Blame Culture via Tank

Blame Culture: “Who Gets Shot”

I read a blog post by Lance Weatherby that epitomized everything I think is stereotypically wrong in large organizations and was worth commenting on. Lance opines:

When it comes to roles and responsibilities a way to add a little clarity is to think in terms of who gets in trouble if something goes wrong (which is very different from who gets credit when something goes right). I call this who gets shot....

Imagine the team sitting around a big conference table. Imagine a little tank sitting in the middle of that table. The tank turret is always rotating and turning toward someone. The key is to solve the pressure point before the turret stops rotating and the gunner has time to take aim.

If we are not moving out product fast enough or the product we have is not functioning properly the turret turns to the CTO.

Market managers miss their numbers? Here come the tank. Sales reps don't generate a certain amount of revenue. Here comes the tank.

As I noted in the comments, I could not disagree more strongly.

There is a huge difference between responsibility and taking the blame

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National Endowment for Open Source

Is there any doubt right now about the strength and power of open source software for accelerating technological innovation?

In the past, companies have had to invest huge amounts of capital in developing proprietary software while another company might have already had a comparable technology sitting on the shelf, disused.

Today, there are over 300,000 open source projects on alone.

While there are coherent arguments against open sourcing in certain areas such as pharmaceuticals, it's hard to deny that in the software industry open sourcing provides enough of a boost to the reputation of companies and individuals that offsets any direct economic loss that the individuals might have. Furthermore, other developers and companies are permitted to stand on the shoulders of open source to make incremental improvements in the stability and infrastructure of the technology.

So what is the government doing to support this common good?

Nothing that I'm aware of. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

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rock star

Top 3 Ways to Fail at Customer Development

The squarest disco ball you'll ever see

The customer confirmed all of our hypotheses! We're awesome! I mean really, who wouldn't want a square disco ball? Let's go build it!


In the unlikely event that your revolutionary new product, the square disco ball, is actually a customer need, the customer will still challenge your expectations of what the product should be with either:

Pricing discrepancies - "I would've paid more than $2000 for that." Unexpected use cases - "This will make a great piñata!" Marketing material miscommunication - "What is this disco thing of which you speak?" Ridiculous feature requests that no one else will want - "Why doesn't this disco ball come in a nice plaid?"

If you take the time to talk to customers and learn absolutely nothing new about your product, even if only a few random brainstorm ideas, then you probably were talking to not with the customer.

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Lean User Experience Residency with LUXr

The Lean Startup movement is only a couple years old, and Customer Development as first described by Steve Blank isn't too much older. So it was a bit of a shock for me to learn that there is a whole academic (and practical) discipline out there which has been doing something suspiciously close to Customer Development for well over two decades.

Not to put down Eric Ries, Patrick, Brant, etc., but that's far more mature than anything Lean Startup has yet done. So I figure they've got something good to teach me.

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Stay Tuned for Hacking User Experience

I've got about five posts in the queue but I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to proof and publish them. I've spent the week hacking away on as part of the residency program where I'm learning more about User Experience design under the mentorship of Janice Fraser (@celevergirl) and her #leanUX mafia including my friend Tim McCoy (@seriouslynow).

So in short, to run! I'll be back next week with a series of posts on User Experience. I'll got through all the tips and tricks I'm picking up as well as how we're applying them for

Until then, please enjoy this monkey and check out what we're doing at

A monkey could write this blog...and one does.

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