Interview with me for StartupYard on GrowthHacking, OpenSource and Politics

I have been interviewed by Loyd Waldo from StartupYard – a great Czech startup accelerator. You can find the interview here and you can discover some things that I am sharing for the fist time with a larger audience.

WIll you tell us a little bit about your career?

I started my career a long time ago. My first job was, behold … a sheppard! I was at school and I needed money. Believe it or not I have learned a lot from my first job :)

After that I used to sell small goods, and when I finished high school I joined the Bulgarian Army.  I spent 5 years in intelligence doing some secret military stuff. After 5 years I realized I needed a change and in order to escape the army’s stupidity, I decided to pursue my dream – to work in IT. If you go through my resume you will find a lot of things – I used to work as a programmer, web architect, IT manager, Product and Project Manager, Open Source consultant, community manager, marketeer. I’ve spend the last 6 years working on startups.  Now I am a “growth hacker” – the only definition that combines all skills I’ve gathered in my entire career … and I am happy! Also I am a Pirate! My signature is on the establishment act of Pirate Parties International.

Bulgaria Web Summit 2014 with GitHub, ElasticSearch, SmashingMag and more friends

I think it’s time to write something about Bulgaria Web Summit – the event I am organizing since 2004. Of course the name back then was WebTech but this is just a formality.

Why Bulgaria Web Summit?

Honestly I don’t know, it was like … how we will name it .. Bulgaria Web Summit. The funny story is I talked 2 days ago with Florian from Usersnap and he asked me “I was wondering if Paddy Cosgrave already sent  you an angry mail (about the name)” and today I’ve got a call from UK-ish number and I thought here it is, the angry Paddy is calling me.

Let’s go back to the event. It will be amazing, as usual. We will have speakers and friends from GitHub, ElasticSearch, eCommera,Smashing Magazine and even more and more. We will have of course a prime minister talking …well not the Bulgarian one, we don’t really like him, but the one from the Ministry of World Domination, no kidding.

Developer track

In short: JavaScript, Development Workflows, ElasticSearch && Python, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Embedded Devices hacking and more

Designer, UX, UI, VDT track

Responsive Design , Visual Design Thinking, CSS, Fonts, UX and UI, Firefox OS

Business track

Product Ownership, Social media marketing, Kanban for Marketing, Showcase of successful products, Job fair and much more.

3 rooms, 30 speakers and a party!

Danish Knan from GitHub is introducing his talk at Bulgaria Web summit in Sofia

@Geeksphone e-mail campaign is …not for geeks

I just opened an email from Geeksphone. They are trying to sell “Revolution”.  Revolution is not something you can sell, and it should not be something you should be able to buy – terrible name for an e-mail campaign subject. I’ve opened it just because I like Geeksphone products, but after that booom!

Yes it’s Revolution:

  • No text on the visible part of my screen. Nada! I am not scrolling, sorry!
  •  Of course alt =” ” <- this is so geeky  and it’s a standard now :) Who will need them, right.

I will unsubscribe.

geekphone

Mission Possible: Teach your clients to give you a perfect bug reporting, especially for design issues.

Let’s start this story with another story:

CLIENT: There’s a strange symbol after the company name – can you remove it?
ME: Hmm… I don’t see anything. Does it come after the exclamation point?
CLIENT: The what?
ME: The line and dot after – wait, you mean the exclamation point?
CLIENT: I guess. Is that what that’s called?

I’ve borrowed the story from http://clientsfromhell.net but let’s be honest all developers have to deal with clients even worsе than this guy.

The problem (as we know it)

The client see the website in a different way and if there is a problem, they will describe it to you with the words they know. Don’t tell me that you haven’t spent at least 3h per project talking or chatting or even worse, exchanging emails, with a client who wants the work to be done, but cannot explain what he needs exactly the way a developer/designer can understand.

It’s not easy, indeed, for users to report bugs. Let’s not open now any bugzilla or other bug tracker to see “the wisdom of the crowd” collected from the clients, starting with the magical words “It’s not working” or “there is something wrong with my website”

You know what I am talking about.

How to solve it?

I think I have found a way to solve this and to translate the clients’ way of thinking to the language of a designer. There are couple of ways, actually, but now I want to show you how to do it by giving the opportunity to your users/clients/visitors to annotate bugs and to show you what is wrong – the visual way.

Show me

I will use usersnap to help me with that. Now, in order to reproduce the “original’ problem I have to find a “wrong logo”.

(spending 20 min searching, trying to avoid Yahoo!, no luck there.)

Usersnap requires a small widget to be installed on the website, so you can give valuable feedback. Now let’s imagine that the problem in this case is on their website and let’s make them eat their own dog food. I don’t have a chance to install it by myself on Yahoo (or can I?)

Now let’s find an “!”  and report it, just for a demonstration.

See, it’s easy. Now you can understand what the problem is, where it is and how it looks like on your clients’ computer, because from time to time a browser can cause the problem and you are not able to see the problem as you client does.

You will receive an annotated screenshot on your email, complete with notes, arrows, highlighted zones  and even pixel rulers and you will be one step ahead in the communication.

Is that all?

Of course it’s not, next step is to teach the client to use the tool, instead of sending you screenshots pasted in a doc file or wore, acting like guys shown on ClientsFromHell.