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UIKonf - We're Not "Doing a Startup"

UIKonf - We're Not "Doing a Startup"

The version of these slides from UIKonf in Berlin.

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Rachel Andrew

May 14, 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, UIKonf 2014 Wednesday, 14 May 14
  2. grabaperch.com Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  4. This is a marathon, not a 5K. Wednesday, 14 May

    14
  5. Wednesday, 14 May 14

  6. It’s not about the money (until it is) Wednesday, 14

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

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

    talking and start doing.” Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  10. A product for an audience you are already part of.

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

  12. Look for problems close to home Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  14. With a track record in a community you will already

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

    quickly. Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  17. To launch with a small product, you need to find

    a problem that can be solved with a small product. Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  19. The Problem Client requests that an already developed static site

    be made editable via a CMS. Wednesday, 14 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, 14 May 14
  21. A product that solves a problem that people are happy

    to pay to have solved. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  22. Charging money is how you make sure you get feedback

    from the people who are willing to pay Wednesday, 14 May 14
  23. A product that does not need a lot of traction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    conclusion is worth half-a- hundred half-finished tasks.” Wednesday, 14 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, 14 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, 14 May 14
  34. Your product must be a first-class citizen alongside your other

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

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

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

    putting a date on it Wednesday, 14 May 14
  38. 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, 14 May 14
  39. Be realistic about how much you can achieve. Feeling as

    if you are falling behind can demotivate you. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  40. 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, 14 May 14
  41. Be ruthless in cutting features that can be added post-launch

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

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

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

    Improve and add to your product based on their needs balanced by your vision. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  45. Launch and beyond Managing a growing side- project alongside an

    existing job or business. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall Wednesday, 14 May 14
  46. • 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, 14 May 14
  47. A successful side-project should be given more time as it

    represents a higher % of your income. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  48. 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, 14 May 14
  49. The slower growth curve of bootstrapped products gives you time

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

  51. Never promise a specific timeframe to customers Wednesday, 14 May

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

    things that could cause you to push back a feature. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  53. 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, 14 May 14
  54. Use Cases not Feature Requests Wednesday, 14 May 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

  61. 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, 14 May 14
  62. Don’t be led by a noisy minority Wednesday, 14 May

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

    from. The happy majority are often silent. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  64. Marketing How to tell people about your product, when you

    have no money to burn. https://www.flickr.com/photos/brent_nashville/5284764031/ Wednesday, 14 May 14
  65. Seth Godin “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that

    you make, but about the stories you tell.” Wednesday, 14 May 14
  66. You have made something that genuinely solves a problem. Go

    tell people about it! Wednesday, 14 May 14
  67. Pre-launch of Perch • A month before we put up

    a landing page and email signup form • About 500 people signed up • We emailed the list on launch and those people represented enough sales on launch day to pay back all pre-launch costs. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  68. Your reach will give you your initial customers. Then what?

    Wednesday, 14 May 14
  69. Content Marketing Wednesday, 14 May 14

  70. Write blog posts and articles on the things your potential

    customer is interested in, not about your product. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  71. Sponsorship Wednesday, 14 May 14

  72. Perch sponsoring the Unfinished Business podcast Wednesday, 14 May 14

  73. Paid Advertising Wednesday, 14 May 14

  74. If you cannot track it do not pay for it

    Wednesday, 14 May 14
  75. Target the “long tail” keywords Wednesday, 14 May 14

  76. Research smaller sites visited by your ideal customer, advertise on

    those less expensive sites. Wednesday, 14 May 14
  77. People love Perch - http://grabaperch.com/people-love-perch Wednesday, 14 May 14

  78. Create your own definition of success Wednesday, 14 May 14

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

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

  81. Thank you http://rachelandrew.co.uk/presentations/not-doing-a-startup Rachel Andrew me@rachelandrew.co.uk @rachelandrew http://rachelandrew.co.uk Wednesday, 14

    May 14