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How to Turn Stress into Productivity

We all know that stress is bad for us, right? Maybe not. Now both researchers and management experts are recognizing that some stress can actually be good for us too. That’s right; some stress can lead to enhanced performance, improved productivity and allow us to complete tasks and projects that we thought were impossible. So what can we do to manage stress and turn it into productivity? Building a startup, stress is something you have to deal with, you can either let it crush you, or you can choose to focus it and turn it into productivity. Source: http://workawesome.com/your-job/manage-stress/

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Why Designing for User Experience Matters

We’re a design-developer focused company here at Divshot. This means that nearly all of our architectural and infrastructure decisions are made based on organizing chaos into something meaningful for our developer base of users. Despite popular beliefs, designing for user experience when your user base is developers vs. consumers is no different. The basic rules of understanding your users still apply. If anything, they are more important with developers. Seems today is a day for talking about user experience… Source: https://divshot.com/blog/design/why-designing-for-user-experience-matters/

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Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience Designer

A simple experience that opened my eyes to new possibilities took the form of a 170px smiley face. After a stressful day, I attempted to clear my inbox as a last-ditch effort to ease my mind. I had just downloaded the Gmail app and decided to use it instead of the standard Apple Mail app I had been using for years. I sifted through my emails and when the last one was archived, a little smiley face sun appeared with the text, “You’re all done! Please enjoy your day.” It was so unexpected, I couldn’t help but smile. This detail

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Using Evernote (the right way)

I believe that the best insights are made possible when they’re built from the best knowledge available. Discovering that information gets easier and easier every single day. Medium has become my go-to resource for war stories from the startup community. Twitter, of course, is my source of quality real-time news. Quora is my first move when I need a complex question answered. But I’ve always struggled to hold on to that knowledge once I’ve found it. My brain stores thoughts about as well as my hands hold water, and it took me years to finally find a tool which was

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Talking Tech With Non-Tech People

Explaining complex software to customers who may not have a technical background certainly has its challenges. Frustration for both parties is just one misinterpreted comment away. That’s why it’s really important to get it right every time. I’m a success engineer at Intercom. That’s very different from a happiness engineer because I’m not excessively smiling most of the day. I keep more of a neutral face. We have developers at our company and we have customers, and I sit right in between them. An analogy I sometimes use is that I’m like an API between our developers and our customers.

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Joel Gascoigne on not shielding your team from bad news

Joel Gascoigne: I think there’s an interesting concept that’s prevalent, which I believe could actually be quite dangerous. It’s the idea that as a CEO or executive of a company, you need to shield your team from bad news, the risks of a startup, and other negative aspects that are inevitable on the startup journey. One of our core values at Buffer is to Default to Transparency. This means absolutely everything in the company is shared knowledge. It was scary at first, not least because the idea goes very much against the grain. I found myself hesitating, not because I

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How Slack built a well loved product going against Peter Thiel and app fashion

I enjoy watching companies do fantastically well against the grain. It is the opposite of schadenfreude, and although the Germans may not have a word for it the budhists have the concept: mudita. One example as of late is Slack. We were incredibly early adopters when we jumped from Campfire to it a long time ago. Its valuation growth has been astounding and we love the product. Here are two lessons of Slack’s early success that buck the trend [..] We are big users of Slack here at Data McFly, and even have its integrations plugged into other services so

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Becoming formidable

As a startup founder, the idea of pitching was always compelling. I just knew that if I could get in front of the right people, I could personally persuade them. So when I was getting ready to pitch FlighCaster during the 2009 YCombinator demo day, I knew it was my time to shine. When I got up to the stage, I was able to tell a story and wow the audience. In fact, one of the other founders told me afterwards that he felt like I could sell anything, It was a good moment. Nice read from the 42 floors

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How Do You Know If You Have A “Good Idea”?

Allan Branch: Good ideas usually start with, “Wouldn’t it be cool ___?” They start with a playful suggestion of an idea you have. Usually when you say them aloud for the first time, you feel a brief moment of embarrassment. Then the other person says, “Yes and __.” Yes and… “Yes and” comes from improv comedy. It’s a collaboration statement to build onto something more. It’s a trustful statement that means, “Here’s more…let’s see if this could work, let’s explore this.” Nice advice, good ideas can be easy to miss sometimes. Source: https://lessaccounting.com/blog/good-ideas-vs-bad-idea/

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The Grind vs The Pivot

Fred Wilson: Everyone knows what a pivot is. You launch something, it fails to get product market fit, so you change direction and launch something different. There are many examples of successful pivots. Flickr, Twitter, Slack, and Kik all came out of pivots. But there is another approach to finding product market fit and I call it the “Grind.” The Grind is when you launch something, it fails to get product market fit, and you grind on it, week after week, month after month, year after year, until it does. Usually the entrepreneur who chooses The Grind is obsessed with

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