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20 Ways To Avoid
Building Stuff 

@ #UXCGN10
Stolen from the awesome 

@cindyalvarez’ talk 

“Ignite: Lean Startup”,	

Par...
Buy Cindy Alvarez’ new book
Lean Customer Development
Building ProductsYour Customers Will Buy

How do you develop product...
I’m Vidar @blacktar Andersen
•Norwegian living in Cologne, DE since 2005	

•Professional experience creating enterprise 

...
Some I’ve worked with
More like that? Linkedin:	

linkedin.com/in/vidarandersen
Some I’ve founded
plusandersen.com
is.gd/onesec
vidarandersen.de getGauss.com
I’ve been around
Certified Lean Launchpad Educator
by Steve Blank, June 2013 @Stanford
More about me?	

vidarandersen.com
20 Ways To
Avoid
Building Stuff
Why?
Save TIME + MONEY + HEADACHES: 

Build the right stuff, at the right time, 

for the right reasons, right customers
1.
Play Shrink:“Tell me how it
would make your life
better?”
2.
Say what you’re for;
Say what you are against
3.
“This is what you 

should do, instead”
4.
Send the customer to
the competitor
5.
Offer a workaround
6.
Fake the functionality
7.
Ignore it until you can’t
8.
Be less attractive to certain 	

types of customers
9.	

Compensate:“Until we
can do X, use us for free”
10.
Let some fish get away
11.
Build a simple API
12.
Hide things behind email 	

instead of building it
13.
Force customers to pick a
single priority: Put it to a vote!
14.
Charge a ridiculous amount
of money 

(e.g. for a feature request)
15.
Have rules 	

but don’t enforce them
16.
Only build it 

if you can measure it	

(if you can’t measure if it actually works like
intended, it’s not important)
17.
Ask for help	

(Crowdsource: e.g.“Don’t see your language?
Help us with the translation to make it happen!”)
18.
Be grateful
19.
Notify me when...
(e.g. checkboxes)
20.
Play nice with others	

(enable combining different products,
services for value-adds)
Follow Cindy Alvarez 

on Twitter:	

@cindyalvarez
Source: http://video.dreamsimplicity.com/GJU4/cindy-alvarez-product-man...
One more thing
21. MVP it
Minimum	

Viable	

Product
• The smallest batch that
will teach you something	

• That will enable you to
test your hypoth...
There are several types of MVPs:	

!
•ExplainerVideo (dropbox)	

•Landing Page (unbounce.com)

Wizard of Oz MVP (zappos)	
...
vidarandersen.com	

@blacktar
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20 Ways to Avoid Building Stuff - Practical Customer Development Tricks

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A presentation I held at #UXCGN10, stolen from the awesome Cindy Alvarez' original talk. Watch the original talk here: http://video.dreamsimplicity.com/GJU4/cindy-alvarez-product-manager-kissmetrics-20-ways-to-not-build-stuff/ and the original slides here: http://www.slideshare.net/cindyalvarez/20-ways-to-not-build-stuff and follow Cindy Alvarez on twitter http://twitter.com/cindyalvarez and buy her new book "Lean Customer Development" http://oreil.ly/1hhCmcd

Published in: Education, Business, Technology

20 Ways to Avoid Building Stuff - Practical Customer Development Tricks

  1. 1. 20 Ways To Avoid Building Stuff 
 @ #UXCGN10 Stolen from the awesome 
 @cindyalvarez’ talk 
 “Ignite: Lean Startup”, Parisoma Innovation Lofts, San Francisco Source: http://video.dreamsimplicity.com/GJU4/cindy-alvarez-product-manager-kissmetrics-20-ways-to-not-build-stuff/ http://www.slideshare.net/cindyalvarez/20-ways-to-not-build-stuff
  2. 2. Buy Cindy Alvarez’ new book Lean Customer Development Building ProductsYour Customers Will Buy
 How do you develop products that people will actually use and buy? This practical guide shows you how to validate product and company ideas through customer development research—before you waste months and millions on a product or service that no one needs or wants http://oreil.ly/1hhCmcd
  3. 3. I’m Vidar @blacktar Andersen •Norwegian living in Cologne, DE since 2005 •Professional experience creating enterprise 
 solutions for global F500s and GOs since 1997 •Startup Founder (both hits & misses) •Corporate Entrepreneurship Consultant to F100s 
 http://plusandersen.com •Educator (NEXT Instructor, University Lecturer on Startup Entrepreneurship, Lean Launchpad Instructor, EXIST Coach) http://vidarandersen.de
  4. 4. Some I’ve worked with
  5. 5. More like that? Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/vidarandersen
  6. 6. Some I’ve founded plusandersen.com is.gd/onesec vidarandersen.de getGauss.com
  7. 7. I’ve been around
  8. 8. Certified Lean Launchpad Educator by Steve Blank, June 2013 @Stanford
  9. 9. More about me? vidarandersen.com
  10. 10. 20 Ways To Avoid Building Stuff
  11. 11. Why? Save TIME + MONEY + HEADACHES: 
 Build the right stuff, at the right time, 
 for the right reasons, right customers
  12. 12. 1. Play Shrink:“Tell me how it would make your life better?”
  13. 13. 2. Say what you’re for; Say what you are against
  14. 14. 3. “This is what you 
 should do, instead”
  15. 15. 4. Send the customer to the competitor
  16. 16. 5. Offer a workaround
  17. 17. 6. Fake the functionality
  18. 18. 7. Ignore it until you can’t
  19. 19. 8. Be less attractive to certain types of customers
  20. 20. 9. Compensate:“Until we can do X, use us for free”
  21. 21. 10. Let some fish get away
  22. 22. 11. Build a simple API
  23. 23. 12. Hide things behind email instead of building it
  24. 24. 13. Force customers to pick a single priority: Put it to a vote!
  25. 25. 14. Charge a ridiculous amount of money 
 (e.g. for a feature request)
  26. 26. 15. Have rules but don’t enforce them
  27. 27. 16. Only build it 
 if you can measure it (if you can’t measure if it actually works like intended, it’s not important)
  28. 28. 17. Ask for help (Crowdsource: e.g.“Don’t see your language? Help us with the translation to make it happen!”)
  29. 29. 18. Be grateful
  30. 30. 19. Notify me when... (e.g. checkboxes)
  31. 31. 20. Play nice with others (enable combining different products, services for value-adds)
  32. 32. Follow Cindy Alvarez 
 on Twitter: @cindyalvarez Source: http://video.dreamsimplicity.com/GJU4/cindy-alvarez-product-manager-kissmetrics-20-ways-to-not-build-stuff/ http://www.slideshare.net/cindyalvarez/20-ways-to-not-build-stuff
  33. 33. One more thing
  34. 34. 21. MVP it
  35. 35. Minimum Viable Product • The smallest batch that will teach you something • That will enable you to test your hypotheses • So what can you release in one day?
  36. 36. There are several types of MVPs: ! •ExplainerVideo (dropbox) •Landing Page (unbounce.com)
 Wizard of Oz MVP (zappos) •Concierge MVP (food on the table) •Piecemeal MVP (wizard of oz + concierge) •Crowd Funding (sell before you build) •Single-feature MVP (google) •What is your MVP going to be?
  37. 37. vidarandersen.com @blacktar

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