“You have to remember that Big Data is all about analyzing the past, but it has nothing to do with the future. Small Data, which I define as seemingly insignificant observations you identify in consumers’ homes, is everything from how you place your shoes to how you hang your paintings. I call those the emotional DNA we leave behind ourselves…. You need the hypothesis first before you start to mine it and find correlations.

Why small data is the new big data

Netflix says Geography, Age, and Gender are “Garbage” for Predicting Taste

“Geography, age, and gender? We put that in the garbage heap,” VP of product Todd Yellin said. Instead, viewers are grouped into “clusters” almost exclusively by common taste, and their Netflix homepages highlight the relatively small slice of content that matches their taste profile. Those profiles could be the same for someone in New Orleans as someone in New Delhi


Latest design-related reading

I’ve just started reading Design for Dasein.

Out of all the fields that influence experience design, philosophy is one not frequently discussed. Volumes have been written on the roots of experience design within psychology, cognitive science, and anthropology, yet very little has been dedicated to philosophy, critical theory, and literary studies. Why?

I think the article Design for Participation is also strongly leaning to a more philosophical interpretation of experience design. As our systems become more complex, and our positions are more in flux, I think philosophy may be a good lense to use to understand the implications of what we do.

Discovery coaches

Every Discovery Coach has their preferred way of engaging with a team, but usually they are with you for a week or so at a time, with one or a small number of product teams, and they help you through one or more discovery cycles of ideation, creating an MVP experiment (usually a form of prototype), validating that prototype with customers to gauge their reactions; engineers to evaluate feasibility; and stakeholders to assess whether this solution would work for your business.


I recently watched a recorded presentation by Marty Cagan. I was impressed by his approach. Usually over the course of a 50 minute presentation about product design and development there will be a few things that you inevitably disagree with, but Marty’s talk managed to make sense to me from start to finish.