When someone tries your product

I think a lot about software. Not because I like computers or think databases are cool, but because software makes our lives better.

And we all want a better life, don’t we?

So I’m troubled when new tech companies send messages like this one:

Email of Good Luck

Why are they wishing me luck?

Why not an FAQ, video tutorial, concierge onboarding session or webinar invitation?

Luck does not a good first user experience make.

And while luck might be part of the solution for improving our lives, it should never be part of the equation.

So when someone tries your product, don’t wish them luck, for luck exists where instruction does not.

Instead, tell us (users) what to do. And show them why doing ____ will help them.

Because you can’t change the world without helping, and you can’t help without explaining how.

Productivity and compound interest

On my walk home from the gym I stopped to get a bottle of wine.

Two blocks south of the store was a traffic light I waited at for about 10 seconds.

While standing at the light I noticed a petite woman in a blue and white striped sundress. She was doing something on her phone and when the traffic cleared, she remained stationary as I scuffled across the intersection.

Around a minute later I was inside the wine shop where I grabbed a bottle, made small talk with the clerk, flashed my ID, scratched off the $17.99 price tag, signed a receipt, and was given a bag.


On the clarity of work-life balance

Like Big Foot, work life balance is frequently discussed but seldom observed.

Is it physical, an x:y ratio of time? Or perhaps a mental model, free from measurement?

What if…

  • Work – ALWAYS about the money / victory / reward
  • Life – NEVER about the money / victory / reward

…were the framework by which we find balance?


When you’re working, shoot to kill. Oust the competition. Manage your minions with words like ASAP. Blood, sweat, and tears are your ammunition.

But when you’re living, just don’t. Don’t worry, compete, think too hard, or tell people what to do. Smile.

Because balance is important. And work is not the meaning of life.

Life is.

What “busy” means

Most people are too busy for your sales pitch, blog post, last minute birthday dinner.

And “you understand, right?” Everyone is vying for their time.

But you know what people are not?

Too organized.

Too good at setting appointments, responding to emails, or keeping phone calls brief.

Most people are bad at these things.

So if you want someone to hear your pitch, meet for coffee, or celebrate a birthday dinner, be sure to clarify how you can help with the things they aren’t.

They’re too busy for anything else.