Business Talk: An Audio Experiment

Today we have a departure from the normal blog post. It’s 15 min audio riff of me discussing a case study featured in the October issue of Harvard Business Review about a deciding on a positioning / branding angle for a Peruvian business that sells handmade ponchos. You can listen to it on blog or download the file for later listening.

I’m looking for feedback. Is this interesting? Would you want to see me do more of these 10-15 riffs? Are there particular topics you’d want me to cover? Is this boring and not worth the effort? Let me know! Leave a comment or write me a note at jason@jasonshen.com


Continue reading…

What I Learned from the First Round of Ship Your Side Project

As you may remember, earlier this year, Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya and I ran a six-week bootcamp for midcareer tech professionals called Ship Your Side Project.

Our thesis was that there are tons of people out there tinkering on passion projects who have maybe gotten a little side tracked and lost steam, but with just some structure and accountability, they could launch a v1 of their project. The 300+ upvotes we earned on ProductHunt and the thousands of visits to our site told us that we were onto something that might have legs. Continue reading…

Unpacking Product Insights from Pokémon GO

As you probably have heard, Nintendo has partnered with game developer Niantic to launch a wildly popular game for iOS and Android called Pokémon GO. The game has already reached over 21M daily active users, dominated the in-game purchasing market, and players are spending more time in the game than on Facebook. It even stopped traffic in Central Park as players abandoned their cars to chase after a rare water Pokémon that had appeared in the vicinity.

Rather than emulate existing Pokémon games for Nintendo’s handheld devices [1], this game uses AR (augmented reality) to place your character in a map that is modeled after the real world. From time to time, wild Pokémon will appear on your map — when you tap on them, you are taken to a feed from your phone’s camera and you see the Pokémon superimposed on top of whatever is in front of you. This is the AR piece of the game and it means that other people playing the game can also “see” the same Pokémon you’re looking at if you’re both in the same location. Continue reading…

What the Black Lives Matter Movement Means to Me

Note: While I don’t expect to be writing about these topics frequently, I felt compelled to share some thoughts in light of not just recent events but the many related things that have been happening over the last few years. These are my opinions and do not represent my employer or anyone else — Jason

The events of the last week have been horrifying, infuriating, and deeply saddening.

Two black men, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile, have been shot dead by police officers. Men who were not resisting arrest, not posing a threat, and who should not be dead. Their final, awful moments, filmed on mobile phones, have been seen millions times. Then, during what was otherwise a peaceful protest in Dallas, five white police officers were shot and killed by a gunman who appears to have been motivated by his frustrations with how black people are treated by the police. My heart goes out to all of these victims and their families.

Where do we go from here? I don’t see any easy answers. Continue reading…