Stanford’s eCorner + Inspiring talk by Brit Morin

I read about Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner a couple of hours ago in an article. It seems to be a great resource for digital entrepreneurship that generously offers over 2000 videos and podcasts featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders. I watched the newest video — “Inspiring Creativity with Great Content” by Brit Morin.

Brit Morin is a young female entrepreneur who bootstrapped her own media company –Brit + Co– 4 years ago. Her company now has ~100 employees and has raised ~$30M so far.

A few points from her talk that I found interesting:

  • Once again, we can see how small bootstrapped tech startups can go from 0 to multi-million dollar valuations in no time.
  • It might seem easy to start a business like this, but it’s certain that it couldn’t have been so successful without Brit’s experience working with large Silicon Valley corporations and without her connections.
  • While investing in the product and the engineering team might seem like the right decision in the early stages of a startup, it is usually smarter to invest in sales and marketing.
  • Entrepreneurship could be more difficult for a female, but it also has an advantage: being different!
  • The maker movement is only going to get more popular over time. It makes sense as we’ve begun to notice advancements have made us mechanical, instead of creative, and that has negatively affected our physical and mental health.

New Web Trends: Just Because You Can, Should You?

I came across a well-written article in Smashing Magazine a few days ago: Responsive Design Frameworks: Just Because You Can, Should You?

In web and UX design our ultimate goal is to make users’ web experience easier, but apparently, many of us have forgotten this primary goal.

Take flat design for example – flat design is supposed to make the UI simpler. I see many websites in which all UI elements have solid background colors, trying to be “flat”, but there are tons of elements mixed and blended together, with various opacity. It just makes the UI a lot more confusing. I’m a fan of flat design, but I believe it’s not necessarily better than realistic design for every website. (Check out Flat vs. Realism, if you haven’t already!)

flat-vs-realism

Thanks to CSS3 transitions, we don’t see any sudden change in color or opacity anymore! It’s all smooth and transitioned. But is it always a good thing?
Almost every website has different hover color for links than default link color (a:hover in CSS). Why is it so? Basically, because when user rolls over that text, you want to let him (or her) know it’s a link. Many websites now change the link color on hover with a transition, which defeats the whole purpose. because it’s not easily perceived anymore! I usually prefer to set my CSS3 transition (if there is any) like this:

a:not(:hover) {
	-webkit-transition: color 0.7s;
	-moz-transition: color 0.7s;
	-o-transition: color 0.7s;
	transition: color 0.7s;
}

Furthermore, most new websites use a CSS responsive design framework, like Bootstrap. They usually use the full package, and then use 20-50% of it, while overwriting half of what they actually use. So it just increases page size and load times. 😐 I used to work for someone who really liked Bootstrap, so I used it a lot. But now I use it only in projects that have a tight deadline and usually customize the package so that it only includes the stuff I need.

It’s a blessing that web coding languages are improving so fast and browsers are more consistent now (I opened one of my recent web projects in IE and it worked smoother than Chrome! How crazy is that!), but we need to pay more attention to UX now. As they say, “with great power, comes great responsibility”!

 

Cloud computing

I always love to predict what’s gonna happen in the future. Don’t get me wrong, It doesn’t mean I like to become the next Nostradamus!
Web is one of the main things I’m interested in.
Now as an experienced web developer, I’m going to share a piece of its future with you. Listen (or read!) carefully.

Nowadays, Internet and IT are growing and changing so fast that their future is not very clear to anyone. But I’m sure Cloud computing is going to spread so fast in the next decade and replace almost all client-based software and applications. You will no longer need to install a software. You just have to install a good web browser and enter a website address, or maybe install a lightweight app. then you can use Photoshop, Word, Excel, Autocad, etc. with all of their features online. So much easier than what you have to do today.

Our children will use cheap desktops and tablets and they’ll be able to do whatever they want by making a small online payment to a website and use its online services.

So if you want to be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, read more about Cloud computing and its features, then try to build a new web application that can take some old offline applications’ place.
I bet you’ll succeed if you just do it right.