Startup Articles That Standout

Here are some of this best startup articles I have read this summer (2013):

 

Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3?

Over the years, I have tried to explain to friends that building software is not like building house or baking a cake.  It’s more like surgery.  Sometimes you open up the patient and find the unexpected; what starts out as day surgery can result in months of medical attention.  However, this post on Quora, and the comment by Michael Wolfe is a far better analogy.  There are also some great comments on the same page.  Well worth reading.  

 

The one cost engineers and product managers don't consider…

Kris Gale, VP of Yammer (acquired my Microsoft) writes about how features drive up unaccounted costs.  

“The work of implementing a feature initially is often a tiny fraction of the work to support that feature over the lifetime of a product…”

You can code a feature in two hours, but the cost of supporting that feature into infinity and beyond needs to be accounted for.  This is another post that reminds to keep it simple stupid.  

 

Product Strategy Means Saying No

Des Traynor, the CEO of www.intercom.io, makes a powerful case for saying NO to features.   

“Editing a product requires some hard decisions about what to build. You can speculate that any un-built feature could transform your product. But speculation is all it is, nothing more. When you’re afraid to make hard decisions, you fall back on appealing to the unknown, and therefore building everything. You end up with a repository of features, not a product.”

 

Pitching Hack: It’s Not What You Said, It’s How You Made Them Feel

Tyler Crowley, a man that knows a thing or two about pitching ideas to people, has some great advice on using visual, emotional stories to hold the attention of audiences (investors).  

 

Do Things that Don't Scale

From Paul Graham.  There are a lot of things founders should do that don’t scale, such as paying extreme attention to the WHOLE experience of being a user, with “product” being just one component of the overall experience.  Lots of great examples and antidotes in this lengthy post.