Tortoise and Hare

Playing short games and long games

June 25, 2020

Short term strategies: undercut competitors, have fire sales, adopt fads.

Long term strategy: build things that are useful and meaningful.

In branding, in sales, in everything planning for the long game ensures that you're given more time to play at all.

More you say?

I'm Bleeding

Self-diagnosing your startup's branding problems.

7.28.2020

It's easy to notice when you've cut yourself in the kitchen or by scratching against something you didn't intend to. You know it happened because blood starting to pour out from the place of the interaction. It's easy.

What happens when you start bleeding and you don't know why? Or when there is another form of pain in your body that isn't normal and unprecedented? You have a couple options: you could self-diagnose and hope your assumptions turn out ok, or you could go to the doctor and get a professional consultation. Surface-level problems are easy, deep problems are harder to spot and infinitely more costly.

Branding problems are rarely surface level, like a scratch or cut from a chef's knife. Branding problems are ethereal and hard to decipher, even harder to connect to the surface-level symptoms they produce. In the same way a doctor, who has run into medical problems for years and is trained to ask targeted questions, branding experts use experience and training to unearth the real problem.

Now I can hear you saying, "I know a good logo when I see one," congratulations. You still aren't sure why yours sucks and how to fix it. Shit, if asked, it's unlikely that you can even define branding in a succinct, easy-to-understand way. It takes courage to admit that. The same courage that admits you aren't a sushi chef, auto mechanic, or plumber, it's just not something you've taken the time to gain expertise in.

Back to our initial analogy, "I'm bleeding." Don't be surprised if the branding issue is deeper than what's on the surface. Cuts go deep, sometimes you can't even see them, thoughnthey are tearing your insides apart. Be it in the form of harsh rejections from investors, feeling like your company is without purpose, or doubting the integrity of this company that you have spent days, even years trying to grow. Bravely look inward and tend to your wounds, and if you're having trouble finding the cause, ask for help.

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Interesting Proposition | Software Branding

Affecting the life of a particular person is the key to being irreplaceable.

1.18.2020

Being better is a unsellable proposition. Better is subjective in nature, difficult to see from the outside, and even harder to define.

For example, Webflow is a web design tool. So are WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Which one is better? Well, it depends on who you are asking.

Webflow's proposition is that they are a web design tool for designers. Specifically, designers who work within a hybrid engineering-like role and can think in systems. Squarespace is also for designers who don't care about code quality and are instead focused on making things look pretty and working fast. WordPress is not for designers at all and is catered toward those who want as many features as possible regardless of code quality.

The point? The person that you anticipate to use your software is who will guide features, prioritize them, and dictate which ones are misnomers.

That is how you create an interesting proposition.

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