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I agree wholeheartedly. People tend to think about jobs with a tangible output like engineering or design in terms of the skills they require when in fact a job title means "you're responsible for this aspect of the organization." Sure many people will contribute to UX, but a UX designer has a responsibility to guide that process make sure the UX is excellent. The UX Designer has to speak up when the engineers have finished a build from the visual designer but users are still finding it difficult to find features.
Tangentially this is also why I think it's a mistake for companies to seek out someone who does both development and design. Both of those responsibilities are so important and time consuming that you don't want your developer focused on design problems and vice versa.
I would love to participate
I am familiar with Fog Creek Software & I have read Joel Spolsky's blog. I don't like this exercise because it doesn't fit with how I think about job searches. Not just thinking as an employee but also as an employer as well. In my experience when someone has been a bad hire it's not because that person does not have the ability to perform the job. More often the problem is the individual does not communicate well with the rest of the team or is not motivated to work on the type of problems his/her colleagues are focused on solving. Ultimately I don't see how this kind of exercise adds anything to the hiring process other than an unnecessary hoop.
I'm not currently looking for a job, but if I were to be I can't imagine I'd be interested in spending time on something like this before I've even met my potential co-workers. I know they write that they hope this coding puzzle is fun, but wow do I have a million other things to do that are my own projects that are also fun and benefit me by building my portfolio of past projects whether I get X new job or not.
Very sensible argument but I actually consider it a problem that I don't know anyone's phone number. Sure it's my fault, when my mom got a new cell number I should have memorized it. I should have my significant other's phone number memorized but I don't and I suspect she doesn't have mine memorized either. In an emergency, let's say I am an an accident and my phone is destroyed, I know a couple family members land lines who have kept the same number since I was very young. Aggressively abstracting information away to make life easier has costs.
I don't think you need to think about a business model much beyond working toward having an idea of cost of customer acquisition and what a customer's lifetime value is (because if customers cost more than their lifetime value then you're not going to have a business). And even that assumes you have a customer, which is a horrible assumption to make. The MBA type stuff is important but it's a waste to think about those concerns before you have a product people want to use or customers. Right now I am a hacker in residence at Techstars NYC and I can tell you from experience companies don't start thinking about business models until they have a product. I can't stress enough to start with the customer. If you are creating value and you have customers you can learn the MBA stuff and apply it to your business. You can't get customers by learning the MBA stuff.
Your question in the text is not entirely consistent with your headline.
If you want to start a company you need to think about a problem space and start developing a business that solves a problem for your customers. I actually do recommend reading lean startup as a starting point but not treating it as a canonical text. You also want to think about whether you can bootstrap your company or whether you need to learn how to raise money through investors (which is about making contacts & selling your business as a high growth opportunity at a high level).
On the other hand if you just want to learn more about how business decisions are made at wherever you work now you should probably tell us a bit more about the company you work for and what industry it operates in. Then we can recommend books on your industry.
"I'm not even sure anymore"
Then maybe start a long winded explanation depending on how that goes
How does this add anything to the discussion? It's just a meta angry, inarticulate rant rather than a targeted one.
Where the design community meets.
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