Design should be super normal

What a great post from investor and entrepreneur Dave Morin, who argues that Japanese ideology of supernormal product design should be applied to social software. He suggests that start with behaviors and ideas that are already normal to users.

A simple list of these concepts might be: friending, following, tagging, posting, sending, sharing, liking, commenting, chatting, listening, watching, writing, uploading, downloading. Each of these concepts has been put to work billions and billions of times by social software systems time and time again over the last couple of decades.

If that is a good starting point for design, then the end goal should be “of course” as my friend Christian Lindholm pointed out eons ago.

Most companies (including web startups), he said, are looking to “wow” with their products, when in reality what they should be looking for is an “’of course’ reaction from their users.”

Puzzled, I looked at him. And then it hit me: Great design means that one look and the end user reacts by knowing what to do with a knob or a button, without as much as even thinking about it.

Masayoshi Son: Tech investing’s game changer

Everyone in the venture business is paying attention to Masayoshi Son and his gargantuan $100 billion checkbook. Bloomberg News takes a close look at the man, though the profile is sparse on personal details and inner workings of the firm, this one paragraph is pretty insightful.

Son’s staff does due diligence before he meets with startup founders. So he has a good sense of whether he wants to invest before the meeting starts. His questions are usually focused on prodding founders to think more broadly about opportunities.

In other words, if you are invited to meet with him, you are going to get the money, unless you blow it.

Tesla Model 3 Review: Smartphone on wheels

..as it stands right now, the Tesla Model 3 has already accomplished a fascinating feat of grafting a user-experience everyone seems to love (their phones) to a tool everyone seems to need (their cars), and it’s done a damn fine job of it in the process. It’s amazing that Tesla Motors has gone from being a novelty in 2007 to delivering what might be the most mass-appealing car on the road just 10 years later.

No matter, what you might think of Elon Musk and Tesla, you can’t deny the fact that they shook a lumbering industry by its neck. A decade ago, Apple and iPhone did that to another set of lumbering incumbents.

Dean Kamen wants to turn a mill town into the epicenter for Human Organ manufacturing


Politico has a lovely story on Dean Kamen (the Segway guy, whose Netflix documentary is simply fantastic and gives a good understanding into the man and his unending quest for inventing) and his quest to turn a “19th-century mill complex in New Hampshire’s largest city” into the ground zero for human organ manufacturing. His cohorts in this adventure are “some of the country’s leading scientists and biomedical engineering firms.” He has managed to raise $300 million in investors including $80 million from the Pentagon. What a positive story to start the year with. Great story!

PS: As an aside, why is this story in one of the many technology publications is beyond me. I understand that rage-against-the-silicon-valley-machine gets more eyeballs and time, but this kind of stuff is out there, and worth attention.