I'm Mike Costanzo, Design Principal at ConsenSys. Some people say I look like Napoleon...but I don't see it.

I write about stuff here and you can follow my reading habits there.

Get in touch with me 👉 everywhere.

Some Work (a lot of stuff is under NDA)

Black Crows

Helped a ski retailer build a ecomm resposive web app to outperform the competition

Black Crows Case Study

Sprout@Work

Lead the design for a corporate wellness startup in need of a mobile MVP

Black Crows Case Study

Angular Augury

Branding & Logo design for a Chrome and Firefox dev tools extension for debugging Angular applications.

Angular Augury Icon

World Stage 2013

Branding & brochure and collatoral

World Stage 2013 branding and collatoral

SELECTED WRITINGS

1

Lean Discovery: Shifting from Outputs to Outcomes by Finding & Fixing Customer Pain

So many software development projects start with high levels of uncertainty. Some of it is explicit, you many not know exactly who the target customer is and what they want, and some of it may be implicit, you have a great idea but are uncertain about the technical risks of delivering the experience or what the state-of-the-art is capable of and, as they say, you don't know what you don't know. In these cases we echo the words of "Ike" Eisenhower:

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

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2

What Is Innovation — Really?

Innovation is one of the ultimate buzzwords of our era but what is it really? What is its meaning? How can we see it? Replicate it? Scale it? In his talk, I propose that innovation really is the “removal of friction” from a system; and that through this lens we can understand the rise of design, lean startup, Silicon Valley and possibly many other innovative happenings across time.

The talk covers the following topics:

  1. The Real Lesson Steve Jobs Taught Us
  2. The Rise of Design
  3. Innovation = The Removal Of Friction?
  4. Co-opting Innovation
See Slide Deck
3

How Steve Jobs REALLY helped Apple get back to basics

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” is an often quoted piece of Steve Jobs wisdom I’ve hated for a long time. It has given license to so much misguided energy, and I’ve seen too many companies use it’s premise to avoid talking to customers many times in my career. I want to dispel the implication of this statement once and for all.

The sentence before the quote illuminates things further and changes the intent considerably (That full response is even longer and you can read the full interview here):

“…it’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
— Steve Jobs

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