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.

Blog
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My blogging demons

 in Blog
I’m having a blogger’s identity crisis. I’ve been blogging here since 2008, but in 2013 I want to make my blog better. In order to do that, I need to face some demons. Attention seeker My greatest struggle with blogging is fighting the temptation to seek attention. Rather than aiming to help people, I’ve written some posts just to garner views (Retina is not a big deal is a good example). The challenge with this struggle is that it’s…
Better life, Better work, Blog
Why you're not making product sales with your SaaS

Stop networking at events

I was going to call this post “How to network with human beings”. But I don’t like that word (and I’m guessing you don’t either). Networking sounds sleazy and self-serving. I was also thinking about calling this post “How to meet famous people”. I’ve met some semi-famous folks in the tech world; but writing a post about how to do that is just silly. Truthfully, getting your photo with a well-known personality is more about bragging rights…
Better design, Better work, Blog
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A VIKA BYSKE standing desk

It’s been almost 2 years since I built my standing desk at work. I built it with parts available from IKEA: VIKA AMON tabletop – $49 (you could also use the VIKA BYSKE tabletop) VIKA BYSKE adjustable legs – $20 x 4 (these go to a maximum height of 42 inches. I’m 5’8″ and I keep mine at 41 inches) HUGO bar stool – $119 (no longer available. The GLENN bar stool is similar and cheaper) From Amazon: Anti-fatigue mat $25 (a rubber…
Better Products, Blog
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Why it’s not enough to build a product that people want

In 2013 I interviewed Rob Walling for the Product People podcast. Rob is the man behind products like HitTail, DotNetInvoice, and Drip. But he also helped start a movement of micropreneurs: solo-founders, who launch their own products. These small startups don’t take venture funding and don’t hire employees. Instead they use Virtual Assistants and outsourcing to build and market their products. Between 1999-2005 Rob tried (unsuccessfully) to build and launch his own startups. He did everything from…
Better work, Blog
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Why distributed teams are more effective

Apparently, venture capitalist Mark Suster doesn’t like remote teams: I believe distributed teams…are suboptimal and less productive in the long run. The biggest anti-thesis to his opinion is 37signals. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson built Basecamp while David was in Denmark and Jason was in Chicago. The product is now almost 10 years old and has millions of (paying) customers. Is 37signals an outlier? Mark might suggest that 37signals is an outlier. But the truth…
Better technology, Blog
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Why I would pay for Twitter

There’s mounting pressure on social networks to prove that they can be profitable. Their answer to the revenue problem seems to be “more ads”. I think Twitter in particular has a number of opportunities for making money that have nothing to do with advertising. Here are some tools and features that I would pay for (separately, or as a part of a pro package). 1. Analytics There are a number of companies offering analytics for…
Better Products, Blog
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What the People of Wal-Mart want

Starting in 2008, Wal-Mart embarked on an ambitious project to improve the shopping experience in their stores. Code-named “Project Impact” the idea was to create a “better” Wal-Mart. First, they sent out surveys. In the surveys, customers identified that they wanted cleaner, less cluttered stores. With this information in-hand, Wal-Mart began a huge multi-million dollar store refurbishment program. They slimmed down their inventory by 15%, redesigned shelves, and removed pallets from the aisles. The result? Sales…
Better work, Blog
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Why I don’t read at work

I recently quit reading when I’m at the office. I used to read blogs and news sites as a part of my daily work routine. Here’s why I decided to quit. Reading isn’t really work. This is the truth I didn’t want to admit: reading isn’t work. It’s easy to rationalize reading as work because in both cases, I’m staring at my computer screen. But if I’m reading, I’m not getting anything productive done. Reading…
Blog, What I've Learned
Amy Hoy

What Amy Hoy taught me about starting a business

I first heard about Amy when I saw Twistori. Soon after, I started following her on Twitter. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Amy could teach me a lot about starting a business and building products. Since then we’ve interacted on Twitter and through email. I haven’t taken her 30×500 class (yet), but I hope to in the future (maybe once all of our kids are in school). In the meantime, I…
Blog
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A 13-year-old on a BBS

 in Blog
My daughter found my journal. We just sat at laughed at many pages; one of my favourites is this entry I wrote when I was 13 (1994): Hello! Life is good! I have be the co-systems operator at Alberta Future BBS for nearly 3 months. I do mostly artwork as well as some other tasks. With my help the BBS has jumped from 35 users to 236 (in 3 months!). Absolute Future BBS was based…
Better Products, Better technology, Blog

Retina is not a big deal

Retina is not a big deal. I can remember being a kid and switching from CGA to EGA: What a difference! We went from purple a turquoise to 16 colors. The next big jump was going from EGA to VGA: I begged my parents to sell our Tandy 1000 so we could buy a new 386 with a VGA monitor. VGA could display 256 colors (at 320 x 200). ATMachine has a great comparison between…
Better design, Better Products, Blog
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Terrible Apple products

Generally, I like Apple products. But some of their stuff is just the worst. Here’s my list of stuff I’ve used that I really dislike. The worst Apple products Ranked from worst to less-worse. iMessage: sending a text message should be quick; really quick. You should click Send and it should be sent. There are days where messages will take 1-2 minutes to send. For a product I use hundreds of times a week, this is downright…