Jake Knapp

Design Partner at Google Ventures.


My year with a distraction-free iPhone (and how to start your own experiment)


In 2012, I realized I had a problem.

My iPhone made me twitchy. I could feel it in my pocket, calling me, like the Ring called Bilbo Baggins. It distracted me from my kids. It distracted me from my wife. It distracted me anytime, anywhere. I just didn’t have the willpower to ignore…


An Eleven Year-Old’s Guide to Cussing

by Luke Knapp


Note: Medium does not allow 11 year olds to have their own accounts, so my son Luke is posting on my account


How to design: 7 principles

  1. Approach each problem with a beginner’s mindset.
  2. Compare multiple solutions before committing.
  3. Prototype to build understanding.
  4. Discard ideas without ego.
  5. Validate in the real world.
  6. Follow through with relentless attention to detail.
  7. And always, always, always: Do work with meaning.

For more on this, read this.


An Eleven Year-Old’s Guide to Plane-Spotting

Flying has become a routine, nothing out of the ordinary. Most people can’t tell one plane from another. This article…


Reactions > Feedback

Today, I watched a customer try a prototype of a mobile app. He was navigating through a list of something. (It’s a secret what the app is, so I’m being intentionally vague. “Something.” Woo, mysterious!)

He successfully got through the list. No problem. Instantly.

Then he said “That’s too hard. People won’t figure it out.” He…


The saddest thing that could possibly happen: I’m not getting my iPhone 6 on the first day

It’s 10:03 am on September 19, and I just found out I’m not getting my iPhone 6 today. There’s nothing for me on the UPS truck. Somehow I screwed up my pre-order, and now I have to wait until October. You read that right. Literally weeks. What is this, 13th century England?


Frequently Asked Questions for the Very Tall

Questions listed by frequency.

Q: How tall are you?

A: You have to guess before I’ll tell you. That’s my policy! Haha!

Q: I don’t know. Six-five?

A: That’s a great guess! I’m actually six-seven. And a half!


My year with a distraction-free iPhone (and how to start your own experiment)


In 2012, I realized I had a problem.

My iPhone made me twitchy. I could feel it in my pocket, calling me, like the Ring called Bilbo Baggins. It distracted me from my kids. It distracted me from my wife. It distracted me anytime, anywhere. I just didn’t have the willpower to ignore…


The Time Timer: Google Ventures’ secret weapon for instantly better meetings

You should buy one in the next 4 minutes


Startups: Treat Yourselves To Some New Whiteboard Markers

Or: The Smartest $1 Your Company Can Spend


New Parents: 12 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice


1. Don’t listen to people who say “Just you wait…”

Those people are jerks.

2. You don’t have to pick a name right away.

Seeing a real baby can blow up even the most certain of names. Try a few out. See how they feel. Don’t let the hospital or whoever pressure you into…