From experience, I know how easy it can be to over-engineer a feature nobody actually wants, or succumb to the sunk-cost fallacy and continue down the wrong product path for too long. To counteract these mistakes, you need to build a habit of constantly questioning your decisions - of keeping the bigger picture in mind. … Continue reading Are you building the right thing?
"If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it," is common business wisdom. It is especially important advice for startups searching for product/market fit via the build-measure-learn feedback loop, a major part of the Lean Startup ethos. Build something. Measure its effect. Learn what worked, what didn't. Repeat. The ability to execute this loop quickly … Continue reading Leading vs. lagging indicators in business and in life
As SharpestMinds matures as a company, good design is becoming increasingly important. For most of the company's lifetime, we embraced a design-on-the-fly, just-make-it-work attitude. Without much more than a text or verbal description, we would simultaneously plan, implement, and design new features for our web-app. This approach worked well enough while we iterated towards product/market … Continue reading Designing at the right level of abstraction
This is one of those decisions that is so context specific that almost all advice on it is worthless. Nevertheless, I thought I'd share the story of when I had to make this decision as a beginner programmer. There may be a lesson or two. In the summer of 2018, SharpestMinds was a platform for … Continue reading When to scrap the codebase and start from scratch
A framework for building habits from the ground up Joining an early-stage startup was a turning point in my life. I joined SharpestMinds two years ago as a relatively ignorant PhD dropout. But, since then, I've gotten a crash course in startup culture and best practices and, in an effort to keep up with the … Continue reading The Lean Habit
My Kindle highlights from Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses. Start referring to your business plans as business guesses, your financial plans as financial guesses, and your strategic plans as strategic guesses. Now you can stop worrying about them as much. They … Continue reading Rework (highlights)