AvatarJosh Cochrane

Josh Cochrane

Josh Cochrane is Vice President of Product Development at Palo Alto Software, where he manages development of the business planning tool LivePlan. He writes for this site and elsewhere on product design, small business and entrepreneurship, and related topics. Josh joined Palo Alto from FabTrol Systems, a leading provider of MRP software for the steel fabrication industry, where he served for most of a decade as Marketing Manager and later Product Manager. He was responsible for marketing communications, product marketing, and new product development. Josh has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Oregon's Clark Honors College. Before finding his rightful home in software, he also attended the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta and served as an editor for several magazines in the publishing industry.

Recent Articles Published by Josh Cochrane


How Garrett McKenzie Made Our Product Better

How and why we built a multi-million-dollar product to meet the theoretical needs of an imaginary friend. Read more »


An Easy Way to Increase Your Website Sales

A tip for online retailers out there: If you want to increase sales on your e-commerce website, try adding a security trustmark in your site header — not just in your shopping cart but for the whole site. We tested it, and it works. Not familiar with the term “security trustmark”? If you buy or... Read more »


Online Marketing and the Obama Campaign

Around the office at Palo Alto, we’ve talked a lot about the Obama campaign, particularly the small-donors fundraising program that radically outperformed the traditional large-donor model followed by the Clinton campaign and could be ushering in a new way of campaigning for national office. Political preferences aside, the Obama team is interesting to me because... Read more »


Thank You for Being Unable to Try Mint!

Or: how not to use canned email responses. I like Wesabe, the free online service for tracking personal expenses, but it doesn’t have direct integration with my credit union. This is not surprising: it’s a not-huge regional credit union, and I would have been really impressed to have found it on the list for a... Read more »


The best time to post to your blog

Writing a good blog post can take an hour or more. Having spent the effort, you don’t want your hard work to fall on deaf ears, which is why most people avoid blogging on Sunday afternoons. Well, that and because you have more important things to do on Sundays — like planning to start your... Read more »


Making Sense of Irrationality

When buying something online, how much do you care about how the buttons are laid out? More than you might think. With content changes on our websites, we typically use what’s called “A/B testing” to see how those changes perform. Some site visitors (“group A”) see one version of a page; the rest (“group B”)... Read more »