You’re reading What They Said, a project by Chris Gallo.

Kathy Sierra


The following is an excerpt from 2010 Gov 2.0 Expo with Kathy Sierra. She has given this talk several times and spread the message on her blog. Special thanks to O’Reilly Media for hosting the video. Watch the full talk here.

Kicking Ass

Where there is passion, there are people kicking ass. People don’t sustain passion for things they continue to suck at.

One of the reasons that passion is compelling for people is because when they are pursing something, learning and growing - they start to have a higher resolution. They have deeper, richer experiences for the things they are passionate about.

For example, the more you learn about a particular style of music - you actually hear more than the rest of us. You hear subtleties. It’s as if the music changed it’s resolution.


Higher Resolution

High resolution means deeper, richer experiences. And that’s the kind of thing we need to create for people or we’re not going to have passion.

Because it always exists where there is passion.


Create Killer Users

Yeah, this is an obvious thing. But it’s amazing how little we focus on that when we want people to become passionate. Because we are so focused on our role.

We’re going to make better products. We’re going to make better services. We’re going to deliver better things for people.

They really don’t care what you do. I’m not passionate about what you do. I’m passionate about what I do. It’s your job to enable that.

Quit thinking about making a better “x”. Think about making a better user of “x”.

For example, I work with authors a lot. This distinction can mean ripping out 200 pages that are designed to make the author look smart. And adding 200 pages that make the actual reader smart.

As programmers, you’re familiar with the idea of making a killer app. But that’s not what we want to make if we want passion. We need to create a killer user.

That is a different mindset. And it might be a completely different feature set. When you stop thinking about what you’re delivering, and start thinking about what they’re doing.

Brilliant.