I write about design, technology, and people.
Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.
– if you're interested in older posts or looking for something specific.
I had the pleasure of participating in a panel, organized in
collaboration with Google for Startups and Impact Hub
Zürich, about the growing role of UX in enterprise
software. We covered many topics from how UX teams are
organized in Google to how to deal with inherent complexity
and ambiguity of enterprise products. One question that I
particularly liked was:
A classic case for enterprise products is to replace an
ad-hoc solution based on spreadsheets. Is it worth fighting
against the spreadsheet metaphor?
The short answer is no. Spreadsheets in electronic form have
existed for about 40 to 50 years, and paper ones have been in
business for much longer. Spreadsheets are powerful and
versatile, and that should be acknowledged and embraced. The
real skill is deciding when you should build a specialized
system that can do specific tasks better than spreadsheets.
Those tasks usually require a need for enforcement of rules
and policies, instant sharing between systems, sophisticated
automation, a stable data source, or simply processing an
enormous amount of data. For a lot of other tasks,
spreadsheets are a cheap and good enough solution. Just ensure
there is an easy way of moving data between specialized
systems and spreadsheets—people will love you for that.
I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a
coward? What is the difference between being yellow and
being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel
the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who
is yellow refuses to face up to what he’s got to face. The
hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off
and he does what he has to do. But they both feel the same,
the hero and the coward. People who watch you judge you on
what you do, not how you feel.
— Cus D’amato, legendary boxing trainer
I told my wife today how a song about Heidi plays every Friday
at 17:00 in our Zürich office. It marks the end of a working
week and the start of our local TGIF. My wife went to YouTube
to search for it. She opened one of the first few results and
asked me if that’s the one. (Watch only the first minute.)
The past year was excellent regarding quantity and quality of
books I read. It would make me ecstatic if I could repeat it
this year too (a man can dream). Here are my top picks from
In my yearly review of 2017, I wrote about how different
generations in my family have lived their lives and what
technologies and life improvements they’ve seen for the first
time. My description was based solely on conversations with
family members and my memory. However, this year, I learned
about Rosling’s country levels framework used by Gapminder
Foundation. People living in extreme poverty are on level 1
while most affluent people in the world live on level 4. The
majority live somewhere in the middle.
If you want to read more, check out the