Product Development

How to Use Empathy to Build Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker There’s one skill that every wildly successful product manager, UX designer, businessperson, and leader has in common. It helps them unite teams and ship products that customers love time and time again. What could possibly unite all these technologists? It’s conscious and deliberate empathy. Most people believe empathy is just about being compassionate, like lending your friend a shoulder to cry on when they’re going through a breakup. Others dismiss it altogether as a distraction, because they believe it’s more important to be ... Read more

How to Build a Community of Evangelists for Your Software Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker We all want customers to crave the products we build. Next, we want them to spread the word, because WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing is THE strongest and most authentic for your product. WOM is a testimonial delivered from one customer to another. The customer spreading the word cares about helping the other person out and is willing to vouch for the product based on benefits they’ve personally experienced. These days, most customer-to-customer testimonials live on the internet through social media, forums, forwarded ... Read more

How to Make Smart Tradeoffs When Developing Software Products

By Poornima Vijayashanker As technologists we want to build software that is friendly, fast, beautiful, reliable, secure, and scalable. And we expect ourselves to deliver it on time and under budget, because our ultimate goal is to have lots of happy customers who can do what they want: cue Daft Punk’s Technologic! But time and energy are finite, and we simply cannot deliver it all at once. We need to choose our priorities, and this choice is one we should make consciously. Evaluating our ... Read more

How to Fund Product Development Without Investment

By Poornima Vijayashanker While you might think that get funding from investors is easy to come by, it’s not... But, many founders spend a fair amount of time wooing investors even before they have a prototype out the door. They think that an idea is enough to get them funding. This approach not only slows founders down, it stifles product development, and cripples your a business’ actual growth. But you’re probably thinking, “I need funding to develop my product!” I hear ya! The good news is ... Read more

Make it Easier for People to Give You Valuable Feedback

By Sarah Doody Today’s guest post is from Sarah Doody, a user experience guru and instructor in Femgineer’s Lean Product Development Program. I always like to say that user experiences and products are not created in a silo. The best products are a result of collaborations between teams who are experts at what they specialize in, but also recognize the value that each of their peers brings to the process. But you know who else has to be present to create a great product? ... Read more

The Problem with Simple Advice

By David Kadavy Today's guest post is from David Kadavy, longtime partner of Femgineer and author of Design for Hackers (which debuted #18 on all of Amazon). I don't know about you, but whenever I've received "simple" advice it's left the voice in my head screaming: "WE'RE DYING! WE'RE DYING! FLEE!" The last time I heard this, my heart was racing. It was convinced my whole body was going to die. I had to use my brain—that great rational tool, the human forebrain—to try to tell ... Read more

5 Obstacles that Stop Innovators from Creating Meaningful Products

By Maria Molfino Today’s guest post is from Maria Molfino, women’s career and leadership coach with a Masters in Design from Stanford and BA in psychology from McGill. We are passionate about building meaningful lives and products that make an impact. But sometimes, we get in our own way. Do any of these obstacles stop you from bringing your dream product into the world? Read on for ways to overcome them. Wanting your project to be perfect Innovators are interested in creating high-quality disruptive products. The ... Read more

The Right Way to Practice Empathy

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week we aired the pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team. During the episode, Ben Congleton, and I talked about a number of misconceptions people have when it comes to running a remote team. Ben also shared some strategies for tackling each misconception. My favorite was the conversation around the misconception that a remote team will be devoid of culture and people just won’t care about one another. Ben gave us a great ... Read more

How to Figure Out Your Customer Segment and Price Your Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker Our customers don’t always turn out to be the people we initially think will benefit from our product. Too often prospective customers either think they don’t need the product, don’t want to pay for it, or are just happy with a competitor’s solution and unwilling to switch! Dig a little deeper… It’s important to classify needs of prospective customers into the the following groups: Latent need: have a problem and know they have a problem. Active need: they are actively searching for a ... Read more

The Benefit of Listening to Your Customers Before You Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker It's easy to get caught up in our idea and think it's either amazing or terrible. But honestly it doesn't matter what think. It all boils down to how our prospective customers perceive our idea, and that's why it's important to solicit feedback early on! The following video segment is the second, in a series, with Ben Congleton, CEO & Founder of Olark, and myself on the topic: How to Transform Your Ideas into Software Products. In this video segment, Ben and I  share how we each solicited ... Read more
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