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Photo by jean wimmerlin on Unsplash

When thinking about investing energy into a new endeavor, I like to hedge my bets.

Hedging: To protect yourself against loss by supporting more than one possible result.

A Medium Investment

Today I decided to start investing a few hours a week writing on Medium for the next few months. It’s an investment — each hour that I spend writing is time that I could be doing client work instead. So there’s a real cost involved.

I’ll be honest — my primary goal for this investment is to increase my reach and eventually connect with new clients. That would be a tangible return on investment.

But what if this investment doesn’t return any new clients? The odds are probably not in my favor — it’s a risky bet. If that were the only valuable outcome from writing, I’d be wise to invest elsewhere. …

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(And why you should too)

As I write this it’s the first week of May, and there’s an energetic buzz in the air — because it means that Summer Hours are about to start here at Basecamp. The description of Summer Hours in our employee handbook is simple:

During summer, we work 4-day work weeks, aka “summer hours”. Summer hours are in effect from May 1 through August 31 each year.

Summer Hours are one of my favorite practices at Basecamp — but not just because they are an extra day off each week.

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A mantra I apply to product design

“Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” is a common mantra in marksmanship. The kernel of wisdom being: Don’t rush, make your actions count, and you’ll come out ahead.

It’s inspired a mantra that I apply to product design:

Slow Smooth Fast Effective

Thinking slowly about the problem provides the insight and context needed to solve it holistically. Step back, and take a deep breath. Understand your true target. It’s probably not the first thing that caught your eye.

Acting smoothly means that your movements aren’t wasted. Once you’ve identified the true target, your actions can be efficient, and focused. …


Kris Niles

Product Designer, working remotely from the Rockies. Previously at Basecamp, InVision, and Citrix.

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