This Wenger Swiss Army Knife really does exist!

Here’s a common scenario. We’re working on a feature. From the user story, it sounds pretty simple. The designer gets to work and comes up with wireframes and mockups. It gets refined by the team and signed off. The engineers said it would be easy — it would take less than a sprint. Three or four sprints later, the feature went from being a simple feature to being a monstrous epic. Everyone is frustrated.

Sound familiar?

What happened? It was supposed to be simple. It was supposed to take less than a sprint. The blame game starts:

  • The developers say…

The BAN HAMMER made for Reddit!

I’m going to discuss a topic dear to me: preventing fake accounts, spammers and trolls on your website. Having run a number of large community and social-type sites over the last 20 years (including ArtStation, ranked 650 on Alexa), it’s a topic that I find interesting and ever-changing.

What’s the problem?

If you run a site/platform that enables users to sign up and publish content, you’re giving them tremendous power. This impacts many kinds of sites but in particular “free” to register and use sites such as online communities, discussion forums and social sites.

There’s interesting and destructive ways to wreak havoc on…

I wanted to share a simple routine that, I feel, has changed my life for the better. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

About 4 years ago, when things were really stressful with my fledgling startup, I found myself in a negative spiral. I had suffered from depression before as a teenager and in my 20’s, and had been journaling before but found myself getting more negative and depressed. I needed a tool to help me to manage my thoughts in a positive way.

I decided to challenge myselftry a routine, for 30 days, and see if it helped.

In February 2014, I made a recommendation to my co-founders at Ballistiq that I wanted to cancel development of ArtStation. The project was in development hell. It wasn’t going anywhere. I was unhappy with it and just couldn’t see a path for it to be a successful product. Two months later we managed to launch it, and two years later it is the leading network for professional games, film, media & entertainment artists with over 2 million users per month, leading studios recruiting on the site, an official Star Wars competition running and great opportunities.

What happened? Why did I…

These are 14 questions that you need to be able to answer about your idea before you start investing and building. These are from SyncDev, pioneers in product validation methodology.

  1. Is the target customer clear?
  2. Is the need compelling?
  3. Is the lifetime value of the product high?
  4. Is the market large enough?
  5. Is the competition tolerable?
  6. Does your product fit the market?
  7. Is your advantage sustainable?
  8. Is distribution available?
  9. Are sales costs reasonable?
  10. Is the product feasible?
  11. Are margins adequate?
  12. Are risks tolerable?
  13. Does the business fit your company?
  14. Do you have a mountain of evidence to prove all of the above?

If you can answer “yes” to all the above questions. You probably are onto something.

Originally published at on October 16, 2013.

Leonard Teo

CEO/Product Owner at |

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