"We experiment; we assume; we fail; we experiment some more. Finally, tentatively, we succeed."
"Failure to get product/market fit right is very likely the number 1 cause of startup failure."
— Good reminder to keep learning from customers and to make stuff they’ll ALWAYS want.
"You cannot sprinkle growth on top of the product as an afterthought. [The] product is the vehicle for growth."
"Make it simple as possible, then wake up in the morning and make it simpler."
" We looked at the impact on stickiness of more than 40 variables, including price, customers’ perceptions of a brand, and how often consumers interacted with the brand. The single biggest driver of stickiness, by far, was “decision simplicity”—the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options. What consumers want from marketers is, simply, simplicity."
"Be careful of where you believe you’ve arrived - always be going, finding truth, in its moment - then the next"
"I think 90 percent of that battle is making sure that you truly have that great cause. What causes that “nauseation” is when you are promoting something that is crap. I don’t think Steve Jobs nauseated people when talking about how great Apple stuff was. The reason why he didn’t nauseate people is because it was true. The start of all great marketing is to have a great product."
"Tired of Failing Fast? Ask Better Questions!"
I’ve been wrestling with the notion of failing fast lately. It just doesn’t sit well. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I learn from failure is that I need to start over, and quick! Nowadays, I read the Kurbi strategic planning document everyday assuming that we’re dead wrong - BEFORE we build and ship. I ask myself why anyone with half a brain would ever want to use Kurbi - it makes me ask myself tough questions, which in turn means I gotta go look for good answers. It forces me “out of the building”.
I’ve asked our early-supporters the same questions over and over - in different ways, from different points of view. They’ve been gracious enough to put up with me, and give me better and better feedback every time I pester them. I think it works because I’m asking them hard questions. It’s not like I’ve asked why the sky is blue a million times. I’m challenging them to learn with me. I’m bringing new ideas to the table, and ideas are dangerous in the hands of the capable.
I’ve heard it said that you can’t trust customers to tell you the truth, but I think people just give the information you’re looking for - nothing more, sometimes less - but you gotta set the bar high. With that said, I’ve come to believe that if someone ever leaves a customer interview without the truth, they simply didn’t do their job properly. It’s not the customers fault that the questions were shallow and didn’t agitate their emotions.
Real problems take a while to describe - they’re not sitting on the surface - they’re the feelings (emotions) we have way down deep in us saying there’s something wrong with the world, and feelings like that aren’t something anyone has an easy time describing.
"Focus on what really matters: making users happy with your product as quickly as you can, and helping them as much as you can after that. If you do those better than anyone else out there you’ll win."
— Excerpt from Marc Hedlund’s letter regarding why his startup, Wesabe, lost to Mint.