I write about topics that I'm interested in like product design, brand strategy, marketing, philosophy, creative entrepreneurship, mental models, & more. You can subscribe to my newsletter to receive these notes in your inbox. Use the search below to filter by title.
A story about living a meaningful and intentional life.
Nadine Stair, an 85-year-old woman from Louisville, Kentucky, shares her answer when asked, "How would you have lived your life differently if you had a chance?"
In this essay, I've tried to distill my observation on how we, as UX professionals, can learn to create a model for thought, for decision making, for how to structure, investigate, observe, and solve problems like Sherlock Holmes.
I made a lettering piece inspired by a quote by Pamela Slim
The new generation of consumers are empowered, connected and have higher expectations than ever before. What should you do to stay competitive?
In 1963, Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Niko Tinbergen published, On the aims and methods of ethology, in which he outlined four questions (sometimes referred to as Tinbergen’s four problems).
It is important to have a broad range of mental models or else, you risk becoming the man with a hammer who sees nail everywhere.
Exploration on how new digital, social technologies have changed how we view ourselves, others, & interact with the world around us. how it has redefined visibility, privacy, memory, death, time, space, and everything else.
The trap with waiting to be organized is that it can sometimes be an excuse not to do the actual work.
We often blame our inaction to our past or our environment. But what if the real reason of your inaction is your own lack of courage?
Many executives at startups and established companies don't involve customers in their process. They think they know better than their customers & assert that customers don't know what they want, anyway.
A letter to creatives fighting the battle.
They are really bad at it. Here's what you should do instead.
No one really knows which direction the market is going to turn. Be very skeptic of those who tell you otherwise.
Over the last few weeks, I've been trying a productivity method called Time Blocking. Practiced by the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Peter Drucker, Elon Musk, Cal Newport, and Bill Gates, time blocking is a systematic approach where you give every minute a job.
Robin Sloan was ahead of his time with this one. He used two economics terms – Flow & Stock, to describe the current state of media
Being poor is not having too little, it is wanting more. — Seneca
Your understanding of a problem is directly linked with your understanding of what to measure. When you gain clarity of what & how different components affect your research problem, you'll inevitably have deeper understanding of your problem.
Often our research problem revolves around intangible constructs – quality, usability, delight, desire, emotions, propensity to buy, preferences. How do you measure such things? Do you just ask people? It can be too overwhelming to even beginning.
Instead they encourage them.
The initial brief from the kick-off meeting are often weak, unclear, and incomplete. As product designers, we have an opportunity to add real value on a project from the start by helping define the problem.
How to make or break any habit
The point of research is not to reinforce & regurgitate what you already know, but rather to test and explore new possibilities.
We all come to crossroads in our life, where we know exactly what the right path is, but we don't take it.
Multitasking is a bad idea. It makes you *feel* more productive, but instead diminishes your quality AND quantity of outputs significantly compared to focusing on a single task at a time
Lifters don't have lifter's block. Doctors don't have doctor's block. Why do writers have this privilege?
On the romanticization of starving artist and selling out.
Matt Webb has been on a blogging fire lately – consistently publishing every week since the last 28 weeks (maybe more now). He recently wrote about his personal blogging rules that has helped him stay consistent this year.
Not the other way around.
For days when I'm feeling overwhelmed
Reading every day is one of the keystone habits that has fundamentally changed my life.
and you are the easiest person to fool.
If you are all three, you get rich.
If insight becomes a threat to your success, you are doing something wrong.
On how the genius madman gets ideas
If you seek to challenge the status quo, disrupt an industry, or want to make change happen.
A trustworthy note-taking system allows you to relieve from the task of trying to hold every idea & thought in your head and instead allow you to focus on things that are important - the content, the idea, and the argument.
The momentum of the thing kicks in your favor, hurling the flywheel forward, turn after turn … whoosh! … its own heavy weight working for you. You’re pushing no harder than during the first rotation, but the flywheel goes faster and faster. Each turn of the flywheel builds upon work done earlier, compounding your investment of effort. A thousand times faster, then ten thousand, then a hundred thousand. The huge heavy disk flies forward, with almost unstoppable momentum.
This concept is the easiest to understand intellectually, but the hardest to appreciate intuitively.
Some problems with meetings I've noticed lately
As designers and artists, we like to think that branding is all about symbols, colors, type, style, shape, harmony, simplicity, beauty, and all of these wonderful things. We like to think it’s less about the client, and more about us, our talent, our skills, and our craft that we’ve perfected over the years. Then tell me, why do some brands stay average while other become great? Why do some brand have a hard time getting heard while others connect, resonate, and spread like wildfire?
Don Norman is a researcher, professor, and author of several books on the design of everyday things and how humans interact with them. During his research, what he found was, there are three levels of design that influences how we feel about a product.
And how to do it
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