Ten Thousand Hours

A blog about tech, business and life

They say 10,000 hours is what it takes to become an expert in anything, so we’re putting that to the test. We want to build the best design and development studio the world has ever seen, so we’re tracking our progress from 0 to 10,000 billable hours. And we’re sharing everything — our successes, failures, metrics, rates — right here on this blog.

5489 hrs

0 hrs

10,000 hrs

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Design

Don't Be Bashful: A Designer's Intro to Bash

For anyone who’s new to the command line, starting from scratch can cause the kind of intense fears and paranoia typically reserved for found footage horror films and clown conventions. But worry not. Once you know a few key commands, you’ll be up and running in no time like a true Bash champion.

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Design

How to bot... a UX teardown of the Botcamp application

Last night around 3 a.m., I was doing some research into chatbots and the bot ecosystem. Why? Because yesterday I started working on building a bot for an upcoming blog post and I have an addictive personality. On a whim I decided to apply to the Betaworks Botcamp program. Naturally, you apply to Botcamp through a chatbot (how many times am I going to use the word bot in this post?*). So today I thought it would be fun to do a quick UX teardown of their application.

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Design

Finding inspiration sitting on the can

How often do you go to the bathroom? If you don’t have health issues and are being honest, your answer is probably every day. When you interact with something that often, it can be difficult to notice brilliant design when you see it, but that’s exactly where I found a bit of great design the other day.

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Design

How to use Snapchat for design critique

Yes, that Snapchat. You may be wondering how in the world Snapchat can be used for anything other than sending selfies and showing your friends what you’re eating, which song you’re singing along to in the car and the band you’re watching.

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Design

Take it like a designer: How to get the most out of a design critique

Last week, I wrote about how to give an effective design critique. This week, I’m turning it around and focusing on how to get the most out of a design critique. Getting feedback on your work takes time, so you need to make sure you’re making the most of it. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to making the best use of design critiques.

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Design

How to deliver a good design critique

Design critiques are a necessary part of any design process. They can give a designer the feedback they need to make a good design great — sometimes. Many times, though, critiques can end with a designer coming away with not much feedback or questioning whether they’ve chosen the right career path.

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Design

What You Need In Your Next Freelance Contract

I’ve talked to far too many freelancers who go into projects with only a verbal agreement and no written contract. The fact is, if you’re doing any type of client work, you need to have a solid contract to protect you and your client. While in a perfect world, all projects would go exactly as planned, they often hit road blocks in the real world. The best way to prevent these from happening, or at least make the best of them, is to have a thorough contract from the start.

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Design

Reduce Noise In Your Work By Using The “Mom Test”

Imagine someone writing a note on an island, putting it in the water and floating it off to sea. Noise, in this situation, can be anything that alters the meaning of the message, including that person’s poor handwriting, a sea monster who cracks the bottle open, or the inability of the person who receives the message to read. The point is, noise is everywhere. And it's not easy to get rid of.

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Design

Why Design Students Should Freelance

One of the most valuable things I learned fairly early in my college career was the importance of freelancing as a student. The value of this became more obvious every year until I graduated by seeing the work done by students who freelanced versus students who did no more work than they were assigned to do for class.

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Design

Avoiding the Creep: How to Keep Scope Creep Out of Your Projects

You’re about to start a brand new project with a brand new client. It seems straightforward enough: The client just wants you to design a new website for her bakery. Piece of cake. But by the end of the project, you’ve “tweaked” the logo, rewritten all of the copy and redesigned the downloadable PDF of the menu, all on top of designing and building the website. Oh, and you’re only getting paid what you originally quoted for the website. Ouch.

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