"A word that can mean anything has lost its bite."
  – Richard Rumelt, "Good Strategy, Bad Strategy"

Throw a rock online these days and you’re likely to hit someone talking about some flavor of digital strategy: Web strategy, social media strategy, mobile strategy, content strategy, search strategy, hottest-topic-of-the-month strategy. You name it, and someone is writing about it, strategically. A lot of smart and experienced people are sharing good ideas on any digital topic you can imagine, often claiming to provide the strategic keys to the digital kingdom of success…But are they really talking about strategy? And if they are, how can you separate the wheat from the chaff?Read More →

Path released their social networking application / platform back in November 2010 to a lot of buzz, followed by a collective shrug. It wasn’t really clear how to use the service, or what its value proposition was relative to the other social networks where people were already spending their time (e.g., Facebook and Twitter). In late 2011, they completely redesigned their iPhone application and expanded the number of users allowed in a given network, and things got more interesting. Usage exploded.Read More →

Experience design for the Web is all about tradeoffs: you have to balance what you can design (which is limited only by imagination) with what you can build (which is constrained based on existing technologies). This delicate dance between design and technology has existed ever since people started wanting Web pages (and experiences) to go beyond something you could create with a crayon. Branded experiences and useful applications need good interaction and information design, solid visual design, and an implementation that is faithful to both and performs well.Read More →

Everyone loves making predictions, especially pundits and bloggers who need to keep cranking out ideas and content to pay the bills. Beyond this drive to publish, it’s an important part of the human condition to wonder about the future, dream of what might be, and imagine how to reap benefits from it. The beginning of each new year brings a flood of these prognostications, especially in the world of what I’ll loosely call “Internet business.” While it’s a fun exercise that makes for good reading, it’s basically pointless, in my opinion. Not only is it a waste of time, but it also gives the damaging impression that business follows a predictable set of trends, and that strategic decision-making might be guided by these predictions. It’s just not that simple.Read More →

Hurricane

A recent Schumpeter article in The Economist lamented the “howling hurricane of noise” and “blizzard of buzz” in the world of social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). The writer posits that these new modes of communication are potentially more trouble than they’re worth for companies and individuals, using the economics of scarcity as a foundation for his argument (i.e., that things derive value from their scarcity). He ultimately seems to conclude that because so much information is available through social media, it ultimately lacks value.Read More →

New Year’s resolutions are easy to create; I could write a list as long as my arm without really trying. The problem is keeping them, because there’s a big difference between a resolution and action. In fact, resolutions are often just wishes without any real resolve behind them at all. Even if there is resolve, our yearly resolutions are often tactical, goal-directed and small in scale and scope (e.g., lose the tire around the midsection). Chris Brogan has an interesting solution: ditch your resolutions and come up with three words that will serve to give you direction in the coming year, themes by which you will live your life. With these in place, do whatever it takes to make those words your reality.Read More →