Today I’ve got four more cool links. First, let me advertise my upcoming design sprint workshops:
Yes, this is next week. I know, I should’ve sent a newsletter sooner. I’m not really an a-plus marketer, okay? But to try to make it up to you (and honestly because it turns out to be tough to sell tickets to a design sprint workshop in Las Vegas!) you can take 33% off tickets with the super special Black Friday coupon code: VEGASORBUST
I’m actually excited about being in Boston in January… not because of the weather obviously, but because I’m going to be a guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School! Yeah, I know that’s bragging but I can’t help it, I’m excited. I mean, they’re including design sprints in the curriculum, how cool is that? Anyway while I’m in town I’ll also be doing a public workshop (which I’m also excited about!) and tickets just went on sale.
Okay, whew, the ads were long in this newsletter, let’s get to the links.
This is an excellent how-to post by Justin Mertes
at the agency Crema
. The writing is clear and funny, like this example:
Right off the bat, we had a challenge we’d never faced before: the Kudelski team we’d be working with had employees in Atlanta and Switzerland. We’re in Kansas City, which is neither of those places.
There are great photos, lots of how-to tips, and a good story. However, please note that this design sprint didn’t have a test at the end, so despite the useful post, Justin is a horrible person. Just kidding, they had a good reason, which was that their client—who would be participating in the sprint—were also the end users. As Justin puts it:
Although we would have loved to have had time for continued user testing, our Sprint team was made up by the people who would be using the platform. We knew that if we got their excited sign-off, we’d be on the right track.
The post has a lot of great, practical details about how they made this unusual sprint work. If you’re running a remote sprint, this is a great resource—just keep in mind you’ll have to figure out the testing part separately since scofflaw Justin didn’t do it.
Last issue I linked to Descript
and went on and on about how much I love their marketing video. My buddy Xander wrote back and told me the video was made my an agency called Sandwich
. If you’ve got a little time to burn, go down the rabbit hole and watch a few of their videos. My favorite (before I got a little bit sick of watching product videos, which happens fast no matter how good they are) was for Notarize
, which will probably make more sense if you live in the United States… but it might be funny anywhere.
When I worked on product teams, I never liked standup meetings, and this post helped me understand why.
What more can I say?
That’s it for today, and as always, thanks for reading, I appreciate it. No, really, I do! See, I kind of hate sitting down to write a newsletter, because it is usually triggered by me wanting to advertise some workshop or something, which makes me feel sort of icky. I don’t want to spam you, y'know? Then I look through my list of links to share and I think “oh yeah, some of this stuff is really cool!” and that makes me feel better. Then I write a little about each link, and it takes me a ridiculously long time, so then I’m kind of kicking myself for spending hours writing a newsletter instead of trying to create something bigger. A chapter of a book? Or at least a blog post, right? But then I’m done and I do feel good because I’ve got that sense of completion (which can be a dangerous thing, but whatever).
The best part, though, the real payoff, is something that’s invisible, which is if you read it and you like it. It’s not totally invisible, because I can see the total number of links clicked and stuff like that, and this newsletter has about 2,000 more subscribers now than 1 year ago, which isn’t crazy growth, but it’s definitely something.
That’s the emotional roller coaster of newsletter writing. Anyway, if you’re still here, hey, I’m glad you’re here. I hope you find some of this cool and/or useful, but regardless, when I say “thanks for reading” I’m not just saying it, I mean it!