Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.
Making Companies Competitive By Expanding Design’s Role (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “It’s not good enough to delight your direct customers. You have to delight all the customers and employees down the supply chain. Your methods for user research must go beyond your customers. Use cases and scenarios have to include what happens downstream. Every method we use has to adapt.”
Local Companies Attracting More Venture Capital – “Total publicly reported venture capital investments in Lincoln companies through the first six months of the year have topped $80 million. In all of 2014, start-up companies in the Lincoln area brought in less than $4.6 million in venture capital investments, according to data compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association. That ranked Lincoln 118th out of 160 metro areas that had companies that got venture capital deals. The year-to-date investment number this year would have ranked 45th on last year’s list, ahead of Miami, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and many other much larger cities. It’s also more than double what Omaha companies brought in last year.”
Great Teams, Great Products (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “It’s critical to not think about people as pieces that can be shuffled around at will. It’s hard to overstate the power and importance of creating an environment that encourages and empowers people to find their best collaborators.”
43 Lessons Growing from $0 to $1m in Revenue, Twice – “I realized the other day that we’ve grown from $0 to $1 million with two separate products (HelloSign and HelloFax). This happened a long time ago, but I was recently reflecting on the lessons. I found a lot of growth truisms to be false. We’ve learned a lot. Some lessons were painfully won, which is why I may sound strongly opinionated about them. They also may be slanted towards B2B products, but I wouldn’t discount them if you’re not in that space.”
What Is Zero UI? (And Why Is It Crucial To The Future Of Design?) (Thanks to Chris Apple for recommending this article) – “Zero UI isn’t really a new idea. If you’ve ever used an Amazon Echo, changed a channel by waving at a Microsoft Kinect, or setup a Nest thermostat, you’ve already used a device that could be considered part of Goodman’s Zero UI thinking. It’s all about getting away from the touchscreen, and interfacing with the devices around us in more natural ways: haptics, computer vision, voice control, and artificial intelligence.”
10 Things that can Derail a Funding Round – “What I’ve rarely seen is founder advice on why deals fall apart post-term sheet. And, it turns out, this happens a lot more than you might realize. Especially these days, when timing is so compressed. In the old days when I raised money for my startups (’02, ’05, ’08), the VCs had tons of time, weeks or more, to do due diligence (i.e., to learn more about a company in which they are interested in investing). Today, term sheets are often issued just days, or even hours, after the first meeting.”
“Xbox One wouldn’t have happened” without Steve Ballmer’s $1.15 billion decision to save Xbox 360 (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this) – “In the interview Moore explained the moment they had to make the decision on how to fix the issue. It was a tension filled time that in hindsight affected the future of the Xbox line as much as any other moment.”