Startups

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

What might hold you back and how do you push forward?

By Poornima Vijayashanker It’s natural as a founder to look at other founders who are ahead of you and wonder, “Yeah they can do it, but can I?!” When we don’t push past this question and believe in ourselves, we begin to hold ourselves back, and stop taking action. The actions that are needed to: test out an idea, transform it into a product, share it with the world, and get feedback. Or even if we start, then it’s very likely that somewhere on ... 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

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

How to Build a Happy and Productive Remote Team

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last week I received an amazing set of responses from readers like you on the topic of Handling the Anxiety that Accompanies Ambition. Don’t worry I will continue to write more on the topic! I appreciate those of you who opened up by emailing me and leaving comments about what you had been through. Supporting each other definitely helps, and is a necessary component to staying creative and innovative! Yesterday I shot a live pilot episode of FemgineerTV on: How to ... 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

How to Convey Your Idea Clearly

By Poornima Vijayashanker Some people might say your innovative startup doesn't make sense... How do you distinguish between useful and negative feedback? Part of the problem is that you're communicating your idea in a way that only makes sense to you, but it doesn't make sense to whomever is listening. If you're struggling to convince people to buy your product, join your team, or give you money, then it's highly likely that you aren't being clear. If you've heard the following words, "Um, that's ... 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

Can’t go all in on an idea? Start with a side project!

By Poornima Vijayashanker We often think that to build a product, we have to drop everything that we’re doing, and just focus on building! While some people might have an abundance of time and resources to  go all in, it’s often not possible for most of us. Financial and social commitments can compete with getting a product idea off the ground. The good news is that you don’t need to give up your day job, you can start with a side project! The following video ... Read more
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