Amazon: working backwards and other stories

I’m late to the party on this, but I’ve just come across this very helpful technique for developing products and services, as used at Amazon. Essentially, you start by immediately writing a customer-facing press release for the finished product, and work backwards from there: Each consists of a one-page “press release” (for an offering that doesn’t even exist and might…

This sort of thing

Those who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like. Artemus Ward* I came across this at the start of Aaron Dignan‘s Brave New Work** It’s a fantastic line. It was written as a faux-disparaging remark that was exactly intended to show the sort of humour you could expect from the Ward/Browne. What I…

Driverless Crocodile Podcast Special #1: Useful things with Victoria Patience

Subscribe on Android This special episode is a tribute to Kevin Kelly and Mark Frauenfelder’s Cool Tools. Apologies for the variable sound-quality of this podcast – see Doing to See for more information. Victoria Patience is a Spanish-to-English translator and author’s editor who helps Latin American intergovernmental organisations, non-profits and academics reach English-speaking audiences. Victoria lives on the outskirts of…

Better than perfect

Is done. Or to say it differently, done is better than perfect. I don’t know who said this first, but I heard it from Jenny Blake in an interview on Read to Lead. Do it now. Done.

Cycle speed

This was going to be a post about cadence – how fast you pedal. How choosing a low gear – exerting yourself against small tasks with low resistance – is the most efficient way to pedal and the best way to go fast. It turns out it’s not that simple. Sometimes the bigger, slower pushes work well. But often –…

Smallest next step

What are four big goals you’re working towards? For each goal, what’s the smallest next step you can take? Set the bar low. Do it now. Repeat every day. You’ll be amazed by the momentum you develop, and how much faster you get things done.

Bootstrapping the non-profit organisation Rule 4: Resist the urge to do average work for average people

This is the fourth post in a series applying Seth Godin’s rules of bootstrapping (see also here) to building a non-profit organisation. Be a “meaningful specific” rather than a “wandering generality” – it’s the principle of concentration of force and energy to get work done. Rule 4 ties into Rules 1 and 3 – “real work for real clients” who are “eager to pay” –…

Bootstrapping the non-profit organisation Rule 3: Serve Clients Eager to Pay for what you do (part 2 of 4)

This is the third-and-a-half in a series applying Seth Godin’s rules of bootstrapping (see also here) to building a non-profit organisation. Rule 3: Serve Clients Eager to Pay for what you do (part 2) In a nutshell, Seth says that if someone isn’t eager to pay, they’re not your client. You get to pick. So work for people eager to pay. Eager to pay and scaling the…

Bootstrapping the non-profit organisation Rule 3: Serve Clients Eager to Pay for what you do (part 1 of 4)

This is the third in a series applying Seth Godin’s rules of bootstrapping (see also here) to building a non-profit organisation. Rule 3: Serve Clients Eager to Pay for what you do In a nutshell, Seth says that if someone isn’t eager to pay, they’re not your client. You get to pick. So work for people eager to pay. Eager to ‘pay’ and non-profit work At…

Build, measure, learn

This post is a leap from Rule 2 of bootstrapping the non-profit: Do it Now. This is such a key idea, and so interesting and relevant to Do it Now, that I thought I’d do something about it like, write now. The idea is that when you’re developing a new business or organisation, there is so much that you don’t…