Write Your Way Out

23ad4e437c3ece1b7a04696321036c30?s=47 Matthew Bischoff
September 28, 2016

Write Your Way Out

A talk about why every business owner should improve their writing skills. With examples from my time at The New York Times and Tumblr, I explain how clear written communication leads to better apps and better companies. Bring a pen, you'll want to write this stuff down.

23ad4e437c3ece1b7a04696321036c30?s=128

Matthew Bischoff

September 28, 2016
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Transcript

  1. None
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  3. “inspiration, design, marketing, promotion, business, trends, and tools”

  4. “Everything but the code”

  5. So…

  6. Let’s talk about the code

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  10. The subject verbs the object. [subject verb:object]; subject.verb(object)

  11. Style Guide

  12. Apple Style Guide April 2013 style (stīl) n. 1. The

    way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed: a style of speech and writing. 2. The combination of distinctive features of literary or artistic expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular person, group, school, or era. 3. Sort; type: a style of furniture. 4. A quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one’s actions and tastes: does things with style. 5a. A comfortable and elegant mode of existence: living in style. b. A mode of living: the style of the very rich. 6a. The fashion of the moment, especially of dress; vogue. b. A particular fashion: the style of the 1920s. 7. A customary manner of presenting printed material, including usage, punctuation, spelling, typography, and arrangement. 8. A form of address; a title. 9a. An implement used for etching or engraving. b. A slender pointed writing instrument used by the ancients on wax tablets. 10. The needle of a phonograph. 11. The gnomon of a sundial. 12. Botany The usually slender part of a pistil, situated between the ovary and the stigma. 13. Zoology A slender, tubular, or bristlelike process: a cartilaginous style. 14. Medicine A surgical probing instrument; a stylet. 15. Obsolete A pen. —tr. v. styled, styl•ing, styles 1. To call or name; designate: George VI styled his brother Duke of Windsor. 2. To make consistent with rules of style: style a manuscript. 3. To give style to: style hair. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin stylus, stilus, spike, pointed instrument used for writing, style. See STYLUS.] —styl’er n. —styl’ing n.
  13. style (stīl) n. 1. The way in which something is

    said, done, expressed, or performed: a style of speech and writing. 2. The combination of distinctive features of literary or artistic expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular person, group, school, or era. 3. Sort; type: a style of furniture. 4. A quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one’s actions and tastes: does things with style. 5a. A comfortable and elegant mode of existence: living in style. b. A mode of living: the style of the very rich. 6a. The fashion of the moment, especially of dress; vogue. b. A particular fashion: the style of the 1920s. 7. A customary manner of presenting printed material, including usage, punctuation, spelling, typography, and arrangement. 8. A form of address; a title. 9a. An implement used for etching or engraving. b. A slender pointed writing instrument used by the ancients on wax tablets. 10. The needle of a phonograph. 11. The gnomon of a sundial. 12. Botany The usually slender part of a pistil, situated between the ovary and the stigma. 13. Zoology A slender, tubular, or bristlelike process: a cartilaginous style. 14. Medicine A surgical probing instrument; a stylet. 15. Obsolete A pen. —tr. v. styled, styl•ing, styles 1. To call or name; designate: George VI styled his brother Duke of Windsor. 2. To make consistent with rules of style: style a manuscript. 3. To give style to: style hair. [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin stylus, stilus, spike, pointed instrument used for writing, style. See STYLUS.] —styl’er n. —styl’ing n.
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  15. The Objective-C Style Guide used by The New York Times

    http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/BCDE/CF/CD/objectively-stylish/ LICENSE Update LICENSE year. E years ago README-FRA.md Remove categorically-forbidden category statement B years ago README-ko.md Remove categorically-forbidden category statement B years ago README.md Adopt RFC BDDR wording in Variables, Categories and Protocols V months ago README_de-GER.md Updated German translation - Refactored existent parts and added miss… B years ago README_es-MX.md Minor spacing & markdown fixes for es_MX a year ago README_ja-JP.md Fix Japanese typo. a year ago README_pt-BR.md Syncing pt-BR after PRs #DD_ and #DDR a year ago README_zh-Hans.md "Indent using c spaces" for en & zh-Hans a year ago NYTimes / objective-c-style-guide Code Issues 01 Pull requests 7 Projects 0 Pulse Graphs 450 commits 01 branches 0 release 70 contributors MIT Clone or download Clone or download Find file master Branch: New pull request Latest commit 65c8672 on Mar 7 Twigz Merge pull request #DDc from loganmoseley/RFC-BDDR … README.md NYTimes Objective-C Style Guide This style guide outlines the coding conventions of the iOS teams at The New York Times. We welcome your feedback in issues and pull requests. Also, weʼre hiring. Thanks to all of our contributors. Pricing Blog Support This repository Personal Open source Business Explore Search Sign up Sign up Sign in S1S 7,0T4 U71 Watch Star Fork
  16. Oh right, hi.

  17. matthew bischoff

  18. matt bischoff

  19. @mb

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  27. Matthew Bischoff Co-creator of @lickability. Formerly @nytimes and @tumblr. Apr

    >? · A min read Follow Helping Build The New Yorker Today Last October, we saw a tweet from Michael Donohoe, the Director of Product Engineering at The New Yorker: Since we’ve recently taken on more client projects to fund development of our own products at Lickability and have a lot of experience working on news apps, we figured we were just right for the job. What followed was a few months of hard work on a brand new mobile version of The New Yorker for a modern audience. When The New Yorker first launched its flagship iPad app in 2010 and an iPhone version two years later, it was designed to mimic the magazine’s typographic layout. But as phones have become a bigger part of our lives, many subscribers want to read in a super-fast, native experience that’s not based around individual issues, but rather updates every single day. And now they can with The New Yorker Today. Looking for a freelance iOS developer for a super secret project. DM/email me if you are that person or would recommend someone...  — @donohoe Follow Sign in / Sign up PRODUCTS CLIENTS
  28. None
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  30. What can I get better at?

  31. Writing.

  32. Write Your Way Out

  33. None
  34. Write Your Way Out

  35. Write Your Way Out Supercharge your business with this one

    weird trick!
  36. Caveat emptor

  37. None
  38. Why writing?

  39. Writing is a skill, not a talent.

  40. Writing is thinking.

  41. “Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly.

    That's why it's so hard.” — David McCullough
  42. Writing Is Thinking by Sally Kerrigan · January 14, 2014

    Published in Community, Writing 388 Issue № Illustration by Kevin Cornell Kevin Cornell Share this on Translations Italian Need developers yesterday? Toptal finds you top talent, right now. Ad via BuySellAds JOB BOARD Toptal is looking for a Lead Editor for Toptal Design. Job listings via We Work Remotely › Writing is intimidating. There’s this expectation of artful precision, mercurial grammatical rules, and the weird angst that comes with writing for other people. You start with a tidy nugget of an idea, but as you try to string it into language, it feels more like you’re pulling out your own intestines. But you’re not a writer, so this isn’t your problem, right? Well, the thing is, writing is not some mystic art. It’s a practical skill—particularly since most of our online communication is text-based to begin with. When you write about your work, it makes all of us smarter for the effort, including you—because it forces you to go beyond the polite cocktail-party line you use to describe what you do and really think about the impact your work has. Done well, it means you’re contributing signal, instead of noise. No one’s born with this skill, though. We hear routinely from people who say they’d love to write for A List Apart or start blogging, but don’t know where to start. They feel unfocused and overwhelmed by the task. If this is beginning to sound like you, read on 27 comments
  43. I’ve encountered a number of people with good ideas who

    happen to hate the process of writing. I get it—even for people who write regularly, it can be a frustrating process. (By the time this makes it through copyediting and onto the site, you will be reading the ninth version of this article.) But the payoff is so, so worth it. Wherever you are on your professional path, whether you have years of experience or a fresh outlook to share, writing your ideas down gives you a particular new ownership over what you do. It examines all the “whys” of the job, turning entrenched habits into intentional actions. It equips you with the communication skills to sell yourself and your work to bosses and clients. This is what crafting purposefulness looks like. We need more of it on the web, just as you need it in your life. Not just wording, but thinking. Not just noise, but signal. Put your ideas out there. We’d love to hear them.
  44. Problems crave written solutions.

  45. Stories, lessons, and questions

  46. Stories

  47. Yellow Legal Pad

  48. None
  49. Bad Ads

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  52. The Spreadsheet

  53. Feature Web iOS Android Mobile Web Single post in the

    Dashboard or similar blue page See all post types Yes Yes Yes Yes Like Yes Yes Yes Yes Double click/tap to like No Yes No No Like heart balloon animation Yes Yes Yes No Unlike Yes Yes Yes Yes Unlike heart break animation Yes Yes Yes No Notes ticker animation No Yes Yes No Reblog Yes Yes Yes Yes Fast reblog Yes Yes Yes No Fast queue Yes No No No View note count Yes Yes Yes Yes View notes list Yes Yes Yes Yes Share Yes Yes Yes No Share button is … icon Yes Yes Yes No Visit permalink Yes No No Yes Copy permalink No Yes Yes No View timestamp Yes Yes No No Gernerate embed code Yes No No No Twitter Yes Yes Sorta No Facebook Yes Yes Sorta No Pinterest Yes Sorta Sorta No Flag Yes Sorta No No View source Yes Yes Yes Sorta Visit post source Yes Yes Yes Yes Post source is displayed in tags area No Yes Yes No Source icons for app attribution Yes Yes Yes No Source icons for app attribution displayed in tags area No Yes Yes No Buy buttons Yes Yes Yes No View author’s blog Yes Yes Yes Yes View reblogged from blog Yes Yes Yes Yes Follow button for reblogged from blog Yes Yes No No Blog cards on hover Yes No No No
  54. Blogging at Tumblr

  55. About Writing Talking Coding We need a “Safari view controller”

    10 Dec 2014 In-app web browsers are extremely common on iOS, which shouldn’t be surprising at all. They allow developers and users alike to quickly view something on the web without being completely removed from the app they were using just moments prior. Many developers prefer this because it presumably leads to more usage of their applications . Many users like this because it provides a faster and cognitively lighter experience: I see FB on Android now loads links in their own browser. Wish all apps did that. Faster/more seamless than kicking to Chrome each time. — M.G. Siegler (@mgsiegler) December 10, 2014 But in-app browsers have some pretty massive downsides as well. They can’t access cookies stored by other in-app browsers, nor Safari, requiring the user to repeatedly log in to websites that they should already be authenticated with. iCloud Keychain is great for syncing credentials across devices, but while Safari has access to its data, in-app browsers don’t . This isn’t merely Apple being punitive – it’d be horribly negligent to give third-party applications access to this kind of information. That said, it’s also negligent to ask users to enter passwords into in-app 1 2
  56. About Writing Talking Coding What we learned building the Tumblr

    iOS share extension 16 Sep 2014 iOS app extensions – launching this Wednesday, as part of iOS 8 – provide an exciting opportunity for developers of all types of apps to integrate with their customers’ devices like never before. Here at Tumblr, we’re thrilled to pull the curtain off of our share extension, which we’ve been working hard on for quite a while now. The process of building the Tumblr share extension has been fun, but also really frustrating at times. We’ve hit quite a few problems that we ended up needing to work around, and in the interest of helping you do the same, would like to detail all of the issues that we encountered.
  57. Lessons

  58. Write everything down.

  59. If you didn’t write it down, it didn’t happen.

  60. Apple employees that use radar as their shopping list

  61. Writing for computers vs humans

  62. If you can’t describe it in words, you can’t describe

    it in code.
  63. Don’t bullshit.

  64. “It is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks

    he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction.” — Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit
  65. SEARCH BROWSE NECESSARY TROUBLE What terrible business jargon do you

    need unsucked? open the kimono UNSUCK IT UNSUCK IT I’M FEELING DOUCHEY I’M FEELING DOUCHEY RECENTLY ADDED summit raconteur ecosystem artisanal hacked NECESSARY TROUBLE Decimate Your Darlings Brought to you by Mule Design. Follow @Unsuckit.
  66. parking lot offline circle back bandwidth net net action item

    bio break mindshare sync up alignment
  67. Say what you mean.

  68. Taps ≠ Clicks Screens ≠ Pages Customers ≠ Uniques Buttons

    ≠ Links Interface Builder ≠ CSS Apps ≠ Websites
  69. Word choice matters.

  70. Money is a resource, time is a resource, oil is

    a resource. A software engineer is a person.
  71. Writing is rewriting.

  72. Writing gets you noticed.

  73. None
  74. Questions

  75. What do you write?

  76. None
  77. All 17,654 conversations in All Mail are selected. Clear selection

  78. Slack

  79. Notes and Tasks

  80. You take screenshots. But sometimes you need to mark them

    up a bit before sharing them with your friends (or enemies). You know: point stuff out, blur out your business, jot down thoughts. Pinpoint’s got you covered. With Pinpoint you can: • See all the screenshots you’ve ever taken • Draw arrows and boxes to pinpoint the important parts or the stuff that’s weird • Write text to explain what you’re thinking Proposals
  81. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT THIS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”), entered

    into effective as of August 20, 2015 (the “Effective Date”) by and between Lickability LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company with principal offices located at 261 Madison Ave, 9th floor, New York NY 10016 (hereinafter referred to as "Company") and John Smith, an individual (hereinafter referred to as "Contractor" and with Company, each a “Party” and collectively, the “Parties”). WITNESSETH: WHEREAS, Company has entered into a Consulting Agreement with Company, Inc., to provide Company, Inc., with certain consulting services (the “Agreement”); and WHEREAS, Company is required by the Agreement to have Contractor sign the attached Confidential Information and Assignment Agreement, attached hereto as exhibit A; and WHEREAS, Company now wishes to retain Contractor as an independent contractor to perform consulting services for Company and to assist Company with the deliverables under the Agreement; and WHEREAS, Contractor is willing to perform such independent contractor services, and willing to sign the attached Confidential Information and Assignment Agreement, on the terms described below: NOW, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants and promises contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and adequacy of which are hereby acknowledged by the parties to this Agreement, it is hereby agreed as follows: Contracts
  82. Going Indie On October 13, 2013 a plan was hatched.

    It wasn’t a diabolical House of Cards political gambit or even anything more concrete than a rough outline. No, on the seven hour drive back from Çingleton in Montreal, we planned to take our small, part-time app development company, Lickability, full time in 2015. And today, right on schedule, I am starting as the first full-time member of Lickability. Me going emo…errr, indie. Same thing. In the summer of 2009, right around high school graduation, my friend Blog Posts
  83. Oct 10, 2015 by Jul 26, 2015 by Jan 14,

    2014 by Oct 29, 2013 by Sep 28, 2013 by Nov 11, 2011 by Talks by Matthew Bischoff Speaker Details Matthew Bischoff 14 Stars Barely Managing Matthew Bischoff Intro to OmniFocus Matthew Bischoff Software Criticism Matthew Bischoff Objective-C Sins Matthew Bischoff RTFM: Things You Missed in the HIG Matthew Bischoff Get Excited and Make Things Matthew Bischoff Talks
  84. Documentation

  85. We are thoughtbot. We have worked with hundreds of product

    teams all over the world, from individual founders who are self-funded, to large multi-national organizations. We have also created our own products and dozens of open source libraries. This is our playbook. It details how we make successful web and mobile products, and also how we run our company. It's filled with things we've learned based on our own experience and study of others' experiences. It is a living document that everyone at thoughtbot can edit in a private GitHub repo. We've made the playbook free and licensed it as Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial so you may learn from, or use, our tactics in your own company. While our "plays" have worked for us, we trust your judgment over ours to decide which tools and techniques might work for you, too. Product Design Sprint All our projects are design-led, starting with post-its and sketching, ending with design implemented as code in the app. We use design sprints and user research to understand our client's problems, validate assumptions about the products, and build products that are user- centered. Introduction to Product Design Sprints Phase 0: Prepare We partner with organizations of all sizes to design, develop, and grow their products for iOS, Android, and the web. This is our playbook. Services Case studies Playbook Locations Start a project with us
  86. None
  87. ...More Screenshots iPhone iPad ...More Description All your team communication

    in one place. A new way to get more done, spend less time in meetings, and reduce email. That’s Slack. - Real time messaging and file sharing for one-to-one and group conversations Slack Technologies, Inc. Web Site Slack - Team Communication Support What's New in Version 3.6 - A delightful new team switcher and a more attractive sidebar have been added. Swipe right once for the channel list, and now, swipe right again to change teams entirely. Swipe left to edit your profile, change settings, and look at your own face. Because you look nice today. - The Quick Switcher is better, and smarter, and swifter at switching. This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad Offers Apple Watch App for iPhone Free Category: Business Updated: Sep 13, 2016 Version: 3.6 Size: 96.0 MB Apple Watch: Yes Language: English Seller: Slack Technologies, Inc. © 2015 Slack Technologies Rated 4+ Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Customer Ratings Slack - Team Communication By Slack Technologies, Inc. Essentials Open iTunes to buy and download apps. View More by This Developer Release Notes
  88. What’s New in Version 64.0 Thanks for using Facebook! To

    make our app better for you, we bring updates to the App Store regularly. Every update of our Facebook app includes improvements for speed and reliability. As new features become available, we’ll highlight those for you in the app.
  89. Hiring

  90. Michael, We're so excited that you’re here to help us

    make amazing apps! The three of us always enjoy working with you, and there is no one we’d rather have join our team first. We hope you have a great day getting set up and settled in, and that you enjoy the supplies, sweets, and succulent at your desk. Look forward to a bunch of invitations today as we get you set up on all of our services. And please don’t hesitate to grab any one of us with questions, concerns, or candy any time! Welcome to Lickability, Brian, Matt, and Twig
  91. Code Issues 8 Pull requests 4 Projects 0 Pulse Graphs

    Makes AnnotationView a protocol #""# Open Pearapps wants to merge > commits into from develop feature/annotation-view-protocol Conversation ./ Commits 2 Files changed 7 Show notes PinpointKit/PinpointKit/Sources/AnnotationView.swift 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 12 13 11 14 12 13 14 15 15 View 30 @@ -8,18 +8,16 @@ import UIKit +/// The alpha value used for annotation borders. +let BorderAlpha: CGFloat = 0.7 bcapps on Jul C Since this is global, we should name it more specifically or maybe create an AnnotationViewConstants enum or struct to store these sorts of things. + /// The base annotation `UIView` subclass. -public class AnnotationView: UIView { - - /// The alpha value used for annotation borders. - static let BorderAlpha: CGFloat = 0.7 +public protocol AnnotationView { bcapps on Jul C Since this protocol no longer necessitates implementation on just UIView objects, but instead has a view object, I'm thinking another name might better convey what it does. Maybe AnnotationControlling, AnnotationBehaviorControlling , AnnotationAppearanceControlling`, or something along those lines? Pearapps on Jul C Since this protocol no longer necessitates implementation on just UIView objects, but instead has a view object, Good point AnnotationControlling,AnnotationBehaviorControlling,AnnotationAppearanceControlling`, What about Annotation ? Pearapps on Jul C Changes from all commits = files +@A −CD Unified Split Reviews
  92. Post mortem

  93. How do you get better?

  94. 1. Write. 2. Edit. 3. Repeat.

  95. Tools aren’t panaceas.

  96. SIGN IN Record life as you live it. Day One,

    recipient of the 2012 Mac App of the Year and 2014 Apple Design Award, is a simple and elegant journaling app. LEARN MORE
  97. Hello, welcome to a little thing called 750 Words Join

    331,887 other writers by signing up now → ̣ What is this site about? It's about learning a new habit: Writing. Every. Day. I've long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist's Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in "long hand", typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It's about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. Unlike many of the other exercises in that book, I found that this one actually worked and was really really useful. I've used the exercise as a great way to think out loud without having to worry about half-formed ideas, random tangents, private stuff, and all the other things in our heads that we often filter out before ever voicing them or writing about them. It's a daily brain dump. Over time, I've found that it's also very helpful as a tool to get thoughts going that have become stuck, or to help get to the bottom of a rotten mood. 750 Words is the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of this exercise. Here's how it works: ̣ All online and private In the past, looking for a spare notebook was probably easier than looking for a computer. Not anymore. I don't know if my hands even work anymore with pen and paper for any task that takes longer than signing a check or credit card receipt. ̣ It's not blogging or status updating I've tried writing my 750 words a day on Livejournal, Wordpress, PBWorks, Tumblr, and all of these other sites 750 Words Log in
  98. None
  99. Style Guide

  100. Thank you.

  101. Write to me at… @mb mb@matthewbischoff.com 261 Madison Ave, 9th

    Floor. New York, NY 10016