Stories and musings by Nis Frome, Co-founder & Head of Content at Alpha
I think it’s critical for founders to remain vigilant. The "that’s-below-my-pay-grade" attitude can set any founder and startup on a wayward path. Getting our hands dirty keeps us grounded, literally and figuratively.
Every product team tries to prioritize features that most significantly drive sales and retention. Few however realize that reporting dashboards present exactly that opportunity and emphasize it accordingly. That’s because product teams are typically focused on end users while sales teams interface with actual buyers and decision makers. This ‘misalignment’ is almost always benign, except when it comes to the critical feature of reporting.
A lot has been written about Snapchat’s design choices and how they led to the company’s explosive growth and eventual IPO. There’s an overall sentiment that, as one writer put it, “it’s not surprising [that Snapchat is] so popular with kiddos, [as it gives] them their own walled garden that their parents can’t reach.” It’s an interesting but rigid argument that I think is missing some critical nuance for product and design leaders seeking actionable takeaways. There aren’t two static groups of outsiders and insiders, but rather a powerful and fluid experience of transcending from one group to the other.
Customers seek outcomes – not tools or services – and it’s the marketing and sales teams’ objective to prove that they can enable prospective buyers to achieve such outcomes. To that end, every company has one obvious and yet rarely-utilized tactic. Leveraging their product usage dataset to identify and underscore best practices for the industry is the easiest win in all of content marketing.
“Would I want another company to post this exact content on their own website?”
“The success of your startup is determined before you ship a single line of code.”
How two industry outsiders produced an industry-leading podcast as an inbound channel for a startup you’ve never heard of with virtually no budget or initial audience.
It would certainly seem intuitive that being innovative requires your company to first undergo “big” structural changes. But once you stop thinking in terms of designing products and begin thinking in terms of designing activities, you just may find that customer-centricity isn’t foreign after all.
Insights into corporate culture, the nature of user research, and product management processes.
It’s become a common trope that product management is less about the management of products and more directly about the management of stakeholder relations. To that end, meetings would seem like an ideal use of time, enabling product managers to communicate with key members of the team.
Finance teams recognize that most products fail at an astonishing rate, and make projections accordingly.
Personally, I’m not that into introspection, but about five years ago I decided to try my hand at crafting New Year’s Resolutions. To my surprise, I actually stuck to (most of) them, and have been zealously creating and adhering to more every year since then.
What does product development actually look like in the trenches? How does building products differ among organization sizes?
Having frequently witnessed the back-and-forth between product teams and research groups, it is clear that there is no shortage of misconceptions and miscommunication between the two. Only a thorough analysis of some critical nuances in statistics and product management can help us bridge the gap.
Starting a company is incredibly difficult, especially if it’s your first time doing so. There are a million and one things to think about: quickly bloating product road maps, new competitors and credit cards that keep maxing out.
Running A/B tests using prototypes can save you time and money in the development process while also unearthing potential for innovation.
We like to think that ideas are judged at face value. That ‘brilliant’ and seasoned investors can look at any idea or product and say ‘this is going to be big.’ But everything we know about human nature says the opposite.
When we seek to imitate, we must remember that the proverb only guarantees achieving a level of flattery – not a level of user understanding.
The best recipe in the world looks a lot like the worst. At the end of the day, both are just lists of instructions. But it’s great stories that resonate with people and make content stand out.
Faculty and students have tried to make sense of the Tech Renaissance in an attempt to pinpoint the levers and pulleys behind the scenes. Their efforts aren’t in a vacuum — they want to better understand the nature of the environment so they can sustain it.
We didn’t want to be the butt of a joke. But, as we discovered after speaking with Lenihan, pivoting is a central component of building a company.
For entrepreneurship to take hold on campus, it’s going to take a commitment from all the necessary players, including students. I know it’s possible because we’re already seeing a demonstrable difference with RuMAD. But we’re only one piece of the puzzle.
What if instead of having sophisticated marketers advertise, spam groups on LinkedIn, and pass out data sheets, tech organizations drove brand evangelism by having their developers answer questions on Stack Overflow and fork projects on GitHub?
I’ve always found that the greatest lessons can be learned by examining cases found on the fringe of our industries.
As an entrepreneur, you have some direction (in most cases, spiraling downward) and an idea for what you need to do, but most of your strategy on how to do it is concocted during the journey. This is a novel concept for professionals from the corporate world, who are all too familiar with order.
Early adopters use your product because they believe in why you are building it. This is perhaps the single most important concept for entrepreneurs to internalize when striving for critical mass.
If you follow and perfect these five steps, you can grind down any idea, including your executive summary, into something beautiful and clean.
Get insights about entrepreneurship, content marketing, and product management.
[NJ Biz] Entrepreneur profile
[TechCrunch] NUI Central hackathon
[YouTube] Software is eating Rutgers
[NJ] Rutgers Day app
[Daily Targum] Rutgers Day app
[Rutgers Today] Students build apps
[Tech Crunch] Hublished goes live
[Venture Beat] Hublished goes live
[Tech Crunch] Hublished gets funding
[PandoDaily] Hublished in NYC SeedStart