Product Development

No One Likes a Creep

  By Poornima Vijayashanker Two weeks ago I talked about dealing with deadlines that are doomed, and I talked about how to create more realistic deadlines before committing to a project. A number of readers wrote in asking, “What if I’ve already got a project and I’m going to miss my deadline?” In exchanging emails with readers, I identified that the most popular reason people were going to miss a deadline was because of scope creep. Some of you might already be familiar with ... Read more

How a Non-Technical Founder Recruited Her Technical Co-Founder

Interview with Melody McCloskey, CEO and co-founder of StyleSeat  By Poornima Vijayashanker Today we sit down with Melody McCloskey to talk about how she started StyleSeat. Melody dropped out of her high school C++ programming class, but she knew how to manage developers, and she worked closely with one to create a product prototype. This prototype, paired with her research and vision, helped her recruit her technical co-founder, Dan Levine. Learn how her early product traction, market research, and passion for the idea ... Read more

From Learning to Code, to Building a Prototype, and then Getting it Funded

Interview with Alyssa Ravasio, CEO and Founder of Hipcamp By Poornima Vijayashanker Alyssa Ravasio loved the outdoors and was fed up with the outdated campsite reservation systems in California. She set out to fix the problem, and since she had a non-technical background, her first line of business was to learn how to code. She took classes at Dev Bootcamp, which enabled her to build a prototype while she was a scholarship student in my Lean Product Development Course. She launched the prototype ... Read more

Dealing With Deadlines That Are Doomed

By Poornima Vijayashanker As we get close to the end of the year, we get pulled in a number of directions, both personally and professionally. This can of course induce a case of I just don’t wanna. And we’ve probably committed ourselves to deadlines, only to discover that we probably won’t meet them. Instead of just coming right out and saying the obvious, “This deadline is unrealistic, and then providing reasons.” We put in longer and longer hours. In some cases we meet the ... Read more

Bootstrapping a Startup to a $100M Exit Outside Silicon Valley

 Interview with David Cummings, CEO and Co-founder of Pardot By Poornima Vijayashanker David Cummings started a business in college and used it as a test subject, as well as a funding source, for his next company, Pardot. He built an MVP in 45 days, but customers didn’t want it. Learn how David used this early feedback to pivot, hire a great first sales rep, and grow the company into a multimillion-dollar business that was acquired by ExactTarget, then Salesforce—all outside of Silicon Valley. Pardot ... Read more

Strategies for Successfully Self-Publishing Your First Book

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s officially 2 months since I launched my first book,P How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products! The book took me nearly 6 months to write, edit, and print. Many folks have written in asking me what it was like to produce a book, and I most recently sat down with Sarah Barbour, an editor, to share my experience writing and self-publishing the book. I was pretty green to book publishing. But I was eager to get the book out the ... Read more

How to Gain Traction Through Partnerships & Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Interview with David Terei, CEO and Co-founder of Memcachier By Poornima Vijayashanker When Amazon launched ElastiCache, an in-memory cache web service, David Terei and a fellow Stanford PhD student named Amit Levy were fascinated with the technology. Rather than being intimidated by the giant, they were inspired to make a better version of the product that would make developers’ lives easier. They talked to potential developer customers, validated the need for the product, and then built MemCachier. Read on to hear how they ... Read more

Turn Your Skills into a Startup

Interview with Thomson Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder of Framed Data By Poornima Vijayashanker I sat down with Thomson Nguyen, CEO and Co-founder of Framed Data, to chat about how he based the company on his existing expertise from his previous job. We also talked about why it’s OK — and smart — to launch an early product even if breaks a little, in order to get validation that customers what it. Framed Data takes data from businesses and turns it into actionable insights and decisions. Poornima: “Let’s start with your background. What ... Read more

Monetize Before Making Your Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker This post is based on my latest book: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products When I was 6 I took my first stab at being an entrepreneur. I recruited my neighbor, another 6-year-old, and convinced her that we could become millionaires before we were 18. I could tell she was one of those sensible girls who thought I was full of hot air. So to bring it down to a level that would appeal to her sensible nature, I ... Read more

Your Presentation Won’t Please Everyone

By Poornima Vijayashanker A few weeks ago I was giving a talk at a pretty prominent conference. I wanted it to be a well received, so I checked in with the organizer to understand who was going to be there, their level of technical prowess, and what topic would resonate with them. I also spent a fair amount of time rehearsing, and designing my slides to match the quality of the conference. On the day of the conference, I felt pretty good. When I ... Read more
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