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Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

In recent years a trend has emerged in tech: whatever you do in your product or marketing, A/B Test it: run the change on some users and not on others, and see which group performs better. It’s fundamentally a good idea. But at scale (e.g. larger teams) it can backfire. And we need to be mindful of that.

The tree that hides the forest

Two things happen with an A/B Test:


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3 years ago we set off on a journey to give every marketer their own virtual marketing analyst.

I remember spending so much time at Apple preparing Quaterly Business Reviews and trying to a- get the numbers I needed and then b- slice and dice them to, fundamentally, answer two “simple” questions: “what’s going on in the market”, and “what should we do next”?

The first quarter you do it, it’s fun. The second one it’s okay. The third one… you are seriously starting to wonder.

Our vision with Marie was simple: what if you had a tool that could…


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I spent 10 years in Product Marketing at Apple and I was making in average 1 slide deck every 10 days.

This is not an Apple thing: every PM will tell you, Keynote/PowerPoint is a key tool in their arsenal. But it’s broader than PM. In fact, in any job where you need to share results, onboard people on a project/pitch a feature, etc. you will likely “present a deck” at some point.

But Apple is quite “specific” about the slide deck exercise. It came from the top of course — Steve Jobs’ keynotes are widely considered the best presentations…


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This article is written from the perspective of a founder / CTO. So it’s not just about the technical merits of the technologies put forward. There are other criteria to take into account:

  • will you be able to attract talent? …


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It was not so long ago that Marie Outtier and I were sitting in a basement (true… but it was not that bad) prototyping a demo for what Aiden was meant to be.

Since then we…

  • rewrote our data pipeline… twice. That hurts. But this stuff is like a moving target and doing it really well is a massive commitment (Airflow is helping though)
  • open-sourced our testing…


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Dali. The Persistence Of Memory.

The brain can physically remodel itself.

A few years ago, Wired published an article that gave me pause. In a nutshell, it was describing how — despite what we had thought — the brain can be “reconfigured”. It was illustrated by the story of a young boy whose brain had been damaged after an accident, to a point where the part of the brain associated to speech had to be removed — leaving him unable to speak. Until, that is, he went through a specific “brain-fitness training program” that ended up re-configuring his brain: the speech ability had moved to a different part of the brain.


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AI runs on rationality. At least that’s how it feels.

DeepMind’s incredible performance at beating old school Atari games is a poster child example: the outcome of each game is simple and precise (get the highest score). AI excels at this.

But what does it mean for us when everything…


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You may have come across the brilliant podcast “The Knowledge project”. I just listened to the episode on Artificial Intelligence where Shane interviews Pedro Domingos, a professor at the University of Washington (thanks Marie for the tip!). It’s one of the best general “overview” of the field I have listened to. Everything is expressed with perfect clarity and precision.

Early on Pedro explains the different sources of what we call knowledge. Knowledge comes from:

  1. Experience — we keep learning during our life
  2. Culture — we learn from each other, we read…


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Steve Blank’s almost “academic” essay on why Apple is (pretty much) doomed has generated a lot of interest on the web. It is very interesting indeed. Does it depict the reality accurately? I am not sure.

NB: I spent a decade at Apple in product marketing so yes, I am biased, You could also argue I have “some” insights.

Here is Steve’s thesis:

“What happens to a company when a visionary CEO is gone? Most often innovation dies and the company coasts for years on momentum and its brand. Rarely does it regain its former glory.” [and that’s Apple’s fate].


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This past week, there’s not been a single day where the Thiel/Gawker case did not make the headlines. It IS a “great” story with its Game Of Thrones-esque plot where Thiel, a precocious chess master turned tech billionaire and don of the Paypal mafia unleashed a carefully planned, lethal attack against its arch-enemy, Gawker, an internet media company famous for pocking the Silicon Valley beast — and even crossing the line from times to times.

It is interesting to watch. What I hope though is once we will be done with the ad hominem trashing and things start to settle…

PJ Camillieri

Engineering & Product @ Twitter. Before: co-founder @ Aiden.ai (acquired by Twitter). Before: product manager @ Apple

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