Avoiding Feature Creep

Avoiding Feature Creep

As the old adage goes, two minds are better than one. Now I generally agree with this saying, but when two minds become four become eight and input is overflowing left and right, things can get out of hand.

Feature creep, a result of too many features being added to a product, is an unfortunate byproduct of excess input. It's also probably one of the most fundamental challenges for a product designer or product manager to contend with.

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Mobile: The Future of Advertising

Mobile: The Future of Advertising

You’re on your cell phone, navigating through your favorite app, when a banner ad pops up. You try to click the *Close* icon in the corner, but you can’t quite make out where your fingertip lands on the screen. Instead, you seem to have launched your mobile browser as it loads the website for an online shoe store.

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Becoming Truly Cross-Functional

Becoming Truly Cross-Functional

Flite recently restructured our entire company into cross-functional teams and it’s working great for us. We tested this concept early in the year by forming a few small teams. By combining sales people with developers and account managers with marketers into teams, they are able to work with common priorities and shared goals. A few months ago we pushed this further and reorganized our whole company into multiple cross-functional teams designed out of what we found worked in our smaller tests.

Some of the benefits we’re seeing: 

  • Better communication between team members
  • More empowerment throughout our organization
  • Higher quality product releases
  • Happier people

Those are the top pluses, and add up to more than enough reason to be excited about it. 

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What the Heck are Native Ads?

What the Heck are Native Ads?

I was in the audience for a panel on the future of native ads a few weeks ago. It didn't take long for the panel, which was made up of ad tech executives, to find the first point to disagree on: What's the definition of a 'native ad'. After a little bickering, the moderator was able to get the group to agree on something like this:

Native ads are paid media units that take on the form of the environment they are displayed in.

That worked for me.

More debate followed about "what was the first example of a native ad?" and "do we need to consider print or just digital when thinking native?" For the context of this post, let's consider only online digital native ads while we dive into some examples to shed light on those questions. Along the way we will uncover some of the sources of controversy that drive the debates around native ad formats.

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Content is the Key to Better Brand Advertising

Content is the Key to Better Brand Advertising

This post was originally published for LinkedIn and can be read here.

LinkedIn is showing us all the power of great content to connect us with a brand. This post itself is an example of the ways they are sourcing content which in turn brings us closer to LinkedIn's own brand.

The three big trends in paid media can be good for both brands and consumers if brand embrace content marketing and use smart tactics and make good use the latest ad tech.

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New eBook: Mobile Native Advertising

New eBook: Mobile Native Advertising

Native advertising continues to make substantial inroads across a wide range of publishers; even some previously resistant pubs, like the New York Times, have gotten on board. Their success has prompted rapid migration onto mobile screens as well, providing some hope to mobile publishers and app developers who had until recently struggled to extract meaningful value from their smartphone and tablet inventory.

While the earliest mobile native pioneers have been the largest social networksFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn organize their content into feeds that lend themselves well to the story-driven native placements we profiled in our eBook on native advertisingother prominent publishers and app developers have also successfully made the leap. 

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Altimeter Group Report: The Content Marketing Software Landscape

Altimeter Group Report: The Content Marketing Software Landscape

Considering content marketing's enormous scope$44 billion according to a comprehensive estimate by the Custom Content Councilit's no surprise that a large range of software and platform solutions have emerged to help scale marketers' workflows. Altimeter Group, a tech research and consulting firm, has just released a report on the landscape of content marketing software vendors that provides context to the various service segments.

The report begins with the premise that platform/tool selection is a difficult proposition. Vendors' offerings are highly differentiated and present a wide range of capabilities that might not be relevant to all marketers' needs. The report's author, Rebecca Lieb, suggests that evolution in the space will drive consolidation and the formation of end-to-end solutions incorporating capabilities from content creation to compliance within the next two years. 

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Here’s to the Future

Here’s to the Future

After six years as CEO of Flite, I am thrilled to announce that Giles Goodwin is succeeding me as CEO.  Giles will be responsible for defining Flite's vision, leading our talented team, and working with our top partners and customers to realize the promise of content marketing's future.

First, I want to thank Flite's employees, customers, partners, and investors for allowing me the honor of leading this fine organization. I leave a different and better person for having led Flite.

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