Building productsthat solve problems.
PictureSahil Lavingia
I like to make stuff.
Typically, software.This means I had to learn to designand code.
I made stuff for others.I was a “service provider.”Services don’t scale.
I made stuff for myself.I was a “product provider.”Products do scale.
I went to school, and left.I joined a small company of three.It was called Pinterest.
Then I started a company.A “company.” It’s called Gumroad.
First, a couple of things.
I was never very good.As an engineer or a designer, really. I justwanted these things to exist. A lot.
At least, not for a while.It took me years to get “good” at design,or engineering. Or product!
You solve a hundred problems.And you slowly get good. Really good. Or at least,fast.
Intuition is bullshit.Try a lot of things, and you learn a lot of things.Experience leads to being “smart.”
Nothing is more important thanjust building.And learning.
Gumroad lets you selldirectly to your audience.The way that you want.
On your own website.
Powerful tools / analytics.
We take 5% + 25¢. That’s it.
We empower creators.We make existing ones better,and make more of them.
This talk is about buildingproducts to solve problems.
How to very quickly build a software productto solve a problem at scale, now.More specifically...
I think its reached that - buzzwordalert! - MVP stage where I want tosee if anyones actually going to usethe darn thing.my...
I think it has some potential. Whatdo you guys think?my Hacker News comment | Day of launch
Not about building a company.
Just solving one problem, today.
Focus.
Outsource everythingthat you can.
Solve just one problem.
Say “not for me.” Or at least,“not for now.”
Move.
Spend the time. Most of your time.
Launch as soon as you can.
Launch again, as soon as you can.
Try things out. Quickly.
Usage is like oxygen for ideas.
Have faith.
Believe in your assumption(s).
Have trust in your customers.
Believe in the future youare working towards.
There is nothing more powerfulthan an idea whose timehas come.
Be patient.
Some real tips.
DRY everything.
Remove steps for your users.
Make your product smart.
Make your users smart.
Provide immediate value.
Focus on the solo experience.
Make it human.
Have a point of view.
Automate everything thatcan be automated.
Focus on the solo experience.
Focus on today, not tomorrow.
Remove the currentbottleneck.
Remove choice.
Forget about data.
Smile and have fun.
Thank you.
s@gumroad.com - @shl
Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia
Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia
Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia
Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia
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Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia

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How to get users to actually sign up for your service.

Lessons learned from designing at Pinterest and Gumroad.

Why good product design is the best for growth hacking.

How to give your products a point of view, a voice, human elements etc. that lead to engaged users and success.

Sahil Lavingia – Founder & CEO, Gumroad

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Echelon 2013: Building Products That Solve Problems by Sahil Lavingia

  1. 1. Building productsthat solve problems.
  2. 2. PictureSahil Lavingia
  3. 3. I like to make stuff.
  4. 4. Typically, software.This means I had to learn to designand code.
  5. 5. I made stuff for others.I was a “service provider.”Services don’t scale.
  6. 6. I made stuff for myself.I was a “product provider.”Products do scale.
  7. 7. I went to school, and left.I joined a small company of three.It was called Pinterest.
  8. 8. Then I started a company.A “company.” It’s called Gumroad.
  9. 9. First, a couple of things.
  10. 10. I was never very good.As an engineer or a designer, really. I justwanted these things to exist. A lot.
  11. 11. At least, not for a while.It took me years to get “good” at design,or engineering. Or product!
  12. 12. You solve a hundred problems.And you slowly get good. Really good. Or at least,fast.
  13. 13. Intuition is bullshit.Try a lot of things, and you learn a lot of things.Experience leads to being “smart.”
  14. 14. Nothing is more important thanjust building.And learning.
  15. 15. Gumroad lets you selldirectly to your audience.The way that you want.
  16. 16. On your own website.
  17. 17. Powerful tools / analytics.
  18. 18. We take 5% + 25¢. That’s it.
  19. 19. We empower creators.We make existing ones better,and make more of them.
  20. 20. This talk is about buildingproducts to solve problems.
  21. 21. How to very quickly build a software productto solve a problem at scale, now.More specifically...
  22. 22. I think its reached that - buzzwordalert! - MVP stage where I want tosee if anyones actually going to usethe darn thing.my Hacker News comment | Day of launch
  23. 23. I think it has some potential. Whatdo you guys think?my Hacker News comment | Day of launch
  24. 24. Not about building a company.
  25. 25. Just solving one problem, today.
  26. 26. Focus.
  27. 27. Outsource everythingthat you can.
  28. 28. Solve just one problem.
  29. 29. Say “not for me.” Or at least,“not for now.”
  30. 30. Move.
  31. 31. Spend the time. Most of your time.
  32. 32. Launch as soon as you can.
  33. 33. Launch again, as soon as you can.
  34. 34. Try things out. Quickly.
  35. 35. Usage is like oxygen for ideas.
  36. 36. Have faith.
  37. 37. Believe in your assumption(s).
  38. 38. Have trust in your customers.
  39. 39. Believe in the future youare working towards.
  40. 40. There is nothing more powerfulthan an idea whose timehas come.
  41. 41. Be patient.
  42. 42. Some real tips.
  43. 43. DRY everything.
  44. 44. Remove steps for your users.
  45. 45. Make your product smart.
  46. 46. Make your users smart.
  47. 47. Provide immediate value.
  48. 48. Focus on the solo experience.
  49. 49. Make it human.
  50. 50. Have a point of view.
  51. 51. Automate everything thatcan be automated.
  52. 52. Focus on the solo experience.
  53. 53. Focus on today, not tomorrow.
  54. 54. Remove the currentbottleneck.
  55. 55. Remove choice.
  56. 56. Forget about data.
  57. 57. Smile and have fun.
  58. 58. Thank you.
  59. 59. s@gumroad.com - @shl

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