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andrewsardone : startups   10

Design doesn't deserve a seat at the table - Schloss - Quora
Don't get too fixated on the "design" aspect, but what this metaphorical table is and how we create teams. If the focus is on real value, everyone needs to focus on interdisciplinary skills.

Some choice quotes:
We want so badly to believe there’s gold in the hills of Silicon Valley, and we’ve been told so many times by so many people that there’s gold and all you need is a hacker, a hustler and a designer to find it, that we now believe it’s true. But the hidden secret of Silicon Valley is that the people who find gold actually know how to dig. And the rest of us? We argue about whether designers deserve a seat at the table.

I understand why this problem exists: in most of the markets Silicon Valley startups occupy, it’s not very clear how to create real value, so we look for a magic pill.

Let’s look at Starbucks, a business in the foodservice market, where perceived value is incredibly important, and indeed lots of folks think Starbucks got huge just because of their great brand. But that isn’t the whole story.

Have you ever noticed that Starbucks always seems to have a location exactly where you need it? Have you ever noticed how remarkably consistent Starbucks quality and service is? That’s their real value: real estate and franchise consistency. These are two incredibly hard games to play, and Starbucks plays them like a grandmaster. (Seriously, have you ever walked into a gross, run-down Starbucks? How about a disgusting McDonalds?) Add a ton of brand power in a market niche that was, at the time, devoid of it — for $4 a cup, I can treat myself to a little bit of luxury! – and you’ve got a hell of a business.

Let me reiterate: you cannot survive adding only perceived value. Perceived value is like a catalyst. By itself, perceived value is inert (Path). But when you mix it with enough real value (Craigslist), you get a homemade volcano (AirBnB).

Well, let me first be explicit in describing who doesn’t deserve a seat at the table: anyone who is trapped in an intellectual box. The problem with “Designers” and “Biomedical Engineers” and “Human Beings” is that when we’ve been shoved into a rigid box, we grasp the one tool that box affords us and wield it with the fury of Thor. Every problem becomes a nail for our mighty hammer, and we lose sight of what tool is actually required to create value for the consumers of our specific business, in our specific market.

So that’s who doesn’t belong at the table. Ever. Get away from the table, Thor. No one who thinks only in terms of one discipline deserves to be at the table. Who does deserve to be at the table? Anyone who can answer these three questions:

- How are we, at this particular company, in this particular market, going to create real and perceived value for our customers?
- What tools do we need to create that value?
- How can we build an organization that can consistently execute at a high level with those tools?
design  focus  innovation  consilience  interdisciplinary  product  startups  business 
april 2016 by andrewsardone
Designer Duds: Losing Our Seat at the Table - Mokriya - Quora
It’s easy to see how Morin could mistake Path for design innovation when one reads [this parable of making a better metal bucket]. To be clear: what’s needed isn’t plastic-covered buckets (or red-covered Facebooks). What’s needed is plumbing.Design is about solving problems that humans have, not problems that products have. We start with problems people have —how do I get clean water to drink, how do I fill my bathtub, how do I water my plants— and find the best practicable solution. It’s not a more comfortable bucket. Morin seems to believe design is varying the ideas of others in obvious ways. I disagree, and so does the market.
focus  product  innovation  design  startups 
april 2016 by andrewsardone
Holman aggregating lists of companies with extended exercise windows.
startups  stock_options  github_repo 
january 2016 by andrewsardone
Shivon Zilis - Machine Intelligence
Computers are learning to think, read, and write. They’re also picking up human sensory function, with the ability to see and hear (arguably to touch, taste, and smell, though those have been of a lesser focus). Machine intelligence technologies cut across a vast array of problem types (from classification and clustering to natural language processing and computer vision) and methods (from support vector machines to deep belief networks)

Best-in-class personalization and recommendation algorithms have enabled these companies’ success (it’s both impressive and disconcerting that Facebook recommends you add the person you had a crush on in college and Netflix tees up that perfect guilty pleasure sitcom). Now they are all competing in a new battlefield: the move to mobile. Winning mobile will require lots of machine intelligence: state of the art natural language interfaces (like Apple’s Siri), visual search (like Amazon’s “FireFly”), and dynamic question answering technology that tells you the answer instead of providing a menu of links (all of the search companies are wrestling with this).Large enterprise companies (IBM and Microsoft) have also made incredible strides in the field, though they don’t have the same human-facing requirements so are focusing their attention more on knowledge representation tasks on large industry datasets, like IBM Watson’s application to assist doctors with diagnoses.
ai  machine_learning  startups 
october 2015 by andrewsardone
Uncensored Everpix metrics, financials and slides for your perusing
github_repo  analytics  business  startups 
january 2014 by andrewsardone
What Your Culture Really Says - Pretty Little State Machine
via @al3x:
If you work with other people, you owe it to yourself to read @shanley’s post
culture  work  startups 
february 2013 by andrewsardone

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