My First Drink

new york in the 90s

I had my first drink in a hotel room in New York City. I was 19 and I had taken a year off from college. I was working for a company migrating OS2 to Windows95 and a Novell network to windows.

When I first started I wrote a .bat script that could be emailed to the local office secretary who would run it on her (yeah, her) computer. It would download an image of windows95 and audit the local network. Then, [...]

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Obscur – An App for Artists

I painted a Bob Ross once.

I’m an amateur painter. At least I occasionally spend nights slopping paint around a canvas in a fashion that offers a lot of style in lieu of faithful reproduction. The truth is I’ve never been very good at drawing. I can sketch a cartoon but true to life draughtsmanship has never been my wheelhouse.

Over the years I’ve learned to use technology to ameliorate my scribbling ways. I would take a picture of the canvas [...]

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Naming Things

One of the famously ‘hard things’ in programming is naming things – I’ve found following a few conventions in naming help you reason about a program. For example, variables should be named to describe what they are and functions for what they return.

Take this function:

function convertName(name) { const firstInitial = name.slice(0, 1); const otherInitials = name.slice(1).toLowerCase(); return firstInitial.toUpperCase() + otherInitials; }

This function is named for how it being used. What it [...]

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I’m sorry I’ve neglected to write…

I’ve had a gmail account since as long as there have been gmail accounts. I remember waiting eagerly for an invite and asking around on the pre-facebook and pre-reddit internet for a hook up to this crazy new email service.   When I finally got my invite I picked the name I always do – muddylemon. Of course, that’s not the most professional looking name, so I used one of my first invites to invite myself to create lckidwell@.   After a couple [...]

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Don’t Waste Your Thank You Page

When is a visitor to your website “converted?” For most websites and analytics programs, the answer is the confirmation page. You may have also heard this page called the Thank You Page or Receipt Page or something else entirely. The fact that it has so many names makes it clear to me that there hasn’t been a lot of attention paid to this point in the conversion funnel.

Whatever you call it the most obvious thing to put on a page like [...]

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Think Like A Business And Raise Your Rates

“For those who think business exists to make a profit…think again. Business makes a profit to exist.” Ray Anderson, founder of Interface.

I ran a small web dev shop that failed because I didn’t understand how much I should have been charging my clients. I started my business with a lot of assumptions that proved to be dead wrong. I was young and had a lot to learn.

If you want to have a successful business you have to learn to be [...]

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How To Build High-Converting Landing Page Forms

Be nice to your visitors

Many landing pages, especially those designed to collect leads, will use a form as the primary call to action. In this guide, you will learn how to optimize your form to maximize your conversion rate without sacrificing your lead quality.

Forms do a lot of jobs on landing pages. Jobs like:

Asking for contact information Qualifying a lead Segmenting leads to different sales funnels Initiating a purchase Subscribing to a newsletter Downloading a white paper or free trial

All of those specific jobs are implementations of every landing page’s one [...]

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more angst in wowsville

I had really hoped that things would fall in place and the mild flirtation we shared would eventually allow

me to kiss you

but instead you went back to your room and i paused, only for a second and saw myself in third person as a movie star in some passionate melodramatic nineteenforties black and white tv-dinner special

I walked back slowly fantasizing about how I’d call you Doll and you’d be quite a dish and I’d smoke a cigarette in every scene

and when I kissed you you’d throw your leg up



— Lance, circa 1996



Credits How To Kiss from [...]

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Introduction to A/B Testing for Landing Pages


Everyone loves the story about how a scrappy upstart changed the color of a button on its landing page and suddenly increased its conversion rate by 200%. Stories like that make for a great headlines. They also often spawn copycats naïvely trying to replicate that anomaly in completely different contexts.

Do you remember when Dustin Curtis ran an experiment trying different way of wording a link to his twitter account? He noted that writing “You should follow me on twitter” had a greater [...]

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Domain Name Key Party

Key stamps

Everyone – well, everyone in my social circles, has a stash of great domain names that were bought in a moment of inspiration and are renewed annually in a pitiful sacrifice to the God of good intentions.

It’s high time to give someone else a crack at it, and what better way than to transfer it off to a good home?

I mean you could just let it expire. Maybe there’s a budding entrepreneur out there looking for that exact domain!

However, you and [...]

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