Showing posts from 2013

Don't ditch your product, ditch the experience

If you are wondering why your competition is speeding past you while your product is more sophisticated and feature-rich, you might stop looking at your engineers and start chatting with your customers. Sometimes a shift in your customer experience can turn your product into the flavor-of-the-month.I was visiting with a friend who owns a landscape design company and we were talking about online review websites like Yelp. He has a five star rating on Yelp and does everything he can to maintain… Read the rest of my blog on

If Your Pants Have Loops, Wear A Belt

Your customers are complaining that your product isn’t as cool as the competition. You feel the heat of your sales force breathing down your neck because they don’t like making excuses to customers about how it works, and your customer support team spends twice as much time apologizing than they do solving actual problems. Essentially, in your rush to engineer a great product and solve some very important problems, you’ve let your appearance get sloppy. It’s Not Your Product, It’s the Experience Read the rest of my article on Wired...

My Other Interests:

I usually only post business-type stuff on this blog, but I do have other hobbies and interests. One of my favorites is embarking on Motorcycle Adventures. I have a 2012 BMW F650GS and I like to hop on and disappear. I also have a KTM which I take to the desert to get my fill of rock and sand. One of the best aspects of a moto adventure is when you experience the point of no-return... the moment you realize you must persevere because you can't turn back. It's one of the most amazing feelings. It's scary and exciting, it takes focus and the ability to make clear decisions. That's really what it's all about, the ability to make a decision and not waver in the face of adversity. Well, I have a lot of other things to share about moto adventures, so I created a new web site dedicated completely to the topic: Moto Away []. It's my safe place to share motorcycle adventures with anyone interested in reading. I hope you enjoy it. --Mash

Is Marketing a Bunch of Smoke and Mirrors?

No... but if done correctly, Marketing can be magical. When my kids were young we used to drive around town and take turns making up stories. At first it was pretty simple, a kid walks past a cave and he sees two red eyes. But after a while we started creating more intricate stories. We added tension and suspense. One day my son, who was about six at the time, made up a great story about a lion and a peacock. I was absolutely captured through to the ending... it was magical. A great story is magical. I've been in and around marketing for the better part of 20 years and the one thing I continue to stress is the importance of telling a great story. Yes, you can tell the story about features and benefits. You can tell the story of differentiation. You can tell the story of cost and value... But if you really want to see something magical, tell the story of integrity, prosperity, confidence, tension, suspense and values. Your product or service is much more than a fact-sheet. Your stor

Rethinking Enterprise UX in the Age of Consumerization

Check out my piece in UX Magazine on the difference between end-user and Administrator UX when designing for the enterprise: --Mash

E-mail or Email, Does it Really Matter?

I have been reading through datasheets, websites, product literature and user guides for years. I'm a product guy and I like to pay attention to the details. You can tell a lot about a company by the words they choose, and the way they use them. When a company uses different words, with different capitalization, and different spelling, that's a sign of trouble. On the other hand, when I come across a website where the words are well chosen and consistent, there is an obvious attention to detail and it's easier to build trust and a relationship with that company... and I like that. Take a look at the words you use within your product and within your literature. Make sure you are consistent and the same words are used throughout your entire organization. Here are a few common words used in software today that companies often stumble upon: 1. E-mail, Email, or email - This is a pet peeve, especially going across product UI, datasheets and user guides. It doesn't real

You May Be Working an Extra Day a Week — And Loving It?

Happy to see my piece in WIRED this morning: --Mash

The Wait is Over

Well, it's time to announce the big update: FastPencil has been acquired by Courier Corp! It was a great ride, I had a lot of fun, and now I'm moving on to start another business. But in the meantime I've joined Accellion in Palo Alto as their Director, Product Experience, where I get to help design and engineer great solutions for secure mobile productivity. It's a nice shift to be in the enterprise cloud industry as opposed to consumer internet products. I will be writing again and sharing my ideas, so stay tuned... and though I don't have all the details of my new business fleshed-out just yet, I can tell you what it's called and you can start guessing: CORL8. Hopefully we will launch before you connect the dots :) --Mash