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Here’s how some of the biggest technology companies looked when they started:

Here’s how billion dollar revenue companies look today!

Compare these designs to the classy user interface of the now shut

The bottomline: Owned Identity or brands are built over years by delivering on your core promise. All you need is a design that is good enough that won’t kill the launch.

  • Google’s focus was its Search algorithm.
  • Amazon’s focus was on faster shipping, lower pricing, and greater variety.
  • Once you’ve cracked your core value proposition, the unique design can add to the experience, thereby allowing you to charge a premium.

In comparison: The Outline has overinvested in design relative to their size and earning potential and that capital could have been better deployed in experimenting with and iterating on their core editorial proposition.

  • This typically happens because editorial teams tend to mix up brand, design, and content.



You do not have fear of missing out (FOMO). You are ambitious but not aggressive about it. I’m sure you’d want this for the Internet we all inhabit.

Problem: However, products that profit from Digital Advertisements use persuasive technologies — algorithms and Push Notifications — to mold your behavior, opinions, and attitudes to meet their company objectives. You keep returning to their platform ()DAU/MAU) and spending more time out of FOMO or by driving you into echo chambers. This does long-term harm to you, your children, your business, and your civic information space.

Solution: But life doesn’t happen in a Mobile Apps but outside. So Humane Products tend to be Work Products, i.e., they want you to get the job done as soon as possible and exit. Additionally, they recognize that life can be stressful, and hence they often build gratitude right in.


“Yeah, but I have something he’ll never have: Enough.”

Joseph Heller, American novelist and the author of Catch-22.

The essence of maintaining work-life balance, enjoying what you do, and building a sustainable operation is having a sense of this is enough — from a sense of satisfaction.