Hurricane Harvey was the first time I’ve ever participated in the civilian response to a natural disaster, and I learned a lot in the process. My husband and I made a map that showed tweets of people wanting to be rescued (previously housed at harvey.geocod.io, but since taken down out of respect for victims’ privacy). By the time Harvey left the Texas coast, it had logged over 1,800 requests for
The Harvey Twitter Rescue Map
During Hurricane Harvey, people who were in need of rescuing started tweeting out their addresses. Mathias and I built a tool that scraped address of Twitter. There were many other groups who built maps to coordinate rescues, and we cannot say for certain whether ours led to any rescues. The tool was mentioned in the Boston Herald, ABC-7 (WJLA Washington), and my hometown newspaper, the Tri-Town Transcript.
Conference Talk: Laracon 2017
“Launching & Scaling Your Side Project” at Laracon 2017.
Interview: Laravel News
In the penultimate Laracon Session, Jake and Michael are joined by husband and wife tag-team speakers Michele and Mathias Hansen to talk about launching and scaling a side project, along with your regular dose of Laravel framework and community news.
Nine Things I Learned From Giving (Surviving) My First Talk at a Tech Conference
This past week, I had the fortune of co-presenting a talk at Laracon in NYC on Launching and Scaling a Side Project. It was my first time speaking at a conference, and since I lived to tell the tale, I figured I’d share what I learned in the process. 1. Deckset is awesome, use it. I resisted. I normally make slides in Google Slides, but my co-presenter, my husband, insisted on
Six Product Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner
It is a rare and special book that helps you with how to think in addition to what to think. And the more I work in product, the more I realize the importance of honing cognitive skills in the form of frameworks and mental models as a way to structure the information and world around me to ultimately find opportunities. Each of these books has given me a unique perspective on the world and
Struggling with How to Fix a Product? Start Here.
The DC Metro system is an unenviable product to have to fix. For years, the system was reliably unreliable and could be a downright unpleasant experience even when it was supposedly functioning as normal: delays, outages, overcrowding during rush hour, and a lack of air conditioning on trains during DC’s blistering hot summers were all par for the course. The Metro’s problems are so bad that there’s a Twitter account
Customer Feedback, Fast and Slow
Written February 17, 2017 I recently ran a user feedback survey that exposed a flaw in my thinking — and resulted in a completely unexpected product change. The survey’s intended goal was to aid in developing a deeper understanding of the various use cases customers have for Geocodio and features that might help them more efficiently complete those activities. I also put in a general feedback field for open ended
Six Investing Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner
About two years ago, I switched industries from political consulting to financial services. I had a somewhat notable lack of experience in finance — I’d never even bought a stock before — and so I embarked on a quest to learn as much as possible about the stock market. The result has been about two years of non-stop reading, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. If I were doing it all
How to Find the Problem
If there’s anything product people love, it’s problems — solving problems, finding problems, uncovering problems. We just love problems. And there are lots of great frameworks for researching customer experiences to help uncover problems. Yet, no framework can ever tell you what the problem is. So when you’re staring at a sea of Post-Its and knee deep in a spreadsheet, how do you determine where the problem is and what you should focus