The Objective Blog

Keep up with what we're thinking, reading, and doing.

The Radar: March 23, 2017

March 23rd, 2017 - by Isabel - Salt Lake City, Utah

Story Mapping

Researchers at the University of Vermont are using technology to map the emotional trajectory of common stories and fairytales. The implications suggest that machines can be trained to generate their own compelling stories by reverse-engineering what they learn about emotional trajectory.

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Introducing the Create React Native App

Until recently, installing and configuring React Native was a struggle for developers, especially when it came to Xcode and Android Studio. Those days are over! React Native just came out with a tool that cuts out a lot of the hassle.

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Join the Bus Factor Community!

Bus Factor is a collaborative space that brings together developers to help review code or contribute to projects in other ways. This service displays libraries, plugins, and other open source software that have 1 or few maintainers, and invites developers to contribute to the project.

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Designers Who Can Code

This article describes how the line between design, writing and engineering is becoming increasingly blurry. More and more, innovative companies are looking for designers who can write code.

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Google is Speeding Things Up

Google is moving toward web technology that uses fewer resources than current websites and apps. The latest version of Google Chrome (v57) will restrict the CPU usage of background tabs to 1%!

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Web Development for Beginners

The only HTML/CSS tutorial you’ll ever need.

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The Radar: March 15, 2017

March 15th, 2017 - by Isabel - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with design and technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. The Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Objective.

Does Facebook Know Too Much?

Have you ever wondered what the internet knows about you and what happens with the data? It turns out Facebook knows A LOT. This article breaks down the information Facebook gathers from its users and what they do with it.

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Game Changer for the Web & Developers

WebAssembly is a new programming language that can be used by browsers to get near-native performance. It’s available in the most recent version of Firefox and will likely be available in future versions of other browsers.

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Wireframing Simplified

An easy app for Wireframing that simplifies the process.

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Women in the Tech Industry

This article details some of the workplace challenges women face in Silicon Valley and the broader tech industry. For many, the initial draw is the flexibility and reasonable hours offered by many tech companies. However, women are finding that workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled are barriers that are not likely to change any time soon.

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CSS Layouts Without a Framework

The author describes the benefits of learning CSS layouts with new tools like Grid and Flexbox and without relying on a framework. 

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React Native SDK and Its Features

Sentry launched their new React Native SDK that offers detailed stack traces in React Native applications. With this new app, native crashes are properly handled on iOS.

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The Radar: March 8, 2017

March 7th, 2017 - by Isabel - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with design and technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. The Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Objective.

Warning: SHA-1 is Broken

The SHA-1 cryptographic algorithm is broken! This means any application that relies on SHA-1 for digital signatures, file integrity, or file identification is no longer secure. SHA-1 is a common algorithm used in many types of software, including git. The author offers a Q&A to help you determine what this could mean for you.

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Limitless Data Storage Through DNA

DNA is the blueprint to create and maintain the genetic code to reproduce and stores vast amounts of compressed information. Researchers at Columbia University are using DNA strands as a data storage mechanism with what they are calling the highest-density data storage ever created.

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YouTube Live Stream TV

With 40+ networks, YouTube now offers live TV content.

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Charting Technology Trends

With technology moving so quickly and trends coming and going, it’s often a challenge to know what is relevant at the moment and how long its relevancy will last. In this article the author introduces his State of Development chart that offers a snapshot of current innovations, adaptations, and trends in technology.

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Responsive CSS Design Without Media Queries

Andy Kirk shows us how we can use flex and calc in css to create responsive designs without using media queries.

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The Web is Getting Wiser

A brief picture of the influence of technology, how it’s all connected, and crazy things to come like robots and mind control!

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The Radar: March 1, 2017

March 1st, 2017 - by Isabel - Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping up with design and technology is a lot of work. Luckily, we enjoy wading through the noise just to find the gems of awesomeness sprinkled throughout. The Radar is our gift to you, Current or Potential Client, so that you can enjoy all of the awesome without any of the drudgery. Unwrap it each week, and know that you’re loved by the geeks and pixel-pushers at Objective.

A Unified Workspace for Modern Times

Tired of managing multiple tools on various apps just to keep you and your team organized and on track? Times have changed my friend. Simplify your digital workspace using a comprehensive tool that pools various apps — Evernote, Quip, Drobpox, Trello, Google Drive, Confluence, Basecamp, Wiki, Slack — into one glorious space. You’re welcome.

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Explore Progressive JPEGs

This article describes the types of JPEG images and the pros and cons of each. It offers custom progressive scan scripts as one way to improve image loading behavior without adding too much work for the developer.

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The Power & Influence of Algorithmic Design

Traditionally, the design of any structure evolves from an idea to a blueprint to production. Its design limitations and biases are essentially human limitations. This article explores the unbiased and organic nature of generative design. The outcomes are powerful creative solutions that are pushing design and its influence to a whole new level.

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2017’s Creative Trends

Take a trip down memory lane with a snapshot review of global, cultural, design, video, music, and social trends. Technological evolutions make for exciting times and endless possibilities!

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Pros and Cons of JSON Web Token Applications

As a JWT fanboy, this was a tough read. However, it’s important to understand the use cases and drawbacks of using JSON web tokens in applications, and this article debunks many of their supposed benefits.

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Reducing Workplace Drama by Reducing Anxiety

This article explores the influence of self-esteem when working with your team and managing client relationships. It brings to light strategies that help the reader know what to look for and how to respond or react in a way that reduces the potential for anxiety and workplace drama.

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Introducing Flexbox

A tool that makes layouts more flexible, intuitive, and offers an awesome alternative to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

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Getting to Product/Market Fit

February 4th, 2017 - by Brett - Salt Lake City, Utah

Even though the concept of building an MVP (minimum viable product) has been around for quite some time now, we still don’t encounter many first-time entrepreneurs who understand what the purpose of the MVP is. Many seem to think the goal of the MVP is simply to build the first version of a product using fewer dollars. I would argue that this is only the how but doesn’t address the why.

What is an MVP?

The minimum viable product has been defined and discussed in great detail in many other places, so for our purposes here I’ll only briefly share my own favorite definition of an MVP.

An MVP represents the smallest possible version of a product that can be used to validate product/market fit.

Why Start with an MVP?

The goal of the MVP is to conserve precious resources (time and money) while you find out if your idea has product/market fit. If you have $100,000 in total, it makes sense to spend a small part of that to find out if you’re on the right track before you commit further resources.

Most entrepreneurs we meet place way too much value on their idea. Their confidence is a good thing overall, but the recognition that the idea might not actually play out in the way they’re imagining it seems to be something that it takes time for an entrepreneur to be able to accept. The MVP is a way to counterbalance the entrepreneur’s overabundance of confidence and act as a fact-based sea anchor to keep the entrepreneur from rushing headlong to an early failure.

We recently had a joint meeting with Robb Kunz from BoomStartup and a first time entrepreneur who we are both working with. Robb did a fantastic job explaining to the entrepreneur why he should conserve cash early on so that he would have resources available to pay for the inevitable changes that will come as the market responds to the MVP. I wish I could have recorded Robb’s speech for inclusion here, but for those who are interested in getting great mentorship BoomStartup has launched an online accelerator for just that purpose.

What is Product/Market Fit?

I mentioned above that the goal of the MVP is to help you find out if you have product/market fit. What is product/market fit? Quite simply, it is validation from the market (your potential customers) that the product you have created (your app, SaaS product, etc.) solves a problem or meets a need in a way that they will pay you for it. No amount of surveying people, doing market research, drawing sketches of your ideas, or creating pro forma statements of how much money you will make will ever substitute for putting an actual product in front of an actual customer and watching to see if they pull their credit card from their pocket to give you money. And while you’re likely to initially test your MVP with people you already know, you really haven’t achieved product/market fit until you can replicate that process with a stranger.

Just be prepared for the likelihood that you’ll need to iterate quite a few times before you achieve product/market fit. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there.