Don’t take the defaults, never take the defaults

“It’s so power­fully obvious to me, it might as well be written in ten-foot letters of flame: the plat­forms of the last decade are done.

I said it in April 2022, and I believe it even more today: their only conclu­sion can be abandonment; an overdue MySpace-ification.

This is … tremendously exciting! Some of you reading this were users and/or devel­opers of the internet in the period from 2002 to perhaps 2012. For those of you who were not, I want to tell you that it was exciting and energizing, not because every­thing was great, but simply because anything was possible.

The concrete hadn’t set.

Now, after a decade of stuckness, the pave­ment is cracking — crumbling — and I want to insist to those of you who lived through that time, and those of you who didn’t: we all have a new opportunity.

In this newsletter, I want mainly to offer an exhortation…” 

via Robin Sloan

Constant Comment

John has left Facebook, and is building his own publishing platform. Someone asked him if he was going to support commenting on his site. “Hard pass” was the answer.

I’ve made a decision, and it’s that there will probably never be a comment section here. The reasons are technical, practical, and ethical…If you want to respond to something I write here, my inbox is always open. And I’ve gotten a ton of really thoughtful emails! I always reply! Feel free to engage. It’s low-commitment, like texting but with better spelling.”


There’s another path, too. For the past twenty-plus years, we’ve all had our own printing presses (and for the last fifteen of those years, they’ve been in our pockets). We all have our “own little first amendment machines.”

We don’t need “commenting systems” in order to respond and elaborate and collaborate.

We can do it on our own websites, just like this.

This is the foundation that was pioneered by folks like Dave and Doc and Lisa and Elisa and Jory and countless others.

While the big social media platforms created onramps to bring everyone into one place to interact, one key piece that was left out was accountability. Sure, some sites have used the “you own your words” policy for commenters, but without accountability, those policies are toothless.

The tools are here for thoughtful, civil, interactive discourse, if we choose to use them.

Thinking more about the entrepreneurship journey

picture of a coffee cup since coffee fuels the entrepreneur's journey
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

I wrote a piece over on the GoDaddy blog with some thoughts on the entrepreneur journey, and I wanted to make sure I captured a few of the key points here as well. (That said, you can hop over there to read the full thing.)

The gist: There are four key steps on the entrepreneurship journey: dreaming about what you want to do, actually getting going and creating the venture based on that idea, growing the venture, and then ongoing management once it’s up and running.

Underpinning all of that are the human factors: staying healthy, connecting with others who are also in the community of entrepreneurs, and sharing some of your energy back to the other folks who are also going down the path.

Visually, it kind of looks like this:

GoDaddy entrepreneur journey graphic

The interesting thing about this entrepreneurship journey framework is that it can be used in three ways:

  • As a diagnostic, to determine where you are on the journey (Dream It, Create It, Grow It, or Manage It stage)
  • As a benchmark, to determine where you are in comparison to others (your peers and/or competitors)
  • As a roadmap, to determine what to do next on on the journey (are you currently in the Dream It stage – then there are particular things you need to do in order to move forward into the Create It stage of the entrepreneurship journey)

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to present this framework at the Cal Poly SBDC incubator, with really positive feedback. (If you want to check out the full entrepreneur journey presentation and slide deck, just click that link.)

For folks who have started their own thing: Does this framework hold for you and does it align with your experience? Would love to hear your feedback!

Tools I use: Plus/Delta

There are a few tools I use on an almost weekly basis. Some of these help me get more stuff done, some of them help me do things better. One of these tools is Plus/Delta.

Plus/Delta is dead-simple. Two columns, one labeled “Plus” and one labeled “Delta.” You can do it on a whiteboard, on a collaborative Google Doc (here’s one), on paper, on Post-Its or on index cards. Have a facilitator scribe, or have the participants write their Plusses and Deltas on notecards or on Post-Its. Have the participants in the session articulate what worked well (“Plus”) and what they would change for next time (“Delta”). Capture everything, summarize the key points, learn from it and iterate. The whole process shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes.


It pretty much works with any size group; I’ve used it in groups up to about twenty or so. If the group is really large, break it into smaller subgroups and have each group do its own Plus/Delta. Then have each group pick a representative to share their results to everyone in the larger group in turn.

Plus/Delta works best when you make it a default part of a process. It’s just “the thing you do after you did something else.” For example:

  • Did you just do a two-day workshop? Have the participants engage in Plus/Delta near the end of the second day in order to understand how to do a better workshop next time.
  • Did you invest time to go to a conference? Plus/Delta.
  • Did your team pitch a project to a client? What do you do when you get back to the office? Plus/Delta.
  • How did that last development sprint go? Plus/Delta.
  • Is that an antelope driving a car? Plus/Delta. (Nope. Chuck Testa.)

You can learn more about Plus/Delta in the book Gamestorming, by Dave GraySunni Brown and James Macanufo. It’s one of dozens of tools in the very rich Gamestorming tool kit.

By the way, this post came about as part of the Weekly Post Challenge, proposed by Dre Armeda. You can find a few other posts from this week by Mendel KurlandKelley Koehler, Chris Ford, Matt MedeirosDre Armeda and an epic post from John Hawkins on how to produce a podcast.

image: Johanna Kollmann via cc by 2.0


It’s most definitely go time: I’ve joined GoDaddy

It’s official: I’ve joined GoDaddy. I am incredibly stoked.

(Ob disclosure: while I’m now an employee of GoDaddy, these are my personal opinions.)

This is a company that has gone through an incredible maturation process in the past few years, and where the company is now is miles ahead of where it was even 24 months ago, both in brand and in product. The T&A Super Bowl ads are long gone, the products are getting solid reviews, and a lot of attention is being paid to customers: from small businesses to web designers and developers (including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!) to mobile and local.

In particular, I’ll be working with our customers who are web professionals, ensuring that we’re engaging with communities of designers and developers and delivering the content, community and product that help this very important constituency kick ass.

Tomorrow is my first “official” day.

Let’s go!


New job == new swag sweatshirt. Bonus.

For Bitcoin to hit the mainstream, it needs to address its gender issue


image: freshphoto

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are finally becoming more well known with there being a Dragons Den Bitcoin episode, more investors are paying it attention and it is increasing in price every month. It seems like only a matter of time before it breaks through into the mainstream and everyone knows about it – but what could potentially stop it from reaching the success it is predicted to have?

Bitcoin has a woman problem that, unless solved, will keep it from hitting the mainstream as a medium of exchange, at least in the US. You can tell because there are useful websites similar to popping up providing useful information for those who are interested in getting into Bitcoin. The following conversation is primarily aimed at the particular challenge Bitcoin faces in getting to mainstream adoption, and is not focused on the speculative rises and falls that have dominated the news cycles for the past few weeks in particular. For those who are interested in trading and cryptocurrency investment, you can find more here, but for now, discussed here will be a social issue rather than an economical one.

Right now (Dec 2013), the overwhelming majority of activity in the Bitcoin space is dominated by males. In doing a review of the market for consumer activity, and then comparing it to the market at large, it is clear that there is a significant gender gap that will need to be filled before Bitcoin can hit the mainstream as a payment mechanism in any meaningful way. Although all web statistics of this type are prone to some margin of error, these are certainly directionally correct. Read more at Coindale.