A friend of mine told me that, when dealing with people, it’s best to assume positive intent. You can view it as a shortcut (since, truthfully, the vast majority of people do have positive intent), but more importantly it’s a conscious choice that makes the world a better place for you.

Some excellent advice from Matt Gemmell.

Friends and colleagues often ask my wife how she balances her job and motherhood. Somehow, the same people don’t ask me.

A few months ago, I decided the only way to balance was by stepping back from my job. MongoDB is a special company. In my nearly 4 years at the company, we have raised $220 million, grown the team 15x and grown sales 30x. We have amazing customers, a great product which gets better with every release, the strongest team I have ever worked with, and incredible momentum in the market. The future is bright and MongoDB deserves a leader who can be “all-in” and make the most of the opportunity.

Unfortunately, I cannot be that leader given the geography of the majority of the company in New York and my family in California.

It says a lot about our society that men aren’t asked these same questions. Fatherhood is important. Kudos to Max Schireson.

once you accept the beauty and utility of being wrong, “putting something out there” quickly becomes one important step on the path to being right.

So much good here from Casey and Brent. I need to think about this more and worry less about being wrong. I think I stay away from technical stuff for fear of being wrong.

Commoditizing apps and tightly controlling the market for apps on iPhones benefits Apple, and many of its users, in the short run. But in the long run, an unhealthy software ecosystem can’t be good for Apple, for its users, or for the developers who write apps for Apple’s platforms.

Apple obviously doesn’t need to do anything right now. They’re making a lot of money selling iPhones. But their store is flawed. It inhibits a lot of applications and prevents talented developers from being able to make a living selling apps. It may not be hurting now, but it will at some point. The point is Apple could do more to make building great apps a viable business venture, and doing so would directly benefit Apple.

Seriously, Apple launched the App Store with no mechanism for Trials and Upgrades and we all just though “Meh, that’s fine.” Turns out, we screwed over everything by accepting that.

I love iOS and all these apps, but once we lose the good developers, we’ll lose the good apps. And then we’ll lose the platform.

I wrote a bunch of crap about this, but didn’t feel like I had a coherent thought. Thankfully Ben Brooks took care of it for me. I’m not convinced the top lists are a positive or a negative. But these other failures are a huge negative.

Insulated Perspectives

David Smith talked on his podcast today about Threes! and 2048. In particular he was talking about an acquaintance playing 2048, and how he perceived this acquaintance’s experience. You’ll have to listen to hear the nuances of his point, but essentially his deduction was that 2048 made the acquaintance feel smart and that’s why he valued it versus Threes!.

This really missed the mark for me. I think by design Threes! gives users the exact same feeling. It’s more difficult for sure, but it provides the exact same satisfaction. What you take pride in achieving is really based on what your friends achieve. If he feels smart, it’s because he’s doing better than his average friend. While he might take pride in beating 2048, he would take the same pride in getting the 768 block in Threes! if his friends were struggling to.

This user wasn’t playing 2048 because it made him feel smart and Threes! couldn’t. He was playing because 2048 was free. Free games are easier to pick up. You can try them without risking your money. They copied the simple mechanics that made Threes! enjoyable to play and put them out for free. What this story tells me is that this guy, like a lot of App Store consumers, values his $5 (or whatever Threes! costs nowadays).

David’s larger point was to understand what it is your potential customers value, which I think was good. We know that a lot of customers (nay, users; if they don’t pay they aren’t customers) will deal with a lot of crap from a product if it’s gives them some utility they don’t have to pay for.

Certainly developers should be thinking about how they can generate value for customers. 2048 has done that by providing a ton of eyeballs to the customers who pay for ads. The best products, in my opinion, are the ones that can generate enough value to convince users pay for them. Products like David’s own Feed Wrangler/Pod Wrangler and especially apps with delightful and fun experiences like Threes!.