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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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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

May 26, 2020

Good design often goes unnoticed, but not for Scott Berkun. In his new book, How Design Makes the World, Scott delves into how both good and bad design affect our daily lives. On this episode, Scott lays out the big questions you must ask about your users: Who do you design for, and why? And how do you avoid unintended harm when designing products?

Links

Scott Berkun 

How Design Makes The World 

Scott Berkun Twitter

May 21, 2020

The modern global economy has been built on relatively stable markets, so what happens now that stability is no longer a constant? Paul and Rich ask the big questions about our economic systems: Why is it so difficult to coordinate at scale? What is the best way to optimize a supply chain? And how can we meet everyone’s needs? 

May 19, 2020

Creating a sensation: Jordan Mechner built his first video game in high school, sourcing info from books (there was no internet); a few years later, he concocted the hit game Prince of Persia in his dorm room. On the podcast, Jordan shares an inside look into his new book and chronicles the time he spent building a genre-defining game: his creative process, inspiration for his work, and insights about building games then vs. now. 

Links: 

Atari 400 

Timex Sinclair

Doom 

Karateka 

Jordan Mechner 

Stripe Press 

The Making of the Prince of Persia - Jordan Mechner 

Apple II

Breakout 

Asteroids 

Broderbund Software 

Apple Galaxian 

Choplifter 

Danny Gorlin 

Minecraft

Templar Comic Book

May 14, 2020

Shared Crisis: When a stressed client comes to you with an urgent request, it's hard not to panic. The tight deadlines may seem daunting but there are ways to mitigate the crisis. Paul and Rich share their insights on how to lessen stress, limit expectations, and simplify processes to get a product shipped quickly. Some pro tips: take a breath, create a sense of shared responsibility, reduce risk, and don’t forget to sleep! 

Links: 

McKinsey

Airtable 

Squarespace 

Wix 

Booz Allen 

Zoho Writer 

SAP 



May 12, 2020

Apologize later: Renowned tech journalist and writer Steven Levy chats about his new book, Facebook: The Inside Story, which peers behind the scenes at the biggest social media monolith of our day. Levy breaks down how he convinced Facebook to give him inside access, what was happening there during the 2016 election, and why Mark Zuckerberg loves Caesar Augustus so much. Caution, books spoilers ahead!

Links: 

Steven Levy 

Hackers - Steven Levy 

The Perfect Thing - Steven Levy 

Backchannel - WIRED

Sandra Upson - WIRED

The Devastating Decline of a Brilliant Young Coder - WIRED 

Facebook: The Inside Story - Steven Levy

Carlyle Group 

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives - Steven Levy 

The Social Network - IMDB

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell 

Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changes Everything - Steven Levy 

May 7, 2020

Paul and Rich have a follow up discussion about Marc Andreessen’s newest article and ask the important question: How can we connect and empower people to create crucial tools for society when the industry has become so transactional? Are we able to create necessary social momentum when there’s no money involved? Paul puts out a plea for Postlight to create a software development kit for education at a platform level. It remains to be seen if VCs are ready to shift their focus to do the same. (Perhaps that’s an idea for Marc Andreessen to think about!)

 

Links

‘It’s Time To Build’ by Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen

Andreessen Horowitz

React

Bell Labs

Xerox Parc

Khan Academy

The Last Dance

Class Dojo

Google Classroom

 

May 5, 2020

There’s a reason to expect criticism: Paul and Rich dig into the newest article from VC Marc Andreessen. In it, Andreessen exhorts Americans to innovate and blames our lack of preparation for the pandemic on a lack of desire to do so. We reflect on the current state of America and how apparent the holes in our social governance have become since COVID-19 (especially the education system). Is there a world where VC and startups can help us improve these old systems? Has social policy towards more privatization led us towards the wrong things being optimized? We look to other innovations that have come from crises and ask: How can you install that startup-style motivation outside of commercial profit? (Spoiler: Marc Andreessen doesn’t have the answer!)

Links:

“It’s Time to Build” by Marc Andreessen

Andreesen Horowitz

Marc Andreesen 

José Andrés 

José Andrés Wants To Feed The World Through The Pandemic 

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