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@Ben_HallBen@BenHall.me.ukHacker in Residence at Cornershop / #1seedBuilding Startups and Minimum ViableProducts
@Ben_HallBen@BenHall.me.ukHacker in Residence at Cornershop / #1seedYou talk about it, we ship it.#craftsmanship
@Ben_HallBen@BenHall.me.ukHacker in Residence at Cornershop / #1seedLet’s make some money#craftsmanshipisdead
Who am I?• Hacker in Residence at Cornershop / #1seed– Meerkatalyst / MaydayHQ (Co-founder)– Swapit– 7digital– Red Gate Software• Multiple open source and side projects• @Ben_Hall or Ben@BenHall.me.uk
BELIEVE IN THE VISIONWithout a core desire, you’ve already lost the game
People dont buy what you do;they buy why you do it.
Ideas to avoid / be aware of?• Market places / two sided markets– They do lead to digital transaction businesses ==most likely to hit $1b– Winning once is hard. Here you need to win twice.• Viral– Generally all about luck• Photo Sharing etc– Yawn!!! Be original.
Business Assumption ExerciseBusiness Assumptions ExerciseI believe that my customers have a need to________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.This need can be solved with________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.My initial customers will be_____________________________________________________________________The #1 value a client wants to get out of my service is:_____________________________________________________________________The client can also get these additional benefits:________________________________________________________ and______________________________________________________I will acquire the majority of my users/customers through______________________________________________ and________________________________________________Business Assumptions ExerciseI believe that my customers have a need to discover thebest online services to solve their problems.This need can be solved with recommending them newservices based on their existing tools and expressedproblems.My initial customers will be early adopters working in theLondon tech scene people who use 5-10 apps on a dailybasis and have signed up to over 100.The #1 value a client wants to get out of my service is:having a personalised recommendation service for apps.The client can also get these additional benefits: visualiseall the apps their currently subscribed too and curatedpages by thoughtleaders and social connections.I will acquire the majority of my users/customers throughexternal integrations with apps and word of month /SEO
Leave the buildingUnderstand potential customeracquisition approaches early
Speak to everyone!• Influencers• Users of competitor products• Potential new users• People in different verticals with similar businessmodels• Understand industry, customer segments• Test different value props, identify whichconnects best
Always discuss previous experiences.People are rubbish at predicting thefuture
Easy way to prove it’s a goodidea?Get them to pay for it.
Personal collection of reusablecodeCopy and paste FTW!!!
Cult of the Software Craftsman• Code Quality is not a feature!• Do you really need 80% test coverage? Whatvalue is that actually adding?• Do you really need that abstraction? That IoC?That level of separation? That ability to scale?• Is that really going to change your world?
Identifying what’s required?• MVP needs to be a product you can learn frombut generally everything can be dropped.– If it doesn’t answer a question, does it need to bethere? If there is no question, then no.– Need X feature to be Y is generally incorrect.Other ways to solve the problem• Releasing and iterating at least every day
Metrics became the tests• Ensure the system isworking as expected• Alerts when the systemstopped working outsideof normal bounds
Drive Traffic• PR (Hacker News, Techcrunch, The Next Web)• Newsletters (Own and others)• SEO – Inbound links• Blog (Own and others)• Tweet (MailChirp)• Email (MailChimp)• Influencers in the sector– Friends of Red Gate– Microsoft MVP programme
Paid Advertisement• 4 Hour Body tricks (Google Ad Words for title,in store hack for cover)
Speak to people using the product• Red Gate UX team• Watch, Listen, Learn• Introduce explicit touch points in theapplication for reaching out– Rate it Slate it inbox beta list• Do people want the feature?• Can we build a email list of people who are activelyengaging with the product
Quickly qualify a lead & call• Rapportive• Intercom• Drop off time is around 90% a day after theyused your product• Call them ASAP
A/B Tests?• Waste of time at the early stage.• Complex to configure, not enough traffic tomake them statistically significant.– Mayday A/B tests• Took ages to get data, could have just asked people
Be prepared to kill it!• Referly• Meerkatalyst• Mayday• Pivot.