Chapter 11. Dénouement

“And so, onwards...along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence...however you may be, be your own source of experience. Throw off your discontent about your nature. Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through—false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes—into your goal, with nothing left over.”


SOMETIMES, PRODUCTS NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY, AND TYPICALLY never for reasons that you can expect or control. Financial crises, teams burning out, new technologies arriving, personal motivation, broken relationships, and more are a lot of variables beyond a UX strategy that will come into play.

The software engineer whom you met in Chapter 1 pivoted to a B2B model after our Landing Page experiments and attempted to negotiate directly with insurance companies. But it was 2013, just as the entire healthcare system in the US was restructuring to comply with the new Affordable Care Act. When last I checked up on him, he told me how he saw that it could take years to disrupt the process of how treatment centers competed within a fragmented industry. There were just too many variables out of his control that even a perfectly designed website, UX, or business strategy was not going to solve. In a heavy Russian accent, the former chess prodigy half-jokingly told me that “I had killed his business.”

For my students, Bita and Ena, Airbnb ...

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