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Stephen Fishman News & Analysis

Food and Social Media Converge in Film at #SXSW

ChefA tasty little film that opened this year's SXSW Interactive Festival  says a lot about finding satisfaction in your work — and also presents an important teaching moment in social media.

Jon Favreau's film "Chef" tells the story of a high-profile restaurant chef who makes the transition to food-truck entrepreneur after a painful lesson on the downside of Twitter. On a deeper level, the story will resonate with technologists and other creative professionals who love their craft but find themselves working for the industrial machine. 

APIs: Changing the World One Enterprise at a Time #SXSW

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My API journey is nearing its end. Back in 1999, I first started articulating how user experience (UX) principles could be applied to coding interfaces between objects and systems.

A few of my colleagues at the consulting firm where I was working got it. But it mostly fell on deaf ears. What a difference 15 years makes.

How to Make Top Employees Happier and More Satisfied #SXSW

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Is corporate America more concerned with attracting top employees than developing the ones they have? That's the contention of John Hagel III, a director at Deloitte Consulting  and co-chair of the Silicon Valley-based  Deloitte Center for the Edge, which tries to help senior executives make sense of emerging opportunities in business and technology. 

Hagel spoke at the 21st annual SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas on Friday. SXSW — which stands for South by Southwest, in case you are unfamiliar — offers a unique convergence of original music, independent films and emerging technologies. The five-day event ends tomorrow.

The Two Most Overlooked Opportunities in Corporate America

"Why should the business pay for that? How will that impact top line revenue?" Although it may have been a while since you asked or have been asked either of these questions at your place of business, I bet you are familiar with them — and just as familiar with the goat rodeos that arrive when the questions are asked.

The 2 Biggest Time Sucks in Corporate America

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"Please shoot me now! I can't do it anymore! Why does everything have to be so slow and painful? There has got to be a better way!" Does this sound familiar? Although it may have been a while since you heard or muttered any of these phrases at work, I would be surprised if you have not heard some similar sense of frustration at your job.

Let's take a look at the greatest "Time Sucks" in corporate America ...

How Awesomeness Dies

awesome wave.jpgI once collaborated with a business leader on a team, and she really liked an idea I had. After a conversation about the idea, she asked how we could make it real "without killing the awesomeness." In that moment, with that question, I immediately knew how awesomeness dies.

CMSWire's Top Contributors 2013 - Stephen Fishman

Stephen_Fishman.jpgTake three parts science. Stir in one dash of Monty Python. Add a pinch of Schrodinger's cat and a whiff of Victorian poetry. You still would not be close to incorporating all of the sources that Stephen Fishman brings to his writing. His articles challenge businesses to drop the quantitative metrics, put purpose before profit and to experiment. Find out what Stephen's looking forward to in the new year. 

2014 Wish List ... from Stephen Fishman

2014 Wish List ... from Stephen FishmanMy wish for 2014 is for leaders and individual contributors alike to see that questions are more powerful than answers. Wouldn't it be a great year if more people and organizations stopped rushing to provide "answers" to ill-defined problems? Wouldn't it be nice if businesses were a little more thoughtful in how they approached their employees, partners and customers by "doing less things better" rather than "doing many things poorly"? Call me naive, but isn't that what wishes are for? -- Stephen Fishman, director of consumer platforms, AutoTrader.com

Title image by Amodiovalerio Verde (Flickr).

2013 in Review: Intranet Deja Vu All Over Again

Intranet talk appears to be on a three-year hamster wheel in which we have come full circle. So what is it that causes this cycle? It may be caused by the failure of intranet professionals to point to the higher ground  — an integrated and holistic employee experience strategy. Isn't it about time to stop vacillating between concepts that are barely discernible from one another (e.g., ESNs, Intranets, employee portals, etc) and reach for the higher goal?

The IT Executive Holy Grail: Making IT Cool in Your Enterprise

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More than a dozen times in my career — as a consultant or an employee of an Information Technology (IT) department — I've heard the same refrain. Some IT executive would express a desire to "make IT cool."

I always viewed the executives who expressed this as a little misguided, both in the way they framed their objectives and the ways they navigated toward their aim. While I could articulate why they were likely to be unsuccessful, I was never able to offer a viable and easily understood alternative. Until now.

The App Marketplace has a Target on Its Back

Everyone claims the jury is in — and the app marketplace has won. But the browser and those who support it are fighting back with a vengeance. I saw a bunch of fun and interesting stuff at last month's Velocity conference in New York City. One semi-veiled theme kept coming up: The app marketplace has a target on its back.

Why Most People Know X But Do Y and What You Can Do About It

stephen fishman, ux, user experienceIf pain shared is pain divided, then the UX community should be happy that they are not alone in their Don Quixote quest to get people to join their crusade for the good of enterprises, employees and users.

The Sexiest Part of Being a Data Scientist is Not in the Code, It's In the Storytelling

I think the folks at Harvard need to go back to school. I understand why they believe that data scientist will be "the sexiest job of the 21st century", but what I don't understand is the lack of applying basic business school fundamentals to the claim and then taking the next step. I realize that I'm a little late to criticize an article that's nearly a year old and I hope that people will cut me a little slack given that it was just brought up again in these pages a few weeks ago (which was the first time I saw it).

Right around the same time, the HBR article was published, I wrote an article that also foretold of the rising power of Big Data professionals, but where HBR saw "ability to code" as the prime differentiator, I saw insight and artistry as the prime radiants.

UX Litmus Test or Oxymoron? You Decide

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Last month I intentionally wrote an article about a horrific experience working with a developer on a multi-disciplinary project. In doing so, I unintentionally inspired a fierce dialogue with one of my personal UX heroes -- Stephen Taylor (otherwise known as Anomalogue) that revolved around the concept of whether or not a person can refer to themselves as a "UX practitioner" if the project they are working on does not have direct user research in it.

A UX Horror Story: Ways to Make Your UX Partner Lose Their S#!t

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I have come full circle. Several years ago, I wrote a personal blog entitled "What's Holding Back UX" whose premise was that pretentiousness was the mortal enemy of the UX discipline. Just over a year ago, I chose a more constructive narrative and wrote an article that identified "a spirit of inclusion" and "building more designers" as "hallmarks of greatness" for UX practitioners (while creating great designs was identified as a hallmark of the very good) -- you can read that UX article here. I have now had a first hand experience seeing the flip side of the coin and have to say that I fully understand the frustration.

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