Musings on Design, Entrepreneurship, and the Creative Economy

Business

Grace Hopper, inventor of the COBOL language

Men of Silicon Valley: We’re sexist, we just don’t know it.

08/01/2012

As someone who moved to San Francisco about a year ago from Dallas, I was really struck by how progressive everything here was. Silicon Valley seems to be the embodiment of the American Dream, and one of the few places left in the country where you have a good shot at realizing it, especially in Read More

venn-FRM

CRM vs. Friendship Relationship Management

02/28/2012

Have you ever considered how similar Salesforce is to Facebook? No really. We are frequently discussing in the office how CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is such a dry and boring space, unlike consumer facing services, when it hit me today that Facebook and other social networks aren’t really all that different in purpose. I think Read More

sumo

5 Companies Ripe For a Takedown in 2012

01/04/2012

Happy 2012! Lets talk about some companies that are ripe for disruption this year. Below are 5 companies that I think are at serious risk of being unseated from their top positions in the near future. If you’re looking for ideas for a new startup, or wanting to know what startups you should be looking to Read More

Designers vs. Developers in Startups – You Need Both!

02/16/2010

Dave McClure at Business Week recently published an article about the value of design to startups, in which I thought he made some good points about how important designers and marketers are to the success of startups and applications. Predictably, this didn’t sit so well with developers like Steve at Big Dumb Dev, whose sarcastic Read More

Getting Started in Social Media: Twitter for Business

01/15/2010

After one of our clients recently set up a twitter account for her company and we connected, she sent me an email that read “OK, seriously – how did you manage to get 439 people to follow you?  I mean, I’m sure you’re an interesting guy, but 439?  The race is on!” I had to Read More

Don’t define your customers, let your customers define you.

07/22/2009

Never underestimate the creativity of your customers. You may think you have a great product, but don’t get married to your intended purpose for it. It’s quite possible that customers will find alternative uses you may not have even thought of, maybe even better uses. If you’re launching a new product, particularly a web app, be prepared to adapt it to the way your customers actually use it, and not necessarily the way you designed it.

The most recent, and high profile example of this is Twitter. Twitter was originally designed as a “what are you doing/thinking/status” feed for friends. 140 character limits forced you to keep it short and sweet, and post more often. At first, this is how people used it, but after a while we all grew bored …

How to respond to bad press online

07/18/2009

Following up on my earlier post about customer service being the new marketing, I just came across a great example of how your business should respond to bad press online.

For some reason, an insensitive phone call with a Spanish speaking customer was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, to the embarrassment of Frank Myers Auto Maxx. It got picked up by a very popular blog, The Truth About Cars, giving it broad exposure. Immediately the comments started coming, all of them disparaging to the dealer.

Why IE6 isn’t dead yet, and how you can twist the knife.

07/18/2009

The web is abuzz lately with mounting campaigns against IE6. Web designers and producers have been moaning about it for years, but the reality has been that 20%+ of internet users have still used the old browser, avoiding the upgrade to 7 for whatever reason. There’s a reason it’s stuck around so long, even now, 8 years later, and a twitter campaign is not going to kill it. I do have a suggestion for easing development pain, though, and ultimately ending the bane of IE6.

Customer Service is the new Marketing

07/17/2009

Customer Service is the new Marketing is a mantra at Mural, and something we emphasize with our clients. We always make sure that customer service is a core value of our clients marketing efforts, because we believe that it’s an essential skill set in our new internet driven economy. I was recently contacted by an old client I did some work for about 4 years ago that proves how true this is.

This company is a family owned, but multi-million dollar HVAC company in the North Texas area. It was started by the current owner’s father decades ago, and has always maintained that small, family owned, low tech quality that can be a very endearing trait. They have done a lot of things right in the history of the company that has helped them grow to such a large size…