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Is there anything you find yourself referring back to quite often? Or sharing with friends? Anything related to building your project. Especially resources that aren't well known.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to join a Zoom call with Eoghan McCabe (CEO of Intercom), along with a dozen other founders in the accelerator program I'm on. While your average mentor call usually consists of the mentor's startup story for the first half followed by listeners' questions, Eoghan took a completely different approach. He didn't discuss multiple pieces of advice, take questions, or provide feedback, but focused on teaching us one thing he believed was the keystone to any startup. I remember him saying something along the lines of;
"Any piece of advice is useless to yourselves as founders if you do not completely understand your customer jobs to be done, inside out."
He spent the rest of the call explaining to us how this impacted Intercom's success and figuring out what your customers really want ultimately impacts the success of your startup. "The key to success is understanding the real job customers are using your product for." Previously, I had an idea of what ours were at CropSafe and it was something that was always in the back of my head, but to be honest, I never spent much time focused on. Our product was designed to the norm standard with a few features we thought would make us stand out. Looking back now, this wasn't the case; our's really just looked like our competitor's, with a cleaner UI and a few shiny new features.
I remember after the call, Eoghan left us with his last piece of advice, which was to read all you can about "Jobs-to-be-Done" and re-evaluate your product. Leaving us the link to a copy of the book Intercom put together. So I did what he advised and dropped everything for a few days, read his book, researched a bit more, and finally took a deep dive into what our customers were really using our product for. Turned out we were completely wrong with a lot of our assumptions. Customers logged onto our app with a simple job to be done, usually a question along the lines of, "Is my soil moisture right to harvest crops today?". The answer was simple, a yes or no, but our process originally added a lot of complexity to get such a simple answer. We thought this was the right way to build the product as this is how our competitor's products looked. It was how this type of analytics has always been done. But we never considered, what if it wasn't done right from the start?
To cut to the chase, we pretty much scraped the entire first version of our app and built out something much simpler, not how farm software has always looked, but something based strongly on fulfilling our customer jobs to be done as simple as possible. It's been the best decision we've made building CropSafe to date.
Here's the link to the free book Eoghan recommended, put together by Intercom. Take some time to read it and reflect on how it's advice relates to your startup, what assumptions you've been making and how you're probably making your customer's jobs-to-be-done more difficult than they should be. It could completely change how you build your product, I know it did with us.
I'm stewing over applying JTDB to Touchgram. In my research I found a series of great audio discussions between Sam Hulick of https://www.useronboard.com/ and Jared Spool (major UX author) https://soundcloud.com/user-630876993
transcript here https://www.useronboard.com/interview-spool/
Reference USA, Snov.io , and LinkedIn Sales Manager for sales
Reference USA: http://resource.referenceusa.com/
- Free and available with an account at your local library
- Makes it easy to search any company in America, their volume of sales, their executive staff, contact info, others in their industry, & more
- Free options ( I only use the free option )
- Use on a company's website to find the email for any person, or find the common ways emails are formatted internally
LinkedIn Sales: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/compare-plans#0
- Monthly Professional License: $79.99 per month
- Learn the professional history of anyone
The only thing that matters for a new startup: product-market fit https://pmarchive.com/guide_to_startups_part4.html. A Marc Andreessen classic.
We hope that https://www.sivv.io can be a useful resource for founders - we summarise and curate useful ideas and advice from books, articles and new research to help busy people save time and learn more efficiently. A lot of what we cover relates to business (e.g. marketing, sales, management etc) and personal development (productivity, decision making etc).
One of your board members showed your site to me yesterday and I have it open in a tab!
Hey - thanks for taking a look! Hope you find it useful and any feedback would be very welcome - you can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
One resource most don't know about? FullStory.com
Second this, found a lot of small bugs and realised which UI elements were confusing by watching just a few videos.
18 quick fixes to sharpen your writing
Really basic, really helpful.
First Round Review has excellent content, though sometimes not useful for super early stage founders https://firstround.com/review/
- 40 interview questions from operators & investors https://firstround.com/review/the-30-best-pieces-of-advice-for-entrepreneurs-in-2019/
- Superhuman's framework for product-market fit https://firstround.com/review/how-superhuman-built-an-engine-to-find-product-market-fit/
- Vanity metrics vs. Clarity metrics (especially useful for players in the tournament) https://firstround.com/review/im-sorry-but-those-are-vanity-metrics/
The 19 Channels You Can Use to Get Traction
There's a book too, but the blog post is an excellent substitute.
I was just putting together a resource on this actually.
A lot of good ones mentioned already, particularly the Superhuman and Andreessen PMF articles.
I also think about this HBR article about solving the right problem quite a bit as it relates to product development. The gist of the story is office workers were annoyed that the elevators were too slow. The obvious answer was to build a faster elevator. But the real problem was office workers were annoyed by the wait. So instead they installed a mirror to help them pass the time. https://hbr.org/2017/01/are-you-solving-the-right-problems
There's a few more on a Notion board we put together: https://www.notion.so/taskable/Essential-Reading-List-for-Founders-d5c3e52e411b483ab6114f50f2775ba9
If you are still a student, there are a ton! Many universities have an entrepreneurship center or small business development center. VentureWell is helpful as well.
Well hoping that https://startupdir.com would be a resource to find high quality startup resources in one place.
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