The Looking Glass: New Year, New Form

In which we move to little thoughts in little chunks of words

Julie Zhuo
3 min readJan 29, 2021

It’s 2021! And I had every intention of writing an ode to the New Year, something warm and comforting with a touch of spice, like a good gumbo.

But then my toddler decided that his favorite thing to do now is open every drawer in the house and bulldoze the contents. Then, there was the insurrection to process, and the sea shanties, and the gamestonks, and what do you know the month is over. Oh, and interspersed in there somewhere is a tale of company building. People used to tell me that company building was all-consuming. They’re absolutely right.

Occasionally in the shower I’ll get an idea that makes me think This would be a good blog post! Which then gets devoured by the next thought: Yeah but you’ll never write it. (What an annoying naysayer, that voice!) Then a third brain cell fires: Okay, but what if you write it in 280 character chunks? Which doesn’t actually make sense, if you think about it — writing well shorter is harder, especially if you have to conform to an arbitrary stupid limit. But somehow the psychology trick works.

So that’s what we’ve got, folks. A bunch of tweet threads. And that’ll be the game this year. If you use Twitter, you’ll still get them freshly delivered to your inbox monthly.

1. Many Ways to Answer “Who is this product for?” Poorly

Twitter avatar for @joulee

Julie Zhuo @joulee

Whenever I hear a product pitch, the thing I most want to know (and that most often gets left out) is: who is this product for? This seems like a simple question, but there are many ways the answer can be of insufficient depth. Thread 👇

10:40 PM ∙ Jan 4, 2021


Stay safe, stay well, stay warm!



Julie Zhuo

Building Sundial ( Former Product Design VP @ FB. Author of The Making of a Manager. Find me @joulee. I love people, nuance, and systems.