Category: Links

Understanding your ideal customers and how to sell to them

Fiona Lee: You’ve probably heard this before: “What gets you to your first $50 million is not what’s going to get you to $100 million.” We’ve thought about this truth a lot during the last few months as we’ve been going through our annual planning. As part of the process, we’ve spent a lot of time reviewing who we should be selling to these days, and how we should be selling to these customers. The process of defining your positioning strategy is not a one-and-done deal – in a crowded marketplace, it needs to be an ongoing exercise. And as

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The Place of UX

Ryan Singer: Debates continue to rage about the role of UX designers, user research, and how far knowledge about the user should permeate the organization. On one extreme, UX is seen as a specialized pocket of knowledge that informs the definition of projects and sets requirements. On the other, UX is something for which the entire organization should somehow feel responsible. A few concepts can facilitate a deeper discussion by drawing meaningful distinctions.

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You Have a Great Tech Idea. Now What?

Frank Landman, writing for ReadWriteWeb: There are seemingly countless stories of tech innovators who simply woke up with a brilliant idea, got investments to build it out, and ended up becoming billionaires. Of course, these stories are extremely rare, but they are exciting to think about—especially when you wake up with a brilliant tech idea of your own.You don’t need much experience in the tech field to have a good tech idea. For example, you could have come up with the idea for Uber without an in-depth knowledge of how to build it out, or you could have come up with

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The Bezos way: sleep, puttering, and three high-quality decisions a day

Dan Kim on “The Bezos way“: Jeff Bezos has always been one of those people whose ideas and thinking make a lot of sense to me. When he talks, I listen. So when I recently came across a fantastic interview with Jeff Bezos, I jumped right in. The entire interview is great and I really think watching the whole thing is worth your time. But there was one section that really stuck out to me: his prioritization of sleep, calm, and quality. It’s 2 minutes and 29 seconds of your day well spent, but here’s the basic gist: 8 hours of

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An Intro to Web Site Testing with Cypress

Devon Campbell: End-to-end testing is awesome because it mirrors the user’s experience. Where you might need a ton of unit tests to get good coverage (the kind where you test that a function returns a value you expect), you can write a single end-to-end test that acts like a real human as it tests several pieces of your app at once. It’s a very economical way of testing your app. Cypress is a new-ish test runner with some features that take some of the friction out of end-to-end testing. It sports the ability to automatically wait for elements (if you try

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The Orange Juice Test

Des Traynor: Spending money is very easy. Spending money effectively is very hard. There are lots of dodgy people & service providers out there who will promise the world, send the invoices, and deliver mediocrity six months late. Or worse. It’s helpful if you can eliminate these chancers from your considerations early on, to make sure you’re only talking to people well equipped to solve the problem you have. This is where the Orange Juice Test comes in. What follows is a brief extract from the book “The Secrets of Consulting“. LeRoy was president of a custom software firm that

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The 4 questions you should stop asking during your one-on-one meetings

Claire Lew: Looking at the clock. Staring into the distance. Short, nondescript answers. A CEO recently told me how he’d frequently see this body language from an employee during their one-on-one meetings. Flat. Disinterested. Preoccupied. It felt lousy to witness, but it’d always been this way. He’d silently concluded that he was wasting both of their time. “I want to know what’s on his mind and how I can help, but these one-on-one meetings just aren’t working,” this CEO admitted to me. “I’m not really sure what to do except to stop having them.” To see if I could help,

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Ryan Holmes talks about the tech job no one talks about

Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes: Mention “tech jobs” and thoughts typically turn to developers — the programmers and engineers who translate great ideas into working technology and keep the platforms we all use humming along. But the reality is that it’s impossible to scale and sustain most software platforms today without a highly capable, highly trained sales team. Indeed, at many of the most successful cloud software companies, the sales squads are just as big as the technical teams. I’ll repeat this for clarity: the current innovation boom hasn’t just created an outsized demand for IT pros; it’s created an equal — if not greater — demand for

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Learning by fixing

Drago Crnjac: Breaking things and fixing them again is one of the best ways to learn. I learned this lesson early, thanks to my younger sister and her Japanese robotic toy dog. Somehow, I convinced her to let me take apart her robodog so I could see how it works. “I’ll put it back together. Don’t be such a baby!” How wrong was I? It would probably have been easier to put back together a Volkswagen Beetle than this toy dog. There I was, sitting clueless on the floor, surrounded with plastic parts and electronics. My sister was crying and

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Steve Jobs’ Secret for Eliciting Questions

Andy Raskin: Last month, I was enjoying the remarkably good crab cake and poached eggs at Just for You Café in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, when I overheard a mentoring session taking place at the next table. I recognized the mentor as the famous, fifty-something ex-CEO of a household-brand Internet company; the mentee, I pieced together, was the twenty-something CEO of an app on my phone that had raised over $70 million in VC cash. “My leadership team just gave me anonymous feedback,” Young CEO told Famous CEO. “One thing they said was that I’m not open to being questioned.”

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