Turning the page: a new job at Visere!

I just finished up my first week at Visere, and I couldn’t be more excited! This past week has been simply phenomenal.

Leaving Jive is bittersweet. The people I worked with are amazing, I still believe it’s the best collection of engineering talent in Portland. The company is going places. I’m proud of my work there. I’ve been doing heavy lifting in JavaScript for nearly 6 years, but I’ve been stretching my iOS wings, and Visere gives me the opportunity to work on mobile development full time. It’s incredibly exciting to be working in a tiny startup again!

And this move solidifies it for me – I love small companies, and not just small: tiny. At Visere, I’m employee number 9. It’s such a breath of fresh air for my day to day responsibility to include: project planning, UI/UX design, marking, recruiting, coordinating, budgeting, sales, and of course, programming. I love the variety, I love the chaos, I love fighting for life, for market share, for mind share. And most of all I love the product I’m working on.

To date, Visere has been primarily focused on contract design work: you may know it from products like Microsoft’s Courier tablet, the Uncommong iPhone app, or Motorola Droid branding. We’re also working on a product very much our own, and I hope to have much more detail on it soon :) .

Security Theater Is Good Product Design

Jon Udell has a great post today on people’s expectactions about their security:

In his recent TED talk he mentions that the Tylenol incident led to tamper-proof caps — a perfect example of what Schneier likes to call “security theater”:

As a homework assignment, think of 10 ways to get around it. I’ll give you one, a syringe.

So far this is typical Schneier. It’s a great point, but one I’ve heard him make many times before. In the next sentence, though, he breaks new ground:

But it made people feel better. It made their feeling of security more match the reality.

Bruce Schneier used to mock the theatrical dimension of security. Now it seems his thinking has evolved — and in a really interesting way. He’s alway viewed security in a relativistic way, and as a game of economic tradeoffs. Here he twists the lens to bring something else into focus: the relationship between how secure we feel and how secure we are.

This hit home for me, because is exactly the same way I feel about product development, especially mobile development. We can fight all day about mobile web vs mobile native, but that’s only half of the issue. An equally important piece of software development is making sure to set and exceed user expectations.

When developing software, step 1 should be: “What are my user’s expectations? Can I change those expectations before they even launch my app? How should those expectations change how I design the user experience?”


Pro golfer Kevin Na records a 16 in Round 1 of Valero Texas Open (2011), via paul kedrosky

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