ARCHIVE: February, 2014

Accessing the address book: why mobile apps can grow so quickly

In his post Facebook massively overpaid for WhatsApp, Albert Wenger makes an interesting assertion: “the switching cost for users on a phone number based messaging services is at or near zero”. Think about that for a minute. People can switch these services in the blink of an eye and basically start using another one tomorrow. […]

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WhatsApp’s focus on UX

Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp turned more than a few heads last week. To help explain why Facebook thought the startup was worth $19,000,000,000, Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital wrote Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp. It’s well worth a read, and the growth numbers are just astounding: 450. WhatsApp has more than 450 […]

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Actual vs desired use

There is often a difference between what you want people to use your product for and what it’s actually used for. Don’t confuse the two. Don’t be happy simply because people are using it…know exactly what they are using it for. Be honest about how people are actually using your product and interact enough with […]

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What product vision looks like

An exceptional post by Stewart Butterfield, founder of Slack, the new team collaboration tool that just exited beta: We don’t sell saddles here. He wrote this last July as his team was readying the first version of the tool. It’s an excellent example of product vision, going way beyond what the software technically does to […]

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Solve existing problems

When building new products, the best way to ensure that your product will be adopted is to solve existing problems. If that doesn’t sound glamorous, consider these companies: Netflix solved three existing problems: the pain of return fees, lack of video selection, and the chore of driving to the video store. The iPhone solved the […]

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The origin of Product-Market Fit?

In case you’ve never read it, here is the origin of the term “product/market fit”. It comes from VC Marc Andreessen, who in a series of blog posts in the summer of 2007 called PMarca’s Guide to Startups established many of the concepts that have become standard operating procedure in today’s startup world. In the […]

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Can you design for word of mouth?

An interesting way to look at the success of your product is whether people are talking to each other about it. I remember going to a conference in San Francisco when Netflix was in what you might call their “word of mouth” phase. Everyone was talking about Netflix, how amazing the service was, and what […]

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Model features on real artifacts

One way you can be sure people are investing in a problem is to look for artifacts of use. Artifacts are real world objects that people use to get a job done. Think post-it notes surrounding a computer screen, a journal of meeting notes, a binder full of documents. Artifacts are objects that people create […]

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The steps of JTBD

An interesting set of steps by Stephen Wunker: Six Steps to Put Christensen’s Jobs-to-be-Done Theory into Practice. I’ve rewritten them slightly below. Understand the basic jobs to be done Understand who the true competitors are Understand the additional value that all competitors offer Understand what the choice criteria are for your product Understand switching blockers […]

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Dear Josh

Dear Josh, I have some exciting news to share with you. Our startup, one you’ve never heard of, recently acquired your email and now want to let you know that we’ve released something that isn’t relevant to your life. But, and here is where you come in, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to […]

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