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[PMC] The curse

May 24, 2019

(Readin’ time: 2m 3s) On the shuttle from Taos to ABQ, I met an aeronautical engineer who had a theory on the root cause of the recent 737 Max crashes. He was a dapper-looking guy with white hair, probably in his late 50’s, and had a charming British accent. He started his career as a…


[PMC] Subtle sampling bias

May 23, 2019

(Readin’ time: 1m 15s) A few days back, list member Josh Earl was kind enough to point out a form of bias that can effect your efforts to validate an idea. This got me thinking… Your reputation filters what you hear and experience, so you might think the thing you specialize in is more common…


[PMC] The $12,500 pourover

May 22, 2019

(Readin’ time: 1m 48s) While in Sebastopol for the move, I went to a new coffee shop a few times. It’s called ACRE, their product is wonderful and seemingly ethically produced, and you can order beans from them if you, like me, don’t have a bead on a local roaster you like (yet): On…


[PMC] Ooooh that smell! Can’t you smell that smell!

May 21, 2019

(Readin’ time: 3m 49s) The difference between direct response and brand marketing has recently been particularly interesting to me. My wife and I have just moved to Taos, NM, so I’m in that headspace where you don’t ignore the stuff you usually ignore [1]. In this case, I didn’t ignore the big billboard at the…


[PMC] Mailbag: SPoF

May 20, 2019

(Readin’ time: 1m 47s) List member Josh Earl said something really crucial in response to my SPoF email. Josh graciously gave me permission too share this with you: Hey Philip, good email. I generally agree with you about doing many smaller validations along the way. One caution that I wanted to add, based on my…


[PMC] Cardiologist to Technologist

May 19, 2019

(Readin’ time: 8 seconds) This is an interesting, short article about the similarities between medicine and technology: Happy Sunday, -P


[PMC Weekend Edition] “Specialists like us are the future.”

May 18, 2019

(Readin’ time: 27 secconds) Thanks to all the list members who sent me this: It’s a really interesting read, and it suggests at least one path forward for retailers threatened by Amazon. Of course, this path forward has already been mapped out by Kim and Mauborgne in general terms: don’t compete with the 800-lb…


[PMC] SpoF

May 16, 2019

(Readin’ time: 2m 49s) We work to avoid single points of failure in software. What about when validating an idea? This question came up recently thanks to a client, who I was helping think through validating an online workshop/course. It’s useful to model this situation along a two pole spectrum. On one extreme, you do…


[PMC] Can’t see it to fight it

May 16, 2019

(Readin’ time: 1m 51s) Jason Molina wrote this song, “Ring the Bell”, that has this line that just guts me every time I hear it. I tried and tried to pull out the right excerpt for you, but each attempt lost critical context, so instead here’s the whole song: Help does not just walk up…


[PMC] Survey marketing recruitment

May 15, 2019

Quick tophat: I am working to better understand how self-employed devs improve their career. Would you be willing to spare 3m for a survey? It will mean the world to me. -> I’m not selling anything; you have my NO SALES PITCH GUARANTEE. (Readin’ time: 8m 54s) “If a survey falls in the forest…