Front Trends 2014: We're Not "Doing a Startup"

Front Trends 2014: We're Not "Doing a Startup"

The version of this presentation updated for Front Trends 2014.

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Rachel Andrew

May 07, 2014
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Transcript

  1. We’re not “doing a startup” How to cut through the

    hype and build your side project into a profitable business. Rachel Andrew, Front Trends 2014 Wednesday, 7 May 14
  2. grabaperch.com Wednesday, 7 May 14

  3. G.K. Chesterton “I owe my success to having listened respectfully

    to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  4. This is a marathon, not a 5K. Wednesday, 7 May

    14
  5. Wednesday, 7 May 14

  6. It’s not about the money (until it is) Wednesday, 7

    May 14
  7. Getting started Choosing the perfect product to bootstrap as a

    side-project. https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/7276841268 Wednesday, 7 May 14
  8. Walt Disney “The way to get started is to quit

    talking and start doing.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  9. • for an audience you are already part of •

    that can get to a shippable version 1 quickly • that solves a problem people will pay to have solved • that does not need a lot of traction to be useful • that has existing competition A product ... Wednesday, 7 May 14
  10. A product for an audience you are already part of.

    Wednesday, 7 May 14
  11. Solve problems for your own community. Wednesday, 7 May 14

  12. Look for problems close to home Wednesday, 7 May 14

  13. The worst that could have happened with Perch? No-one would

    want it but we’d have a useful tool for our business. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  14. With a track record in a community you will already

    have trust. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  15. A product that can get to a shippable version 1

    quickly. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  16. John Radoff “The goal of a startup is to find

    the sweet-spot where minimum product and viable product meet – get people to fall in love with you.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  17. To launch with a small product, you need to find

    a problem that can be solved with a small product. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  18. Perch v.1 • A simple content editor • No way

    to add new pages • No API • Images could be uploaded - but not resized Wednesday, 7 May 14
  19. The Problem Client requests that an already developed static site

    be made editable via a CMS. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  20. The Solution A simple CMS that turned static pages into

    editable pages by way of dropping in a couple of PHP tags. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  21. A product that solves a problem that people are happy

    to pay to have solved. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  22. Charging money ensures you are getting feedback from people happy

    to pay for your product Wednesday, 7 May 14
  23. A product that does not need a lot of traction

    to be useful. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  24. “Social” or “community” products need a large user base to

    succeed. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  25. Where do your initial users come from? What will they

    cost? Wednesday, 7 May 14
  26. A product that has existing competition. Wednesday, 7 May 14

  27. Perch competitors at launch • WordPress • ExpressionEngine • CushyCMS

    • PageLime • Joomla • Drupal Wednesday, 7 May 14
  28. What problem is your competition NOT solving? Build it. Wednesday,

    7 May 14
  29. New concepts will require you to educate potential customers as

    to why they even need your product. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  30. Finding the time How to make time for side-projects. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mybigtrip/6111406

    Wednesday, 7 May 14
  31. Malcolm S. Forbes “One worthwhile task carried to a successful

    conclusion is worth half-a- hundred half-finished tasks.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  32. Sir John Lubbock “In truth, people can generally make time

    for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is lacking.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  33. Get set up to be able to pick up and

    work on your side-project quickly - whenever the time is available. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  34. Your product must be a first-class citizen alongside your other

    work. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  35. Set aside time and plan in advance what you will

    do with it Wednesday, 7 May 14
  36. Diana Scharf Hunt “Goals are dreams with deadlines” Wednesday, 7

    May 14
  37. There is power in setting a goal, writing it down,

    putting a date on it Wednesday, 7 May 14
  38. How to get started • Choose your goal • Define

    what it is you are going to create • Put a date on it. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  39. Brian Casel http://casjam.com/the-cascading-to-do-list-or-how-to-get-big-things-done/ “In a nutshell, the idea is to

    start with the end-goal in mind, then divide it into smaller and smaller increments. Plan all of the actions in detail beforehand, then get to work.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  40. Be realistic about how much you can achieve. Feeling as

    if you are falling behind can demotivate you. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  41. If there is not enough time ... • Either revise

    your end date • Or, remove elements of the project - pushing them into a post-launch phase. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  42. Be ruthless in cutting features that can be added post-launch

    Wednesday, 7 May 14
  43. The “missing” features at launch will seem far more important

    to you than to your customers. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  44. Describe the product as it is now. Sell the solution.

    Wednesday, 7 May 14
  45. • Start Small • Get feedback from paying customers •

    Improve and add to your product based on their needs balanced by your vision. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  46. Minimum Viable Infrastructures Wednesday, 7 May 14

  47. Own Your Own Data Wednesday, 7 May 14

  48. Launch and beyond Managing a growing side- project alongside an

    existing job or business. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall Wednesday, 7 May 14
  49. Winston Churchill “Now this is not the end. It is

    not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Wednesday, 7 May 14
  50. • We launched Perch at the end of May 2009

    • At launch we were still 100% booked out on client projects • Income from Perch was initially reinvested into Perch • January 2013 we made the decision to stop taking on new client work Our timeline Wednesday, 7 May 14
  51. A successful side-project should be given more time as it

    represents a higher % of your income. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  52. Not making a profit? • Are you pricing too cheaply?

    • Are you reliant on expensive services? • Are you attracting customers who need a lot of support? Wednesday, 7 May 14
  53. The slower growth curve of bootstrapped products gives you time

    to fix problems before they become BIG problems. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  54. Managing Growth Wednesday, 7 May 14

  55. Never promise a specific timeframe to customers Wednesday, 7 May

    14
  56. When your product is a side-project you have even more

    things that could cause you to push back a feature. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  57. We don’t publish a roadmap • It allows us to

    be flexible and react to customer needs and changing trends in web design. • It means that customers are not relying on the launch of feature X in order to complete a project. • It means that we can hold back a feature until we are absolutely sure it won’t cause anyone a problem. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  58. Use Cases not Feature Requests Wednesday, 7 May 14

  59. Find general solutions that will benefit many customers rather than

    adding very specific features Wednesday, 7 May 14
  60. Understanding the problem means we can help the customer now

    and optimize the solution later. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  61. Delight customers by solving their problems and letting them know

    when you have done so Wednesday, 7 May 14
  62. Protect the Core Use Case Wednesday, 7 May 14

  63. Your product will benefit by being owned by someone who

    will say no. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  64. Make Frequent Small Releases Wednesday, 7 May 14

  65. Small releases • Fewer changes = fewer things to go

    wrong • Easier to isolate the issue if a problem does occur • Get features to customers more quickly • For our customers, less of a dramatic change that they need to communicate to their clients Wednesday, 7 May 14
  66. Don’t be led by a noisy minority Wednesday, 7 May

    14
  67. Seek out the opinion of those customers you never hear

    from. The happy majority are often silent. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  68. Create your own definition of success Wednesday, 7 May 14

  69. No investors means we get to focus 100% on our

    customers. Wednesday, 7 May 14
  70. The work is always worth it. Wednesday, 7 May 14

  71. Thank you http://rachelandrew.co.uk/presentations/not-doing-a-startup Rachel Andrew me@rachelandrew.co.uk @rachelandrew Wednesday, 7 May

    14