The Etiquette of “What are you working on?”

by Scott

So… what are you working on?

This question pervades the New York Tech scene like 6th grade girls at a Bieber concert. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I think there is a level of etiquette surrounding it which few employ. 

People ask this question for a variety of reasons: they’re naturally awkward and have no idea what to say, they can’t wait for you to ask back because they think their project is the next Facebook, or they’re generally interested and want to help. If you want to develop meaningful interactions aim to be in the final camp.

When I first meet someone I never like to ask this question off the bat. Why? Because you never know whether someone is …
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Product Design: The Inevitability of Noise

by Scott

My biggest problem with my Facebook newsfeed has always been that so much of the content is irrelevant. This is mainly due to the fact that many people I’m friends with I’ve only met once or haven’t seen in a long time. So I acknowledge that the noise is somewhat my own fault.
I made a friend request the other day on Facebook and was presented with an option I hadn’t seen before. I took a picture of it below:


If you haven’t noticed, Facebook implemented a smart lists feature. Now each time I make a friend request, it prompts me to assign new friends to one of these lists.
I started thinking about it and realized that the more engaged I …
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Customer Loyalty: Missed Opportunity at the Cash Register

by Scott

After I made a purchase yesterday the cashier asked me for my email address. For the sake of my inbox sanity I respectfully declined. In alignment with my moleskin diet, I thought about this interaction for a good 15 minutes. It got me thinking, what is the conversion rate on this question and the roi on each email address?

Lets compare this with if she asked me for my twitter handle. Knowing that I’d have to opt-in to receive updates from the brand, I’d be cool with giving that away. Don’t kid yourself, we all want more followers.

Brands can derive a ton of value from their customers’ twitter handles. For starters, by following someone they’re potentially giving them a subtle nudge …
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