Tools for thought, product design, and how to have good ideas.
69 // Narrative with Mario Gabriele
In the world of tech journalism, a well-crafted narrative is part of conveying truth about the world. Mario writes weekly briefings at The Generalist, and he joins Adam and Mark to discuss his creative process for writing; what Michelin, Stripe, and WeWork have in common; and flaws in the now-popular Silicon Valley narrative of hubris and excess. Plus: how to speedrun creating conviction.
Telegram: How to Counter-Attack
Anduril: The Business of Defense
Helium: The Network of Networks
Metamuse episode with Dan Shipper
Metamuse episode on storytelling
Aaron Sorkin – Teaches Screenwriting
Whose Story Wins?
Y Combinator: The Institute of Innovation
Softbank: Twilight of an Empire
Terra: The Moon Also Rises
68 // Multiplayer
The Muse team has begun work on multiplayer features, so Mark and Adam are pondering how groups of people can best co-develop ideas. They discuss the ad-hoc workgroups vs durable teams; the Wisdom of the Crowds; and the implications of local-first on sharing permissions. Plus: TV writer’s rooms.
survey for joining the multiplayer Muse alpha program
Exhalation, Arrival, Project Hail Mary
Nikolaus Klein on collaborative creativity
Hilary Maloney on creative trust
TV writer’s rooms, war rooms
Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea
The Wisdom of the Crowds
Dropbox selective sync
67 // Dynamic documents with Geoffrey Litt and Max Schoening
What if we could start with a plaintext note and gradually evolve it into an app? That’s the question asked by Max and Geoffrey in their latest research at Ink & Switch. They join Adam to discuss data detectors, language models and personal text, and the creative process on a research project. Plus: why Stable Diffusion is like a slot machine.
Geoffrey Litt and Max Schoening
Ink & Switch
An Everlasting Meal
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
previous Metamuse episode with Max Schoening
previous Metamuse episode with Geoffrey Litt
Potluck essay and live demo
An app can be a home-cooked meal
Metamuse episode with Peter van Hardenberg
Formality Considered Harmful
Paul Shen, Paul Sonnentag
“if you’re not embarrassed, you’re shipping too late”
66 // Business of apps with Markus Müller-Simhofer
Selling software via the App Store has unique benefits and challenges compared to selling on the web. Markus joins Mark and Adam to talk through the 13-year history of MindNode on Mac, phone, and iPad sold via freemium, paid upgrades, and finally subscriptions. They discuss early inspiring Mac apps like NetNewsWire; the distribution benefits of the App Store; and the emotional journey of transitioning from indie hacker to team leader. Plus: the surprising connection between comic books, infinite canvases, and mind mapping.
infinitecanvas.tools by Arun Venkatesan
Metamuse episode on infinite canvases
InfiniteCanvas, an online comic experiment
Delicious Library 3,, NetNewsWire
The Road to MindNode 1.0
“640K ought to be enough for anybody.”
Rands in Repose on “should engineering managers code?”
Apple’s Mac App Store Opens for Business
Mindnode and Stage Manager
Metamuse episode on brands
business models in the App Store
65 // Trademarks with Josh Gerben
As a product creator, how do you prevent confusion with other similarly-named products in the market? Josh is an intellectual property attorney specializing in trademark law. He joins Mark and Adam to discuss why trademarks exist to protect consumers, not businesses; the legal differences between ™️, ®, wordmark, and logomark; patent trolling and trademark bullying; and the APIs used to monitor trademark databases. Plus: the trademarks of Apple, Monster Energy, and LeBron James.
Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben)
Gerben Intellectual Property
TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System, or TESS)
origin of the name “Google”
Metamuse episode on Brand
US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
common law right
Dove soap, Dove chocolate
case law vs statute
mutually assured destruction
word mark vs logo mark
trademark watch service
Gerben Trademark Library
64 // Hiring
Your company exists to build a product, but the meta-project is to build a team. Adam and Mark discuss hiring managers and job descriptions; the benefit of pilot projects over lengthy interviews; and the “dream candidate” exercise. Plus: hiring lessons we can learn from Zappos and Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters steady paycheck scene
Local-first engineer JD
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Business
Zappos pays employees to quit
Really enjoy the show
A few recent favorites would have to be the industrial lab and self-made tools episodes. Smart folks discussing interesting (if niche) areas in this cool software space.
Love this podcast!
Especially the pricing episode was fascinating. This podcast gives us an honest look from product-obsessed folks at Muse into what it takes to build such a great app.
Any talk with people who care deeply about what they do is always a great listen. Like Jony Ive said, you can sense when there is a care taken with a product. I can definitely sense it here. Love what you all do, and keep it up!