1. Founders Institute:
Product & Service Development
2. Startups are HARD
• Your competitors are better off than you
• Customers don't always know what they want
• You have limited resources...
Speed is your competitive advantage
3. Hurdle #1
How do you decide what to build?
4. You're not the
5. Customer Development
• Get out of the office
• Adding features is not progress
• Learn & iterate (linear execution is for suckers)
Goal: build the minimum product to get early
users (customers are even better)
6. • The Four Steps to the
Epiphany (Steven Blank)
• Checklists + tactical tips
• Buy this ASAP (you can
thank me later)
7. Hurdle #2
How do you actually build the damn thing?
8. Avoid Rocket Surgery
• Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous (Blog)
• Google Apps (Email, Calendar, Docs)
• Ruby on Rails/PHP, MySQL, Github (Tech Stack)
Pro tip: copy other startups
9. Hurdle #3
How do you avoid making noob mistakes?
10. Ghetto, but useful
• Be cheap (but not too cheap)
• Optimize later (manual processes FTW!)
• Learn to love technology (or you will get
• Learn to love SEO & organic customer
Pro tip: don't skimp on user experience
(as far as your users are concerned, the
interface is the product)
11. Hurdle #4
How do you navigate the competition?
12. You do have
...I'd be scared if you don't.
13. Ignore the Competition
• Setup keyword searches via Google Alerts
• Pay attention to their user/support forums
• Don't compete on price or features -
winning that battle is hard
...but listen to their customers
14. Case Study
Because I’m not (entirely) full of shit.