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Postlight Podcast

What happens when software eats the world? Industry veterans Paul Ford and Rich Ziade chat with their friends about technology, design, and business from a distinctly East Coast point of view. Decades of experience inform their no-BS, quick-witted patter about what digital transformation really means. Created by Postlight, the digital product studio they co-founded in NYC.
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Postlight Podcast
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Sep 22, 2020

 

Microsoft used to be all about Windows but in recent years we’ve seen a huge transformation in the company. They went from thinking monolithically to branching out and making new connections with users on several different devices. This week we break down how Microsoft’s failures and new leadership led to a more diversified list of products and how humility helped them move forward. 

Links: 

Wreckfest 

Witcher 

Flight Simulator 

X-Plane 

Introducing Mailchimp Developer

 

Sep 15, 2020

We’ve been seeing a lot of questionable data being thrown around recently — think Trump’s interview with Jonathan Swan. As the election approaches, we can’t help but notice how data is being used to manipulate people. This week we dive into conspiracy thinking and talk about how tech today is being used to spread what were once fringe opinions to the masses. 

Links: 

The Paranoid Style in American Politics - Richard Hofstadter

How to Lie with Statistics - Darrell Huff

Sep 8, 2020

There are two types of tech stakeholders, the detente and the dreamer. One is more reactive and is just trying to keep the peace while the other loves the possibility and potential in innovating. So which is best? Do you focus on stability and mitigating risk or do you make big bold moves? This week we discuss these two types of stakeholders and talk about the best ways to pitch software investments to CEOs and CFOs, which is no small feat. 

Links: 

The Dreamer and the Diplomat: Who Buys Software for you Company 

Postlight Insights

Sep 1, 2020

We recently launched a huge project with New York’s public transit system, The MTA. Like the transit system the project was big and complex. This week we are joined by Product Manager Jojo Giltsoff who kept the MTA project running smoothly. She shares her tips and tools for managing big and busy teams and projects. She also teaches us how to find a healthy balance between being hypercritical and being an advocate for your team and explains why you should be writing down all the positive things people say about you. 

Links: 

MTA Case Study - Postlight

Level Up by Writing Things Down - Jojo Giltsoff

Whimsical 

Dash for Slack 

Basecamp 

Clubhouse 

Jojo Giltsoff Twitter 

Jojo Instagram

Aug 25, 2020

Paul tells us about his new project, Ephemeralist, a web page that gives your brain a break from the heaviness of social media. It pulls archives from places like the MoMA and the Smithsonian, and allows you to scroll through historyfrom books and fossils, to pictures of donkeys from the 1700s. We go through Paul's experience with hosting his new project on Google Cloud and how these massive hosting platforms have become increasingly convoluted and geared towards engineers.

Links: 

Ephemeralist 

Glitch

Google Cloud Platform

AWS

Introducing Mailchimp Developer

Aug 18, 2020

Enterprise software is a behemoth. It’s expensive, confusing and takes forever to learn. On this week’s episode of Postlight Podcast, Paul & Rich continue to break down why enterprise software is such a mess. We get into this confusing world of caked-on features and mysterious sales pitches. 

Links: 

Don’t Let the Backlog Drive Your Product - Rich Ziade 

Introducing Mailchimp Developer - Postlight

Aug 11, 2020

In the wise words of Elbert Hubbard “logic is a tool for furthering prejudice.” On this week’s episode of the Postlight Podcast, Paul & Rich unpack this quote and talk about how best to communicate facts and logic. We share some tips on how to communicate facts in a way that actually engages people and talk about why using rhetoric rather than fact is a better way to get your point across. And in the end, we of course tie this all back to software. 

Aug 4, 2020

The past 6 months have forced everyone into a new working situation, a situation that could continue for a while yet. This week Paul and Rich share some tips for coping with the ongoing pandemic. We discuss why you should be gathering your team more often and keeping clear and frequent communication about what’s happening across the company. We also talk about ways to be a source of stability for your employees and, of course, about the importance of humor. 

Links: 

Whimsical 

Airtable 

Renderforest

Jul 28, 2020

We regulate cars so why not regulate tech? This week on the Postlight Podcast, Paul & Rich get philosophical. We ask the big questions about how to regulate our own creations and how sometimes infringing on someone’s freedom can actually be a good thing. After all, without red lights the streets don’t work. 

Links: 

John Perry Barlow - A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Jul 21, 2020

In this final episode of our 3 part series, Paul & Rich check back in with Managing Partner Chris LoSacco on the two final mistakes you’ve likely been making with your product. We talk about the importance of marketing your products within your own organization. Chris also explains his controversial opinion on why you shouldn’t be listening to your customers (don’t worry it’s not as scary or irresponsible as it sounds!).

Links:

Goldman Sachs - Postlight

Chris LoSacco

Jul 16, 2020

In Part 2 of this 3 part series, Paul, Rich & Postlight Managing Partner Chris LoSacco talk about two more mistakes you’re making with your product, neglecting your tooling and single sourcing your Quality Assurance (QA). We discuss how you can optimize your tooling setup to be more productive and catch errors early in the development process. We also talk about how product managers can help select the right tools and why QA should be baked into the whole process. 

Links: 

Clubhouse 

Basecamp

Jul 14, 2020

Keeping your timeline super flexible may sound like a good idea when developing software, after all software is always changing, but Chris LoSacco is here to tell you why that’s a mistake. This week we dig into the 6 common mistakes people make in product development. In Part 1 we go over the first two mistakes, being vague with your timelines and waiting too long to ship. Chris gives some solutions to these common problems and walks you through some tips for structuring a better product release. 

Links: 

Chris LoSacco - Twitter 

Postlight - MTA

Jul 9, 2020

When presenting to a client, you may feel inclined to load your pitch deck with information, but overwhelming your audience with information may actually be working against you. This week Rich & Gina give some tips on putting together an effective and persuasive deck. We talk about the importance of simplicity and storytelling and discuss our different methods of rehearsing the pitch. 

Links: 

Lifehacker 

Google Slides - Presentation with Speaker Notes

Jul 7, 2020

We hate to introduce yet another acronym, but this one is worth paying attention to. This week we introduce QORE, Postlight’s method of evaluating the main components of any projects. We breakdown the 4 letters of the acronym, quality, opportunity, risk and efficiency and show you how keeping track of these can help you produce something you and your clients will be proud of. Use QORE and prosper friends! 

Links: 

Postlight Labs

Jul 2, 2020

When your company is growing quickly there comes a time when you need to give up some control and hire new leaders and managers. This week we discuss introducing new managers to your company and finding the right fit for your team. We also reluctantly acknowledge that off-site meetings in the woods can actually be beneficial.  

Links: 

Blinkist

Jun 30, 2020

Big tech continues to dominate the markets. How can their competitors stay alive while keeping up with the speed of innovation? Paul & Rich discuss the double-edged sword of how to find efficiencies. How can we shift away from machine learning that often misses the mark? Start empowering & trusting your people and give them what they need to build tools to find those insights for you.

Links

Airtable

Postlight Case Studies

Goldman Sans Font

Jun 25, 2020

Workflow is a seemingly simple process, you assign tasks and move a project down a pipeline. So why then is workflow still so difficult to manage? This week Paul & Rich talk about different workflow tools and how none of them seem quite right for the challenges we are facing today. We discuss the tools that are out there today and the need for better alternatives. 

Links: 

Postlight - Black Lives Matter

Airtable 

Trello 

Todoist 

Pipefy

Jun 23, 2020

Do social media companies have a responsibility to monitor what people say on their platforms? This week Paul and Rich discuss why Facebook & Twitter should be changing their policies in response to unrest and poor leadership. We discuss the laws that let these companies off the hook and Rich gives us an interesting lesson in free-speech law. 

Links: 

Our Routers, Ourselves - Paul Ford for The New Yorker

Jun 18, 2020

Ever wish you could create a custom Slack emoji to send to your co-workers? Well look no further than Textmoji, a new web app from Postlight Labs. It’s simple and easy to use and allows you to make text emoji for Slack and Discord for any occasion. Textmoji creator and software engineer Preston Richey joins us to talk about how and why he wanted to create this app and teaches Paul and Rich about a new developer framework. 

Links: 

Postlight Labs 

Textmoji.app 

Svelte framework 

Pixi 

Dash for Slack

Jun 16, 2020

How do you know when it’s time to rebrand? Last week we launched a new brand and want to tell you all about it. But we also want to share some broader lessons about when and why rebranding is necessary. We share what we’ve learned over the years about growing a company and evolving a brand to better suit what the company can do, not what it’s already done. We hope you like our new look! 

Links: 

Postlight 

Postlight Case Study: Goldman Sachs  

Postlight Case Study: MTA

Jun 11, 2020

Artificial intelligence is all about automating human behavior — and that includes bad behavior. How can technologists write software that helps rather than harms? Paul and Rich discuss the rise of apps that encode shady approaches like loan sharking into automated tools, and whether social pressures may eventually right those wrongs — or if that change will come too late.

Links

Rest of World 

"This lending app publicly shames you when you’re late on loan payments - Morris Kiruga" 

Lenny Telemarketing 

Jun 9, 2020

When was the first time you became aware of the air? As the CEO of a drone transportation company, Star Simpson thinks about flight everyday. She joins the podcast to talk about her startup, ThereCraft, which uses drones to deliver lifesaving supplies to first responders and improves last-mile delivery to remote locations. She reveals a few secrets about engineering her flying vehicles of the future, and discusses what’s to come for drone technology.

Links: 

Star Simpson 

ThereCraft.com

Otherlab 

Circuit Classics 

ThereCraft - Twitter 

Jun 4, 2020

Postlight loves playing with code — and sometimes that play helps people be more productive. Paul and Gina introduce Account, a new open-source Labs project from Postlight that renders interactive math equations as text stories. Paul discusses the importance of creating data representations that people can explore, and thanks to Account, Gina is converted from an old-school coder to a React fan.

Links: 

Account

Tinysheet

Soulver 

Tangle.io 

Idyll 

RFP Builder 

Whimsical 

Reveal 

Lifehacker 

Postlight Labs 

 

Jun 2, 2020

It seems natural to implement rules to reduce risk. But when dealing with fluid processes like software development, can rigidity and fear of unknown variables actually hold you back? Paul and Rich discuss what’s at stake when leaders confuse rules with risk mitigation. We draw parallels between a good pilot, a good lawyer, and good software development — and as a bonus, Paul tells you how you can earn a promotion using only four words. 

Links: 

Sarbanes-Oxley

May 28, 2020

When you can’t invite a prospective client into the office, how do you hold their attention and show them you’re actively listening? Charisma and eye contact don’t make the same impact over Zoom. Paul and Rich explain an adaptive sales approach that uses digital tools and tactics to demonstrate value. Behold our new Reactive Sales technique.

Links: 

Sitecore 

Adobe Experience Manager

Pendo 

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

Reveal.js 

Whimsical 

Miro 

Mural

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