This post is inspired by and a response to Tynan's Creators and Assemblers article:
For a long time I thought creating came from construction - the physical application of materials to form an object of value. I thought that in order for me to consider myself a creative individual, I would have to learn carpentry, electronics, coding… Because the way I saw it, there’s only three careers a person can have.
First is to perform a service. Like a lawyer who shares his legal advice, or a dentist who cleans teeth. It takes a long time to develop the skills to become professional, and I don’t have time to look that far in advance. So this leaves only two options: building a product, or to buy and resell products.
Buying and reselling is a great way to make money. Resellers find things low in price and people willing to pay a higher price. Basically, he is the connection between the buyer and the seller. I wouldn’t mind doing this - its a legitimate way to make money, but I can’t shake the thought that the buyers and sellers don’t actually need middlemen if they can find each other.
I know that I want to identify myself as a creator.
A person who builds a product is what everyone considers a creator or assembler. This requires envisioning the final product, and crafting it to perfection. Society however, focuses too much on the technical aspect - the crafting…the coding, the engineering, the wiring, the hammering and nailing. But the entire technical aspect of this is only a small portion of what it means to create. Being a creator has everything to do with having a vision, and executing that vision. It doesn’t matter who-what-when-where-how the creator chooses to executes his vision as long as the final product is what he intended it to be.
I don’t have to be the one to personally craft the product, as long as the product was my vision, I’m the creator.
I always find people's workflows interesting. It's such a personal process, unaffected by outside demands, that I think it sometimes reveals something about its creator. A lot of readers write or program, so I thought that my processes might be interesting.
Most people who write WordPress blogs write them in the built in WYSIWYG editor. That's how I started, too, but since then I've evolved my process to be more efficient, pleasant, and safe-- as in, lacking the danger of losing a post because you accidentally hit the back button.
I ran across a fantastic PDF on HackerNews by Henrik Kniberg that pulls back the covers on How Spotify Builds Products. It's such a good article -- and so different how many companies actually execute on building products -- that I wanted to highlight a few of the best parts.
Firstly, Spotify starts with a a strong, concise vision (with a singular focus): "Spotify’s vision is to bring you the right music for every moment." This has proven to be a fantastic guide as they iterate on their platform. In a similar way to Dropbox, which I described recently, everything Spotify does furthers that singular vision -- every new feature, every performance enhancement. "Starting as a music player a few years ago, their products are now evolving into a ubiquitous platform for discovering new music and connecting artists with their fans directly." This allows Spotify to expend all its energy on optimizing for product/market fit around that vision, and that's what creates tremendous shareholder value in product companies.
The article sets up, in simple terms, the product prioritization dilemma that trips many companies:
"Here’s the paradox though: Successful companies like Spotify only want to deliver products that people love. But they don’t know if people love it until they’ve delivered it. So how do they do it?"