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6 Startup Lessons From Designers At Pinterest, Fuseproject, and Behance

6 Startup Lessons From Designers At Pinterest, Fuseproject, and Behance
In 2011, over 60 designers started the Designer Fund, to give angel funding, mentorship, and connections to designers creating businesses with positive social impact. We believe that designers should be part of the DNA of companies from the beginning and partner with business and technology cofounders to build great products, user experiences, and a culture of innovation for the long run. That core principle has informed our Designer Founders book series, which includes interviews with designers about the path they took to create tech startups. Our goal with this project is for designers around the world to find inspiration in role models who have successfully taken the journey from designer to founder. The first edition features conversations with Evan Sharp of Pinterest, Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare, Yves Béhar of fuseproject, Christina Brodbeck of theicebreak, and Scott Belsky and Matias Corea of Behance. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. [Image: Illustration via Shutterstock]

YouNoodle | Compete and connect Try "Location Boxing" to Get Your Brain to Switch Gears — lifehacker For the past week, I’ve been taking an hour or so at the coffee shop near my office to knock out most of my email and communications. Then when I get back to the office, I stay out of email as much as possible. The experiment has made me realize that shaking up my work environment helps me stay more focused and productive. It’s sort of like the concept of Timeboxing but with more of a physical twist. There are four main types of thinking I need to do in a typical work week. Design-thinking: Visual design and thinking about the user experienceCoding-thinking: Building new features, solving technical problemsBusiness-thinking: Internal communications, interviews, and helping out on some sales callsSupport-thinking: Bug fixes, and responding to questions from RescueTime users It’s next to impossible to do any of those simultaneously and be effective. Timeboxing is a great idea, but I’ve found it really hard to stick to. The answer? I Can Find the Right Place For the Task at Hand

Innovation Is Dead, Long Live Innovation | Design on GOOD The pursuit of innovation has taken over pop culture as the Holy Grail every organization should strive for. From big tech, consumer electronics, and automotive, to fashion, and even food, everyone is gunning for innovation. Often perceived as "think tanking"—dreaming up solutions and ideating in multicolored Post-Its—innovation is a necessity to compete in the marketplace. The "soft innovation" and strategy process is the preliminary part of that, yes. Two years ago the inaugural No Right Brain Left Behind innovation challenge asked the creative industries to dream up solutions that could help the creativity crisis in the United States' education system. However, when it came to integrating our solutions within the educational system, it soon become clear that we didn't have a clue what we were doing. SLÖJD is our latest addition to NRBLB programming, and is a focused exercise in "hard innovation" that tackles an epic problem.

How to Virally Grow Your Network in 5 Steps  — Better Humans Want to be popular online? Want to have a network that is so vast and incredible that you can get in touch with anyone in any industry? You are going to need to work your ass off. Before the internet, you had to go to physical places to meet people. Why is today the best day to network? This. I’m going to tell you how to start taking advantage of this right now. Create content that attracts the people you want to network with. “Great Matt, these all sound like really interesting tips, but what is actually going to happen if I follow this advice?” If you follow my advice you will be doing a better job networking than 99% of people in the world. Seriously, most people in the world don’t try as hard as they could. You will get more followers on whatever social network you are using.People will know who you are and what you are knowledgable of. Start creating.

8 Simple Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Your Writing There are lots of times when I’m stuck on a title for a post, or the perfect word for something I’m writing. Fortunately, we’re pretty keen on experimenting and testing here at Buffer, so I can try lots of different ideas and see what works best. Even better, though, is having some data to give me a rough guide on where to start. I found some really useful data about crafting the perfect blog post or copy, and hopefully you’ll find it useful too. 1. Create a “curiosity gap” Upworthy is arguably one of the most successful content marketing companies around, with massive successes on social media to their name. One of the tips Upworthy offers from analyzing their own success is to ensure every headline has a “curiosity gap.” A great example comes from an Upworthy story about Mitt Romney: Too vague, so readers aren’t interested: Mitt Romney Says Something Bad, Again 2. BuzzFeed is a perfect example of just how popular listicles can be. Chip Heath and corporate education consultant 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

5 One-Minute Growth Hacks For When You're Feeling the Pressure Denis Duvauchelle is the CEO & co-founder of Twoodo, the ultimate online collaboration tool. We all need to get our hands dirty from time to time. When obstacles come up, let nothing stop you from getting what you need! It’s times like these that made us come up with growth hacking ideas around our problems, or gave us the incentive to go out a research more. Growth Tip #1: Contact anyone on LinkedIn In advance of an event (a conference, for example) you may want to get in touch with someone important in advance. Add the event/event organizers as somewhere you have worked/volunteered (a stretch of the truth!) Growth Tip #2: Find anyone’s email address If you are looking to get to someone who is crazy important, inaccessible, but has his/her own website… use Betterwhois to see the owner of the website, which is usually their active email address. Here is Upworthy as an example: It might not work all the time, but it’s worth a shot. Growth Tip #3: Instant content “ is closing down!

10 business models that rocked - by @nickdemey ( On a Mission One of the interesting things I have seen, especially in the last 10 years, is that many of the big winners in technology have been what I call “mission-driven” versus “mercenary-driven” companies. There are a lot of companies that cut corners. There are a lot of companies that have a mercenary outlook, and will dump their idealistic goal to make a business work in the short-term. We steer clear of those. We are looking for the companies who are going to be the big winners because they are going to cause a fundamental change in the world, as opposed to making a short-term grab for revenue or a short-term grab for an acquisition. These are the founders who come in to the firm and say, “Look, I don’t care whether I make money or not, that’s not my goal. How they will make money is typically not part of the conversation. But the pattern at the moment is the stronger the ideology or mission of the company, the more successful the company.

Sales by Crowd - Tjäna pengar genom att hjälpa företag hitta deras drömmars affärsmöte. 7 Things You Can Legally Steal from Successful Companies Denis Duvauchelle is CEO and co-founder of Twoodo, helping your team organize itself using simple #hashtags. The essence of innovation and the foundation of many start-ups are to imitate and adapt from existing concepts. New ideas are mostly incremental improvements of past ideas, just as we as a biological species have evolved improvements over centuries. We at Twoodo are trying to make team collaboration tools a little bit better, for example. One thing that never gets old in business is knowing your customer – and that’s because of how often we get it wrong. Data-gathering from scratch is a daunting prospect. You just need to know where to look. 1. Unless you’ve entered a “blue ocean market,” it’s likely that there are at least 10 other more successful companies doing what you are trying to do right now. But that’s OK! This is where the hijacking of open social platforms come in. If you just want to get a list of the top influencers of an account, use this tool to generate the data.

MTurk + Google News API = Press | Customer Development Labs How we got a dozen launch-day write ups with a little JavaScript, Mechanical Turk, and the Google News API. Code included. Warning: you only launch once. I don’t recommend generating press until you’ve validated your customer segment(s), their pain(s), and much of your solution. That said, lets hack some press… Getting press is daunting for just about every founder. But with a little creativity, and a little hacking, getting press is easier than I thought. Background Some friends and I were launching ThingsWeStart, a “Crowdfunding Aggregator” – imagine all of the projects on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc. displayed on a map, so you could support projects near you. Something this badass deserved a press push… Step #1 – Find the Right Reporters The first step was to find reporters who might cover us. Hypothesis: reporters who have already written about Kickstater, or a Kickstarter project, are more likely to write about a map of Kickstarter projects. Want to follow along? Following along?

24 Tools That Will Take Your Brand to the Next Level In this noisy content marketing world, it can be a challenge to make your brand stand out from the crowd. With millions of free webinars and free trial this and free demo that, the overload can send anyone in a tailspin. Channel your inner Tim the Toolman Taylor and take some notes. Here are the tools to help catapult your brand to new heights. Social Track what tweets are most popular with Brook. Blog Inkybee is an outreach tool that manages influencer outreach. Web When you get to your office in the morning, how many tabs do you open to check the updates of your favorite websites? One of the factors determining your Google results page ranking is the loading time of your website. The Kitchen Sink Looking to spy on competitors’ blog post analytics? If you did the math correctly, that was 25. What are some of your go-to marketing, blogging, and social media tools?

Need a Business Idea? This Is Where You Should Be Looking Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea Technologies and a mobile strategy advisor. He can be contacted via Twitter @rahulvarshneya. If you’re looking for a startup idea, most entrepreneurs will advise you to look at problems – ones that you can solve creatively and most effectively. While for some it seems rather easy to realize what a problem is – and most often it’s one of their own – for a larger set, getting to a problem worth solving itself is the problem. So what do you need to get started then? This can set your creative juices flowing, just as it did for some of the most popular and successful companies that exist today. This means, you can take an existing product and make it a fantastic experience for people to use (and that’s perfectly legible!) So let’s take a look at what places you should be checking out day in and day out, looking for inspiration that can light a spark to start building your product idea. AngelList ProductHunt Hacker News Reddit Startups