I am loving James blog (spent an hour this morning reading random entries after discovering it). He has some good advice on idea generation:
Get good at idea generation.
Ideas have a bad reputation. They’re a dime a dozen. They’re worthless unless implemented. Success is 90% perspiration. We’ve all seen the calls for help from a self-proclaimed designer and his business partner who have a brilliant company logo and a sure-fire concept for an app. All they need is a programmer or two to make it happen, and we all know why it won’t work out.
Now get past ideas needing to be on a grand scale–the vision for an entire project–and think smaller. You’ve got a UI screen that’s confusing. You have something non-trivial to teach users and there’s no manual. The number of tweakable options is getting out of hand. Any of the problems that come up dozens of times while building anything.
As you read through the rest of the post, you start realizing that ideas are really starting points for doing something useful. Ideas trigger other ideas. This chain reaction is what gets you to start building useful stuff. Taking small ideas, thinking a lot about them, choosing alternatives and testing a few out through implementation is part of the creative process. In fact this is the skill every product team needs, anyway.
From Guardian’s Data Blog:
We are drowning in information. The web has given us access to data we would never have found before, from specialist datasets to macroeconomic minutiae. But, look for the simplest fact or statistic and Google will present a million contradictory ones. Where’s the best place to start?
That’s how this blog came about. Everyday we work with datasets from around the world. We have had to check this data and make sure it’s the best we can get, from the most credible sources. But then it lives for the moment of the paper’s publication and afterward disappears into a hard drive, rarely to emerge again before updating a year later.
Kunal Jain on Single habit that defined the trajectory of my career
What is the single most important habit that shaped up my career? This is the habit which propelled me from from being just an ordinary analyst to some one who can influence, manage and mentor people in Analytics industry.
Here is the habit:
Spend a defined fraction of your day working on the the most important project / problem you have.
Please note the importance of two words here: defined and most important. You need to fix what fraction of your time you would spend and what is the most important task for you.
I discovered Kunal through an article on KDNuggets. Found his Twitter account and followed him and from there to his LinkedIn account to this article. It is nice to see people sharing so much of their knowledge through Tweets and blog posts.
A couple of other useful links if you are interested in Analytics from Kunal
Must read books and blogs on Web Analytics
Analytics Vidhya Twitter Account
Thanks Kunal. We need more people like you.