How I Learned The Secret of Branding From Next-Level Product Design UI: The Ultimate Medium Story

Using data agreggation best practices, Tom scoured Medium and surfaced the perfect Medium story. Every word is carefully selected for optimized Medium performance that’ll really challenge the paradigm.

If there’s one lesson every start-up needs to learn, it’s this: are your investors entrepreneurs?

I’ve seen too many brands decay because they didn’t apply entrepreneurial SEO architecture—can you say Silicon Vall-oof? A real 21st century framework needs to push its way through a crowded media landscape that emphasizes low-hanging fruit and selfie-sticks over the hard wisdoms of work-tempered software landmarks.

But really? It’s not about stand-up meetings or boosting your job title. An Executive Super-Triple VP of Ideation does not a brand make—leave that old-style business structure behind. It’s time to innovate, and surface some exponential progress that’ll really move the needle.

Knowing When to Walk Away

A few years ago, I spearheaded the dev cycle of the groundbreaking, next-generation lifestyle UI innovation app Traainstop. We began with a fire in our hearts, applying the lessons we’d accrued over years of personal brand maintenance to make an app that’d be the Yik Yak of millenial UI architecture.

“I don’t want to be Dunlop,” I remember Chad saying during that first digital pathfinding breakout, “I want to be fucking Michelin.” We were floored. What he was saying was insane, unachieveable. But we believed in the message. We put in the 15-hour days, we slurped down Soylent by the gallon jug. But I’ll tell you now: Traainstop makes Dunlop look like a pile of smoking garbage.

Our investors shifted angrily in their bean bags and growled at us from across the conference room. “This ideation is too next-level!” they said. “We’ll die before we loose these actionable insights on the marketplace!” All eighteen simultaneously produced an identical obsidian dagger from inside their casual blazers, and screamed “money over freedom!”

And that’s when we knew to walk away. Would Traainstop have improved the life of every human on Earth to a degree heretofore unfathomable? Of course, but what was more important was the energy of a hungry startup—the insatiable drive for the freedom to innovate and produce top-down data structures that can’t keep the venture money away.

Look at your App Store and Traainstop will be nowhere to be found. But honestly? That’s the good news.

The Question All Internet Businesspeople Need To Ask Themselves

I’ve seen e-entrepreneurs come and go. Some drive brand new Teslas, some live in a studio, some find their UI insights laughed out of the room, some get more ink on TechCrunch than a integratable CRM, if you know what I mean! Ha ha! You have to have a sense of humor.

But the question is: why do some fail where others succeed? What’s the X factor? Could be who they answer to—investors, venture capitalists, consumers, engagement, hitmakers? And really, engagement isn’t engagement unless you’re talking about an elite group of trendsetters forging into a new digital frontier—Facebook can teach us a lot about UX optimization—duh—but as engagement goes it’s little more than MySpace these days! Can you imagine saying that in 2005? Imagine the strides we’ll make by 2025.

Your design architecture needs a game plan that’s going to break established thinking. We’re talking about a medium where a million voices all have equal say and the only law is the number of followers. Leave the jargon behind. Corporate-speak won’t leverage your consumer appeal. What it boils down to is: can your ideation stand up?

So I think the question we need to ask ourselves is clear: can a piece of design software really change your life?

I think your silence speaks for itself. Don’t be Dunlop—do the work. Be Michelin.

Tom is an e-Silicon Valley investo-entrepreneur who has left hundreds of apps unfinished in his quest to surface the next-level gamechanger in the art of UI architecture. Follow him on Twitter at @TomHarrison19.