Illustration: A fly
Illustration: A fly
Illustration by David Graham

Do you want your new product or big feature to look, feel, and work great when it hits your customers’ hands? A good bug bash can help.

A bug-what??

A bug bash. It’s an intensive and fun exercise where you put a thing you’ve built through its paces. It involves getting coworkers to take your new product or feature for a spin, try to break it in all the possible ways, and share their feedback along the way.

You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll feel the exhilaration of seeing someone break your product in ways you never expected.

But most importantly…


Illustration: A cube with measured, clean edges, and a mess inside.
Illustration: A cube with measured, clean edges, and a mess inside.
Illustration by David Graham

It is a common pattern at many software companies: the customer-facing products and features are clean, polished, and thoughtfully designed, while behind the scenes, the people who sell, implement, and support customers struggle to get their work done.

Maybe they haven’t implemented good SaaS tools (e.g. they’re still using Excel as a CRM), or they are struggling with the stale and buggy internal tools your Product org slapped together seven years ago. By these, I mean home-baked utilities that your teams use to manage customer data, settings, and configurations.

It’s easy to treat the UX of such internal tools as…


The way you answer this question — and what you do next — can have a big impact on your success in your current role. Here’s a 2x2 to illustrate.

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GOOD + CAN IMPROVE

That’s great, just keep doing what you’re doing!

GOOD + CANNOT IMPROVE

That’s an issue. Mastery and perfection are destinations we can never fully reach. Everything has the potential to get better.

So if you think that you’ve arrived, you might need to either broaden your horizons or deepen your understanding.

BAD + CAN IMPROVE

That’s good! Just channel your optimism into action. Pick a thing that needs fixing and fix it. Solve a problem. Come up with…


If your product is any more complex than Yo (remember Yo?), it’s going to take some time for your users to get acquainted with it and start using it to its fullest potential.

The experience during those early days can make all the difference between a user who’s happy and successful, and one who’s churned and currently hanging out with your #1 competitor.

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Reenactment: Your user (right) high-fiving your competitor (left).

Your product design matters a ton here. But beyond that, there’s also the often overlooked aspect of product education and user training.

In two years of building Hazel, a product aimed at making people managers better, we’ve learned one thing:

There’s no such thing as too much product education.

Ok, maybe there is, but the upper limit is way higher than where most startups think it is.

This lesson didn’t…


About a year ago I decided to reflect on my marketing principles/philosophy.

Not the tactics or the tools, or the channels, but the broad strokes of what I believe works best when marketing stuff (particularly B2B software).

The outcome of my reflections was this 8-step process.

Note that I’ve highlighted some key words in italics. Those words make all the difference. It is often ignoring them that leads to uninspiring results.

1. Craft a compelling story about how we see the world, why some people or companies should care about that story, and why they would benefit from working with…


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I believe that the one job of Marketing is to drive revenue.

We certainly don’t reduce costs. If anything, Marketing is often seen as the “set-stacks-of-cash-on-fire” department by Finance. So as far as the bottom line impact goes, revenue is all we’ve got to work with.

And if that is true, then all the things we as marketers do, have to tie back to driving revenue.

That demand generation campaign you ran last quarter is certainly about driving revenue. …


A brief look at what Twitter has become, who’s to blame (hint: it’s me), and how we can fix it.

Go check your Twitter feed. What do you see?

I bet it’s mostly a stream of capitalized headlines accompanied by links, shortened using one of the many scheduling services.

“10 Proven Ways to Become a Teenage Sensation buff.ly/sgawre”
85 Funniest Cat Videos of All Time ow.ly/34g1SV”
“How to Eat Tacos [INFOGRAPHIC] bit.ly/2ebaer”

I’m making these ones up, but you get the point.

The sad reality is that these days your Twitter feed is likely to be filled with more headlines and links than you can handle. …

Misha Abasov

I think critically about Product and Work. Sometimes. Director of Product @ risepeople.com

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