Stephen Fishman News & Analysis
| Thursday Oct 9, 2014
An era has passed. Many in the user experience (UX) and web development worlds were shocked to hear last week that a small company in San Francisco called Adaptive Path had been acquired by, of all companies, Capital One.
With the announcement, company co-founder Jesse James Garrett -- author of the foundational UX book, "The Elements of User Experience" and now chief creative officer at the company -- assured his community not to worry. While they would be closing the celebrated consulting business that helped kickoff the web 2.0 movement, the cherished events the company produced, including UX Week, UX Intensive and The Service Experience Conference would continue.
Still, you have to wonder. With the acquisition of what is arguably one of the world's foremost UX firms, is UX dead?
| Wednesday Jul 9, 2014
What would you say if I told you 90 percent of our schools don't teach what has been the most marketable skill in our economy for more than two decades? Would you believe me? How could that possibly be true? Get ready to drop your jaw because it is true.
Ninety percent of K through 12 public schools do not offer computer science classes.
| Tuesday Jul 1, 2014
Every enterprise has them. They are as inescapable as cats on the internet. Enterprise fire drills on web performance are the norm for any corporate enterprise that has a website critical to their business model (even more so when your executives have laser powered heat vision).
Given that content owners, merchants and ad sales representatives are all trying to stuff 22 pounds of content into pages with a carrying capacity of only 20, business forces turn IT professionals everywhere into part time fire fighters. There is a standard method for minimizing both the frequency and impact of fire drills on your team -- the enterprise IT guys refer to it as "monitoring and alerting." Cagey veterans schooled in conversational dynamics refer to it as "getting in front of the question."
| Friday May 30, 2014
We've all met him. You know him. He might be a friend. He's not alone. He might even be you.
He's the guy (sometimes gal, but she's more rare) who walks around and talks about how many people need to get canned if the enterprise is ever going to really start moving. Accountability is his creed (or at least your accountability is).
| Wednesday May 14, 2014
The irony is so rich and textured that it would be a delight to behold if it were not for the pain we all must endure. For the last few years, the calls for "a culture of accountability" have been all the rage ... and now the law of unintended consequences has come calling and is asking for its due.
| Tuesday Mar 11, 2014
A 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.
| Monday Mar 10, 2014
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.
| Monday Mar 10, 2014
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.
| Friday Mar 7, 2014
"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.
| Thursday Jan 30, 2014
"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 ...
| Thursday Jan 23, 2014
I 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.
| Monday Dec 30, 2013
Take 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.
| Tuesday Dec 17, 2013
My 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).
| Wednesday Dec 4, 2013
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?
| Monday Nov 25, 2013
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.