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The in-the-moment thoughts of an entrepreneur. I code and hustle by day and explore speakeasies by night. I'm the creator of Toutapp (

May 26, 2011 at 11:28pm


Notes from Kathy Sierra fireside chat at @500Startups

Kathy Sierra
1. Focus on making people feel “I’m awesome”

2. Help people connect with the bigger cooler thing that encompasses your product. If you make this clear, the next big upgrade for your product won’t have to be sold. It’ll be obvious to them.

3. Don’t make a better X, Make a better user of X. Get people more involved with X.

4. Always ask: “How does this user kick ass (or get laid)?

5. Do the “24/7 spy tracking” exercise for your target user - write down what it is they are doing before and after they use your product! All that matters is what happens after they are done clicking. Think about how you are inspiring them to do what matters.

6. If you can’t outspend, out-something-else. Out-enable.

7. Social Media only works when it’s users talking to users.

8. Todo: Watch TED Talk - Drive by Dan Pink

9. Kathy hates badges, points and gamification. She thinks it’s horseshit (she is a horse trainer). She went into details of perils of gamification - not relevant to me so I didn’t write it down.

10. Progress bars are deeply motivational. Don’t confuse it with gamification. Don’t mess it up by giving them a badge in the end.

11. Deep down, everyone wants to be more badass. Help them be bad ass. Help them be DEEPLY and TRULY BADASS.

12. Have levels in your product. Help users get through them to to reach ultimate awesomeness.

13. Avoid cognitive leaks: boredom, confusion, etc. The best way to close cognitive leaks: anticipate leaks and deal with them a human would.

14. Help and FAQs are written for people that are calm. Write them assuming people are stuck and pissed off. Solve it by over authoring.

15. If you tell people what people may be feeling at the moment, it is an amazing leak closure.

Founder, Tout


  1. tawheed posted this