Condo with penthouse on top showing why should design for 1% first but build for 80% first

When is it wrong to focus on the 20% of the use cases that meet the needs of 80% of your customers?

When your goal is to develop a Minimum Viable Replacement, i.e. retire and migrate all of your customers off an existing system.

Unlike in the scenario of an MVP, where your goal is to capture a slice of the market, in the case of a Minimum Viable Replacement, your goal is to migrate your entire existing user base from one technology platform to another.

Instead of just focusing on migrating early adopters or early majority, your goal is…


Are you engaged in a digital transformation initiative, working to retire systems as part of a merger and integration project, or sunsetting a legacy product? If so, then take a moment to learn about a new concept, the Minimum Viable Replacement before you potentially waste thousands of hours and millions of dollars pursuing the wrong strategy for retiring and replacing existing systems.

I developed the concept after three incredibly painful years of stumbling through a multimillion integration and retirement project of a product used by hundreds of thousands of users around the globe.

New to agile, we embraced the MVP


It’s easy to predict with almost 99% certainty that at least 80% of the popcorn will pop within 5 minutes of applying a high enough heat.

In fact, after enough observations you may be able to predict when the first popcorn will pop, and how long it will take before 95% of the popcorn is popped.

What you almost certainly can not do is predict which popcorn will pop first, and absolutely can not do is to predict in what order the popcorn will pop.

After all, even if you keep all of the external components consistent, e.g. the heat…


Memphians, a Technami of automation is coming. We can either surf the Technami to success, or be crushed by it, as new technologies eliminate lower-skill warehouse-type work while driving demand for higher-tech skills, demand that we can’t currently meet.

The Memphis Chamber of Commerce’s UpSkill 901 initiative is the first step toward surfing the Technami. Instead of working in a silo, the chamber is partnering with a broad array of nonprofits, businesses, educational organizations and private citizens to figure out how we can collaboratively upskill 10,000 people by 2023 in order to meet the current demands for trained talent.

However…


What is product journalism?

It’s the merging of product development/management and journalism to create long-lasting solutions to ongoing challenges that help users make decisions, build community and potentially take action to improve outcomes.

Unlike traditional journalism where the launch of an article, infographic or even interactive application is largely the culmination of a project, product journalism is about using the reporting to build public service solutions that are designed to deliver value to the business, the community and the users over long periods of time, i.e. years.

Despite the rise of computers and interactive databases with infinite storage and powerful…


Today, when we discuss personalization, most people tend to think of it from a Netflix or Facebook perspective, where the content itself is not personalized, but instead an algorithm recommends content for you to view.

The much, much bigger opportunity is to provide personalized content that provides insights targeted to their specific situation and needs, e.g. instead of just providing thematic articles about how bad the weather is overall, provide location-specific insights a la the Weather Channel telling them to take cover because a tornado is heading toward their location.

Finally, what our audiences want is not just information, but…


Discrimination allegations against owners of Flight Restaurant in Memphis

How is it possible that in a majority Black city and county, so many “upscale” restaurants, retail establishments, organizations and other entities have so few Black employees and members?

Ever since I moved here 13 years ago, I’ve been shocked, amazed and horrified at the number of restaurants, retailers, professional-service firms and events, where there has not been a single African-American employee or attendee, or Black representation is limited to the janitor or receptionist. Oftentimes, I wonder if I’ve magically been transported to Iowa or Eastern Tennessee.

So I’m not surprised by the discrimination allegations being hurled at the owners…


I’m having flashbacks to being at the Los Ángeles Federal Building the night the police were acquitted for beating Rodney King.

It was a peaceful protest with maybe 400 to 1,000 people chanting, “No justice,no peace!”, when about a dozen LAPD officers showed up, getting the crowd even more riled up.

I tried negotiating with the police, asking them to leave as they were just. getting the crowd agitated. Since we were surrounded by acres of grass, and an almost empty 8-lane Wilshire Blvd, there was nothing for the crowd to damage.

I told the sergeant I’d do my best…


Chances are you suck at telling your story, and don’t really understand all the value you offer, so I’ll share a few tips based on my own job searches and helping dozens of people over the years tell their stories.

First, embrace the fact that you need help from others to understand your value and tell your story. Even myself, as a former journalist with hundreds of articles to my name, often struggle at telling my own story. …


“Kevin, sorry but you’re a cost center, we’re going to have to let you go.”

The words struck me first like a punch to the solar plexus knocking the wind out of me, followed by an uppercut to the jaw sending tears streaming down my face.

I wondered how I was going to put food on the table with a newborn at home, and what the hell a cost center was.

Over the next five years, I’d hear similar words four more times as I was alternately deselected, downsized and pushed out the door at a variety of companies due…

Kevin Mireles

Dad. Husband. Cyclist. Undercover Chicano. Fortune 100 and Startup Veteran. http://www.DontMakeMeWork.com

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