This story is a part of Hacker Noon's Meet the Writer series of interviews. The series is intended for tech professionals contributing the most insightful Hacker Noon stories to share more about their writing habits, ideas, and professional background (and maybe a hobby or two). If you too would like to start contributing to Hacker Noon, you can do so here.
Hey! I’m Zevi, head of Product Marketing at Livecycle. I grew up in Detroit and eventually made my way to the Tel-Aviv tech scene. I like to learn, build and write. But the actual sequence of events may vary.
My latest Hackernoon Story was “Why you should be obsessed with dogfooding”. Lots of people in tech talk about “dogfooding” (using the products they built) without understanding where the term comes from or how to get the most out of such an effort. So I wrote something that sheds light on both issues.
Well, I don’t always write about ‘dogfooding’, but I do like to share processes and tactics that others might find valuable. I try to take an open-source approach to knowledge sharing - the more we all try to help each other out by sharing ideas, advice and experiences, the more we all gain in the end.
It’s probably best described as controlled chaos. My routine looks a bit different depending on the week, but there are a few components that stay pretty consistent:
Ideating - I’m always jotting down ideas for posts, articles, and even books. I’ve got lists and notes on my phone, on my computer, on my email and on the back of envelopes. I don’t get to everything, but the ongoing ideation is at the core of my routine
Prioritizing - Figuring out what to focus on, when is subject to change, but it’s usually an aggregate scoring of what I most excited about writing, what would be most effective (or interesting) for the audience I am targeting, and how much effort is involved in producing this piece of content.
Uninterrupted writing time - I find it hard to write a little bit at a time with breaks in between. I like to get into a flow where I can get lost in the what I am writing, sometimes for hours at a time
Hating my first draft - One of my rules of writing is that my first draft is always terrible.
Always. No one ever got it right on the first try, and whether you’re reviewing it yourself or having someone else look at it, I have always benefitted from making at least one round of revisions before pushing publish
Thankfully, writing is actually one of my main jobs as head of product marketing. For me, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to writing is finding the time to research and write at the level I expect from myself. I have a bunch of other responsibilities other than writing, so I try to carve out blocks of time on the calendar whenever possible.
To love what I am doing at any given moment to such an extent that I can’t even think about anything else. That would be amazing.
I’m moving in the right direction, but still working on it.
Preparing and drinking coffee for sure. I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob.
Sure! Sports (basketball in particular), writing on non-tech topics (I’ve written 11 books and counting), and laughing with my wife and kids.
We’re doing some great work at Livecycle to rethink the way that teams “collaborate”. So I’ll be sharing some of the things we’ve learned. And more generally, I’ll be sharing a bunch of stuff on technical product marketing and GTM (which I’ll also be blogging about here).
Question your assumptions. And stop acting out of fear.
Those two pieces of advice are hard to implement, but they’ve served me pretty well so far.