Why I Don’t Like Calling Myself a Designer

This Tuesday, I’m going to get a chance to meet Kevin Hale, who is the designer behind Wufoo and proprietor of ParticleTree. Kevin wrote a blog post last month that I think is one of the better summations of what it means to be a web designer. While I don’t… 

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Design’s Place in a Startup

A reader took the time to shoot me an email with a few questions about design and startups… His questions were interesting enough that I thought they might be worth blogging about. So here goes: Question #1 – What is the priority balance between programming and design/UI? In my opinion,… 

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Startups: Launch Early, but Launch Small?

One of the recent YCombinator dinners that we attended featured Joe Kraus (who founded Excite and then later JotSpot, which sold to Google). Like all YC guests, Joe had piles of startup wisdom… One of the things that stuck out to me (which I’d never heard much) was when he… 

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Evaluating New Product Ideas (focus on Tractability)

Evan Williams (founder of Twitter, fellow corn-fed midwesterner-turned-dotcommer, and someone I get to meet via YCombinator!) has a fabulous post on how to evaluate new product ideas. To sum up his excellent post, here is the matrix he came up with: Tractability Question: How difficult will it be to launch… 

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Bootstrap Design for Geek-Powered Startups

One of my brethren at YCombinator sent out a request to the 2008 Winter Founders list a request for information about design services for his startup. He and his co-founder, like many YC founders, are hackers. In my career I’ve been a web designer (although I’m only moderately good at… 

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