Written by Ariel Seidman on January 27th, 2013
I started using Tumblr on the side. Just for quick little posts to share. Inevitably this simpler tool also become my main blogging tool. For what I do it is superior to WordPress. So, I will no longer be updating aseidman.com, but will keep it around as-is.
Instead please check out my blog on arielseidman.com
Written by Ariel Seidman on November 28th, 2011
Why I wake up and start building each day.
I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create. — William Blake
Written by Ariel Seidman on November 25th, 2011
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
Chris McCandles (aka Alexander Supertramp)
Written by Ariel Seidman on July 23rd, 2011
Distribution is not my problem
As a product manager, engineer, or designer at any large scale 20M+ users web consumer company you have distribution. Vic Gundotra said it well “We are Google. We can get anybody to kick the tires of a product.” Somebody many years before you figured out the distribution problem that took the company from a few thousand to 20M+ users. So you spent 95% of your time focused on building products and 5% on distribution – if that much. Distribution is a dirty problem that the business development team has to deal with you tell yourself – I just build awesome stuff. The process of designing, iterating and shipping new features becomes second nature to designers, engineers and PMs, and they take incredible pride in shipping delightful product experiences. The moment you leave BigCo to startup your startup those 20M+ users don’t leave with you, but your habits do, and that is where the trouble begins.
Distribution is Sexy
Building an awesome and delightful product is a necessary but insufficient way of building a successful web consumer product. It used to be that you could build a crappy product with great distribution and be successful, that is a very rare breed these days. Yet, there are hundreds of superbly executed products with limited traction, because the distribution problem hasn’t been solved. A well designed and executed set of features may get you a talent “acquisition”, but not much more. If you are focused on building a business you need to believe that solving the distribution problem is sexy.
Wait…but Apple is just about incredible design?
I was having a conversation about distribution and somebody responded, well Apple just builds awesome products and everybody just buys them. Even Apple understood that it needed better distribution and so they spent heavily on building up Apple Stores (it was a rather unpopular decision ten years ago), and today these stores deliver billions in quarterly revenue.
The luxury of built-in-distribution is a crutch
Folks like Brian Chesky & Joe Gebbia (co-founders of AirBnB) never learned the bad habits that come with being a designers or product managers at Google, Facebook, Yahoo. He never had the luxury of working for a company with millions of users, so he had to figure out how to rise above the noise and market and distribute his product from day one.
Written by Ariel Seidman on May 4th, 2011
I haven’t been posting to my blog much lately as I’ve been busy. Very busy building Gigwalk with my co-founders Matt and David and our founding employees Joel and Pushkar. We haven’t talked publicly about Gigwalk much till today…
Today, after a few months in private beta we’re thrilled to publicly launch Gigwalk and announce our seed funding. Our free Gigwalk iPhone app is in the App Store, and starting today you can post Gigs for the Gigwalk mobile workforce. continue reading
Written by Ariel Seidman on March 20th, 2011
Last week I had dinner with thirty entrepreneurs and former entrepreneurs (mostly VCs now) — founders of Pandora, DropBox, and lots of other companies that you will hear about in the next few years. Everybody in the room are making mobile platform decisions on a weekly basis — i.e. they are the folks on the ground deploying capital and building the next generation of mobile applications and services. Apple, Google, Microsoft, HP, and RIM are all trying to sway them to build on their platform.
Everybody agreed that you have to build for iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) – every company will sequence development for these differently based on their monetization strategy, demographics, and geographical focus. The only other mobile platform that is still part of the conversation is Windows Phone. Yes, they have a unique product experience, but do they have the distribution horsepower to reach a critical mass of users to make it a must for application developers? Not yet. But given Microsoft’s cash position and its distribution smarts (Nokia) nobody in the room would bet against them.