Blog

The right way to respond to feature requests

Even the best products with the most passionate users will have these “success gaps” – a disparity between your product and the user’s desired outcome. It’s easy to respond to these feature requests with a generic “Keep an eye on Twitter for updates” response or a pre-canned “We’ll pass your feedback onto the product team” message, but we’ve found that it’s valuable to mine these feature requests for deeper information so that you fully understand what the customer is trying to achieve. That way, you’ll be able to strike a balance between keeping customers happy and collecting valuable information that

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Excuses, excuses

Claire Lew: I was on the phone with a CEO the other week. He wanted my advice for how he could cultivate a more open, transparent company culture for his team. This CEO seemed to be already doing a lot of the right things. He held monthly all-hands meetings to get everyone on the same page. He also regularly asked questions to his employees about what could be better in the company. However, when I recommended one question that he ask his employees, he was a bit taken aback. “You want me to ask my team: ‘Are there any benefits

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Cracking the Code on Startup Product Pricing Strategies

If idea validation is about taking your business idea for a test-drive, then pricing your product is where the rubber really hits the road. This is it. You’re done piloting. You’re done validating. You’re really done living on Ramen in an apartment you share with five roommates. You’re ready to come out and tell the world: “I have a product or service that provides value – and this is how much my product is worth.” Needless to say, product pricing strategy is an essential piece of the startup puzzle – and it’s a notoriously tricky piece to get right. There

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Write like you talk

Nathan Kontny: A handful of years ago I was volunteering for an organization here in Chicago where we helped high school kids prepare for their college applications. These kids were the first in their families, often underprivileged, to be applying to college. One Saturday I met a student who wanted help editing his application essay. We went over to the computer lab and he pulled up a draft he’s been struggling with. The essay was fine. It read grammatically well. But it was terrible. It was dry and uninteresting. Artificial intelligence could have probably auto-generated it from a history of

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Naming a new product? Start with the job.

A name can help people create a mental model for your product, which helps them to remember and associate your product with a particular job. Other factors come into play, including how a name sounds, and how distinctive, appropriate, likable, extendable, and protectable it is. But most important is that the name is remembered and understood. So to choose a memorable name for a product, you can start with the jobs you want people to remember it for. A good lesson on product naming from the Intercom crew as they described naming their new bot service, operator bot. Source: https://blog.intercom.com/naming-operator-bot/

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Scan your projects for crossenv and other malicious npm packages

Dominik Kundel, writing for the Twilio Blog: On August 1st, Oscar Bolmsten tweeted about how he found a malicious npm package called crossenv that scans for environment variables and POSTs them to a server. This is particularly dangerous considering that you might have secret credentials for different services stored in your environment variables. Apparently it’s also not limited to just crossenv, but a series of packages — all of them are names of popular modules with small typos such as missing hyphens. Check your project for malicious packages These packages have been taken down by npm, but since credential theft happens

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FreshBooks’ Mike McDerment says “building your own competitor” is effective way to solve business problems

Amira Zubairi, writing for BetaKit: At the latest FinTechTO, Mike McDerment, CEO and co-founder of FreshBooks, discussed the challenges teams face when re-platforming within a software company. He also offered tips on how entrepreneurs can successfully execute a redesign. McDerment kicked off his presentation by giving an overview of how he co-founded FreshBooks, a cloud-based accounting platform that allows users to send invoices, track time, manage receipts, expenses, and accept credit cards. McDerment said after raising a $30 million funding round back in July 2014, he began to think about how the company would keep up with technological changes over

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Introducing outgoing webhooks

Today we’re announcing outgoing webhooks – a long awaited feature that will notify your websites and apps whenever data changes occur. This opens up a new range of possible integrations Adding outgoing webhooks means you can get notified directly in slack or elsewhere when new records are added, when records are updated or deleted. To create an outgoing webhook, just click webhooks in the dropdown: Then edit the form: Hit Save and when you save a new record with our API, we will send notifications to your webhook instantly. We’ve got some options for how we send the data, you

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