We’ve been saying this for a while, but now the Webby’s agree: Crafted, Artium’s podcast about great products and the people who make them, is one of the best technology podcasts of the year! To our listeners and guests: thank you!
In case you’re unfamiliar, Artium is all about craft, and we believe that rapid iteration is absolutely essential in software development. On Crafted, I speak to founders, engineers, designers and product makers of all stripes to learn: What trade-offs did they make? What experiments did they run? And what was the moment when they knew – when they just knew – that they were on to something great?
To celebrate the Webby honor, here are some of our favorite quotes from the show’s first dozen episodes. But before you read on, subscribe to the show! Episodes are 20 minutes long and drop every other Tuesday.
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Here are twelve incredible quotes from Crafted, one from each of our first dozen episodes:
- “Features will not save you!” In our very first episode, solopreneur Chris Ladd, the CEO of ChordBank and other apps for guitarists, shares how he has to fight the desire to just build new features. Instead he reminds himself to ask: “Are you making something that is solving a real problem for people? Are you telling them that it exists?”
- “It's a crime. It's such a waste of time.” That’s how Andres Glusman feels about so many of the tests product teams run. That’s why the former head of product at Meetup founded DoWhatWorks, a company that enables you to see – and learn from – the A/B tests that other companies are running. Rather than test button color for the umpteenth time, Andres wants you to test something that will really move the needle.
- “The key realization for us is I believe that good products should remove work, not add it, and good products typically do not ask their users to change their behavior.” Using AI and a 3D camera mounted on a tripod, Jeevan Kalinithi and the team at OpenSpace thought they had an incredible solution to help construction managers track progress. But then a construction manager gave them frank feedback: we’re never going to use that. Why? Because who has time to schlep a tripod all over. But what if the cameras could just be on construction workers’ hardhats and capturing video as they went about their regular day job? Aha! A great example of a lean experiment the team ran on the way to scaling OpenSpace.
- “The answer was no. Flat out.” That was Johnny Ray Austin’s first reaction to the offer to interview with Till, which provides loans to renters and helps landlords mitigate risk. He thought it would be exploitative. But as he learned more, he fell in love and became their CTO. In this episode we discuss how Till helps renters and determines when – and when not – to extend loans. Also, just after our episode aired Till was acquired by Best Egg.
- "Are you freaking kidding me? It just takes these three things to make this whole thing work?" And they're like, "Yeah, we think so." In this special live episode, Ainslie Simmonds tells us about her experience at startups, big banks, and “starups inside big banks.” She empowers teams and pushes for them to be agile. In this case, she tasked a team to come up with a new architecture upon which to build the modern wealth management platform that PershingX will offer and she gave them as long as they needed to come up with a recommendation, one that blew her away.
- “No matter where you are or what the context is, it always comes down to building an appropriately representative model of something in the real world.” D. Orlando Kiese is head of foundational platform at UBS. We discuss the underlying infrastructure in banking – and he’s building a platform to break free from it and unlock new opportunities.
- “Why be an innovator if you're not going to be optimistic?” Yemi Adewunmi is building a platform for optimists. Civic Eagle enables activists and others to track pending legislation in state and federal legislatures. A great conversation on seeking product/market fit, we discuss Civic Eagle’s early roots as a consumer app and why they pivoted to policy professionals. And one more pivot since we spoke: Civic Eagle is now known as Plural.
- “We're focused on being this kind of iceberg, where you have at the tip of the iceberg, it's very, very simple to understand, looks pretty easy. But then all this complexity underneath is taken care of for you. My job is to constantly push and drive up that water level up, so all you really see is the tip.” What I love about this interview with Jamiel Sheikh is his desire to build a “boring” company, “one that nobody talks about.” At Instamint, Jamiel Sheikh is building infrastructure that will enable enterprises to mint, manage, and store tokens – for whatever reasons (and most of those reasons will be “boring” reasons) they see fit.
- “With four slides, it changed not only our success trajectory, but everything we did.” This episode with Jon Walker is a master class in rapid experimentation and customer development. In it, Jon Walker describes how he and his AppFolio co-founder turned four slides into a four billion dollar, publicly traded company. Jon loves a great analogy, so this episode is full of colorful anecdotes likening software to baseball, fishing, and more.
- “For me, growing up South Asian female, there's just an audacity that a rich white man has that no one else does. And it is this complete confidence in yourself to build something and to do something and then to be told no and say, "I'm going to do it anyways." And that is something that I think a lot of people just don't have.” An episode all about leveling the playing field and building products for people without privilege… Sonali Zaveri is the design and operations lead for Ideas42 Ventures. In this episode she describes how they’re supporting founders who are building for their communities.
- “To build amazing software products, you need amazing humans doing human things and having human experiences to help deliver that.” That’s Artium director of talent Alex Maher. A great episode for job-seekers on things you can do to standout, as well as things we look for when hiring at Artium or on behalf of the firms we help.
- “As a luxury brand, you don't get too many chances. You can't be like we're in beta!... Like that doesn't fly.” So says Amina Belouizdad Porter, CEO of PS, the startup that’s reimagining the airport experience. On this episode, Amina and Leigh Rodwick, director of technology and analytics, tell us why it was essential to build custom software to manage the complex logistics of providing a VIP experience to travelers who fly through their custom terminal at LAX.
Just some of our favorite lines from the first six months of Crafted. We drop new episodes every other Tuesday. Subscribe!