Hi, this is the site of
Pascal Laliberté, Ottawa, ON
Product Sharpening - Helping modest online products and services businesses (like your freelance practice) with situations like these:
- “I’ve just realized that the page describing my product doesn’t do it justice. It focuses too much on the benefits. I know I can make it communicate more sharply the problem it can help solve for my customers. I’m just way too busy.”
- “I’ve hit a growing niche with my specialty as a freelancer. I’m starting to get attention, and if I keep presenting my services in a generic way, I’m going to miss out attracting the kinds of clients that are looking for help for the specific situations I want to help with.”
I also publish articles every Friday to help you sharpen your own products and services.
- Design is best when done in tandem with the implementation. Knowing the limits of the material you work with makes for a better design.
- There’s a particular urgency to surpass ourselves and to part with our ego, so that we know how to construct things rather than just react to things.
- Most times when we hit an either/or mindset, there’s usually a third way.
- We’re complicated people, and we’re full of paradoxes. Learning to bridge those paradoxes helps us be better with others.
- There’s a way to achieve multiple things at once, so long as you ruthlessly put things in the right order. That way, the first thing will feed into the second one and into the third, and all the way down, letting you achieve them all.
- To-do lists are only a little helpful, because they’re usually written as wish-for lists. I found that writing have-done lists to be the most helpful kind of list to write.
- Constraints are something to welcome. Annoyed? That points to something important. Afraid? That’s an even better sign you’re on the right track.
Areas of interest
My main areas of interest are:
- The Jobs-To-Be-Done theory, which is on what causes people to purchase a product; Find out more at Sharpen.page - A Product Sharpening Service
- Maturity in Leadership and post-heroism. Great managers are rare, and the way to get there is to develop the ability to tame our ego and by detecting when we have mental models affecting our judgement. Find out more at The Change Anything Kit
- Writing software in a modest way. By starting small and using the best of the modern approaches, we can write good software without playing the game every one else plays in the software industry. I’m writing a short book about it called Modest JS Works
When building products, I use these technologies: For crafting web interfaces, I’ve been really liking Stimulus (see a presentation I gave) and Vue.js (see presentation about that one too). When using Wordpress, I use the lovely Roots kit (see presentation). When the site I’m building is small or if I’m doing prototyping work, Jekyll is my go-to static-site generator. When designing, I prefer building real UIs through code, and I use Sketch for mocking them up.
What I value most
- I value being intentional and thorough, getting to the bottom of things and doing the right thing. Going deep brings joy.
- I value starting small, iterating, doing what matters, betting on the long-haul and respecting the natural rhythm of things. Instead of taking a big ambitious bite out of life, why not bet on what will always be true, like the power of compound interest and doing stuff that’s a little scary but at your level?
- In relationships, I value authenticity, complicity, openness and truth. Open up. It’s scary but it matters.
- And I value improving myself and making a good environment for others to grow in. Stepping on some toes? Better to step on your own first.
In this care for growth and relationships and depth, I continue to be drawn to Christianity. Although deeply skeptical, I joyfully believe. Learning to bridge modernity and faith has been good for me, and so I write a blog on Leading a modern life while living the Gospel, sharing the ways for achieving both, fully. Let’s grow towards more maturity, and to a more subtle faith.
Here are a few articles from the blog:
- Surviving a crisis of faith and living the Gospel fully
- God, cocreator
- Away from the family
- Go deep in everything
- Free your beliefs
Lecteurs français: le blogue est également disponible en français. De plus, j’ai créé le site lectures.page, offrant les lectures du dimanche qui vient du missel romain (textes de l’AELF), utile pour une lecture personnelle ou pour des partages bibliques de groupe.
In closing, two questions I think are helpful
These questions help me stay true, and they help me make good choices. I hope they’re useful to you too:
- What am I so convinced of? Any time I feel conflicted, agitated, or that my options are limited, I inspect and identify my mental models, those invisible lenses through which we distort how we see reality. I make it a habit to put my finger on my mental models, so I drive them and they don’t drive me. Every time I did this, I was able to solve the right problem, build the right thing, and help people in the way they needed the help. And the second question is:
- What will I be celebrating? Instead of writing lists of things to do, or of things I want to achieve, I write lists of things I’ll have achieved in a future place in time. I call these have-done lists. That subtle change of position helps me visualize what’s essential, what’s central and what to ship first, and also what’s a distraction and what to ignore until after that date. To write these lists, I use Taskmator for iOS and Taskpaper for Mac with a custom stylesheet.
Hope they help.
Thanks for reading
What about you? What do you care about? What are you working on? What are your tricks? Let me know: I’m @pascallaliberte on Twitter.