Making things is a circle. You start the arc with an idea about the world: an observation or hunch. Then you sprint around the track, getting to a prototype—a breadboard, a rough draft, a run-through—as fast as you can. Your goal isn’t to finish the thing. It’s to expose it, no matter how rough or ragged, to the real world. You do that, and you learn: Which of your ideas were right? Which were wrong? What surprised you? What did other people think? Then you plow those findings back into an improved prototype. Around the circle again. Run!

New Liberal Arts in Simple HTML (via heyitsnoah)

Coming soon: Genlighten’s rough and ragged private beta. Then, “around the circle again.”

*Someone* seems to like it…

Despite all the usability roadblocks that are probably there, somebody managed to order 9 death certificate lookups on Genlighten tonight. Biggest revenue day ever! :)

I’m prone to those revelations where something blinks and things suddenly make sense but your excitement for this new understanding is clouded by your annoyance that you didn’t figure it out earlier and save yourself mountains of stress and frustration. And sometimes those revelations aren’t even that clear, you know know that you’ve jumped back on the right track somehow after being off it for some unknown period of time, even if you have no early idea where that track is leading you.

Not So Quick Travel Blip | sbdc

I love this description of those oh so big revelations that happen so rarely in life..

(via hiten)

Sometimes they seem to come only when when we commit in advance to act on them, whatever they might be.

The ultimate goal of a lean startup is to identify where its vision intersects with what reality can accommodate. It is neither a capitulation to “what customers think they want” nor a willful ignorance of conditions on the ground. It is a company built to learn.

The Promise of the Lean Startup (via hiten)

I *think* we’re built to learn. I sure hope we are…

There are so many people that don’t care about their past. They are more interested in the here and now. Isn’t that the way it should be? But I believe there also needs to be someone that keeps checking the rear view mirror of our lives so that we don’t go off the straight and narrow path; so that we treasure what is beautiful and unique about our particular family; so that we don’t forget the precious and the notorious individuals that share our genes.

Jennifer from the “But Now I’m Found” blog: My Genealogy Habit

I like the idea of genealogy as the “rear view mirror” of our lives.

It’s really amazing how many startups fail. Not that ideas fail, no, that’s a given — but that as the costs of running a business plunge ever lower so many smart people can’t cover their $4,000/month “don’t die” costs.

Colin Plamondon, How the opportunity cost of a great idea destroys startups

Funny, those are just about our “don’t die” costs, too.

By far the dominant reason for not releasing sooner was a reluctance to trade the dream of success for the reality of feedback.

Kent Beck, Three Rivers Institute blog, Approaching A Minimum Viable Product
also quoted on 37Signals’ SvN blog.

via @garrytan
What is Genlighten’s “vast and endless sea”?

via @garrytan

What is Genlighten’s “vast and endless sea”?

When Web Developers Don't Consider Usability

Via the GetElastic blog

Should users be able to complete the entire checkout process without having to register? If not, how should registration be handled? These are the familiar e-commerce site usability issues Genlighten is grappling with right now.