Here are some of the articles we’ve been reading around this office this week.

Why B2B Companies Struggle With Collaborative Innovation (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “If companies are to succeed in collaborative innovation with a customer they need to avoid these traps by treating the workshop experience as a process, focusing on shared problems, acknowledging each other’s time horizons, and putting themselves in each other’s shoes. That involves, of course, a lot of work, but the payoffs will more than justify the effort.”

The Epic Story of Dropbox’s Exodus From The Amazon Cloud Empire – “Over the last two-and-a-half years, Dropbox built its own vast computer network and shifted its service onto a new breed of machines designed by its own engineers, all orchestrated by a software system built by its own programmers with a brand new programming language. Drawing on the experience of Silicon Valley veterans who erected similar technology inside Internet giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter, it has successfully moved about 90 percent of those files onto this new online empire.”

Pitch Perfect: Five Elements Of A Great Pitch (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “The best entrepreneurs understand that the pitch is a chance to show the customer that they understand the customer’s challenges and have a solution that will impact the customer’s bottom line. Too often, though, the entrepreneur sees the pitch as a chance to show off how hard they’ve worked, to show how proud they are of a clever solution to a thorny usability challenge.”

Open Sourcers Race To Build Better Versions Of Slack (Thanks to Matt Babcock for recommending this article) – “Slack’s growth has shown that even seemingly ancient technologies like chat can still be improved, particularly when it comes to using instant messaging for work. But Slack has the limitations that all proprietary cloud apps do. Your data lives on someone else’s servers. Customization is limited. You have to trust that Slack the company will make the changes you want to Slack the app and not make changes you don’t want. That’s why the open source community has been racing to build better versions of Slack, even though countless open source chat apps exist already.”

How Much Are You Going To Charge? (Thanks to Brian Zimmer for recommending this article) – “The cost of what you do is a panic-point. Nobody has enough faith in themselves to charge what they’re worth or in their customers to pay for what they use. The result is businesses and freelancers that cannot maintain a healthy margin.”

A Warning To Anyone Receiving Advice (Thanks to Jarrod Wubbels for recommending this article) – “I’m personally interested in understanding this subject of advice, because strangers ask my advice every day. Big questions about what to do with their life or career. My only honest answer is “I don’t know”, but I try to say something useful. So this is just a warning about some ways that advice is biased.”

No Reply Addresses (Thanks to Cassey Lottman for recommending this article) – “When I get an email from a no-reply address, I know that company doesn’t want to hear from me. They’re telling me that while I need to read this email, they won’t be reading any replies that I want to send them about it. They can consume my time but they won’t spare any of their time for me.”

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