Session: Only your mom wants to use your website
Wednesday, 08:30 - 09:45
If you're not developing for the end user, who the hell are you developing for? Whenever you launch a new product, you've got to convince every single person who sees it that it's worth their time. Keep this in mind when making decisions about product. Less is more and if it's not immediately compelling, you've lost a potential user -- the back button is your enemy.Fortunately, most software does such a terrible job with user experience that there are loads of markets ripe for disruption. You can win on design alone (see: hipmunk.com, seatgeek.com, instagram to name a few)
Reddit, co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and friend Steve Huffman, has become one of the World Wide Web's most striking examples of democracy in action. Founded in 2005, it grew a user base of tens of thousands and quickly attracted the attention of publisher Condé Nast, which acquired it in 2006. Unlike "social bookmarking" sites (such as Delicious), Reddit fashions itself a platform for "social news," where the readers themselves control the front page by voting stories up above and down below the fold. Ohanian left Reddit in his official capacity in 2009, but continues to be involved with the site's direction as a sort of godfather, dispensing friendly wisdom (and t-shirts) from his user account, kn0thing. Of late, he's focusing on Breadpig, a hub for geeky books and merchandise where all the profits are donated to charity (over $100,000 given away so far in just 2 years). In early 2010, he spent three months in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow. He loves hummus.