Design is an Organizational Behavior Challenge

What do top universities, international airlines, and the California DMV have in common? Answer: Terrible websites, with so much hierarchy in their navigation scheme that accomplishing a basic task requires a black belt in enterprise bureaucracy.  Why do companies with so many resources at their disposal have such a hard time producing good design?

Simple, clean UX design is hard work. Sometimes you just have to lock yourself up for a week to figure out how to make the complex look simple. But getting design done in a huge enterprise – where stakeholders are spread across departments with decades of political history dividing their interests – is a total bitch.

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Why the Los Angeles startup scene will keep growing

You’ve probably heard that my home town of Los Angeles has startup fever. There is no doubt that the LA tech scene is heating up. But is high-tech a trend, or can “Silicon Beach” really make a dent in the culture of a town where “the industry” refers to entertainment and not technology?

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Growth is not magic.

There’s been lots of hype lately about growth and growth hacking. I’ve even heard such nonsense as “we can turn on virality whenever we want to.” (Um, if it were that easy….. never mind.)

The truth about user acquisition is that while there are some fundamental principles at work, there is no substitute for having a valuable product and delivering it in a great user experience. This truth is both refreshing and stabilizing. It’s about the product, people.

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The Best of London: Hipster Scene, Cheap Eats, Gourmet Coffee & Pubs

My husband Roy and I lived in London for 2+ years while I was on faculty at the London School of Economics and he worked at Shazam. We’ve been back in San Francisco for over a year now, but his Google Map of favorite places has lots of the best places to see and be seen in London, complete with descriptions (written from our Bay Area perspective). We always share it with friends going to visit and in the process we fell in love with Google Maps for quickly sharing our favorite places with friends going to visit London in a format that they can actually use.

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How to do lean startup: Sharing user feedback & release notes with your team

At Britely we aim to follow a lean startup approach of talking to users before, during, and after building every part of our product. A common challenge in startups though is that everybody is so busy building that very few people actually “get out of the building” and talk to users. So how can you get your team on the same page?

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What is a Growth Hacker? Does your startup need a Growth Team?

You wanted to be there, you just didn’t know it. The Growth Hackers Conference was last week and it was awesome. The conference was way sold out and unlike most it was totally worth the investment! Thanks to the speakers for focusing on creating value for the user through the product – it’s not about spam or zombies or farm animals, it’s about creating value!

Thought I’d share my notes for all the growth teams at startups in NY, LA, London, and everywhere else who didn’t get to attend. More

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