Month: April 2014

Web Product Strategy

It took a few hours to draft with pen & paper, and another few hours to write up, annotate, add images, and polish, but I finally published the article I wanted to write for She Hacks Academy. It was inspired by Victoria Cullen saying, “You should do a lightning talk at the beginning of a hackathon” … and I thought about what I would talk about, and here it is:

Web Product Strategy


  1. Sketch the Product Idea
  2. Research the Current Scene
  3. Know Your Critical Mass
  4. Check Reliance on Third Parties
  5. Validate Your Idea
  6. Plan the Minimum Viable Product
  7. Consider Your End Goal


Long Weekend

There was a magical week this week – it had two long weekends.

The first weekend we had some things booked, so we stayed in town. We spent some time with my family, James’s family, played catch-up with friends, and went to celebrity theatresports.

The second weekend, we drove down the coast to Blairgowrie. Silence and trees.

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Help Someone Else

Recently I’ve been trying to find opportunities to Help Someone Else. I guess I already tried to help people when I thought I could, but it’s different when you’re actively looking. It’s not aiding my finances, but it is inspiring and stimulating. For some reason, when you help someone else with their ideas or their goals or their questions, your own imagination activates and creates.

I’m working with Kate Storey on a project, and today I met with Kim Westwood to hear about her new project, and tonight I offered to help three people at the “How to Find a Job You Love” class, and tomorrow I’m coworking with Judith Gammie, and hopefully there might be something I can help her with too.

If anyone reading this knows someone who needs help, holler. Even if I can’t help, I might know someone else who can.

In other news:

I’ve been to a couple of School of Life classes this month: How to Be More Confident and How to Find a Job You Love. I’ll write up notes on those later. The job one was great, and I think most people in the class came away feeling inspired, with new ideas and clear next steps. I found, though, that I’ve been following most of the recommendations in the class since I went rogue last year. Most. There’s one new piece of advice I’ve put in my planner, so I’ll see it every day: “Action not reflection.” I’ve been thinking so much about skills, aptitudes, likes, dislikes, jobs, roles, futures, possibilities… but I agree with the advice; I need to reduce thinking and increase doing. I need to try different kinds of work on for size. (Which complements this: Writing gets us writing. Not thinking about writing.)

I applied for some part-time jobs over the weekend, so that I might have a more stable income while I do my fun freelance work. It seems like most available UX roles are either full-time or on long contracts, which I’m not particularly interested in, so I’ll try to find something regular and part-time (which might not be UX) while still being free for popup jobs. Yeah!


I’ve been feeling a bit weird lately and, instead of having zero interest in watching TV or movies, I’ve been waking up thinking: “I just feel like watching a TV show.” (I haven’t followed through on my impulses, though. I’ve been confining layabout activities to the evening-time.)

I’ve been thinking about something that annoys me in TV shows and I’m going to call it The Zombie Phenomenon. You know when you’re watching a story where the characters start noticing that other humans are getting sick, dying, seemingly coming alive again, and attacking other humans, and they don’t use the word “zombie” for ages? And they don’t treat the situation as though they’re dealing with zombies, and they keep getting surprised (and attacked and killed)? As though they’ve never watched a zombie movie before?

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Atticus Finch

I took this last December; I liked the colours. It was at a bar in East Brunswick – beyond the beer garden, there was this strange red barn housing a pool table.

Just a shorty post today… I’m working on a helpful UX-related / startup-related piece, but writing something informative takes much longer than writing about thoughts and news. I’m drafting it on paper at the moment. I find that’s the best way to avoid procrastination and get something started.