of the most read posts I’ve ever written (thanks @gruber). Commenters are asking me “Can you describe more what the behaviors are that are different when building for business …Continue reading

"Write Once…" is Anti-Customer

Just as in the ’90s, there’s a bunch of hype these days around solving the cross-platform development problem. Mobile platform fragmentation is killing developers, and if only every device supported some common language or technology engine we could all Write …Continue reading

Why Nobody Can Copy Apple

Horace Dediu has written another brilliant piece titled “Why doesn’t anybody copy Apple?”. As he points out, Apple is fairly unique in its command of vertical integration and many people point to that as the “why”. However, Horace also admits …Continue reading

Don’t Make Your Team Say No To You

In early-stage ventures, whether it’s a bootstrapped technology startup, or a new initiative within a big company, the leaders are often visionary “idea people”. The difference between success and failure is how good these leaders are at training their teams …Continue reading

Be as Excellent at Saying No as Saying Yes

While in Amman Jordan last month, I had the opportunity to speak at Amman Tech Tuesdays, a local startup event held every month there. I was asked to talk about what I’ve learned in my career to an audience of …Continue reading

Four Things I Learned in Jordan

I wrote a guest post for the Huffington Post on Dec 7, 2012. You can read the full post here, but here’s the TL;DR: If the Middle East can stay relatively stable for just 10-15 more years, entrepreneurship will have …Continue reading

Paying Developers is A Bad Idea

The companies that make the most profit are those who build virtuous platform cycles. There are no proof points in history of virtuous platform cycles being created when the platform provider incents developers to target the platform by paying them. …Continue reading

Retail Pricing, Markup, and Margins

Tom’s Hardware is generally really solid. But they should stay focused on technology because this post is seriously absurd: “More than two years after the introduction of the iPad, Samsung appears to be very confident in the tablet market and …Continue reading

A Mouse and Keyboard Don’t Make a Hardware Company

Microsoft is not, and never will be, a hardware company. Please don’t go off saying “what about Xbox or mice & keyboards?” Microsoft does not really want to build & sell hardware. Surface is akin to Google’s Nexus; a ‘north …Continue reading

Apps Must Be Cross Platform

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for GeekWire. View the original here. Maybe there are a few Robert Scobles out there who still believe that a significant number of successful apps in the future will be …Continue reading

Wanna Compete with Apple? Focus on Experiences.

TL;DR Apple’s insane profitability has the other big guys jealous and freaked out. None are stupid enough to try to compete with Apple on Apple’s terms. The way to beat Apple is to redefine the game by making apps irrelevant …Continue reading

Congrats to the Seattle Angel Conference and Illumagear!

Yesterday we held the first ever Seattle Angel Conference. At the event, Illumagear, a scrappy Seattle startup with a vision for radically improving construction worker safety took home a check for $100K. By all measures the conference, as Bob Crimmins …Continue reading

The Job Decision Matrix

Changing jobs can be scary and confusing. Everybody has things that are important to them at a particular point in their career. Thinking clearly about what is important to you can be hard, but without clarity on what is important …Continue reading

Don’t Build APIs…

My first job at Microsoft was providing developer support for the early Windows SDKs. To do my job well, I spent hours studying the Windows SDK documentation, the Windows source code, and writing sample applications. I then spent hours poring …Continue reading

The Five Big Guys

I’m working on writing up my thesis on the future of the consumer technology business and have convinced myself that there are 5 companies that stand to dominate. I call them The Five Big Guys. This post lays the ground …Continue reading

You are Thinking of Your Career Trajectory Wrong

Most people think about their career trajectory as being like a bell-curve or that of a cannon ball fired from a cannon. Something like this: For 99% of all successful people, this is completely the wrong way to think about …Continue reading

Experience = Stuff / Time

Successful entrepreneurs build businesses, not products or technologies. The real value in creating new businesses is in delivering experiences. The ubiquitous nature of the web, devices, and social networks means successful companies in the future will understand this. The question …Continue reading

Brand is a Critical Part of the End-to-End Experience

A commenter on another of my posts asked me to explain further why I think “brand is as much a part of the end-to-end experience as the user interface, device, OS, apps, and services.” I took it as a challenge to …Continue reading