Parenthood. Founder. Community Builder.

I love being a parent. The freedom of being a founder of a growing business is amazing. The ability and rewards of building a community is wonderful too.

These are the three main things I associate with myself these days. They are all incredibly time consuming, but it’s not only about time.  They are all roles that require constant putting of other people first. It can be draining. Physically and mentally.

My kids needs come first, mostly.  They zap my energy daily.

Often I have to drop or sacrifice things for the sake of the business. Do jobs I hate. Put my personal desires to the side so that business stuff gets done.

Community building can be amazing.  I’ve made great connections and friends over the years. But, bloody hell, some of the stuff I (and we) have to put up with is really not very fun at all.

Along the way I feel like I’ve lost who Rosie is. She has a wonderful family. A great business. And has helped build a variety of communities, small and large.  But Rosie got lost along the way. She got carried away attending to everyone else.

Who is Rosie?

It’s only very recently where I’ve started putting myself first, at least some of the time.  I’ve started carving out time for me, restarting things and my thoughts from scratch, organising all the things in my head, digitally and on paper to help me think more clearly about the things that are important to me.

Of course, these things have helped shaped who I am, but they are not necessarily all of me.

I encourage everyone to look beyond the labels of the people around them. To dive deeper with people and get to know them as human beings. We are much more than the labels society naturally places on us.


MoT 2.0 …

Another step in the progress and development of Ministry of Testing.  Have a little look at our history and how we’ve upgraded our website.  The first step of many to the growth of Ministry of Testing.

I’m so happy and content with team MoT behind it all that made it happen.  Find out more at …

Not Seeking Approval / Feedback

This has mostly been me in approaching growing my business.

From Seth Godin’s blog:

The trap of listening to feedback

“If I listened to feedback, I would have quit on the first day.”

You’re devoting your life to making something important. Something helpful. Something that matters. Mostly, something that hasn’t been done before, that’s going to bend the curve and make an impact.

If you begin and end with surveys and focus groups, all you’re going to do is what’s been done before.

We’re counting on you to trust yourself enough to speak your own version of our future. Yes, you’ll need the empathy to put yourself in our shoes, and the generosity to care enough to make it worth our time and trust. But no, don’t outsource the hard work of insight and creation to the rest of us.

That’s on you.

I think part of the beauty of running a business that is so intertwined with the community is that the needs of your ‘users’ can be easier to see.  I mean, how can you not understand your audience better if you are in there everyday, speaking to them, helping them grow, writing for and with them, meeting them, etc.

So, when I have an idea, I don’t feel like I need to do ‘market research’.  It doesn’t mean I’m right or things will go according to plan. But there are things I can see that intertwine with my vision that look for feedback from people will never give me.


On Founders Not Being CEO

I often think about my decision to make someone else the ‘CEO’ as Ministry of Testing.  And as anyone would, they would look for stories about others doing the same.

I love the Indie Hackers community and was listening to this podcast with Max Lytvyn from Grammarly.  In it he discusses his reason for him and the other co-founder to bring in a CEO instead of taking the role on themselves.

Below is the section I’ve copied from the podcast transcript:

Max Lytvyn

Another interesting decision was to bring a CEO on board. Neither of us, nor Alex, so my cofounder nor I, are CEOs. We partnered with Brad Hoover, who’s now CEO of Grammarly. And our decision to bring on board an external CEO was driven by a realization that, well, the company is going to grow to a certain scale that none of us grew a company before, and it will require certain skills and certain talents that we may not necessarily have right now and may not be as passionate about growing necessarily.

My passion is around growth and around customers. Alex’s passion is around designing magical experiences for users and beautiful products. But building a world-class company requires many more things beyond that. So that’s why we decided to bring on board a CEO with a kind of more rounded experience and talent profile.

Courtland Allen:

That makes a lot of sense, but at the same time it seems like an extremely difficult decision to make because you guys have grown this company by yourselves the entire time. An outsider kind of risks ruining everything, so how do you even how about that process of finding the right person?

Max Lytvyn:

It was hard. We actually worked with Brad for, I think, six months or maybe even more in a consulting capacity before we started talking about him being the CEO. So there was a long process. But I think what helped us make this decision was that both Alex and I are generally very humble people. We didn’t have an ambition to, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to be the master of this company or I’m going to have the highest title in the company.” It wasn’t for us ever about that. It was just about doing something cool, something interesting, and seeing how far we can push it.

Because we were not focused on titles or power, it made the decision so much easier for us. It wasn’t seen as a sacrifice or as a step back. I often see discussions where founders vilify investors because investors suggest hiring an external CEO or hiring an executive of some kind, and that just doesn’t make much sense to me. Well, in some cases, there is something wrong there, but in general, that concept is very valid. Just because you started something doesn’t mean that you’re optimal person to be the CEO of it in every stage of that company’s growth.

For me, not being CEO is so I can focus on the things that bring me joy.  Max refers to passions.  For me, it’s not so much about passions, it’s about all the things involved in me needing to lead the life that I want to live – that’s a mixture of doing work that I enjoy whilst also being a person that lives a life of fruitful balance.

Being CEO involves many things that I don’t necessarily want to be doing on a daily basis.  Things that I wasn’t enjoying doing and was driving me to hate the company I had created. Things that, after working with Richard for almost 2 years, I knew he would do a better job than I.

The Ministry of Testing community is amazing in so many ways.  I’m so proud, beyond proud, of what it has become.  And I’ve always had it stuck in my head that this MoT thing is not about me. It’s about the community. It’s about every individual that makes it a whole.

Every decision I make, may not always be right, but I try my best and always ask: is this the best thing for the MoT Community?

Increasingly I feel it is this focus on community that I believe I need to keep working on, evolving and have the freedom to explore.  So I will do that, for now.  It is important work that gets me excited and fired up.


Ethical Events Software

This Tweet has been making the rounds over the weekend.  At MoT we use Tito, which we’ve always been happy with.  The team behind it have always been super proactive and supportive.

I’ve also been aware that Eventbrite (I refuse to link to them!) bought Lanyrd a few years back and since then Lanyrd has just died a slow death.  I find it hard to forgive companies when this happens.  Lanyrd had such potential.

I also think this is another factor in the current trends of people becoming more aware of how companies operate and how our heart is telling us all to say no to unethical companies.

The question in my head, is what actually makes an ethical company? So many factors to consider.

Dark Patterns Are Just Very Bad Designs

Well, this made me laugh, and it is kind of true.  I also think that whilst designers would love to ‘delight the users’ all the time there are obviously forces from other sides of the business that have influence to have these daft designs implemented.

Of course, this could be created and built as ‘per spec design’, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing to do. As testers we should be aware of this and try to combat these bad design practices.

Stop calling these Dark Design Patterns or Dark UX — these are simply a**hole designs

Have you noticed that lately some people are trying to coin the terms “Dark UX” or “Dark Design Patterns”? Not only that, but also trying to put in the UX account some nasty psychological or cheap tricks.

We are User Experience Designers and our core objective is to create delightful and seamless experiences for the user. Let’s be clear here, if you do any of the following below I suggest a new term: “A**hole Design”. – Flavio Lamenza


I’ve been paying more attention to the term ‘meritocracy’ after I read the book Technically Wrong.  The guy (Michael Young) who coined the term meant it as satire. As with many things these days, we need to be careful, rethink and recreate what we know.

The man who coined the word four decades ago wishes Tony Blair would stop using it

I have been sadly disappointed by my 1958 book, The Rise of the Meritocracy. I coined a word which has gone into general circulation, especially in the United States, and most recently found a prominent place in the speeches of Mr Blair.

The book was a satire meant to be a warning (which needless to say has not been heeded) against what might happen to Britain between 1958 and the imagined final revolt against the meritocracy in 2033. – Comment on The Guardian