This week #3

A collection of technical, management and other thoughts from this week.


I haven’t had a clear focus for my reflections this week, but there are some rough themes.

Building new things

What’s my ideal prototyping tech stack? Is it worth learning Sketch, Figma or XD or should I just prototype in code? What should I learn now that will help with product development later?

I have a lot of experience with PHP and Laravel, such that I could very quickly through something together. But I feel like I have to balance that with how much PHP would appeal (or not) when hiring other developers. If I go towards Python, which is having a bit of a resurgence and pair that with Vue or React, that seems more likely to appeal to good developers. But there are also those who would be wary of that stack too.

What should I learn next?

I could double down of areas I’ve already dabbled in: front-end dev, React, Vue, etc. I could focus on new technical areas: machine learning, graph databases, modelling tricky problems. I could dig into something new outside my field: UX design, user research, or product management.

Right now I’m tending towards doing some practice building Progressive Web Apps, and trying to use it as practice for more UX and product thinking. How that all fits together is still very much a work-in-progress.


Meritocracy Stinks. Criticisms of meritocracy aren’t new but I thought this was a really good dig into it, particularly in a New Zealand context.

The Feedback Fallacy. This is definitely worth reading. It challenged my assumption that critical feedback is necessary and good for growth.

Another of our collective theories is that feedback contains useful information, and that this information is the magic ingredient that will accelerate someone’s learning. Again, the research points in the opposite direction. Learning is less a function of adding something that isn’t there than it is of recognizing, reinforcing, and refining what already is.

Field Guide to UX Research For Startups. A little lightweight, but a good quick start to answering: what kind of research am I doing right now?

How To Get Startup Ideas. From 2012 but relevant for me right now.


Should This Exist?. I’m just getting started on this now but it looks promising.