Favorite Quotes from Joy, Inc. – Menlo #1

Cover of Joy, Inc.What a blast! We (sipgate) just hosted Richard Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations and author of “Joy, Inc.”. Both, the real life Rich and his book are very entertaining and inspiring. So much so, that I’ll write a small series. I want to help spread the word about:

For starters, here are my favorite quotes (okay, passages) from the book:

“You can’t invite users into your office and ask them what they want, because they don’t actually know what they want. It’s not because they are stupid; it’s quite the opposite. They are unconsciously competent at what they do all day, so they can no longer deliver the most important minute details simply because they are unaware of them. The only way to get around this limitation is through keen and patient observation.” – Page 111

That’s where High Tech Anthropologists come in handy.

“To truly run an experiment, you need to try something out more than once, because at first –  no matter what you try – it will probably be bumpy.” – Page 132

“[A]n aspect of scaling that no one ever considers: scaling down.” – Page 195

Indeed, when do we ever consider scaling down? “Scaling” in everyday tech use only knows one direction.

“We have always felt that our contracts […] should be ones we’d be comfortable signing no matter what side of the table we were sitting on. When we receive contractual terms from our clients, many of them are completely one sided; it is left as a difficult exercise for us to add in terms that protect our interests. We see this as incredibly wasteful and a terrible way to begin a relationship between two companies.” – Page 224

In other words, ye olde “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” is universal, even and especially for contracts 🙂

Have you read the book? What’s your take on it?

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