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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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Here’s some excellent articles and blog entries I’ve been collecting:<ul><li>“Complete” and “Freeze” Aren’t: an elaboration of the problems with “functional milestones.”</li><li>People Who Lower Productivity: I am still struggling to understand the situation at my previous employer that prompted me to leave for Go Daddy. Understand that I think it was the best move I’ve ever made and have absolutely zero regrets, but I don’t like leaving lingering question marks over episodes in my life. I’m still not sure that this fully explains the person in question, but it’s getting me closer.</li><li>“Why Software Sucks”: I loved Scott Berkun’s writing when he was usability guy at Microsoft but he’s really come into his own as an author writing about project management.</li><li>Set Your Priorities: I’m not a big fan of the democratic approach to feature planning. I believe, like the big man himself, that you should primarily decide your own feature set. Taking polls and focus groups doesn’t work because most people don’t know that they want or need a feature until it’s in front of them. There are people, to be sure, that have ideas of their own but they’re hard to find. In fact, I’ve never seen them in the wild and I’m starting to believe that their description falls within cryptozoology. Joel’s exercise is definitely another approach to feature planning, but I’m not sure that I like it’s much better. Not everyone that would be involved is vested in the company’s long-term strategic interests, comprehends the market, or is visionary and imaginative. It’s a fact of life. I’m not saying that the decision-makers that normally do such things are any of the above but there’s a better chance that they are.</li><li>Baby Steps to Synergistic Web Apps: some thoughts about truly taking web applications to the next level—a cliche that I abhor though its utility is clearly why it’s become shopworn. The author suggests that we need a Web equivalent to interapplication communication akin to the operating system’s clipboard model. I think Flock is a start to this, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want the interoperation to occur at the browser level.</li><li>Startup School: lots of notes on the Web about this conference: here, here, here</li></ul>