Hi, I’m Shahid.

I work on no-BS tech strategy, product development and marketing.

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Notable projects

A history of solving some of the biggest problems in tech.

Moving Google’s biggest messaging app

Google’s primary messaging app in xx was Hangouts, and today, it’s Google Chat. These two products had different back ends, different clients, different APIs connecting them, and different fundamental assumptions about how chats should be organised. Moving all of Hangout’s organisations and consumers to Chat was a huge, multi-year project, spanning fifty engineers, six engineering leads, and one lead PM.

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Solving Chrome OS’s greatest challenge: apps

Chrome OS is fast, easy to use, and secure. But its achilles heel was apps and games. When the Android framework was introduced to Chrome OS, the developer ecosystem for the second biggest desktop OS needed kickstarting. Android developers needed to understand how to build for desktop, and they also needed a reason to believe in the platform. How did 80 key applications come on board?

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Made by Google

In 2016, Google made its first joint hardware launch across categories as a signal that Google was serious about hardware. It included the first Pixel phone, the first Google Home, Daydream View (now deprecated), the first 4k Chromecast and Google Wifi. Each of those devices, with their own teams and branding, needed aligning in order to present themselves as one family of devices — and then coordinating on launch day to ensure things went smoothly.

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  • How to use pagination on your website

    Splitting content up into pages is pretty common on the web – you might see it in articles, comments, search results, or other lists of data. Want to use pagination? Let’s take a look at the options available to you. Option one: links to new page Having separate web pages for each page of content…

  • H-1B 221(g) Administrative Processing waiting times

    I’ve just finished this process for an H-1B visa from the US Embassy in London. The H-1B was allocated from the lottery by USCIS, but following the interview at the embassy I was handed a 221(g) form giving me notice of “administrative processing”. I’ve also previously been through this process for the F-1 student visa.…

  • Implementation models vs mental models IRL

    If you’ve read “About Face” (Cooper, Reimann, Cronin) you’ll recognise this diagram. It’s a great description of how a product can be closely related to the way it was built (the implementation model), or the way a user relates to it (the mental model). Here are some products that are close to the implementation model:…

  • Making interface animation useful

    Many interfaces on the web contain some kind of animation. We’ve had Flash for a long time, and with jQuery and HTML5 it’s become even easier to add animation. Should we do it? People hold these two views about interface animations: Take the animations off! They are slow and I want to concentrate on function…

  • T-Mobile’s image compression

    I’ve been using a T-Mobile UK connection through a Nexus One to stay online in Blighty. It turns out that they employ some shenanigans to keep their bandwidth costs down. A few tricks seem to be happening: A transparent proxy loads your requested images, but sends you a more compressed version of your image instead.…

  • Web coding on a mac

    If you’re developing for the web, the chances are good that you have a server out there somewhere running a LAMP stack. If you’re doing a lot of iteration – which is probably a good idea – you’ll want to find a quick way of changing code on your server rather than downloading & uploading…

  • Guide to Twitter for Marketers

    Last week, I gave a talk at Kellogg on Twitter. I wanted to try and help our people understand what it means for them as we graduate and head into business. This post is the content of that talk. If you’re well into social media already, you might be familiar with a lot of this…

  • The Smart Rebel

    Fact is, a lot of the class of 2009 will be graduating Kellogg without a job. Another fact – there are, for sure, jobs out there. Some might think that this situation is wrong, the students are to blame, the school is to blame, and we should just get a job, whatever it is. But…

  • How To Be A Successful Blogger

    Some of you may have come across Chris Guillebeau’s 279 day guide to success as a blogger. For those of you who don’t have time to read it, here’s the short short version. First the obvious parts: Being a successful blogger takes a long time and is a lot of hard work. Even doing that…

  • Technology Platforms in a Nutshell

    One of tech’s dirty words is platform. The idea is simple – build something that others can build on top of, and suddenly you have control of not just a product, but a little ecosystem. That’s a really common thing to do, but there are a few choices you have to make. If you make…