The barrier to building cool stuff has never been lower. We have tools to take us from idea to mockup to prototype to a finished product — within hours and for little to no money. Most of these tools are delightfully breezy to use. And if we get stuck, the internet abounds with tutorials, communities, and friendly customer support folks to help us along the way. We’re more empowered than ever to build things ourselves.

All in all, building digital things can now be fast, convenient, and even pretty fun. And this new paradigm of making things has turned the way we use design on its head.

Before we had the resources we have today, building software meant investing a great deal of capital and thousands of hours of work. So…


April 1st marked the beginning of a new quarter. I love it when a new quarter rolls around, because I always take this time to check in on what I’ve accomplished the last few months and set new goals for what I aim to achieve in the coming ones.

Over in Mindful Makers (are you a member yet??) we got talking about goal setting, how we got in to it, and what makes it stick. …


Rikki Chan via Unsplash

Being a founder is a truly crazy experience. Especially when you’re brand new to life inside the bubble of of a rapidly growing early-stage tech company. When my cofounders and I started Riskopy, I’d already built two businesses and worked as a designer and programmer for some years. But this was a different beast. We were diving into the heart of the San Francisco startup scene and landing with the biggest splash we could manage.

I guess we did something right, because we built, launched, and chugged through dozens of iterations (and one pretty huge pivot) before making an exit


I’ve been following the #2018Liberation hashtag on Twitter and Medium today, and it has me fired up. Personally, I’m too self-growth obsessed to make resolutions once a year, but more like once a week. This habit has led to plenty of positive change, but also to a great deal of unwarranted self-criticism. I’ve had enough of it. I could resolve to monitor my propensity for self-criticism in 2018. But won’t that only perpetuate the problem when I inevitably slip up? I don’t want another resolution, I just want to hop off this hamster wheel.

Here’s what I’m freeing myself…


via Mpumelelo Macu on Unsplash

I had an idea for a new app I wanted to make. This would be my first time building something on my own, from scratch. No cofounders like last time? No problem. Let industry best practices guide me along rather than a living breathing human at my side.

I’d followed the Lean startup methodology in the past — my cofounders and I looked to it when we built Riskopy. We found the general principles invaluable. But with so much to do and so little time, it wasn’t always a front-of-mind priority to put together a perfect process.

Now that…

Sarah Ball

Product designer with a multidisciplinary streak in sunny San Francisco. https://sarahb.co

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