COVID-19 has changed how we live and work forever. 2020 has presented challenges that will shape the next decade. But, technology change continues to accelerate.

We’ve made a prediction for the 5 technologies which will see big advances in 2021.

Social Distancing & Contact Tracing Technologies

Businesses returning to work will need to design for the wellbeing of their customers and employees. Minimising employee interactions will limit exposure, and limit any potential spread of the virus.

Employee expectations will also change. Contactless everything will be the new expectation.

Some of the technologies being rolled out in workplaces will include:

  • Bluetooth contact tracing
  • Remote collaboration
  • Employee…


Black and white photo of a chess board
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

One of the most common difficulties I see in organisations is the creation of a product strategy. If this is true of your organisation, you are not alone. In a 2019 audience poll at the Leading The Product conference, attended by over 750 product people, the biggest problem faced by attendees was the lack of a clear product strategy.

Not having a clear strategy can lead to disastrous outcomes:

  • Scattergun solutions — Only building features for loudest customers/salespeople
  • Shiny object syndrome — Chasing the ‘cool’ new technologies, or trends
  • A lack of clarity & focus — Everything in the backlog…


https://www.pexels.com/photo/coding-computer-data-depth-of-field-577585/

If there’s one technology change that sums up the last decade it is the “cloud”. Cloud services such as AWS, Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform started with a promise of cost reduction through the use of shared infrastructure that scaled based on your needs.

Why waste money running big beefy servers throughout the night, when you only had a handful of customers using your site? The promise of elasticity transformed the delivery of infrastructure. Now through micro-services and server-less, software architecture has also simplified.

The AWS platform started the internal Amazon culture of developing micro-services and their collaborative open-source…


Snails Pace?

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy where ever in the world you are. It’s a crazy time we are currently experiencing. We’re dealing with a new range of complexities, stresses, and anxieties due to this awful, awful virus.

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you all. 2019, in particular, was a challenging one. I dealt with a few personal bumps throughout the year. The death of a close relative late last year meant my side-projects all fell to the bottom of my priority list.

2020 & COVID19 has forced me to rethink a few things and…


Hey everyone! I’ve published a free eBook on creating customer value.

You’re probably aware that the world isn’t short on ideas. Ideas are worthless without a tireless pursuit to their execution.

Whilst these days a lot of organisations have developed mature agile delivery processes, there’s one area that’s still lacking which is critical to product success — Product Discovery.

Product Discovery is the process of understanding your customer and translating this understanding into value.

“there is a tremendous amount of craft between a great idea and a great product” — Steve Jobs

What’s Inside?

  • Why you should focus on problems before ideas


Every weekend I visit the South Melbourne Market on our weekly pilgrimage to the local coffee roaster. Their blend of Brazilian and New Guinean beans have become somewhat of a staple.

As the hoards flock to pick up their fresh produce, French pastries, and a takeaway paella, the car parks inevitably fill.

It always surprises me how patience goes out the window in the car park. Frustrated drivers seem to lose common sense.

This weekend as I sat looking at the brake lights of the car in front of me, I reflected how everyone’s frustration threshold is different. The retiree…


Last week one of our designers facilitated her first brainstorming session. It was fantastic.

We started with a clear objective. Increase our app store rating. In less than 60 minutes, we generated 100’s of ideas which we are now planning to put into action.

One of the tools from the brainstorm stood out to me. To help us prioritise our ideas, she asked us to sort them into three broad categories. Pain Killers, Vitamins, and Candy. The pain killers worth double points.

I think that’s an awesome way to think about things. Some ideas ultimately will be more valuable to…


Speak to anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I’m a pretty big Apple Fanboy. Whether it’s a new MacBook, iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad, there’s a good chance I’ll look to buy it as soon as it comes out.

My habit started about 15 years ago when I first purchased a MacBook Pro. It didn’t make me a better developer, nor did it give me skills that I couldn’t have achieved on a cheaper laptop. It just felt better.

Some would say I am a sucker for good marketing. Apple is the best at marketing in the…


For many years now, agile has been enjoying its time in the sun as the en vogue method for product development.

For teams making the switch, whilst agile can bring lots of improvements, it can also cause a few headaches. As people face into the difficult reality of transparency of work, ownership, and responsibility, tough cultural and people challenges can arise.

The new methods and mindsets sometimes even lead to short-term pains and inefficiencies as people struggle to navigate the changes.

Over time, the role of an agile coach has developed to help with the implementation of the method. Coaches…


When Clayton Christensen wrote the ‘Innovators Dilemma’, he told a story of a fast-food chain who wanted to boost Milkshake sales.

Analysis of sales discovered that 40 per cent of their customer purchases were first thing in the morning, by commuters who ordered takeaway.

The finding puzzled researchers. What was causing these early morning purchases?

Customers weren’t buying the milkshakes to quench their thirst, nor were they looking for a sugar hit. Instead, they found that Milkshakes made a convenient & fun distraction for people making a long commute to work. …

Steven Forbes

Head Of Digital at Xienta. Helping organisations build great products. Digital Strategy | Engineering | Customer Experience.

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