Your creativity makes you strong, independent and free.

Hi, I’m Justin. I make stuff for makers. I want to help you reach more people with the things you create.

Justin Jackson, Canadian product person and maker. Not a basketball player.

I just published Marketing for Developers, and I’m working on a new project called MegaMaker.

Better life, Blog

You only win once – Rodney Mullen

Amazing. In this Ted Talk, skateboarding icon Rodney Mullen distills many of his life lessons. Many are applicable to the tech community: On winning I had won 35 out of 36 contests over 11 years. Winning isn’t the word: I won it once. The rest of the time you’re just defending. You get into this turtle posture. It usurped the joy of what I loved to do, because I was no longer doing it to create…
Better work, Blog

Why people buy software

You want to build software that people will use, and that will make you money. How do you find opportunities? One trick is to listen to the things people say (and think) when they’re struggling. I call these the “inner thoughts of customers”. Listening and identifying pain are the keys to finding great product ideas. Listen to customers’ “inner thoughts” These are examples of inner thoughts people have before going out to find software to…
2012-11-04 10.42.23

No one wants to buy my sneakers

 in Blog
In product development, it’s a mistake to assume that other people want what we want. Let me tell you a story. I used to own a couple of retail shops; we sold snowboards, skateboards, and clothing. One day I was reading Adbusters magazine and heard about their new project: Blackspot Sneakers. These were shoes “made with hemp, recycled tires, vegan leather and produced in fair-trade factories”. The idea was to create a grassroots brand, that produced…

Forget the Valley: bootstrap founders can live wherever they want

 in Blog
When it comes to venture funded startups, the script is clear: you need to move to Silicon Valley. This is the epicentre for meeting the “who’s who” and raising money for your tech company. Jason Calacanis trumpets this on his podcast: “Yes, location, location, location. If you want to be in the internet business, immediately leave Tulsa. You need to run like a melon farmer to Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, or New York. That’s it. That’s where…
Better life, Better work, Blog
2012-08-12 15.55.05

Most successful founders are in their mid-30’s, married with children

The Kauffman Foundation surveyed 550 successful entrepreneurs across multiple sectors, determined by profitability and being named a “high-valued” business by their peers. Their data suggests that most successful founders are in their mid-30s and married with children: “Founders tended to be middle-aged—40 years old on average—when they started their first companies. Nearly 70 percent were married when they became entrepreneurs, and nearly 60 percent had at least one child, challenging the stereotype of the entrepreneurial workaholic with…
Better design, Better technology, Blog

Kathy Sierra is brilliant

In the end, all that matters is what happens when the clicking/swiping is done. What do they NOW feel? What do they now SHOW for it? How are they now better in a meaningful and — better still — OBVIOUS way? It is those moments that create a reliable, sustainable result in both WOM (word of mouth) and WOFO (word of obvious) that is the heart and soul of authentically “viral” and lasting growth. ~…
Better work, Blog

Things I’ve quit doing at my desk

We need to think of our desks as workstations. In reality, we do all sorts of things at our desks that aren’t real work (or affect our ability to produce our best work). Here are things I’m trying to quit doing at my desk: Thinking: Nobody does their best thinking sitting at their desk. When you reflect on your biggest “Ah-Ha!” moments, how many of them occurred while you were staring at a screen? If…
Is a college degree worth it?

Will a college degree get you a programming job?

 in Blog
I was looking at the programs being offered by the community college today and the course description for Computer Information Systems Diploma caught my eye. The college had linked to news articles (like this), exclaiming: “If you can code, you can get work.” At first glance the diploma they’re offering doesn’t include very much coding. First you have to muddle through courses on technical writing, circuit boards and understanding an operating system. When you finally get to write code (in your second…

If you work with pixels you should be thankful

 in Blog
Months ago, while exiting my office, I ran into a man installing carpet in the hallway. On his hands and knees, he was applying glue to the floor, and then carefully affixing the carpet tiles. We’d made small talk before.  I asked: “How are you doing today?” “I’d trade jobs with you in a second” he responded.

What’s important

 in Blog
PEOPLE are more important than PIXELS. PEOPLE are more important than BYTES. PEOPLE are more important than MACHINES.

How to keep clients happy

 in Blog
People [get to] keep working [with clients]: 1) because their work is good 2) because they’re easy to get along with 3) because they deliver the work on time And you don’t even need all 3! Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are, if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good and they like you.…