Getting users to switch to your product.

I was walking down the pasta aisle of the grocery store with a friend, she was doing some grocery shopping with me and was picking up some Kraft dinner for her kids. She grabbed 4 boxes without thinking and put them in her cart. I stopped her and told her the Annie’s mac and cheese was on sale and tastes better. My friend told me she’d only try Annie’s if it was being given away for free. I think she was exaggerating but the sentiment was clear; Annie’s would need to be 10X less expensive than Kraft mac and cheese…


When price doesn’t match customer expectation.

If you know what you’re doing a rough diamond can be more valuable than a faceted diamond.

Have you ever walked into a furniture store after visiting an IKEA? I mean a real furniture store, with solid wood and designer furniture. Well, if you have you probably suffered from some sticker-shock; but why? It has to do with mis-set expectations. You see, when you’re used to buying furniture from IKEA, you expect to find other furniture thats similarly priced. For instance, if you comparison-shop bookshelves at IKEA you may find the prices range from $39-$279 depending on the style and quality. If you only shop at IKEA, you may become used to (conditioned) the price ranges they…


Hostile Sheep developed a new research method.

After almost two years of contact I finally got an invite to meet with the CEO of a large tech company I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. I was told a series of new products were being considered and some research needed to be done to determine user needs, who they should target with the various products, and which products should move forward. The research & development team lead met with me a couple weeks prior to brief me on their needs and the RFP they’ll be issuing the following month. I spent two weeks developing a…


The potential is there but ambition provides the courage to fly.

“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings” — Salvador Dali

I was bewildered by ambitious people for the longest time. I was born content; my goal was to enjoy life for the first 30 years of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I always did my best in school and work. I just didn’t have the specific goals that are required to be ambitious. I was happy with who I was and what I was achieving. I didn’t like high school so I did my best to get out of it as quickly as possible. Same goes for college…


Pre-pandemic, I loved connecting with peers and colleagues over a drink and exchanging stories from the field. Since the pandemic, I haven’t had the chance to share industry stories as much. I always liked hearing the opinions of my friends and peers, even if it was forced-validation. I also loved offering my opinion about stories from my friends and peers. I miss sharing stories from the field and, in an effort to spark story-sharing, will share a few of mine. Story #1: Making amends, Story #2: Delivery over effort, and Story #3: Power gone to head.

Story#1: Making amends

Once upon a time…


“We may be the most losing ad agency of all time.” A friend of mine, who also happens to be the head of business development at one of the largest ad agency networks in the world, told me this when I asked him whether I should submit my work to awards shows. “We also have won some of the most prestigious awards and those awards have led to us landing business we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.” Ultimately, awards seem to be more about marketing than recognition.

When I was in elementary school I had a shelf full of awards and…


Small projects are great. I like them so much, at Hostile Sheep, every project is a small project. It’s so refreshing and motivating; considering I’ve worked on projects that could last over a year, during my career. But seriously, what’s so great about small projects?

Why I like small projects

  • Finding partners: There’s nothing worse than discovering a team member is a toxic nightmare but you never really know until you work together. Small projects are great for testing an unproven partnership because it’s less risky than testing it on larger projects. …

If you know me, you know I’ve long considered websites and apps to be digital products; worthy of being managed by product managers. This is becoming reality in more and more organizations. I’m encountering more product managers in charge of websites and fewer brand managers; though, some websites are still viewed as a marketing communications channel. So, in this post — our final post in our “What you don’t know” series — I’ll speak to both marketing teams and product teams about managing websites.

Firstly, product managers & product teams

I’ll start by talking to the emerging standard; product teams. These teams are usually in-house teams…


There was a time when professionals charged for the cumulation of their work; a wall-painter would charge for the completed job, opposed to the hours it took to complete the job. If the job was sub-par the vendor would have to charge less. If a job took an unexpectedly long time, (contrary to today) the vendor would likely have to charge less. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that organizations (like law firms and accounting firms) started paying skilled professionals a salary, while billing their clients an hourly rate for their services. Essentially making each employee a revenue stream. The…


Products need to be intuitive; product designers never want users to be paralyzed, not knowing how to use the product. That said, not all products are created equal; some products are much more complex than others. For instance, Adobe Photoshop is much more complex product than Gmail. As such, many users need formal training to use Adobe Photoshop, while most people don’t need any training to use Gmail. So, how do we reduce the biggest barriers to using our software, websites and apps? …

Jordan Julien

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