TAG: News

What, exactly, is a startup?

Two definitions of startups: One from an excellent piece by Steve Blank on why companies are not startups: “a startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. The corollary for an enterprise is: A company is a permanent organization designed to execute a repeatable and scalable business model. […]

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Is your product a vitamin or drug?

An interesting framework from Grace Ng in which startups(products) are categorized along two axes: the level of pain you’re solving and the frequency of use: When should your startup focus on UX?. I think this is an interesting way to talk about products and their real value. A lot of mobile apps I’ve tried are […]

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Business and values

An insightful piece by Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti: Is History Repeating Itself? in which Peretti channels David Halberstam’s book The Powers That Be, a history of the media/publishing industry. Halberstam makes the interesting observation that the stalwart news companies we’ve come to rely on were once startups themselves…the New York Times was once a fledgling […]

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How to redefine a product category

Ryan Singer has written a really thoughtful post on product categories: The Category Moat. His thesis is that product categories, those artificial groups that products get put in (for better or worse), are troublesome for innovators. He says: “It’s natural to identify with a product category. You think “we make product management software” or “we […]

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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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