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Building A Company - 11 Steps For Creating A Great Product

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Startup Weekend Orange County 2015 #SWOC15

In this presentation, Marcus Nelson gives some no-nonsense advice for building a great software product.

Ever notice how successful Internet entrepreneurs keep saying that you should build your site by listening to your users -- But no one ever explains how to get user feedback and how to integrate their ideas into your business.

Here are edited excerpts:

1. Build your team
Having a team has everything to do with having more ears to listen to your audience. My personality is that I’m a social butterfly. And I’m constantly looking for the next flower to pollinate, so to speak. Not everybody is going to do that.

2. Build for speed
You start with the core that people can see and say, “Yeah, that’s good. But what would make it better is putting the layers on.” As those little requests came in, we added features.

3. start with crap
Don’t be afraid to start with a less than perfect product. Don’t be afraid of having it be too simple. The idea is just to get people using the product. Customers are going to tell you how to make it better.

4. See the site with strangers
Your friends are going to try to make you feel good. They’re not going to say the hard things. So work with strangers.

5. Offer an easy way to listen to feedback
You can’t just put a feedback button on your site and hope people will come. You have to promote it. You have to tell people you’re listening.

6. Release your beta
There’s value in letting people know that it’s not a finished product that we’re stumbling through this a little bit.

7. Have everyone on the team sell
You need to start making money. And whether you’re doing it as a bootstrapped company or you’re going after venture funding, you still need cash flow.

8. Get marquee accounts
You need to be able to show recognizable companies are using our company, creates credibility.

9. Stay lean and hungry
Do whatever you have to do to save money. Make it last.

10. Be capital efficient
Keep your day job. Don’t put yourself in a pressure situation where you have to make money right off the bat.

11. Sell, sell, sell

photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk

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Building A Company - 11 Steps For Creating A Great Product

  1. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 buildingacompany 11 steps for creating a great product startupweekendorangecounty2015
  2. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 mynameismarcus addvocate — founder salesforce — head of social uservoice — co-founder taskpick — co-founder superstarch — founder rockwater — cofounder
  3. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 buildyourteam* *creative, engineer, devil’s advocate
  4. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 buildforspeed* *go with what you know
  5. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 startwithcrap* *ship fast, ship shitty
  6. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 seesitewithstrangers* *friends lie
  7. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 offereasywaytogivefeedback* *insert uservoice plug here
  8. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 releasebeforeready* *it’s called ‘beta’ for a reason
  9. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 everyonesells* *really
  10. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 getmarqueeaccounts* *credibility starts with following the herd
  11. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 stayleanandhungry* *trader joe’s burritos are $3
  12. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 becapitalefficient* *keep your day job
  13. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 sell,sell,sell* *did i mention this already?
  14. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 summary buildyourteam buildforspeed startwith crap seesitewith strangers offereasywaytogivefeedback releasebeforeready everyone sells getmarqueeaccounts stayleanand hungry becapital efficient sell,sell,sell
  15. @marcusnelson #SWOC15 thankyou marcusnelson@yahoo.com @marcusnelson photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk