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Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

Everyone in enterprise software talks about ‘Consumerization’. The idea is that the products we use at work are getting easier to use — more like the products we use in our everyday lives. It’s not a new idea, 20 years ago Marc Benioff founded Salesforce on the dream of making CRM as easy as Amazon.

So why do consumer products, almost universally, have better user experiences than work tools? …

Inspired by Joel Spolsky

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Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

Have you ever seen the foundation of a house being poured? A crew shows up for a day with a fleet of cement trucks parading by, one by one, filling framed out wooden squares with molten gray sludge. By the next morning, you have a solid structure on which to build. It’s just about the most straightforward part of the home building project.

“Building software is very little like building houses.” — @dhh

On software projects, we tend to spend way too much time considering the foundation. We get ratholed into decisions about data models, rendering engines, and caching layers. These conversations can become all-consuming, religious wars. …

Inspired by Ryan Singer

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Photo by Mike Dorner on Unsplash

The team was deep in presentation mode — sharing the new dashboard designs with our Product Leader. After 10 minutes of polite squirming, unable to contain himself, he exclaimed, “People don’t use dashboards!” You could hear the frustration in his voice — exhaustion earned through years of failed attempts at making the one perfect screen.

Now, this executive rarely voiced such a strong opinion, so when he did, I took notice. I filed it away and let my subconscious mind chew on it. …

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