The Importance of Product Design

Customers love products with great design. A product may work great and provide real customer benefit, but will struggle to gain momentum and marketing ’buzz’ if it looks unappealing. Therefore, the design of a product (or service) is just as important as its functionality and the value it provides to a customer. In fact, many customers presently expect products to be just as beautiful to look at much as they are reliable and functional.

Don’t Waste Time Choosing a Programming Language for your Software Startup

A client recently asked me for some technology advice regarding his startup. His team is developing software for physiotherapy patients and was curious on whether switching from MySQL to a no-SQL database (MongoDB) would be advantageous. Their development team is intelligent and capable of learning, but had no previous experience with both Mongo and no-SQL databases. The advice I provided to them is the same that I have told countless startups asking such technology questions:

Director’s Responsibilities in Canada

For the last 25 years, the law firm Osler, Haskin, & Harcourt in a joint effort with the Institute of Corporate Director’s have published an excellent guide to Canadian corporate governance called Director’s Responsibilities in Canada. The document is quite lengthy, but provides detailed information about the roles of shareholders and corporate boards in Canada, and how corporations are governed the decisions made by board members. I recommend this document to any venture preparing to form a board. As always, consult a lawyer before taking action.

Kerberos Authentication

Kerberos is an authentication technology used by Microsoft Active Directory. It allows client to access network resources (e.g. file servers, print servers) without having to authenticate (or send a password) to the resource. Instead, clients authenticate against a Key Distribution Center (KDC) (aka Domain Controller in Active Directory-world), which grants individual reusable tickets that the network resource can consume and authenticate against the KDC.

Ways to Present the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a fantastic method of brainstorming and documenting the business model for your startup or operating business. Unfortunately, when attempting to present a business model to stakeholders, employees, or investors, many founders and business leaders simply display their canvas and explain the content to the audience. This is a poor method of sharing information which will ultimately leave the audience confused and overwhelmed.

Normalization of Data in NoSQL Databases recently posted an article titled Why we don’t denormalize anymore. The article describes how author pmuens and his colleagues have stopped denormalizing data in their Meteor/MongoDB projects due to the complexity of updating data when it changes. This is in despite of his claim that “Denormalization is the “community approved standard” to deal with related data in NoSQL systems”.