Skip to main content


When I design an app, I think about it a lot before I do anything. I might be labeled as not methodical, but this is actually a methodical approach. 

I start really wide. I think about it, talk about it, and start to write about it on paper. Then I open a text editor and develop real data models to capture some of the ideas, and then move back to paper. 

Working on paper, I often just start writing what the app should do--a bit of BDD. And then I might flip it over and design a screen, or a schematic showing the relationships between things. 

I wring that damn sponge dry. 

And then I do it again, but narrow the scope, and then again, and pay attention to flow, and then again. All on paper. 

Some of this might be second-guessing myself. Some of it is useful, but a lot of it is repetitive. It's like I'm practicing the same lick over and over until I get it right. 

My inclination is to go from paper to code. The wisdom of my years tells me to ignore that inclination and go from paper to some sort of loose digital spec. 

I've never been the professional application designer, though I've designed a bunch of stuff. So I do things the way I do them, part of which contributes to my Sunday dread, where I know I'm delaying creating a final draft because, well, I really don't want anyone to see the work in progress. I violate my own rules about radio silence.

So today I'm going from paper to something not. Because I've got a co-founder now, and he's no slouch. He expects results!


Popular posts from this blog

Beta Signup

I've been working for quite a while on a new search concept, though the further in I get, the closer the rest of the world gets to what we're doing. So today I'm inviting you to sign up for the rather modest beta, which will be ready soon if we can nail down a few difficult  details. Jawaya is a way of navigating the web and getting better results. And that's as much as I can say right now, because we're not a funded startup, and things are moving really fast in this space--it's going to be very competitive. I predict there will be about 10 funded startups in the next 6 months doing something similar. One of them will be mine, and we aim to make it the best. We're raising a round of capital to fund the team, and are shooting for early sustainability. This is my fifth company; my fourth in the tech space, and my third software company. I think it will be the biggest and can possibly have a positive impact on the world by reducing the amount of time it takes

Where Innovation Happens

As I get closer to a go/no-go decision on a project, I've been thinking about the difference about my vision for the project and the supportive innovations to enable the core innovations The vision combines (in unequal parts) product, core innovation as I imagine it, the application of that core innovation, design, marketing,  developer ecosystem, and business development. The core innovation enables everything else, but it's the application of the innovation that makes it meaningful, useful, and in this case, fun. This week we're testing initial approaches to the implementation for our specific application, and that's where we'll develop the enabling innovations, which is basically where the rubber meets the road. The difference is that the enabling innovation happens at the source of real problems only encountered in the making of something, and in a project like this just getting the essence of it right isn't enough; it also has to be safe, the compone

Projects vs. Startups

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about the difference between my successful starts and my projects, which I'll call R&D that never makes it to market. The start is the most fun, and it can also be the hardest part, and it's certainly the most important: figure out the market, the opportunity, develop vision, design the product, figure out the sourcing if it's a physical product, figure out best methods and user interface if it's a software product (and both if it's both hardware and software), refine the product, find early customers, test, refine, improve, iterate all of that while you also develop the brand, the marketing language, figure out the best sales approach, sales system, sales language, customer support, etc. During that time you're setting up internal systems of communication, accounting, legal, HR, etc, but mostly you wing it until you have more than a few people. And, of course, you have to figure out how to pay the bills. You can