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The Measurement of ‘Nice’

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In his piece entitled iPhone 5, John Gruber made a statement that really stuck out to me:

[…] but there is no benchmark, no tech spec, to measure nice. But you can feel it.

And that is what resonates with millions of people around the world.

As soon as I read this, I was struck by how true this statement is for companies like Intel, Google and Amazon that claim to be “metrics-driven”. The unfortunate side-effect is that they focus so much on metrics that they end up being driven only by metrics — which ultimately results in consistently sub-par experiences. Companies that are driven by metrics — at the exclusion of instinct and humanity — will never produce the kind of quality that they truly need to in order to create the best experiences for their customers.

Claiming to be both “metrics-driven” and “customer-obsessed” is going to be an untenable stance unless you’re willing to both hire and enable people who really, really understand the fundamentals of how to make really great products.

Ryan Parman

is an engineering manager with over 20 years of experience across software development, site reliability engineering, and security. He is the creator of SimplePie and AWS SDK for PHP, patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at WePay, defined much of the CI/CD and SRE disciplines at McGraw-Hill Education, and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at Amazon Web Services in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.