Product Launching Quotes

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Another important thing to remember here is that market research is an ongoing process. Don’t just do the research before the product launch but continue doing it even after that.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Every product comes with a time limit. If you delay your product launch, somebody else could launch a similar product in that time, making your product outdated and taking a big chunk of your market share.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Many times, the idea we come up with is not to fit for the current times but if launched at the right time can do wonders.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Launching a similar product still needs some kind of differentiation.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Timing is critical to a successful product launch.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr, CEO of Mayflower-Plymouth
Market research is an ongoing part of any business. It shouldn’t be done just when you’re launching a product or when you’re struggling with business growth.
Pooja Agnihotri (Market Research Like a Pro)
90% of new business fail in the first three months of launching, due to lack of proper planning, wrong selection of niche/products and marketing platform.
K. Raveendran (How to Start a New Business from Scratch and Skyrocket your Income in 9 Easy Steps)
The tone of the new ones, in their TED Talks, in PowerPointed product launches, in testimony to parliaments and congresses, in utopianly titled books, was a smarmy syrup of convenient conviction and personal surrender that he remembered well from the Republic. He
Jonathan Franzen (Purity)
In Silicon Valley, start-ups don’t launch with polished, finished businesses. Instead, they release their “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP)—the most basic version of their core idea with only one or two essential features. The point is to immediately see how customers respond. And, if that response is poor, to be able to fail cheaply and quickly.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
Leadership is the influence of others in a productive, vision-driven direction and is done through the example, conviction, and character of the leader.
Chris Brady (Launching a Leadership Revolution)
Jobs had perfected the art of turning product launches into theatrical productions,
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
It’s very hard to have a productive dialogue with a thirteen-year-old boy, as every gently broached subject becomes an Ultimate Conversation, requiring defense systems and counterattacks to attacks that were never launched. What begins as an innocent observation about his habit of leaving things in the pockets of dirty clothes ends with Sam blaming his parents for his twenty-eighth-percentile height, which makes him want to commit suicide on YouTube.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
The apparatchiks, too, were an eternal type. The tone of the new ones, in their TED Talks, in PowerPointed product launches, in testimony to parliaments and congresses, in utopianly titled books, was a smarmy syrup of convenient conviction and personal surrender that he remembered well from the Republic.
Jonathan Franzen (Purity)
In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn’t heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
At the heart of how Amazon innovates is its six-page memo, which kicks off everything the company does. Executives must write a press release, complete with hypothetical customer reactions to the product launch. That is followed by a series of FAQs, anticipating questions customers, as well as internal stakeholders, might have.
John Rossman (Think Like Amazon: 50 1/2 Ideas to Become a Digital Leader)
When you get into disagreements with others, remember that your job as a product manager is to find the truth, not to be right all the time.
Peter Yang (Principles of Product Management: How to Land a PM Job and Launch Your Product Career)
After the launch phase, your product is old news. Take advantage of the opportunity to generate interest when your product is new.
Brian Lawley (Optimal Product Process)
you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Reid Hoffman
Dan Norris (The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch)
Shipping work must also solve a problem and result in customers truly receiving value from whatever was shipped.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
A product leader is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a product and, by extension, the company itself. The impact of that cannot be underestimated.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. —REID HOFFMAN, FOUNDER OF LINKEDIN
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Every morning, identify no more than three tasks that you want to accomplish during the day. Update your calendar to reflect these priorities and say no to all non-essential work.
Peter Yang (Principles of Product Management: How to Land a PM Job and Launch Your Product Career)
80% of new products fail at launch.
Navi Radjou (Frugal Innovation: How to do better with less)
occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
To summarize, a great mission, vision, and strategy gives people on your team a shared purpose (why), a picture of what success looks like (what), and a plan to make that vision a reality (how).
Peter Yang (Principles of Product Management: How to Land a PM Job and Launch Your Product Career)
We are all forecasters. When we think about changing jobs, getting married, buying a home, making an investment, launching a product, or retiring, we decide based on how we expect the future will unfold.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not 'How is this new product better than the competition?' but 'First what?' In other words, what category is this new product first in?
Al Ries
Product people are business people, first and foremost. They work across functions and serve to integrate or synchronize the work of others so that products and portfolios can be planned, developed, launched, and managed.
Steven Haines (The Product Manager's Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager)
Call us if you are not being able to install Norton antivirus. We are proficient in doing Norton com setup install for any version that has been launched by the company. Moreover, we provide help for Norton antivirus as well.
The Germany Navy immediately launched a tremendous U-boat building program which by the end of the war produced a total of 1102 new boats. Production rose from two boats per month in 1939, to over thirty a month in the middle of the war.
Daniel V. Gallery (Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea: The Daring Capture of the U-505)
over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn’t heard
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Meanwhile, Mme Mao and her cohorts were renewing their efforts to prevent the country from working. In industry, their slogan was: "To stop production is revolution itself." In agriculture, in which they now began to meddle seriously: "We would rather have socialist weeds than capitalist crops." Acquiring foreign technology became "sniffing after foreigners' farts and calling them sweet." In education: "We want illiterate working people, not educated spiritual aristocrats." They called for schoolchildren to rebel against their teachers again; in January 1974, classroom windows, tables, and chairs in schools in Peking were smashed, as in 1966. Mme Mao claimed this was like "the revolutionary action of English workers destroying machines in the eighteenth century." All this demagoguery' had one purpose: to create trouble for Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiao-ping and generate chaos. It was only in persecuting people and in destruction that Mme Mao and the other luminaries of the Cultural Revolution had a chance to "shine." In construction they had no place. Zhou and Deng had been making tentative efforts to open the country up, so Mme Mao launched a fresh attack on foreign culture. In early 1974 there was a big media campaign denouncing the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni for a film he had made about China, although no one in China had seen the film, and few had even heard of it or of Antonioni. This xenophobia was extended to Beethoven after a visit by the Philadelphia Orchestra. In the two years since the fall of Lin Biao, my mood had changed from hope to despair and fury. The only source of comfort was that there was a fight going on at all, and that the lunacy was not reigning supreme, as it had in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. During this period, Mao was not giving his full backing to either side. He hated the efforts of Zhou and Deng to reverse the Cultural Revolution, but he knew that his wife and her acolytes could not make the country work. Mao let Zhou carry on with the administration of the country, but set his wife upon Zhou, particularly in a new campaign to 'criticize Confucius." The slogans ostensibly denounced Lin Biao, but were really aimed at Zhou, who, it was widely held, epitomized the virtues advocated by the ancient sage. Even though Zhou had been unwaveringly loyal, Mao still could not leave him alone. Not even now, when Zhou was fatally ill with advanced cancer of the bladder.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Meanwhile, Mme Mao and her cohorts were renewing their efforts to prevent the country from working. In industry, their slogan was: "To stop production is revolution itself." In agriculture, in which they now began to meddle seriously: "We would rather have socialist weeds than capitalist crops." Acquiring foreign technology became "sniffing after foreigners' farts and calling them sweet." In education: "We want illiterate working people, not educated spiritual aristocrats." They called for schoolchildren to rebel against their teachers again; in January 1974, classroom windows, tables, and chairs in schools in Peking were smashed, as in 1966. Mme Mao claimed this was like "the revolutionary action of English workers destroying machines in the eighteenth century." Mme Mao launched a fresh attack on foreign culture. In early 1974 there was a big media campaign denouncing the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni for a film he had made about China, although no one in China had seen the film, and few had even heard of it or of Antonioni. This xenophobia was extended to Beethoven after a visit by the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Jung Chang
Purple Cow (SETH GODIN) - Your Highlight on page 85 | location 1290-1291 | Added on Friday, 6 June 2014 10:26:03 What you need is the insight to realize that you have no other choice but to grow your business or launch your product with Purple Cow thinking. Nothing else is going to work.
Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch publicly with what we think is our final, perfected product. Today,
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
If the New Marketing can be characterized by just one idea, it's this: Ideas that spread through groups of people are far more powerful than ideas delivered at an individual. Social change, education, new-product launches, religious movements... it doesn't matter, the story is the same. Movements are at the heart of change and growth. A movement - an idea that spreads with passion through a community and leads to change - is far more powerful than any advertisement ever could be. As you consider what to do next, you're faced with a difficult choice. It's difficult because it represents giving up something you may be quite comfortable with, and it's difficult because it requires an all-or-nothing commitment.
Seth Godin
Different types of thinking provide strengths in one area and deficits in another. My thinking is slower but it may be more accurate. Faster thinking would be helpful in social situations, but slower, careful thought would enhance production of art or building mechanical devices. Rapidly delivered verbal information is even more challenging for object-visual thinkers like me. Standup comedians often move too quickly through their routines for me to process. By the time I have visualized the first joke, the comedian has already launched two more. I get lost when verbal information is presented too fast. Imagine how a student who is a visual thinker feels in a classroom where a teacher is talking fast to get through a lesson.
Temple Grandin (Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions)
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
Retraumatized by her own inner voice, she then launches into her most habitual 4F behavior. She either lashes out domineeringly at the nearest person [Fight] – or she launches busily into anxious productivity [Flight] – or she flips on the TV and foggily tunes out or dozes off again [Freeze] – or she self-abandoningly redirects her attention to figuring out how to fix a friend’s problem [Fawn].
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
To understand that the most costly war in this country’s history was launched in direct opposition to everything the country claims to be, to understand that this war was the product of centuries of enslavement, which is to see an even longer, more total war, is to alter the accepted conception of America as a beacon of freedom. How does one face this truth or forge a national identity out of it?
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
Empowered by the Enabling Law, Hitler launched a political blitzkrieg, destroying what remained of German democracy. He began by abolishing local assemblies and replacing provincial governors with Nazis. He sent SA thugs to brutalize political opponents and, when necessary, cart them off to newly opened concentration camps. He disposed of the unions by declaring May 1, 1933, a paid national holiday, then occupying union offices throughout the country on May 2. He purged the civil service of disloyal elements and issued a decree banning Jews from the professions. He placed theater, music, and radio productions under the control of Joseph Goebbels and barred unsympathetic journalists from doing their jobs. To ensure order, he consolidated political, intelligence, and police functions in a new organization, the Gestapo.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Shifting to an outcome mindset is harder than it looks. We spend most of our time talking about outputs. So, it’s not surprising that we tend to confuse the two. Even when teams intend to choose an outcome, they often fall into the trap of selecting an output. I see teams set their outcome as “Launch an Android app” instead of “Increase mobile engagement” or “Get to feature parity on the new tech stack” instead of “Transition customer to the new tech stack.
Teresa Torres (Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value)
This is when the pill became widely known as The Pill, perhaps the only product in American history so powerful that it needed no name. Women went to their doctors and said they wanted it. They wanted The Pill. Some of them might still have been uncomfortable talking about birth control. Others might have been unsure of its brand name. But The Pill was The Pill because it was the only one that mattered, the one everyone was talking about, the one they needed.
Jonathan Eig (The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution)
Aided by the young George Pullman, who would later make a fortune building railway cars, Chesbrough launched one of the most ambitious engineering projects of the nineteenth century. Building by building, Chicago was lifted by an army of men with jackscrews. As the jackscrews raised the buildings inch by inch, workmen would dig holes under the building foundations and install thick timbers to support them, while masons scrambled to build a new footing under the structure. Sewer lines were inserted beneath buildings with main lines running down the center of streets, which were then buried in landfill that had been dredged out of the Chicago River, raising the entire city almost ten feet on average. Tourists walking around downtown Chicago today regularly marvel at the engineering prowess on display in the city’s spectacular skyline; what they don’t realize is that the ground beneath their feet is also the product of brilliant engineering.
Steven Johnson (How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World)
Once launched into production, our software will continue to evolve as the way it is used changes. For most things we create, we have to accept that once the software gets into the hands of our customers we will have to react and adapt, rather than it being a never-changing artifact. Thus, our architects need to shift their thinking away from creating the perfect end product, and instead focus on helping create a framework in which the right systems can emerge, and continue to grow as we learn more.
Sam Newman (Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems)
So it is that supernatural horror is the product of a profoundly divided species of being. It is not the pastime of even our closest relations in the wholly natural world: we gained it, as part of our gloomy inheritance, when we became what we are. Once awareness of the human predicament was achieved, we immediately took off in two directions, splitting ourselves down the middle. One half became dedicated to apologetics, even celebration, of our new toy of consciousness. The other half condemned and occasionally launched direct assaults on this "gift.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe)
I can create a new business within three months: raise the money, assemble a team, and launch it. It’s fun for me. It’s really cool to see what can I put together. It makes money almost as a side effect. Creating businesses is the game I became good at. It’s just my motivation has shifted from being goal-oriented to being artistic. Ironically, I think I’m much better at it now. [74] Even when I invest, it’s because I like the people involved, I like hanging out with them, I learn from them, I think the product is really cool. These days, I will pass on great investments because I don’t find the products interesting.
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
One thing was certain. War was the craziest damfool madness that ever was. It was everything vile, absurd, brutal, murderous, confused. Mainly it was just confusion-bloody, stinking, noisy confusion with death as a casual by-product. How anyone ever won a battle, he couldn't imagine. This fight, which had no name and ought never to have a name, had been simply the result of two blind forces launched from vast confusion and colliding in vast confusion. What he had seen today was so incredibly evil and foolish that it baffled classification. No one man or idea was responsible for the evil. It was something in which men got trapped through a lack of foresight. All of them hated it while they were in it, and yet all had agreed to be in it.
Ross Lockridge Jr. (Raintree County)
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Steve Scott (61 Ways to Sell More Nonfiction Kindle Books)
The assumptions that propagandists are rational, in the sense that they follow their own propaganda theories in their choice of communications, and that the meanings of propagandists' communications may differ for different people reoriented the FCC* analysts from a concept of "content as shared" (Berelson would later say "manifest") to conditions that could explain the motivations of particular communicators and the interests they might serve. The notion of "preparatory propaganda" became an especially useful key for the analysts in their effort to infer the intents of broadcasts with political content. In order to ensure popular support for planned military actions, the Axis leaders had to inform; emotionally arouse, and otherwise prepare their countrymen and women to accept those actions; the FCC analysts discovered that they could learn a great deal about the enemy's intended actions by recognizing such preparatory efforts in the domestic press and broadcasts. They were able to predict several major military and political campaigns and to assess Nazi elites' perceptions of their situation, political changes within the Nazi governing group, and shifts in relations among Axis countries. Among the more outstanding predictions that British analysts were able to make was the date of deployment of German V weapons against Great Britain. The analysts monitored the speeches delivered by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels and inferred from the content of those speeches what had interfered with the weapons' production and when. They then used this information to predict the launch date of the weapons, and their prediction was accurate within a few weeks. *FCC - Federal Communications Commission
Klaus H. Krippendorff (Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology)
My comedy, such as it is, had always been based on taking existing fact and stretching it out to its most absurd possible iteration. But Donald Trump was already doing that. He had been doing it his whole life. By the time he launched his actual, no-joke presidential campaign by gliding down a golden escalator to accuse Mexico of rape, I had realized that there was no joke I could make that could keep up with the long-form improv Trump was laying down every hour of every day. Because of course we now know the no-joke campaign was a joke. He never expected to actually be elected. He just wanted to launch this new, lucrative hate-and-fear-based entertainment product called the Trump Candidacy. But then he became president, and the joke was on him, because he did not want that job. But the joke was still mostly on us, because he is terrible at it, and he makes us all a laughingstock
John Hodgman (Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms)
Staying focused on the problem also prevents you from falling into the fatal trap of assuming the world is waiting with bated breath for your product to launch. When I used to work in advertising, we would joke that the “insight” in the creative brief was often something along the lines of, “I wish there were a crunchy cereal with raisins that was healthy and also delicious.” But people do not wish this. They might have a hard time finding a quick breakfast that doesn’t make them feel fat or sluggish. And maybe your crunchy raisin cereal is the perfect response to this issue. But they are not waking up in the morning wishing for raisiny, crunchy goodness. Similarly, people are not wishing for your idea to exist, because they don’t even know it’s an option. So when you sit down to clarify what problem you’re solving, a great initial test is to imagine someone’s inner monologue. Is the problem you’ve identified something that a real human might actually be thinking?
Jocelyn K. Glei (Make Your Mark)
The final option to have your book completed is to hire a ghost writer. The challenge with this option is that it is important to note that your voice IS an integral part of your branding. When you hire someone else, what your readers will ultimately get is their voice. When they see you later at your website or on your social media, your voice will not be the same. This will trigger a feeling of inconsistency when relationships need to be built upon trust and authenticity. Your audience will eventually come to think you are not the “real deal” and will find another to replace you. Finally, your book is a springboard and launching pad to greater things such as speaking, interviews, a product line, etc. Will your ghost writer be available for all of that as well? How will you be able to “ghost write” your way through an interview? Hence the reason I stress speaking in your own voice. You may think you are not perfect, but your authenticity will speak in volumes to your followers and they will be customers for life if they see your true being.
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek (Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing)
Having judged, condemned, abandoned his cultural forms, his language, his food habits, his sexual behavior, his way of sitting down, of resting, of laughing, of enjoying himself, the oppressed flings himself upon the imposed culture with the desperation of a drowning man. Developing his technical knowledge in contact with more and more perfected machines, entering into the dynamic circuit of industrial production, meeting men from remote regions in the framework of the concentration of capital, that is to say, on the job, discovering the assembly line, the team, production �time,� in other words yield per hour, the oppressed is shocked to find that he continues to be the object of racism and contempt. It is at this level that racism is treated as a question of persons. �There are a few hopeless racists, but you must admit that on the whole the population likes….� �With time all this will disappear.� �This is the country where there is the least amount of race prejudice.� �At the United Nations there is a commission to fight race prejudice.� Films on race prejudice, poems on race prejudice, messages on race prejudice. Spectacular and futile condemnations of race prejudice. In reality, a colonial country is a racist country. If in England, in Belgium, or in France, despite the democratic principles affirmed by these respective nations, there are still racists, it is these racists who, in their opposition to the country as a whole, are logically consistent. It is not possible to enslave men without logically making them inferior through and through. And racism is only the emotional, affective, sometimes intellectual explanation of this inferiorization. The racist in a culture with racism is therefore normal. He has achieved a perfect harmony of economic relations and ideology. The idea that one forms of man, to be sure, is never totally dependent on economic relations, in other words—and this must not be forgotten—on relations existing historically and geographically among men and groups. An ever greater number of members belonging to racist societies are taking a position. They are dedicating themselves to a world in which racism would be impossible. But everyone is not up to this kind of objectivity, this abstraction, this solemn commitment. One cannot with impunity require of a man that he be against �the prejudices of his group.� And, we repeat, every colonialist group is racist. �Acculturized� and deculturized at one and the same time, the oppressed continues to come up against racism. He finds this sequel illogical, what be has left behind him inexplicable, without motive, incorrect. His knowledge, the appropriation of precise and complicated techniques, sometimes his intellectual superiority as compared to a great number of racists, lead him to qualify the racist world as passion-charged. He perceives that the racist atmosphere impregnates all the elements of the social life. The sense of an overwhelming injustice is correspondingly very strong. Forgetting racism as a consequence, one concentrates on racism as cause. Campaigns of deintoxication are launched. Appeal is made to the sense of humanity, to love, to respect for the supreme values.
Frantz Fanon (Toward the African Revolution)
issue is clear. It’s the difference between building brands and milking brands. Most managers want to milk. “How far can we extend the brand? Let’s spend some serious research money and find out.” Sterling Drug was a big advertiser and a big buyer of research. Its big brand was Bayer aspirin, but aspirin was losing out to acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil). So Sterling launched a $116-million advertising and marketing program to introduce a selection of five “aspirin-free” products. The Bayer Select line included headache-pain relief, regular pain relief, nighttime pain relief, sinus-pain relief, and a menstrual relief formulation, all of which contained either acetaminophen or ibuprofen as the core ingredient. Results were painful. The first year Bayer Select sold $26 million worth of pain relievers in a $2.5 billion market, or about 1 percent of the market. Even worse, the sales of regular Bayer aspirin kept falling at about 10 percent a year. Why buy Bayer aspirin if the manufacturer is telling you that its “select” products are better because they are “aspirin-free”? Are consumers stupid or not?
Al Ries (The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand)
Search engine query data is not the product of a designed statistical experiment and finding a way to meaningfully analyse such data and extract useful knowledge is a new and challenging field that would benefit from collaboration. For the 2012–13 flu season, Google made significant changes to its algorithms and started to use a relatively new mathematical technique called Elasticnet, which provides a rigorous means of selecting and reducing the number of predictors required. In 2011, Google launched a similar program for tracking Dengue fever, but they are no longer publishing predictions and, in 2015, Google Flu Trends was withdrawn. They are, however, now sharing their data with academic researchers... Google Flu Trends, one of the earlier attempts at using big data for epidemic prediction, provided useful insights to researchers who came after them... The Delphi Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University won the CDC’s challenge to ‘Predict the Flu’ in both 2014–15 and 2015–16 for the most accurate forecasters. The group successfully used data from Google, Twitter, and Wikipedia for monitoring flu outbreaks.
Dawn E. Holmes (Big Data: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Three years after the United States and the Israelis reached across Iran’s borders and destroyed its centrifuges, Iran launched a retaliatory attack, the most destructive cyberattack the world had seen to date. On August 15, 2012, Iranian hackers hit Saudi Aramco, the world’s richest oil company—a company worth more than five Apples on paper—with malware that demolished thirty thousand of its computers, wiped its data, and replaced it all with the image of the burning American flag. All the money in the world had not kept Iranian hackers from getting into Aramco’s systems. Iran’s hackers had waited until the eve of Islam’s holiest night of the year—“The Night of Power,” when Saudis were home celebrating the revelation of the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad, to flip a kill switch and detonate malware that not only destroyed Aramco’s computers, data, and access to email and internet but upended the global market for hard drives. It could have been worse. As investigators from CrowdStrike, McAfee, Aramco, and others pored through the Iranians’ crumbs, they discovered that the hackers had tried to cross the Rubicon between Aramco’s business systems and its production systems. In that sense, they failed.
Nicole Perlroth (This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race)
a young Goldman Sachs banker named Joseph Park was sitting in his apartment, frustrated at the effort required to get access to entertainment. Why should he trek all the way to Blockbuster to rent a movie? He should just be able to open a website, pick out a movie, and have it delivered to his door. Despite raising around $250 million, Kozmo, the company Park founded, went bankrupt in 2001. His biggest mistake was making a brash promise for one-hour delivery of virtually anything, and investing in building national operations to support growth that never happened. One study of over three thousand startups indicates that roughly three out of every four fail because of premature scaling—making investments that the market isn’t yet ready to support. Had Park proceeded more slowly, he might have noticed that with the current technology available, one-hour delivery was an impractical and low-margin business. There was, however, a tremendous demand for online movie rentals. Netflix was just then getting off the ground, and Kozmo might have been able to compete in the area of mail-order rentals and then online movie streaming. Later, he might have been able to capitalize on technological changes that made it possible for Instacart to build a logistics operation that made one-hour grocery delivery scalable and profitable. Since the market is more defined when settlers enter, they can focus on providing superior quality instead of deliberating about what to offer in the first place. “Wouldn’t you rather be second or third and see how the guy in first did, and then . . . improve it?” Malcolm Gladwell asked in an interview. “When ideas get really complicated, and when the world gets complicated, it’s foolish to think the person who’s first can work it all out,” Gladwell remarked. “Most good things, it takes a long time to figure them out.”* Second, there’s reason to believe that the kinds of people who choose to be late movers may be better suited to succeed. Risk seekers are drawn to being first, and they’re prone to making impulsive decisions. Meanwhile, more risk-averse entrepreneurs watch from the sidelines, waiting for the right opportunity and balancing their risk portfolios before entering. In a study of software startups, strategy researchers Elizabeth Pontikes and William Barnett find that when entrepreneurs rush to follow the crowd into hyped markets, their startups are less likely to survive and grow. When entrepreneurs wait for the market to cool down, they have higher odds of success: “Nonconformists . . . that buck the trend are most likely to stay in the market, receive funding, and ultimately go public.” Third, along with being less recklessly ambitious, settlers can improve upon competitors’ technology to make products better. When you’re the first to market, you have to make all the mistakes yourself. Meanwhile, settlers can watch and learn from your errors. “Moving first is a tactic, not a goal,” Peter Thiel writes in Zero to One; “being the first mover doesn’t do you any good if someone else comes along and unseats you.” Fourth, whereas pioneers tend to get stuck in their early offerings, settlers can observe market changes and shifting consumer tastes and adjust accordingly. In a study of the U.S. automobile industry over nearly a century, pioneers had lower survival rates because they struggled to establish legitimacy, developed routines that didn’t fit the market, and became obsolete as consumer needs clarified. Settlers also have the luxury of waiting for the market to be ready. When Warby Parker launched, e-commerce companies had been thriving for more than a decade, though other companies had tried selling glasses online with little success. “There’s no way it would have worked before,” Neil Blumenthal tells me. “We had to wait for Amazon, Zappos, and Blue Nile to get people comfortable buying products they typically wouldn’t order online.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
Patrick Vlaskovits, who was part of the initial conversation that the term “growth hacker” came out of, put it well: “The more innovative your product is, the more likely you will have to find new and novel ways to get at your customers.”12 For example: 1. You can create the aura of exclusivity with an invite-only feature (as Mailbox did). 2. You can create hundreds of fake profiles to make your service look more popular and active than it actually is—nothing draws a crowd like a crowd (as reddit did in its early days). 3. You can target a single service or platform and cater to it exclusively—essentially piggybacking off or even stealing someone else’s growth (as PayPal did with eBay). 4. You can launch for just a small group of people, own that market, and then move from host to host until your product spreads like a virus (which is what Facebook did by starting in colleges—first at Harvard—before taking on the rest of the population). 5. You can host cool events and drive your first users through the system manually (as Myspace, Yelp, and Udemy all did). 6. You can absolutely dominate the App Store because your product provides totally new features that everyone is dying for (which is what Instagram did—twenty-five thousand downloads on its first day—and later Snapchat). 7. You can bring on influential advisors and investors for their valuable audience and fame rather than their money (as and Trippy did—a move that many start-ups have emulated). 8. You can set up a special sub-domain on your e-commerce site where a percentage of every purchase users make goes to a charity of their choice (which is what Amazon did with this year to great success, proving that even a successful company can find little growth hacks). 9. You can try to name a Planned Parenthood clinic after your client or pay D-list celebrities to say offensive things about themselves to get all sorts of publicity that promotes your book (OK, those stunts were mine).
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
SCULLEY. Pepsi executive recruited by Jobs in 1983 to be Apple’s CEO, clashed with and ousted Jobs in 1985. JOANNE SCHIEBLE JANDALI SIMPSON. Wisconsin-born biological mother of Steve Jobs, whom she put up for adoption, and Mona Simpson, whom she raised. MONA SIMPSON. Biological full sister of Jobs; they discovered their relationship in 1986 and became close. She wrote novels loosely based on her mother Joanne (Anywhere but Here), Jobs and his daughter Lisa (A Regular Guy), and her father Abdulfattah Jandali (The Lost Father). ALVY RAY SMITH. A cofounder of Pixar who clashed with Jobs. BURRELL SMITH. Brilliant, troubled hardware designer on the original Mac team, afflicted with schizophrenia in the 1990s. AVADIS “AVIE” TEVANIAN. Worked with Jobs and Rubinstein at NeXT, became chief software engineer at Apple in 1997. JAMES VINCENT. A music-loving Brit, the younger partner with Lee Clow and Duncan Milner at the ad agency Apple hired. RON WAYNE. Met Jobs at Atari, became first partner with Jobs and Wozniak at fledgling Apple, but unwisely decided to forgo his equity stake. STEPHEN WOZNIAK. The star electronics geek at Homestead High; Jobs figured out how to package and market his amazing circuit boards and became his partner in founding Apple. DEL YOCAM. Early Apple employee who became the General Manager of the Apple II Group and later Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. INTRODUCTION How This Book Came to Be In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from Steve Jobs. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn’t heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He’d be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted instead to take a walk so that we could talk. That seemed a bit odd. I didn’t yet
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
In Andhra, farmers fear Naidu’s land pool will sink their fortunes Prasad Nichenametla,Hindustan Times | 480 words The state festival tag added colour to Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh this time. But the hue of happiness was missing in 29 villages along river Krishna in Guntur district. The villagers knew it was their last Sankranti, a harvest festival celebrated to seek agricultural prosperity. For in two months, more than 30,000 acres of fertile farmland would be acquired for a brand new capital planned in collaboration with Singapore. The Nara Chandrababu Naidu government went about the capital project by setting aside the Centre’s land acquisition act and drawing up a compensation package for land-owning and tenant farmers and labourers. Many are opposed to it, and are not keen on snapping their centuries-old bond with their land and livelihood. In Penumaka village, Nageshwara Rao, 50, fears the future as he does not possess a tenancy certificate that could have brought some relief under the compensation package. “The entire village is against land-pooling but we hear the government is adamant,” Rao says, referring to municipal minister P Narayana’s alleged assertion that land would be taken with or without the farmers’ consent. Narayana is supervising the land-pooling process. “Naidu says he would give us Rs 50,000 per year in lieu of annual crops. We earn that much in a month here,” villager Meka Koti Reddy says. To drive home the point, locals in Undavalli village nearby have put up a board asking officials to keep off their lands that produce three crops a year. Unlike other parts of Andhra Pradesh, the water-rich land here is highly productive yielding 200 varieties of crops. Some farmers are also suspicious about the compensation because Naidu is yet to deliver on the loan-waiver promise. They are now weighing legal options besides seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to retain their land. While the villagers opposing land-pooling are allegedly being backed by Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party, those belonging to the Kamma community — the support base for Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party — are said to be cooperative.  It is also believed that Naidu chose this location over others suggested by experts to primarily benefit the Kamma industrialists who own large swathes of land in Krishna and Guntur districts. But even the pro-project villagers cannot help feel insecure. “We are clueless about where our developed area would be. What if the project is not executed within Naidu’s tenure? Is there a legal recourse?” Idupulapati Rambabu of Mandadam says. This is despite Naidu’s assurance on January 1 at nearby Thulluru, where he launched the land-pooling process, asking farmers to give land without any apprehension. He said the deal in its present form would make them richer than him in a decade. “We are not building a mere city but a hub of economic activity loaded with superior infrastructure that is aimed at generating wealth. This would be a win-win situation for all,” Naidu tells HT. As of now, villages like Nelapadu struggling with low soil fertility seem to be winning from the package.
If we do not stop these mar-makers not, will soon be too late. We are the only nation that can halt this crusade. It might be too late in America, but it isn't too late here. Without British support the whole scheme would collapse. For that reason the future of all nations depends upon the policy which is decided in this House. More than that, the final position of Britain in the world is being decided. If we support these anti-Communist crusades through the world as we have supported it in Greece, then our good name and existence will be threatened by the hatred of all free-thinking men. We cannot suppress all desire in Europe and Asia for social change by branding it communism from Russia and persecuting its supporters. Social change doesn't have to come from Russia, whatever the Foreign Office or the Americans say. It is a product of the miserable conditions under which the majority of the earth's population exist. There are fighters for social change in every land, here as well as anywhere.... We Socialists are among them. That is the reason for our predominance in the House to-day. The very men that we try to suppress in other countries are asking for far less liberty than we enjoy here, far less social change than we Socialists hope to initiate in Great Britain. Are we going to betray these men by labelling them Communists and crushing them wherever we find them until we have launched ourselves at Russia herself in a war that will wipe this island off the face of the earth? The American imperialists say that this is the American Century. ARe we to sacrifice ourselves for that great ideal, or are we to stand beside the people of Europe and Asia and other lands who seek independence, economic stability, self-determination, and the right to conduct their own affairs? Are we going to partake in an anti-Red campaign when we ourselves are Reds? ...... Some among us might think that there is political expediency in following this anti-Russian crusade without really getting enmeshed in it, creating a Third Force in Europe of their friends, a balancing force for power politics. In that you have the real policy of our Government to-day. But how can we avoid final involvement? Our American vanguard will stop at nothing. They hold their atom bomb aloft with nervous fingers. It has become their talisman and their faith. It is their new weapon of anti-Communism, a more efficient Belsen and Maidenek. Its first usage was morally anti-Russian. It was used to end Japan quickly so that Russia would play no part in the final settlement with that country. No doubt they would have used it on Russia already if they could be certain that Russian did not have an equal or better atomic weapon. That terrible uncertainty goads them into fiercer political and economic activity against the world's grim defenders of great liberties. In that you have the heart of this American imperial desperation. They cannot defeat the people of Europe and Asia with the atomic bomb alone. They cannot win unless we lend them our name and our support and our political cunning. To-day they have British support, in policy as well as in international councils where the decisions of peace and security are being made. With our support America is undermining every international conference with its anti-Russian politics.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw On a cool fall evening in 2008, four students set out to revolutionize an industry. Buried in loans, they had lost and broken eyeglasses and were outraged at how much it cost to replace them. One of them had been wearing the same damaged pair for five years: He was using a paper clip to bind the frames together. Even after his prescription changed twice, he refused to pay for pricey new lenses. Luxottica, the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, controlled more than 80 percent of the eyewear market. To make glasses more affordable, the students would need to topple a giant. Having recently watched Zappos transform footwear by selling shoes online, they wondered if they could do the same with eyewear. When they casually mentioned their idea to friends, time and again they were blasted with scorching criticism. No one would ever buy glasses over the internet, their friends insisted. People had to try them on first. Sure, Zappos had pulled the concept off with shoes, but there was a reason it hadn’t happened with eyewear. “If this were a good idea,” they heard repeatedly, “someone would have done it already.” None of the students had a background in e-commerce and technology, let alone in retail, fashion, or apparel. Despite being told their idea was crazy, they walked away from lucrative job offers to start a company. They would sell eyeglasses that normally cost $500 in a store for $95 online, donating a pair to someone in the developing world with every purchase. The business depended on a functioning website. Without one, it would be impossible for customers to view or buy their products. After scrambling to pull a website together, they finally managed to get it online at 4 A.M. on the day before the launch in February 2010. They called the company Warby Parker, combining the names of two characters created by the novelist Jack Kerouac, who inspired them to break free from the shackles of social pressure and embark on their adventure. They admired his rebellious spirit, infusing it into their culture. And it paid off. The students expected to sell a pair or two of glasses per day. But when GQ called them “the Netflix of eyewear,” they hit their target for the entire first year in less than a month, selling out so fast that they had to put twenty thousand customers on a waiting list. It took them nine months to stock enough inventory to meet the demand. Fast forward to 2015, when Fast Company released a list of the world’s most innovative companies. Warby Parker didn’t just make the list—they came in first. The three previous winners were creative giants Google, Nike, and Apple, all with over fifty thousand employees. Warby Parker’s scrappy startup, a new kid on the block, had a staff of just five hundred. In the span of five years, the four friends built one of the most fashionable brands on the planet and donated over a million pairs of glasses to people in need. The company cleared $100 million in annual revenues and was valued at over $1 billion. Back in 2009, one of the founders pitched the company to me, offering me the chance to invest in Warby Parker. I declined. It was the worst financial decision I’ve ever made, and I needed to understand where I went wrong.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
They were productively adversarial, like superforecasting team discussions. Managers grilled engineers and forced them to produce data to back up their assertions. The process had worked remarkably. The space shuttle was the most complex machine ever built, and all twenty-four flights had returned safely. But on the emergency conference call, that same quantitative culture led them astray. On their engineers’ advice, McDonald and two Thiokol VPs on the call initially supported a no-launch decision. The Challenger had already been cleared, so this was an eleventh-hour reversal. When NASA officials asked Thiokol engineers exactly what temperature range was safe for flight, they recommended setting a limit at 53 degrees, the lower bound of previous experience. NASA manager Larry Mulloy was flabbergasted. He thought the shuttle was supposed to be cleared to launch from 31 to 99 degrees. A last-minute 53-degree limit was setting an entirely new technical criteria for launches. It had never been discussed, was not backed by quantitative data, and meant that suddenly winter was off-limits for space exploration. Mulloy found it frustrating; he later called it “dumb.” How had the engineers arrived at that number? “They said because they had flown at 53 degrees before,” a NASA manager reflected, “which is no reason to me. That’s tradition rather than technology.” Boisjoly was asked again for data to support his claim, “and I said I have none other than what is being presented.” With the conference call at an impasse, a Thiokol VP asked for a five-minute “offline caucus,” during which Thiokol concluded that they had no more data to provide. They returned to the call a half hour later with a new decision: proceed with launch. Their official document read, “temperature data not conclusive on predicting primary O-ring blow-by.” When conference call participants from NASA and Thiokol later spoke with investigators and gave interviews, they repeatedly brought up the “weak engineering position,” as one put it. Their statements comprised a repetitive chorus: “Unable to quantify”; “supporting data was subjective”; “hadn’t done a good technical job”; “just didn’t have enough conclusive data.” NASA was, after all, the agency that hung a framed quote in the Mission Evaluation Room: “In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
War bias comes about when the people who decide whether or not to launch a conflict have a set of risks and rewards different from the society they supposedly represent. In other words, when the leadership’s private incentives differ from the public interest. This isn’t true everywhere. In some societies, wealth, the means of production, and guns are widely distributed rather than concentrated in a few hands. Some peoples have also grown political rules and social norms that check elites, forcing them to seek the consent of the governed. These institutions and distributions of power help align the ruler’s interests with the public’s.
Christopher Blattman (Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace)
Metcalfe began to take venture capitalists to lunch and solicit their guidance. “If you want money, you ask for advice. If you want advice, you ask for money,” he reflected shrewdly.[27] His goal was to absorb the VCs’ way of thinking, and before long he noticed a pattern. At some point in each conversation, the venture guy would launch into a lecture on the three reasons startups failed: the excessive ego of the founder, too little focus on the most promising products, and too little capital. Having recognized this mantra, Metcalfe started to preempt it. “Here are the three mistakes I am not going to make,” he would announce, before the unsuspecting venture capitalist got a chance to lodge the standard caveats. “A, I have decided that it’s more important that this company succeed than that I run it. Two is, even though I have this business plan that shows a million products, trust me, we’re going to focus on a few of them. And three, I’m here raising money, because we’re not going to be undercapitalized.”[28]
Sebastian Mallaby (The Power Law: Venture Capital and the Making of the New Future)
Launch to Celebrate A launch is a stepping-stone. A thing that happens when your business already has customers, is doing well, and is going to last. Many companies go out of business within the first year. Why make a big deal out of a business before you’re sure it’ll stick around? Instead, build a successful business and “launch” as a celebration of your success. Spend your business’s profits on it, not your own money. Better yet, celebrate your customers’ success. I think celebrating a milestone is a great excuse to launch. What about having successfully sold to a hundred customers? Once you’re running a growing, profitable business with a hundred customers who love you and whom you care about, you can celebrate them—by launching. Throw a party. Invite all of your customers and thank them for their ongoing support. Do that, and you’ll have customers lining up at your door. They’ll be people you already know, and who know you. Some of them will bring their own friends and families and maybe even members of their own communities too. They may even help promote your event before it happens because you’ve told them about it and they’re excited about supporting you. Plus, they can actually speak to others about how great your product is and how much better it has made their life. Your customers may be even better salespeople than you are. Good—there’s more of them than there are of you! Or perhaps you decide you don’t need to launch at all. That’s fine too. But entrepreneurship can be lonely, and it can be a good excuse to rally—and reward—your community for helping you get this far. Once you have a hundred customers, some of them now repeat customers, selling your product better than you can, you’re ready to move on to the next chapter of your business: marketing.
Sahil Lavingia (The Minimalist Entrepreneur: How Great Founders Do More with Less)
Examples of projects could include: Projects at work: Complete web-page design; Create slide deck for conference; Develop project schedule; Plan recruitment drive. Personal projects: Finish Spanish language course; Plan vacation; Buy new living room furniture; Find local volunteer opportunity. Side projects: Publish blog post; Launch crowdfunding campaign; Research best podcast microphone; Complete online course. If you are not already framing your work in terms of specific, concrete projects, making this shift will give you a powerful jump start to your productivity.
Tiago Forte (Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential)
The difference becomes clear when we consider the role of early customers: The job of the early customer in an MVP is to teach you about the market before you launch a product. The job of the early customer in an MVE is to provide you with sufficient evidence to attract a partner, who will then attract the next partner.
Ron Adner (Winning the Right Game: How to Disrupt, Defend, and Deliver in a Changing World (Management on the Cutting Edge))
Startups must clear IP risks before launching products as one bad order can kill their business.
Kalyan C. Kankanala (Fun IP, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property)
The easiest way to describe how to harness the galvanizing power of why is with a tool I call the belief statement. For example, most of Apple’s product launches in recent years feature slick videos with commentary from Apple designers, engineers, and executives. These videos, while camouflaged as beautiful product showcases, are actually packed with statements not about what the products do but about the design thinking behind them: in essence, the tightly held beliefs with which Apple’s design team operates. We believe our users should be at the center of everything we do. We believe that a piece of technology should be as beautiful as it is functional. We believe that making devices thinner and lighter but more powerful requires innovative problem solving. Belief statements like these are so compelling for two reasons. First, the right corporate or organizational beliefs have the ability to resonate with our personal belief systems and feelings, and move us to action. In fact, the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study revealed that nearly two out of three people are now belief-driven buyers.4 And as we saw in our discussion of buyers’ emotional motivators in chapter 3, this works even if the beliefs stated are aspirational. For example, if my vision for my future self is someone who weighs a few pounds less and is in better physical shape, a well-timed ad from a health club or fancy kitchen blender evangelizing the benefits of a healthy lifestyle may be enough to rapidly convert me. In the case of Apple, the same phenomenon results in mobs of smitten consumers arriving at stores in droves, braving long lines and paying premium prices, as if to say, “Yes! I do believe I should be at the center of everything you do! Technology should be beautiful! Thinner? Lighter? More powerful? Of course! We share the same vision! We’re both cool!” (Although these actual words are rarely spoken aloud.) The second reason belief statements are so compelling is because they help us manifest the conviction and emotion critical to delivering our message in an authentic way.
David Priemer (Sell the Way You Buy: A Modern Approach To Sales That Actually Works (Even On You!))
Many people lost their livelihoods several times over in the 1990s and 2000s: first their salaried jobs, then a portion (or all) of their livestock owing to rapid privatization during the winter, and finally money invested to launch a business that subsequently failed. Some of the reasons behind the bankruptcies and losses of private entrepreneurs are clear… Upon receiving their livestock, the townspeople panicked and rushed to locate a relative or friend among the herdsmen in the countryside who would agree to take care of their livestock. The herdsmen themselves, however, had not known to prepare extra hay or fences and could provide little help to their relatives from the sedentary center. More disconcerting, many people simply did not understand that privatization signaled the end of the SF jobs and salaries, and that the livestock was given to them to enable them to subsist independently of the state. They either slaughtered and ate their share of the livestock or sold their animals to traders. Some even assumed that the livestock distributed to them was a one-time gift from the state; others thought it was an annual bonus or a reward from the state. Overall, people were confused about the distribution of animals. Purvee lamented to me: ‘No one explained to us that from now on we would be on our own and that the state would not provide us with the services and direction it had for many decades. We did not know that we now had to take care of ourselves, without any support from the state! We did not understand what privatization really meant!”… State socialism… tried to make economic production, transactions, prices, and exchanges as predictable as possible. Because the state was the main and often the only client, the marketability and competitiveness of products were not a concern for CFs so long as they met established standards. Similarly, the CFs were not worried about appealing to buyers, competing with other CFs for customers, or, in general, predicting demand and adjusting their strategies. Although the system limited (and sometimes prevented) individuals and enterprises from making a profit, it also freed people from having to search for a market and from traveling long distances with highly perishable products for which the sales outcome was uncertain. For many, the CFs were a better system than individual domestic herding of private livestock. Of course, the CFs had many shortcomings, both systemically and as individual enterprises. But in the context of post-socialist impoverishment and uncertainty, many herders missed the security and safety that CFs provided… The distinction between the haves and the have-nots was sharpened, but the distance between the two was as short as one zud, flood, or other natural disaster. Without state support, livestock was constantly under threat. For instance, without state extermination brigades, wolves and foxes regularly raided the herds. The price of a bullet almost equaled the price of a sheep, so many herdsmen could not afford to shoot the attackers regularly. Family members took turns guarding their livestock, and it was rare for a nomadic family to pass an uneventful night. Both men and women complained about the backbreaking labor and about not being able to get away from their household duties in order to see a doctor or visit a sick relative in the hospital… The privatization of SFs was a matter not only of property ownership, as Verdery revealed (2004), but also of the ownership of risk, liability, and debt against properties that were losing value. And specific to Mongolia, the new owners also most likely took on a share of the debt. Some of the economic programs instituted during socialism were never intended to generate profit; their purpose was political and ideological—settling the vast land, managing the population, and creating an illusion of prosperity and development…
Manduhai Buyandelger (Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia)
Base Camp With “tough tech” ventures—in which product development demands a vast amount of leading-edge science and engineering work—entrepreneurs often consider creating ancillary businesses before launching their primary business. These pared-down versions serve as the first application for the technologies they’re developing. Samir Kaul and his partners at Khosla Ventures have likened these ancillary businesses to a base camp, where mountaineers pause to organize their provisions and get acclimated to low oxygen levels before their final push to the summit.
Tom Eisenmann (Why Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success)
Something I’ve learned from both investors and entrepreneurs is that no one makes good decisions all the time. The most impressive people are packed full of horrendous ideas that are often acted upon. Take Amazon. It’s not intuitive to think a failed product launch at a major company would be normal and fine. Intuitively, you’d think the CEO should apologize to shareholders. But CEO Jeff Bezos said shortly after the disastrous launch of the company’s Fire Phone: If you think that’s a big failure, we’re working on much bigger failures right now. I am not kidding. Some of them are going to make the Fire Phone look like a tiny little blip.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s enormously popular perfume, Shocking, launched in 1937, was one of countless products to derive inspiration from surrealism, revealing how rapidly a movement that was rooted in radical Marxist and Freudian principles could degenerate, so far as its founders were concerned, into an eye-catching, mind-blowing gimmick of immense use to advertisers, fashion photographers, and moviemakers. Breton would be horrified by this development; Dalí delighted.
John Richardson (A Life of Picasso IV: The Minotaur Years: 1933-1943)
Exercise A “warm” niche is a niche where you have some kind of association. Perhaps you worked for a credit card company for a few years, your wife is a lawyer, you collect comic books, or your brother is a plumber. Each of these would be considered a warm niche, and introducing a product into this niche will be much easier than choosing a completely unknown market. Remember, you stand a better chance when you know who you’re selling to. Make two columns on a piece of paper. In the header of the left column write “Person” and in the right one write “Hobby or Work Experience.” Now for each row write the name of someone you know, including yourself, friends, relatives or colleagues, and write their work experience or hobby in the right column.
Rob Walling (Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup)
A second key trait is to love and to connect the arts and sciences. Whenever Steve Jobs launched a new product such as the iPod or iPhone, his presentation ended with street signs that showed an intersection of Liberal Arts Street and Technology Street. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough,” he said at one of these presentations. “We believe that it’s technology married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.
Jeff Bezos (Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos)
The Big Bang Launch is convenient for larger, more established companies as a method to launch new products because they often have distribution channels, huge engineering teams, and sales and marketing support. But counterintuitively, for networked products, this is often a trap. It’s exactly the wrong way to build a network, because a wide launch creates many, many weak networks that aren’t stable on their own. When companies don’t understand these nuances, it leads to disaster.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Anti-Network Effects Hit the Google+ Launch A charismatic executive from one of the most powerful technology companies in the world introduces a new product at a conference. This time, it’s June 2011 at the Web 2.0 Summit, where Google vice president Vic Gundotra describes the future of social networking and launches Google+. This was Google’s ambitious strategy to counteract Facebook, which was nearing their IPO. To give their new networked product a leg up, as many companies do, it led with aggressive upsells from their core product. The homepage linked to Google+, and they also integrated it widely within YouTube, Photos, and the rest of the product ecosystem. This generated huge initial numbers—within months, the company announced it had signed up more than 90 million users. While this might superficially look like a large user base, it actually consisted of many weak networks that weren’t engaged, because most new users showed up and tried out the product as they read about it in the press, rather than hearing from their friends. The high churn in the product was covered up by the incredible fire hose of traffic that the rest of Google’s network generated. Even though it wasn’t working, the numbers kept going up. When unengaged users interact with a networked product that hasn’t yet gelled into a stable, atomic network, then they don’t end up pulling other users into the product. In a Wall Street Journal article by Amir Efrati, Google+ was described as a ghost town even while the executives touted large top-line numbers: To hear Google Inc. Chief Executive Larry Page tell it, Google+ has become a robust competitor in the social networking space, with 90 million users registering since its June launch. But those numbers mask what’s really going on at Google+. It turns out Google+ is a virtual ghost town compared with the site of rival Facebook Inc., which is preparing for a massive initial public offering. New data from research firm comScore Inc. shows that Google+ users are signing up—but then not doing much there. Visitors using personal computers spent an average of about three minutes a month on Google+ between September and January, versus six to seven hours on Facebook each month over the same period, according to comScore, which didn’t have data on mobile usage.86 The fate of Google+ was sealed in their go-to-market strategy. By launching big rather than focusing on small, atomic networks that could grow on their own, the teams fell victim to big vanity metrics. At its peak, Google+ claimed to have 300 million active users—by the top-line metrics, it was on its way to success. But network effects rely on the quality of the growth and not just its quantity
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
When examined through the lens of Meerkat’s Law and the central framework of this book, it is obvious why the resulting networks generated by big launches are weak. You’d rather have a smaller set of atomic networks that are denser and more engaged than a large number of networks that aren’t there. When a networked product depends on having other people in order to be useful, it’s better to ignore the top-line aggregate numbers. Instead, the quality of the traction can only be seen when you zoom all the way into the perspective of an individual user within the network. Does a new person who joins the product see value based on how many other users are already on it? You might as well ignore the aggregate numbers, and in particular the spike of users that a new product might see in its first days. As Eric Ries describes in his book The Lean Startup, these are “vanity metrics.” The numbers might make you feel good, especially when they are going up, but it doesn’t matter if you have a hundred million users if they are churning out at a high rate, due to a lack of other users engaging. When networks are built bottom-up, they are more likely to be densely interconnected, and thus healthier and more engaged. There are multiple reasons for this: A new product is often incubated within a subcommunity, whether that’s a college campus, San Francisco techies, gamers, or freelancers—as recent tech successes have shown. It will grow within this group before spreading into other verticals, allowing time for its developers to tune features like inviting or sharing, while honing the core value proposition. Once a new networked product is spreading via word of mouth, then each user is likely to know at least one other user already on the network. By the time it reaches the broader consciousness, it will be seen as a phenomenon, and top-down efforts can always be added on to scale a network that’s already big and engaged. If Big Bang Launches work so poorly in general, why do they work for Apple? This type of launch works for Apple because their core offerings can stand alone as premium, high-utility products that generally don’t need to construct new networks to function. At most, they tap into existing networks like email and SMS. Famously, Apple has not succeeded with social offerings like the now-defunct Game Center and Ping. The closest new networked product they’ve launched is arguably the App Store, but even that was initially not in Steve Jobs’s vision for the phone.87 Most important, though, you aren’t Apple. So don’t try to copy them without having their kinds of products.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
For Microsoft’s productivity applications, the break came when the world transitioned from text-based DOS applications to graphical user interfaces, in the mid-1980s. But as the industry shifted from text to graphical interfaces, it created an opening, as every application needed to be rewritten to support the new paradigm of dropdown menus, icons, toolbars, and the mouse. While Microsoft redesigned and rethought their applications, their competitors were too stuck in the old world, and so Word and Excel leapfrogged their competitors. Then in an ensuing stroke of product marketing genius, it was combined into the Microsoft Office suite, which promptly became a colossus. Much effort was put toward making each application within the suite work with each other. For example, an Excel chart would be embedded within a Microsoft Word document—this was called Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)—which made the combination of the products more powerful. In other words, the product really matters, and bundling can provide a huge distribution advantage, but it can only go so far. It’s an echo of what we now see in the internet age, where Twitter might drive users to its now-defunct livestreaming platform Periscope, or Google might push everyone to use Google Meet. It can work, but only when the product is great. This is part of why the concept of bundling as been around forever—the McDonald’s Happy Meal was launched in the 1970s, and cable companies have been bundling TV channels since their start. But at the heart of these bundling stories are important, iconic products that reinvent the market.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Over the years, Facebook has executed an effective playbook that does exactly this, at scale. Take Instagram as an example—in the early days, the core product tapped into Facebook’s network by making it easy to share photos from one product to the other. This creates a viral loop that drives new users, but engagement, too, when likes and comments appear on both services. Being able to sign up to Instagram using your Facebook account also increases conversion rate, which creates a frictionless experience while simultaneously setting up integrations later in the experience. A direct approach to tying together the networks relies on using the very established social graph of Facebook to create more engagement. Bangaly Kaba, formerly head of growth at Instagram, describes how Instagram built off the network of its larger parent: Tapping into Facebook’s social graph became very powerful when we realized that following your real friends and having an audience of real friends was the most important factor for long-term retention. Facebook has a very rich social graph with not only address books but also years of friend interaction data. Using that info supercharged our ability to recommend the most relevant, real-life friends within the Instagram app in a way we couldn’t before, which boosted retention in a big way. The previous theory had been that getting users to follow celebrities and influencers was the most impactful action, but this was much better—the influencers rarely followed back and engaged with a new user’s content. Your friends would do that, bringing you back to the app, and we wouldn’t have been able to create this feature without Facebook’s network. Rather than using Facebook only as a source of new users, Instagram was able to use its larger parent to build stronger, denser networks. This is the foundation for stronger network effects. Instagram is a great example of bundling done well, and why a networked product that launches another networked product is at a huge advantage. The goal is to compete not just on features or product, but to always be the “big guy” in a competitive situation—to bring your bigger network as a competitive weapon, which in turn unlocks benefits for acquisition, engagement, and monetization. Going back to Microsoft, part of their competitive magic came when they could bring their entire ecosystem—developers, customers, PC makers, and others—to compete at multiple levels, not just on building more features. And the most important part of this ecosystem was the developers.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
As I’ve said throughout this book, networked products tend to start from humble beginnings—rather than big splashy launches—and YouTube was no different. Jawed’s first video is a good example. Steve described the earliest days of content and how it grew: In the earliest days, there was very little content to organize. Getting to the first 1,000 videos was the hardest part of YouTube’s life, and we were just focused on that. Organizing the videos was an afterthought—we just had a list of recent videos that had been uploaded, and you could just browse through those. We had the idea that everyone who uploaded a video would share it with, say, 10 people, and then 5 of them would actually view it, and then at least one would upload another video. After we built some key features—video embedding and real-time transcoding—it started to work.75 In other words, the early days was just about solving the Cold Start Problem, not designing the fancy recommendations algorithms that YouTube is now known for. And even once there were more videos, the attempt at discoverability focused on relatively basic curation—just showing popular videos in different categories and countries. Steve described this to me: Once we got a lot more videos, we had to redesign YouTube to make it easier to discover the best videos. At first, we had a page on YouTube to see just the top 100 videos overall, sorted by day, week, or month. Eventually it was broken out by country. The homepage was the only place where YouTube as a company would have control of things, since we would choose the 10 videos. These were often documentaries, or semi-professionally produced content so that people—particularly advertisers—who came to the YouTube front page would think we had great content. Eventually it made sense to create a categorization system for videos, but in the early years everything was grouped in with each other. Even while the numbers of videos was rapidly growing, so too were all the other forms of content on the site. YouTube wasn’t just the videos, it was also the comments left by viewers: Early in we saw that there were 100x more viewers than creators. Every social product at that time had comments, so we added them to YouTube, which was a way for the viewers to participate, too. It seems naive now, but we were just thinking about raw growth at that time—the raw number of videos, the raw number of comments—so we didn’t think much about the quality. We weren’t thinking about fake news or anything like that. The thought was, just get as many comments as possible out there, and the more controversial the better! Keep in mind that the vast majority of videos had zero comments, so getting feedback for our creators usually made the experience better for them. Of course now we know that once you get to a certain level of engagement, you need a different solution over time.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
In a research study called “How today’s fastest growing B2B businesses found their first ten customers,” startup veteran Lenny Rachitsky interviewed early members of teams from Slack, Stripe, Figma, and Asana. In studying how these earliest companies found their first customers, it was concluded that a significant number came from the founders tapping their personal networks: Only three sourcing strategies account for every B2B company’s very early growth. [These are: Personal network, Seek out customers where they are, Get press.] Thus, your choices are easy, yet limited. Almost every B2B business both hits up their personal network and heads to the places their potential customers were spending time. The question isn’t which of these two routes to pursue, but instead how far your own network will take you before you move on. It’s a huge advantage to have a strong personal network in B2B, which you can also build by bringing a connector investor or joining an incubator such as YC. Getting press is rarely the way to get started.44 Just as Uber’s ops hustle worked for solving the city-by-city Cold Start Problem, B2B startups have an equivalent card to play: they can manually reach out and onboard teams from their friends’ startups, building atomic networks quickly, as Slack did in their early launch. Or, many productivity products begin by launching within online communities—like Twitter, Hacker News, and Product Hunt—where dense pockets of early adopters are willing to try new products. In recent years, B2B products have started to emphasize memes, funny videos, invite-only mechanics, and other tactics traditionally associated with consumer startups. I expect that this will only continue, as the consumerization of enterprise products fully embraces meme-based go-to-market early on, instead of leading with direct sales.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Measuring the Acquisition Network Effect To increase the Acquisition Effect, you have to be able to directly measure it. The good news is that viral growth can be rolled up into one number. Here’s how you calculate it: Let’s say you’ve built a new productivity tool for sharing notes, and after it launches, 1,000 users download the new app. A percentage of these users invite their colleagues and friends, and over the next month, 500 users download and sign up—what happens next? Well, those 500 users then invite their friends, and get 250 to sign up, who create another 125 sign-ups, and so on. Pay attention to the ratios between each set of users—1000 to 500 to 250. This ratio is often called the viral factor, and in this case can be calculated at 0.5, because each cohort of users generates 0.5 of the next cohort. In this example, things are looking good—starting with 1,000 users with a viral factor of 0.5 leads to a total of 2,000 users by the end of the amplification—meaning an amplification rate of 2x. A higher ratio is better, since it means each cohort is more efficiently bringing on the next batch of users.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
There’s a reason why the term used for viral growth is to “land and expand”—to build new networks as well as increasing the density of existing networks. By “landing,” viral growth can start new atomic networks, as a Dropbox invite from an ad agency to their client brings a new company into the collaboration network. Or, when a WhatsApp group chat invite brings onboard a new set of friends who hadn’t previously used the service. But then the product “expands”—increasing the density of a network as all the coworkers in an office ultimately join Dropbox. It’s for this reason that networks built through viral growth are healthier and more engaged than those that are launched in the typical “Big Bang” fashion, as Google+ did years back. Big Bang Launches can be great at landing, but often fail at expanding—and as we discussed, many networks with low density and low engagement will fail. The result of increasing density and engagement isn’t just easier new user acquisition, but also stronger Engagement and Economic network effects. That’s because these network effects are ultimately derived by the density and size of the network, and as more users join, they naturally become stronger.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Xerox had an attractive financial model focused on leasing and servicing machines and selling toner, rather than big-ticket equipment sales. For Xerox and its salespeople, this meant steadier, more recurring income. With a large baseline of recurring revenues, budgets were more likely to be met, which allowed management to give accurate guidance to stock analysts. For customers, the cost of leasing a copier is accounted for as an operating expense, which doesn’t usually entail upper management approval as a capital purchase might. As a near-monopoly manufacturer of copiers, Xerox could reduce costs by building more of a few standard models. As owner of a fleet of potentially obsolete leased equipment, Xerox might prefer not to improve models too quickly. As Steve Jobs saw it, product people were driven out of Xerox, along with any sense of craftsmanship. Nonetheless, in 1969, Xerox launched one of the most remarkable research efforts ever, the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), without which Apple, the PC, and the Internet would not exist. The modern PC was invented at PARC, as was Ethernet networking, the graphical user interface and the mouse to control it, email, user-friendly word processing, desktop publishing, video conferencing, and much more. The invention that most clearly fit into Xerox’s vision of the “office of the future” was the laser printer, which Hewlett-Packard exploited more successfully than Xerox. (I’m watching to see how the modern parallel, Alphabet’s moonshot ventures, works out.) Xerox notoriously failed to turn these world-changing inventions into market dominance, or any market share at all—allowing Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and others to build behemoth enterprises around them. At a meeting where Steve Jobs accused Bill Gates of ripping off Apple’s ideas, Gates replied, “Well Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke in to steal his TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.
Joel Tillinghast (Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing (Columbia Business School Publishing))
If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
Gabriel Weinberg (Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models)
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The Apple Ad to IBM when the IBM computer launched. Welcome to the most exciting and important marketplace since the computer revolution began 35 years ago. Read the opening sentence of Apple's Ad. Putting real computer power in the hands of the individual is already improving the way people work, think, learn, communicate, and spend their leisure hours. Ove the course of the next decade the growth of the personal computer will continue in algorithmic leaps. We look forward to responsible competition in the massive effort to distribute this American technology to the world. And we appreciate the magnitude of your commitment, because what we are doing is increasing social capital by enhancing individual productivity. Apple signed the letter to their new rival with the words, Welcome to the task. Apple was trying to advance a just cause and IBM was going to help them. IBM accepted the challenge.
Simon Sinek (The Infinite Game)
My bet is that had Bt corn been Monsanto’s initial product launch instead of Roundup Ready soy, things might have been very different for GMOs. Genetic engineering could have been associated in the public mind from the outset with the reduction of chemical pesticides and might therefore have faced less widespread opposition. Some environmental groups might even have cautiously supported GMOs as part of their long-running campaigns to reduce pesticides in agriculture. Bt crops might even have been adopted by organic farmers as a more efficient way to deliver a biopesticide that they had already been relying on for many years. Instead, mostly because of the ‘original sin’ of Roundup Ready, Monsanto found itself embroiled in a succession of controversies that have today made the company a byword for chemical-dependent ‘Big Ag’.
Mark Lynas (Seeds of Science: Why We Got It So Wrong On GMOs)
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late. —Reid Hoffman, March 2011
Rand Fishkin (Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World)
However, what Ben-Ghiat is not telling you is that the theory about “the Authoritarian Personality” originates with the Frankfurt School, and she omits the most important historical fact about this theory—the agenda behind it. As we noted in the previous chapter, the psychological theories and research that came out of the Frankfurt School were designed to ignite a Marxist cultural revolution to take down America by destroying Christianity, traditional marriage and the nuclear family, biblical moral values, and patriotism. The Frankfurt School launched their Marxist cultural revolution through venues like political correctness, education, media, arts, literature, sex, religion, and psychology. These Marxist professors partnered with Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, who developed the theory of psychoanalysis. Together, they created the still-popular theory that the repression of sexual urges of any kind, especially through Christian or biblical teachings and a strong father-centered family structure, creates severe psychological problems that give rise to phenomena such as “the Authoritarian Personality.” One of the primary tenets of Marxism and communism is to destroy the concept of the individual and replace it with groupthink where people find their identities by being part of the team, group, or collective. Individuality is considered a product of capitalism and Christianity. In the ideal Marxist society, the individual disappears, the collective emerges, and the state replaces God. A strong individual leader who has enough self-confidence to be fearless and doesn’t need the approval of the collective is a direct threat to Marxism. This is because the Authoritarian Leader possesses the power, along with the people who follow him, to stop or overthrow a Marxist revolution. The primary motive for the creation of the Authoritarian Leader theory is to use it as a
Paul McGuire (Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code))
Microbusinesses aren’t new; they’ve been around since the beginning of commerce. What’s changed, however, is the ability to test, launch, and scale your project quickly and on the cheap. • To start a business, you need three things: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. Everything else is completely optional. • If you’re good at one thing, you’re probably good at other things too. Many projects begin through a process of “skill transformation,” in which you apply your knowledge to a related topic. • Most important: merge your passion and skill with something that is useful to other people.
Chris Guillebeau (The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More)
After a successful launch, entrepreneurs need to know how to switch from venture mode to corporation mode. This means learning control skills to protect resources, organization skills to build a more productive organization and achieve goals, and leadership skills to dominate the emerging industry.
Dileep Rao (Nothing Ventured, Everything Gained: How Entrepreneurs Create, Control, and Retain Wealth Without Venture Capital)
The positive feelings take a variety of forms: the affair, the addiction, the attachment to promotions, awards, or positive results, the next acquisition, the next big product launch, accolades from others. Food, sex, drugs, . . . a new Ferrari. It’s all an attempt to soothe the soul. The problem is that painkillers do not really cure the disease. They just ease the pain, temporarily and superficially making one feel better.
Henry Cloud (The Power of the Other: The startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond-and what to do about it)
Some entrepreneurs use their unique skills to develop their product or service to launch their business in emerging technologies. Established companies usually are not dominant in these emerging technologies, and the new ventures can gain a strong foothold before the dominant companies are aware of the opportunity—and the threat.
Dileep Rao (Nothing Ventured, Everything Gained: How Entrepreneurs Create, Control, and Retain Wealth Without Venture Capital)
To successfully launch a product, generic drug companies must tread in reverse through this obstacle course. Once a generic company zeroes in on a molecule, and its scientists figure out how it operates in the body, its lawyers get to work to establish how well protected it is legally. The next step takes place in the laboratory: developing the active pharmaceutical ingredient by synthesizing it into ingredient form. That alone can take several years of trial and error. Once successful, the finished generic has to take the same form as the brand, whether that be pill, capsule, tablet, or injection. Formulating it requires additional ingredients known as excipients, which can be different, but might also be litigated. Then comes testing. In the lab, the in-vitro tests replicate conditions in the body. During dissolution tests, for example, the drug will be put in beakers whose contents mimic stomach conditions, to see how the drugs break down. But some of the most important tests are in-vivo—when the drug is tested on people. Brand-name companies must test new drugs on thousands of patients to prove that they are safe and effective. Generic companies have to prove only that their drug performs similarly in the body to the brand-name drug. To do this, they must test it on a few dozen healthy volunteers and map the concentration of the drug in their blood. The results yield a graph that contains the all-important bioequivalence curve. The horizontal line reflects the time to maximum concentration (Tmax) of drug in the blood. The vertical line reflects the peak concentration (Cmax) of drug in the blood. Between these two axes lies the area under the curve (AUC). The test results must fall in that area to be deemed bioequivalent. Every batch of drugs has variation. Even brand-name drugs made in the same laboratory under the exact same conditions will have some batch-to-batch differences. So, in 1992, the FDA created a complex statistical formula that defined bioequivalence as a range—a generic drug’s concentration in the blood could not fall below 80 percent or rise above 125 percent of the brand name’s concentration. But the formula also required companies to impose a 90 percent confidence interval on their testing, to ensure that less than 20 percent of samples would fall outside the designated range and far more would land within a closer range to the innovator product.
Katherine Eban (Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom)
Campaigns A “humble campaign” is very similar to Sean and Alan’s approach: launch a small campaign as your first project to learn the ropes, then launch a more ambitious project later. Humble campaigns aren’t meant to raise $100,000+ from thousands of backers, though. They have humble ambitions. Not only is this good for running the campaign itself, but it also gives you the opportunity to learn how to create and ship something without the pressure of thousands of backers. The other benefit of a humble campaign is that it’s not as all consuming as a big, complex project. You might actually get to sleep and eat on a regular schedule during a humble campaign. A prime example of a humble campaign is Michael Iachini’s light card game, Otters. In a postmortem blog post6 following his successful campaign ($5,321 raised from 246 backers), Michael outlined the five core elements of a humble campaign: • Low funding goal Keep the product simple and find a way to produce it in small print runs. • Paid graphic design Just because a campaign is humble doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look polished and professional. • Creative Commons art The cards in Otters feature photos of actual otters downloaded from Google Images using a filter for images that are available for reuse (even for commercial purposes, pending credit to the photographers). • Efficient marketing Instead of spending every waking hour on social media, Michael targeted specific reviewers and offered them prototype copies of Otters before the campaign. All he had to do during the campaign was share the reviews when they went live. • Limited expandability Michael offered exactly two stretch goals (compared with dozens for many other projects) and one add-on. In doing so, he intentionally limited the growth potential for the project. You might read this and wonder why you would want to run a humble campaign for $12K or $5K when you create something that could raise $100K. Aside from the standard cautionary tales about letting a project spiral out of control, maintaining a manageable project is like having a summer internship before jumping into a career at an unknown organization. It gives you the chance to poke around, experience the pros and cons firsthand, and make a few mistakes without jeopardizing your entire future.
Jamey Stegmaier (A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide: Build a Better Business by Building Community)
When Wimdu launched, the Samwers reached out to Airbnb to discuss combining forces, as they had done with Groupon and eBay to facilitate a speedy exit. Discussions ensued between Airbnb and Wimdu cofounders and investors—meeting multiple times, touring the Wimdu offices, and checking with other founders like Andrew Mason from Groupon to best understand the potential outcome. In the end, Airbnb chose to fight. Brian Chesky described his thought process: My view was, my biggest punishment, my biggest revenge on you is, I’m gonna make you run this company long term. So you had the baby, now you gotta raise the child. And you’re stuck with it for 18 years. Because I knew he wanted to sell the company. I knew he could move faster than me for a year, but he wasn’t gonna keep doing it. And so that was our strategy. And we built the company long term. And the ultimate way we won is, we had a better community. He couldn’t understand community. And I think we had a better product.82 To do this, the company would mobilize their product teams to rapidly improve their support for international regions. Jonathan Golden, the first product manager at Airbnb, described their efforts: Early on, Airbnb’s listing experience was basic. You filled out forms, uploaded 1 photo—usually not professional—and editing the listing after the fact was hard. The mobile app in the early days was lightweight, where you could only browse but not book. There were a lot of markets in those days with just 1 or 2 listings. Booking only supported US dollars, so it catered towards American travelers only, and for hosts, they could get money out via a bank transfer to an American bank via ACH, or PayPal. We needed to get from this skeleton of a product into something that could work internationally if we wanted to fend off Wimdu. We internationalized the product, translating it into all the major languages. We went from supporting 1 currency to adding 32. We bought all the local domains, like for the UK website and for Spain. It was important to move quickly to close off the opportunity in Europe.83 Alongside the product, the fastest way to fight on Wimdu’s turf was to quickly scale up paid marketing in Europe using Facebook, Google, and other channels to augment the company’s organic channels, built over years. Most important, Airbnb finally pulled the trigger on putting boots on the ground—hiring Martin Reiter, the company’s first head of international, and also partnering with Springstar, a German incubator and peer of Rocket Internet’s, to accelerate their international expansion.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
The key to investing is not assessing how much an industry is going to affect society, or how much it will grow, but rather determining the competitive advantage of any given company and, above all, the durability of that advantage. The products or services that have wide, sustainable moats around them are the ones that deliver rewards to investors.84 Because Buffett generally invests in low-tech companies like See’s Candies or Coca-Cola, the moat he refers to is often a strong brand or a unique business model. For software products with network effects, a strong moat means something different: how much effort, time, and capital does it take to replicate a product’s features and its network? In the modern era, cloning software features is usually not the hard part—replicating the complete functionality of a Slack or Airbnb might take time, but it is tractable. It’s the difficulty of cloning their network that makes these types of products highly defensible. I’ll use an example to think through the competitive moat. Let’s start from first principles, with an example of Airbnb trying to launch in a new city with no competitors in sight. As the early Airbnb team described, the Cold Start Problem lies in the difficulty of launching a new city to a Tipping Point of over 300 listings with 100 reviews. This requires real effort, because the minimum network size is quite large—contrasted to many other network types like communication apps, which might only require two or three people to get started. But once Airbnb has reached Escape Velocity in a market, the Cold Start Problem creates the defense against new entrants.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
If a networked product can begin to win over a series of networks faster than its competition, then it develops an accumulating advantage. These advantages, naturally, manifest as increasing network effects across customer acquisition, engagement, and monetization. Smaller networks might unravel and lose their users, who might switch over. Naturally, it becomes important for every player to figure out how to compete in this type of high-stakes environment. But how does the competitive playbook work in a world with network effects? First, I’ll tell you what it’s not: it’s certainly not a contest to see who can ship more features. In fact, sometimes the products seem roughly the same—just think about food-delivery or messaging apps—and if not, they often become undifferentiated since the features are relatively easy to copy. Instead, it’s often the dynamics of the underlying network that make all the difference. Although the apps for DoorDash and Uber Eats look similar, the former’s focus on high-value, low-competition areas like suburbs and college towns made all the difference—today, DoorDash’s market share is 2x that of Uber Eats. Facebook built highly dense and engaged networks starting with college campuses versus Google+’s scattered launch that built weak, disconnected networks. Rarely in network-effects-driven categories does a product win based on features—instead, it’s a combination of harnessing network effects and building a product experience that reinforces those advantages. It’s also not about whose network is bigger, a counterpoint to jargon like “first mover advantage.” In reality, you see examples of startups disrupting the big guys all the time. There’s been a slew of players who have “unbundled” parts of Craigslist, cherry-picking the best subcategories and making them apps unto themselves. Airbnb, Zillow, Thumbtack, Indeed, and many others fall into this category. Facebook won in a world where MySpace was already huge. And more recently, collaboration tools like Notion and Zoom are succeeding in a world where Google Suite, WebEx, and Skype already have significant traction. Instead, the quality of the networks matters a lot—which makes it important for new entrants to figure out which networks to cherry-pick to get started, which I’ll discuss in its own chapter.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Approaching Existing Investors If you ever need to raise more money, there’s no better audience than your existing investors! I find that the best way to reach out is with a super short email blast. For example: “Dear Backers, [2-3 sentences on what you just accomplished, extremely excited] We’ve also got a very exciting opportunity. Based on our milestones, we are gearing up for a serious product launch and will raise another $1M at a special-priced note to accelerate a few components. If you’ve wanted to get more deeply invested, now is the time. I imagine this being accounted for very quickly, so please ping me ASAP!” You might want to send a couple of “momentum” emails leading up to this message so that they’re already excited by the time they get the email from you.
Ryan Breslow (Fundraising)
All growth leads require a basic set of skills: fluency in data analysis; expertise or fluency in product management (meaning the process of developing and launching a product); and an understanding of how to design and run experiments.
Sean Ellis (Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success)
What are you using the capital for?” There are tons of answers to this, e.g., “It gives us room for X additional hires, which will help us capture market share faster or launch Y product Z months faster.” I often like to tie in a sense of momentum: “This thing happened sooner than we thought, and we need to scale faster than we originally planned!” If you can tie it into the numbers, even better, e.g., “It’s going to take us roughly $1.5M, about half of which will be used to hire the engineers needed to get this product to market, and the other half of which will be used to onboard our first 20 customers and $1M in ARR.
Ryan Breslow (Fundraising)
This is my self-assessment that I wrote in my performance review that year: Overall, my performance was dreadful in 2006. In Unbox, our launch was poorly received, partly due to DRM [digital rights management] and licensing issues that restrict content usage, and selection, partly due to bad product choices we made for consumers (erring on the side of quality over download speed) and partly due to engineering defects. In any case, I didn’t manage these issues appropriately and the result was a weak launch with weak consumer response and negative press reaction. Net my performance versus goals can be summarized by a poor execution percentage in terms of projects completed and the main project that is complete (Unbox Video) is not a compelling customer experience (yet) and the rate of sales is pitiful. I think a grade of ‘D’ for my performance vs. goals would be generous.
Colin Bryar (Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon)
Mahindra Lifespaces is a irreplaceable property developer in the city. The are well know pioneer builder for its beautiful green homes, signature designs, technology. The Mahindra Eden is the greatest and high ranking product yet launched by the Mahindra Lifespaces. Stability is the brand's perception to offer us a best property that would last for generations.
Mahindra Eden
Overloading teams and ARTs with more work than can be reasonably accomplished causes too much WIP, which confuses priorities, causes frequent context switching, and increases overhead and wait times. Like a crowded highway at rush hour, there is simply no upside to having more WIP than the system can handle. Experience shows that excess WIP drives high utilization, which results in the inability to respond to change, burnout, late product launches, reduced profits, and poor economic outcomes.
Richard Knaster (SAFe 5.0 Distilled: Achieving Business Agility with the Scaled Agile Framework)
Understanding if customers are willing to pay for your invention, before you commit too many resources to building and launching it, will dramatically increase your likelihood of success.
Madhavan Ramanujam (Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price)
awareness in the United States. In May, we expanded our demographic by launching Chrome for OS X and Linux. At last, our browser was no longer a Windows-only product. Well into the third quarter, the outcome remained in doubt. Then we did a small thing that became a big thing: a passive alert for former Chrome users who’d been dormant. Weeks later, at the end of Q3, our user total had surged from 87 million to 107 million. And shortly after that, we reached 111 million seven-day actives. We had achieved our goal. Today, on mobile alone, there are more than a billion active users of Chrome. We couldn’t have gotten there without objectives and key results. OKRs are the way we think about everything at Google, the way we’ve always done it.
John Doerr (Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs)
How can we harness the wind of change for growth? How can we thrive in times of worldwide change? And more specifically, how can leaders turn a crisis into a business opportunity?
Adi Mazor Kario (Innovating Through Chaos: The proven formula for launching unbeatable products during uncertain times)
Prioritization is one of the product manager’s most important functions at this point; if the team were to fix every bug and build every new feature idea, the product would never launch.
Gayle Laakmann McDowell (Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology)
Sometimes brands make a stand more quietly. Deep inside one of the world’s most famous factories, located in the tiny town of Billund, Denmark, more than a hundred engineers and scientists are collaborating to redesign a product that has worked perfectly for more than eighty years. The LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre, a well-funded group within LEGO, is dedicated to finding more sustainable materials within the next decade to make the company’s iconic bricks. In 2018 the group launched its first innovation, making flexible pieces such as leaves and palm trees from a plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane. This sense of commitment to the environment is deeply felt at LEGO. Its efforts may inspire more such initiatives across the toy industry, especially if consumers take note of LEGO’s efforts and demand similar forward-looking commitments from other companies as well.
Rohit Bhargava (Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future (Non-Obvious Trends Series))
we also began an initiative called Velocity Product Development (VPD) that reimagined virtually every part of our development process with the goal of increasing sales. Working with our engineers and marketers, we analyzed the flow of projects through our system, identifying and fixing blockages with an eye toward improving speed. We took apart our development process step by step, improving everything about it—bringing marketing and engineering together from the very beginning, improving how usable our product designs were and how easy they were for our plants to manufacture, implementing rapid prototyping of our designs, and enhancing how we launched new products. We reduced the number of sign-offs new design changes required as they moved through the system, improved software development and testing, and enhanced our use of electronic design tools.
David Cote (Winning Now, Winning Later: How Companies Can Succeed in the Short Term While Investing for the Long Term)
Zara takes only two weeks to develop a new product and get it into stores—the industry average is six months—and launches over ten thousand new designs per year, a rate several times that of competitors like H&M and Gap. Zara holds just six days of inventory, while rival H&M holds nearly ten times as much.
Reid Hoffman (Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies)
Trump talks tough on China, but much of the Trump-branded products including his hideous ties are made there. President Trump has launched an incompetent trade war with China that cost American farmers and consumers billions. When he started losing, he tried to help farmers. But he screwed that up, too. Most of the money went to big corporations instead of family farms. The money for Trump’s corporate farm bailout was borrowed from— yes, you guessed it— China.
Dan Pfeiffer (Un-Trumping America: A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again)
I heard a man say he needed to lose weight before he could start running. Imagine that. Lose the weight so he could initiate the running habit. That’s like a writer who waits for inspiration to begin the book, or the manager who waits for a promotion to lead the field, or a startup that waits for full funding before launching a status quo–disrupting product. The flow of life rewards positive action and punishes hesitation.
Robin S. Sharma (The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life)
I intentionally create products and processes around projects with a beginning and an end. It’s amazing to see the few that come out of the woodwork to support a cause or a startup vs how many come out to celebrate the big launch after all the hard work, a graduation, or closing of a chapter.
Richie Norton
In 1982 the British Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, hosted a seminar at 10 Downing Street for designers and their advocates. She subsequently ‘wrote’ an article for Design in which she stated: ‘The profit potential of product design and development is considerable. Designers themselves should be more aggressive in selling themselves to industry as wealth creators’ (Thatcher, quoted in Whitely 1991: 196). In 1983, the UK’s Design Council launched its ‘Design for Profit’ slogan. Its 1986 Profit by Design pamphlet echoed Thatcher’s views, starkly pointing out that, ‘the design process is a planning exercise to maximize sales and profits’ (Design Council, quoted in Whitely 1991: 196).
Guy Julier (The Culture of Design)
It wasn’t a sensation,” Kilby recalls dryly. There were about 17,000 electronic products on display at the convention (the Coliseum used a million watts of power daily during the gathering), and large numbers of them attracted more attention than the integrated circuit. There were hundreds of reporters on hand, and virtually all of them managed to miss the biggest story of the week. In its special issue on the convention, Electronics magazine, which was supposed to recognize important new developments in the field, offered breathless reports on such innovations as a backward -wave oscillator and a gallium arsenide diode, but made no mention of the integrated circuit. In a wrap-up two weeks later, Electronics devoted a single paragraph to Texas Instruments’ new “match-head size solid-state circuit.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
Government sales constituted 100 percent of the market for integrated circuits until 1964, and the federal government remained the largest buyer of chips for several years after that. The military had started funding research on new types of electric circuits in the early 1950s, when the tyranny of numbers first emerged. The problems inherent in complex circuits containing large numbers of individual components were particularly severe in defense applications. Such circuits tended to be big and heavy, but the services needed equipment that was light and portable. “The general rule of thumb in a missile was that one extra pound of payload cost $100,000 worth of extra fuel,” Noyce recalled. “The shipping cost of sending up a 50-pound computer was too high even for the Pentagon.” Further, space-age weapons had to be absolutely reliable—a goal that was inordinately difficult to achieve in a circuit with several thousand components and several thousand hand-soldered connections. When the Air Force ordered electronic equipment for the Minuteman I, the first modern intercontinental ballistic missile, specifications called for every single component—not just every radio but every transistor and every resistor in every radio—to have its own individual progress chart on which production, installation, checking, and rechecking could be recorded. Testing, retesting, and re-retesting more than doubled the cost of each electronic part.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
For the Minuteman II missile, Texas Instruments had to design and produce twenty-two fairly standard types of circuits in integrated form; every one of those chips was readily adaptable to civilian computers, radio transmitters, and the like. A large number of the most familiar products of the microelectronic revolution, from the busy businessman’s pocket beeper to the Action News Minicam (“film at eleven”), resulted directly from space and military development contracts.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
Following the principles of meritocracy, the abdicated throne of the Cosmos awaits the deserving to pull the sword from the stone. Effectively, Nature created her adversary, a rogue who threatens the balance on Earth. Maybe the creation of a detrimental race was purposeful, but Nature has been known to experiment continuously and launch failing products from her labs.
Aneesh Abraham (Super Dense Crush Load: The Story of Man Redux)
To begin the discussion of the Tipping Point, I’ll start with a prominent strategy, “Invite-Only,” that is often used to suck in a large network through viral growth. Another method to tip over a market is with a “Come for the Tool, Stay for the Network” strategy. Take Dropbox, for instance, which is initially adopted by many people for file backup and keeping files synced up between work and home computers—this is the tool. But eventually, a more advanced and stickier use case emerges to share folders with colleagues—this is the network. And if that doesn’t work, some products can always just spend money to build out their network, with a strategy of just “Paying Up for Launch.” For many networked products that touch transactions like marketplaces, teams can just subsidize demand and spend millions to stimulate activity, whether that’s in paying content creators for your social network, or subsidizing driver earnings in rideshare. If the hard side of the network isn’t yet activated, a team can just fill in their gaps themselves, using the technique of “Flintstoning”—as Reddit did, submitting links and content until eventually adding automation and community features for scale. In the end, all of these strategies require enormous creativity. And to close out the Tipping Point section of the book, I introduce Uber’s core ethos of “Always Be Hustlin’”—describing the creativity and decentralized set of teams, all with its own strategies that were localized to each region. Sometimes adding the fifth or one hundredth network requires creativity, product engagements, and tactical changes. In the goal of reaching the Tipping Point, teams must be fluid to build out a broad network of networks.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Success comes with an inevitable problem: market saturation. New products initially grow just by adding more customers—to grow a network, add more nodes. Eventually this stops working because nearly everyone in the target market has joined the network, and there are not enough potential customers left. From here, the focus has to shift from adding new customers to layering on more services and revenue opportunities with existing ones. eBay had this problem in its early years, and had to figure its way out. My colleague at a16z, Jeff Jordan, experienced this himself, and would often write and speak about his first month as the general manager of eBay’s US business. It was in 2000, and for the first time ever, eBay’s US business failed to grow on a month-over-month basis. This was critical for eBay because nearly all the revenue and profit for the company came from the US unit—without growth in the United States, the entire business would stagnate. Something had to be done quickly. It’s tempting to just optimize the core business. After all, increasing a big revenue base even a little bit often looks more appealing than starting at zero. Bolder bets are risky. Yet because of the dynamics of market saturation, a product’s growth tends to slow down and not speed up. There’s no way around maintaining a high growth rate besides continuing to innovate. Jeff shared what the team did to find the next phase of growth for the company: at the time enabled the community to buy and sell solely through online auctions. But auctions intimidated many prospective users who expressed preference for the ease and simplicity of fixed price formats. Interestingly, our research suggested that our online auction users were biased towards men, who relished the competitive aspect of the auction. So the first major innovation we pursued was to implement the (revolutionary!) concept of offering items for a fixed price on, which we termed “buy-it-now.” Buy-it-now was surprisingly controversial to many in both the eBay community and in eBay headquarters. But we swallowed hard, took the risk and launched the feature . . . and it paid off big. These days, the buy-it-now format represents over $40 billion of annual Gross Merchandise Volume for eBay, 62% of their total.65
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Launching “Buy It Now” was a large change that touched every transaction, but the eBay team also innovated across the experience for both sellers and buyers as well. With an initial success, we doubled down on innovation to drive growth. We introduced stores on eBay, which dramatically increased the amount of product offered for sale on the platform. We expanded the menu of optional features that sellers could purchase to better highlight their listings on the site. We improved the post-transaction experience on by significantly improving the “checkout” flow, including the eventual seamless integration of PayPal on the eBay site. Each of these innovations supported the growth of the business and helped to keep that gravity at bay. Years later, Jeff became a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where he would kick off the firm’s success in startups with network effects, investing in Airbnb, Instacart, Pinterest, and others. I’m lucky to work with him! He recounted in an essay on the a16z blog that his strategy was to grow eBay by adding layers and layers of new revenue—like “adding layers to the cake.” You can see it visually here: Figure 12: eBay’s growth layer cake As the core US business began to look more like a line than a hockey stick, international and payments were layered on top. Together, the aggregate business started to look like a hockey stick, but underneath it was actually many new lines of business.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
My friend Bangaly Kaba, formerly head of growth at Instagram, called this idea the theory of “Adjacent Users.” He describes his experience at Instagram, which several years post-launch was growing fast but not at rocketship speed: When I joined Instagram in 2016, the product had over 400 million users, but the growth rate had slowed. We were growing linearly, not exponentially. For many products, that would be viewed as an amazing success, but for a viral social product like Instagram, linear growth doesn’t cut it. Over the next 3 years, the growth team and I discovered why Instagram had slowed, developed a methodology to diagnose our issues, and solved a series of problems that reignited growth and helped us get to over a billion users by the time I left. Our success was anchored on what I now call The Adjacent User Theory. The Adjacent Users are aware of a product and possibly tried using it, but are not able to successfully become an engaged user. This is typically because the current product positioning or experience has too many barriers to adoption for them. While Instagram had product-market fit for 400+ million people, we discovered new groups of billions of users who didn’t quite understand Instagram and how it fit into their lives.67 In my conversations with Bangaly on this topic, he described his approach as a systematic evaluation of the network of networks that constituted Instagram. Rather than focusing on the core network of Power Users—the loud and vocal minority that often drive product decisions—instead the approach was to constantly figure out the adjacent set of users whose experience was subpar. There might be multiple sets of nonfunctional adjacent networks at any given time, and it might require different approaches to fix each one. For some networks, it might be the features of the product, like Instagram not having great support for low-end Android apps. Or it might be because of the quality of their networks—if the right content creators or celebrities hadn’t yet arrived. You fix the experience for these users, then ask yourself again, who are the adjacent users? Then repeat. Bangaly describes this approach: When I started at Instagram, the Adjacent User was women 35–45 years old in the US who had a Facebook account but didn’t see the value of Instagram. By the time I left Instagram, the Adjacent User was women in Jakarta, on an older 3G Android phone with a prepaid mobile plan. There were probably 8 different types of Adjacent Users that we solved for in-between those two points. To solve for the needs of the Adjacent User, the Instagram team had to be nimble, focusing first on pulling the audience of US women from the Facebook network. This required the team to build algorithmic recommendations that utilized Facebook profiles and connections, so that Instagram could surface friends and family on the platform—not just influencers. Later on, targeting users in Jakarta and in other developing countries might involve completely different approaches—refining apps for low-end Android phones with low data connections. As the Adjacent User changes, the strategy has to change as well.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Seven hundred new antibacterial products were launched in the United States between 1992 and 1998. One of them was the “oral-care strip,” pieces of anti-microbial tape designed to be stuck to the tongue.
Katherine Ashenburg (Clean: An Unsanitised History of Washing)
The networked product should be launched in its simplest possible form—not fully featured—so that it has a dead simple value proposition. The target should be on building a tiny, atomic network—the smallest that could possibly make sense—and focus on building density, ignoring the objection of “market size.” And finally, the attitude in executing the launch should be “do whatever it takes”—even if it’s unscalable or unprofitable—to get momentum, without worrying about how to scale.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Scientists and engineers tend to divide their work into two large categories, sometimes described as basic research and directed research. Some of the most crucial inventions and discoveries of the modern world have come about through basic research—that is, work that was not directed toward any particular use. Albert Einstein’s picture of the universe, Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, Niels Bohr’s blueprint of the atomic nucleus, the Watson-Crick “double helix” model of DNA—all these have had enormous practical implications, but they all came out of basic research. There are just as many basic tools of modern life—the electric light, the telephone, vitamin pills, the Internet—that resulted from a clearly focused effort to solve a particular problem. In a sense, this distinction between basic and directed research encompasses the difference between science and engineering. Scientists, on the whole, are driven by the thirst for knowledge; their motivation, as the Nobel laureate Richard Feynman put it, is “the joy of finding things out.” Engineers, in contrast, are solution-driven. Their joy is making things work. The monolithic idea was an engineering solution. It worked around the tyranny of numbers by reducing the numbers to one: a complete circuit would consist of just one part—a single (“monolithic”) block of semiconductor material containing all the components and all the interconnections of the most complex circuit designs. The tangible product of that idea, known to engineers as the monolithic integrated circuit and to the world at large as the semiconductor chip, has changed the world as fundamentally as did the telephone, the light bulb, and the horseless carriage. The integrated circuit is the heart of clocks, computers, cameras, and calculators, of pacemakers and Palm Pilots, of deep-space probes and deep-sea sensors, of toasters, typewriters, cell phones, and Internet servers. The National Academy of Sciences declared the integrated circuit the progenitor of the “Second Industrial Revolution.” The first Industrial Revolution enhanced man’s physical prowess and freed people from the drudgery of backbreaking manual labor; the revolution spawned by the chip enhances our intellectual prowess and frees people from the drudgery of mind-numbing computational labor. A British physicist, Sir Ieuan Madlock, Her Majesty’s Chief Science Advisor, called the integrated circuit “the most remarkable technology ever to hit mankind.” A California businessman, Jerry Sanders, founder of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., offered a more pointed assessment: “Integrated circuits are the crude oil of the eighties.” All
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
The Fearless Flyer began life in 1969 during the Good Time Charley phase of Trader Joe’s as the Insider’s Wine Report, a sheet of gossip of “inside” information on the wine industry at a time where there weren’t any such gossip sheets, for the excellent reason that few people were interested in wine. As of the writing of this book, 11 percent of Americans drink 88 percent of the wine according to contemporary wine gossip magazine the Wine Spectator. In the Insider’s Wine Report we gave the results of the wine tastings that we were holding with increasing frequency, as we tried to gain product knowledge. This growing knowledge impressed me with how little we knew about food, so in 1969, we launched a parallel series of blind tastings of branded foods: mayonnaise, canned tuna, hot dogs, peanut butter, and so on. The plan was to select the winner, and sell it “at the lowest shelf price in town.” To report these results, I designed the Insider’s Food Report, which began publication in 1970. It deliberately copied the physical layout of Consumer Reports: the 8.5” x 11” size, the width of columns, and the typeface (later changed). Other elements of design are owed to David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man. The numbered paragraphs, the boxes drawn around the articles, are all Ogilvy’s ideas. I still think his books are the best on advertising that I’ve ever read and I recommend them. Another inspiration was Clay Felker, then editor of New York magazine, the best-edited publication of that era. New York’s motto was, “If you live in New York, you need all the help you can get!” The Insider’s Food Report borrowed this, as “The American housewife needs all the help she can get!” And in the background was the Cassandra-like presence of Ralph Nader, then at the peak of his influence. I felt, however, that all the consumer magazines, never mind Mr. Nader, were too paranoid, too humorless. To leaven the loaf, I inserted cartoons. The purpose of the cartoons was to counterpoint the rather serious, expository text; and, increasingly, to mock Trader Joe’s pretensions as an authority on anything.
Joe Coulombe (Becoming Trader Joe: How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys)
The problem was coherence. We certainly launched many things, but did it add up to making a better product?
Scott Berkun (The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work)
But while Boler’s and Tin’s products may give women better information about their bodies, the same can’t be said for all new tech, wearable or otherwise. In the tech world, the implicit assumption that men are the default human remains king. When Apple launched its health-monitoring system with much fanfare in 2014, it boasted a ‘comprehensive’ health tracker. 15 It could track blood pressure; steps taken; blood alcohol level; even molybdenum (nope, me neither) and copper intake. But as many women pointed out at the time, they forgot one crucial detail: a period tracker. 16
Caroline Criado Pérez (Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men)
build an ideal model of the desired disruption that is based on customer archetypes, launch a minimum viable product to establish a baseline, and then attempt to tune the engine to get it closer to the ideal.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
Before he could start writing Kilby’s application, though, Mosher had to resolve a fundamental tactical question. Anyone who applies for a patent has to decide whether he needs it for offensive or for defensive purposes—whether, to use lawyers’ favorite metaphor, he wants his patent to be a sword or a shield. The decision usually turns on the novelty of the invention. If somebody has a genuinely revolutionary idea, a breakthrough that his competitors are almost sure to copy, his lawyers will write a patent application they can use as a sword; they will describe the invention in such broad and encompassing terms that they can take it into court for an injunction against any competitor who tries to sell a product that is even remotely related. In contrast, an inventor whose idea is basically an extension of or an improvement on an earlier idea needs a patent application that will work as a shield—a defense against legal action by the sword wielders. Such a defensive patent is usually written in much narrower terms, emphasizing a specific improvement or a particular application of the idea that is not covered clearly in earlier patents. Probably the most famous sword in the history of the patent system was the sweeping application filed on February 14, 1876, by a teacher and part-time inventor named Alexander Graham Bell. That first telephone patent (No. 174,465) was so broad and inclusive that it became the cornerstone—after Bell and his partners had fought some 600 lawsuits against scores of competitors—of the largest corporate family in the world. In the nature of things, though, few inventions are so completely new that they don’t build on something from the past. The majority of patent applications, therefore, are written as shields—as improvements on some earlier invention. Some of the most important patents in American history fall into this category, including No. 586,193, “New and Useful Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses,” granted to Guglielmo Marconi in 1898; No. 621,195, “Improvements in and Relating to Navigable Balloons,” granted to Ferdinand Zeppelin in 1899; No. 686,046, “New and Useful Improvements in Motor Carriages,” granted to Henry Ford in 1901; and No. 821,393, “New and Useful Improvements in Flying Machines,” granted to Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1906.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
Double diffusion made possible, for the first time, the mass production of precise, high-performance transistors. The technique promised to be highly profitable for any organization that could master its technical intricacies. Shockley therefore quit Bell Labs and, with financial backing from Arnold Beckman, president of a prestigious maker of scientific instruments, started a company to produce double-diffusion transistors. The inventor recruited the best young minds he could find, including Noyce; Gordon Moore, a physical chemist from Johns Hopkins; and Jean Hoerni, a Swiss-born physicist whose strength was in theory. Already thinking about human intelligence, Shockley made each of his recruits take a battery of psychological tests. The results described Noyce as an introvert, a conclusion so ludicrous that it should have told Shockley something about the value of such tests. Early in 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratories opened for business in the sunny valley south of Palo Alto. It was the first electronics firm in what was to become Silicon Valley.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
The patent expressly guarantees the inventor “the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling” the idea for the twenty-year life of the patent. The patent holder can, if he chooses, issue licenses to others to make, use, or sell the idea. The license fees can bring in large sums of money. If anybody tries to market the patented product without obtaining a license, the inventor can go into federal court to get an injunction and money damages. Not a bad deal at all for the inventor. In exchange for those benefits, though, the patent holder has to reveal all the secrets of his success. The patent law says that an inventor must provide “a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in . . . full, clear, concise and exact terms.” The inventor and his company might have expended a dozen years and a hundred million dollars perfecting the idea; once a patent is granted, anybody in the world can acquire the plans—full, clear, concise, and exact—from the Patent Office for $3. If, for example, John S. Pemberton had applied for a patent for the formula he whipped up in his backyard in Atlanta one day in the mid-1880s, the product that he invented—a soft drink that he named Coca-Cola—would have entered the public domain in 1903, when the patent expired. Anybody in the world would have been free from that day forward to brew and sell the drink without paying a penny to the Coca-Cola Company. But Pemberton kept his formula unpatented, and thus secret. Even without a patent, Coca-Cola has been able to defend its formula under a body of law known as trade secret protection, which makes it illegal to copy deliberately somebody else’s commercial idea.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
From the inventor’s viewpoint, the flaw with the trade secret laws is that they apply only to purposeful stealing of an idea. They do not prevent anybody from marketing a product that he has invented on his own, even if an earlier inventor has been selling the same product for years. Lacking a patent, Coca-Cola would have no recourse against a company selling exactly the same drink if the second firm could prove in court that its chemists had been messing around with sugar, flavorings, and cola nuts and just happened to hit on the precise formula that Coca-Cola uses. The holder of a patent, in contrast, can go to court to stop any competitor from selling the same product, even if the competitor developed the product completely on his own. The strategic decision facing every inventor, then, is whether he wants twenty years of the stronger protection provided by a patent, or permanent protection under the trade secret laws against only those who deliberately steal the idea.
T.R. Reid (The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution)
Say you use a French press to make coffee,” said Travis. “There are tons of French press designs out there—some are full stainless steel, some have mostly glass, some are more sleek, curved designs, some are more industrial. What we’d do to develop and split test a French press is collect all the product designs we think are best and then split test them against the top sellers in the category. Based on the split test, we’ll decide on which design to go with.” Getting customer feedback is a direct result of getting sales, according to Travis. “When you launch a product, you do whatever you can to get as many sales as you can early on, because that’s what drives feedback. That’s what allows you to listen to your customer. When we first started out, we went from, in four months, doing four to five thousand in sales a month, to two years in, doing about two million in sales a month.” Those sales are the fuel that runs the feedback machine and allows new products to be developed.
Ryan Daniel Moran (12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur)
1. Opportunity. What is the best opportunity for a new entrepreneur to build a successful business? Why is now the time to do it? How does the new landscape of e-commerce and social media create an environment of opportunity? And how do you fit into it all? You will discover why now is the perfect time to create your pie, and why there are others who are ready and willing to buy a slice. 2. Mindset. There’s a reason not every wantrepreneur becomes a successful entrepreneur, and psychology is a big piece of the puzzle. I’ll take you through the development of the right mindset to take a business from zero to one million in a year. 3. Getting customers. A million-dollar business doesn’t start with a product; it starts with a person. Your first step in building your business must be identifying your customer, and then answering his or her need. This builds a real brand, not just a revenue stream. If you get this piece right, you will have droves of repeat buyers who will eagerly “overpay” for your products, thank you for it, and tell all of their friends about you. 4. Product. Choosing your first product will be the biggest hurdle you face. It will take research, patience, and determination. Most importantly, it will require listening to what your customer is saying. I’ll take you through the whole process, from ideation to prototyping and refinement, helping you clear this hurdle in no time flat. 5. Funding. Sure, you’ve got a great product, and you know to whom you’re selling—but how do you fund your inventory? Here’s how to bootstrap, borrow, and build your way to a self-sustaining revenue machine, without stressing about money. 6. Stacking the deck. How do you nearly guarantee that your first product is successful, right out of the gate? Once you’ve decided what business you’re in, we will work to ensure that you don’t get stuck holding a product no one wants; this is where you stack the deck so your launch day is set up to blast off. 7. Launch. Your first product is ready to launch. What do you do now? Do you just let it ride? No. Here’s where building relationships and a few strategic marketing tips will take your business from a single product to a world-class brand, as we cover what you need to do to reach the key growth point of twenty-five sales per day.
Ryan Daniel Moran (12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur)
8. Scaling. You’ve got one product selling twenty-five units a day. You’ve proven you can get a product up and selling in the marketplace. Now it’s time to launch products two, three, four, and five and watch the snowball build into a million-dollar revenue stream by the end of twelve months. 9. Marketing. Sure, if you’re friends with a ton of celebrities who will post about your brand on their Instagrams, you’re all set with marketing. But what if you’re starting from scratch, with no contacts and no marketing experience? Here’s how you can build the right kind of marketing through relationships, influencers, and audiences, bringing your business to the level of a respected brand. 10. Acquisition. What does it look like to sell your business? There are many buyers out there hungry for what you’re building. Here’s where you’ll learn how to navigate the process, lock in your payday, and decide what to do afterward.
Ryan Daniel Moran (12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur)
There are five ways technology can boost marketing practices: Make more informed decisions based on big data. The greatest side product of digitalization is big data. In the digital context, every customer touchpoint—transaction, call center inquiry, and email exchange—is recorded. Moreover, customers leave footprints every time they browse the Internet and post something on social media. Privacy concerns aside, those are mountains of insights to extract. With such a rich source of information, marketers can now profile the customers at a granular and individual level, allowing one-to-one marketing at scale. Predict outcomes of marketing strategies and tactics. No marketing investment is a sure bet. But the idea of calculating the return on every marketing action makes marketing more accountable. With artificial intelligence–powered analytics, it is now possible for marketers to predict the outcome before launching new products or releasing new campaigns. The predictive model aims to discover patterns from previous marketing endeavors and understand what works, and based on the learning, recommend the optimized design for future campaigns. It allows marketers to stay ahead of the curve without jeopardizing the brands from possible failures. Bring the contextual digital experience to the physical world. The tracking of Internet users enables digital marketers to provide highly contextual experiences, such as personalized landing pages, relevant ads, and custom-made content. It gives digital-native companies a significant advantage over their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Today, the connected devices and sensors—the Internet of Things—empowers businesses to bring contextual touchpoints to the physical space, leveling the playing field while facilitating seamless omnichannel experience. Sensors enable marketers to identify who is coming to the stores and provide personalized treatment. Augment frontline marketers’ capacity to deliver value. Instead of being drawn into the machine-versus-human debate, marketers can focus on building an optimized symbiosis between themselves and digital technologies. AI, along with NLP, can improve the productivity of customer-facing operations by taking over lower-value tasks and empowering frontline personnel to tailor their approach. Chatbots can handle simple, high-volume conversations with an instant response. AR and VR help companies deliver engaging products with minimum human involvement. Thus, frontline marketers can concentrate on delivering highly coveted social interactions only when they need to. Speed up marketing execution. The preferences of always-on customers constantly change, putting pressure on businesses to profit from a shorter window of opportunity. To cope with such a challenge, companies can draw inspiration from the agile practices of lean startups. These startups rely heavily on technology to perform rapid market experiments and real-time validation.
Philip Kotler (Marketing 5.0: Technology for Humanity)
Most people fail because they never make it out of The Grind. Those are the initial months in which you make decisions around what product to sell, what your price point will be, and what launch strategy you will use. You’re in The Grind until you can sustain at least twenty-five sales per day on your first product.
Ryan Daniel Moran (12 Months to $1 Million: How to Pick a Winning Product, Build a Real Business, and Become a Seven-Figure Entrepreneur)
She put her brutal wake-up call into action and launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.
John Fitch (Time Off: A Practical Guide to Building Your Rest Ethic and Finding Success Without the Stress)
This measure, which endangers the environment as Canadian oil would now have to cross into the US by train and truck, would essentially be a gift to the oil companies and might contribute toward undoing Trump policies that led to energy independence. This one act, which would likely lead to the loss of upwards of a hundred thousand jobs in aggregate, would likely contribute to a raise in the cost of oil which hurts production and potentially raises prices thus hurting working people.
Charles Moscowitz (Toward Fascist America: 2021: The Year that Launched American Fascism)
I believe the absolute best way to start and grow a business today is not by launching or pushing products, but by creating a system to attract, build, and retain an audience.
Joe Pulizzi (Content Inc.: Start a Content-First Business, Build a Massive Audience and Become Radically Successful {with Little to No Money})
A forecast from SpaceWorks in 2019 further predicted 2,000–2,800 nano or microsatellites will launch in over the next five years between the military, commercial, and civil sectors. This segment of satellites already increased in launch and production by 25 percent from 2017 to 2018; in 2018, 253 of the planned 262 nanosatellites actually launched, reflecting “Greater launch consistency and better execution on the part of small satellite operators.”5 Factors like the Internet of Things (IoT), demand for communications data, and increased need for Earth observation are all helping to drive this market.
Robert C. Jacobson (Space Is Open for Business: The Industry That Can Transform Humanity)
The goal is to show how extensive the venture can be and how the creator(s) will go about developing the prototype or final product.
Lita Talarico (Becoming a Design Entrepreneur: How to Launch Your Design-Driven Ventures from Apps to Zines)
In 1964, just as the Beatles were launching their invasion of America’s airwaves, Marshall McLuhan published Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man and transformed himself from an obscure academic into a star. Oracular, gnomic, and mind-bending, the book was a perfect product of the sixties, that now-distant decade of acid trips and moon shots, inner and outer voyaging. Understanding Media was at heart a prophecy, and what it prophesied was the dissolution of the linear mind. McLuhan declared that the “electric media” of the twentieth century—telephone, radio, movies, television—were breaking the tyranny of text over our thoughts and senses.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains)
The key elements in creating a micromovement consist of five things to do and six principles: 1. Publish a manifesto. Give it away and make it easy for the manifesto to spread far and wide. It doesn’t have to be printed or even written. But it’s a mantra and a motto and a way of looking at the world. It unites your tribe members and gives them a structure. 2. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you. It could be as simple as visiting you or e-mailing you or watching you on television. Or it could be as rich and complex as interacting with you on Facebook or joining your social network on Ning. 3. Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another. There’s that little nod that one restaurant regular gives to another recognized regular. Or the shared drink in an airport lounge. Even better is the camaraderie developed by volunteers on a political campaign or insiders involved in a new product launch. Great leaders figure out how to make these interactions happen. 4. Realize that money is not the point of a movement. Money exists merely to enable it. The moment you try to cash out is the moment you stunt the growth of your movement. 5. Track your progress. Do it publicly and create pathways for your followers to contribute to that progress.
Seth Godin (Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)
The majority of disagreements happen when people are not aligned on the why.
Peter Yang (Principles of Product Management: How to Land a PM Job and Launch Your Product Career)
Tackle the “meh” first.
Charlene Walters (Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur: 10 Mindset Shifts for Women to Take Action, Unleash Creativity, and Achieve Financial Success)
On at least two occasions, Tehran launched highly effective cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia, one of which destroyed thousands of Saudi Aramco computers.20 In September 2019, Iranian cruise missiles and drones attacked the kingdom’s Abqaiq oil processing facility and succeeded in taking nearly half of Saudi oil production offline for several weeks.
David Rundell (Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads)
A launch plan should touch every single aspect of the “whole product customer experience,” where “whole” and “customer” should be considered in the broadest way possible.
Eddy Vermeulen (Practical Product Management)
I strongly recommend that startup teams be completely cross-functional, that is, have full-time representation from every functional department in the company that will be involved in the creation or launch of their early products. They have to be able to build and ship actual functioning products and services, not just prototypes. Handoffs and approvals slow down the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop and inhibit both learning and accountability. Startups require that they be kept to an absolute minimum.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
At many companies, product ideas or reviews will center on strategy documents, competitive analysis, or maybe wireframes. At Twilio, the first step in defining a new product or feature is writing the press release. This may sound counterintuitive, as the press release is usually the last step before launching a product. But this practice is part of a process of “working backward” from the customer need that has roots at Amazon. The press release is a great artifact on which to base product conversations, but it’s easily misunderstood. The goal isn’t to actually send the press release out on the wire. Rather, the format of a press release, if written correctly, relays in order of importance why customers will care about the product you’re building—which is a great basis around which to build a product from the get-go.
Jeff Lawson (Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century)
The product launch and first customer ship dates are merely the dates when a product development team thinks the product’s first release is “finished.” It doesn’t mean the company understands its customers or how to market or sell to them, yet in almost every startup, ready or not, departmental clocks are set irrevocably to “first customer ship.” Even worse, a startup’s investors are managing their financial expectations by this date as well.
Steve Blank (The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company)
We have a system we follow every time we get asked to create a product logo. Clients like the work we produce and we’re able to charge a good dollar because clients know a product logo is something they will use for a long time. Once we create one product logo, we have our foot in the door and clients often come back as they launch new products.” Ted considered Alex’s conclusion. “Tell me about the system you follow for creating logos.” “It’s nothing too formal, but we always start off by asking the client to describe their vision for their product and how they differentiate themselves from their competitors.” Ted began to make notes. “That sounds like a good first step. Let’s call it Visioning.” Step 1: Visioning “What’s the next step?” asked Ted. “After we establish the client’s goals, we go through an exercise where we ask the client to personify their product. For example, we’ll ask questions like, ‘If your product was a famous actor, who would it be?’ and ‘If your product was a rock star, who would it be?’ One of our favorite questions is a little goofy: ‘If your product was a cookie, what kind of cookie would it be?’ These questions force the client to think about the personality they want to come through in their logo.” “That sounds unique, Alex. Let’s call that step two and give it a name like Personification.” Step 2: Personification “What’s your next step in designing a logo?” “We then go back to the office and use a pencil and paper to freehand sketch
John Warrillow (Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You)
The proletariat has not succeeded in negating itself as such - the century and a half since Marx has made that clear. The proletariat has failed to negate itself qua class and thereby abolish class society per se. Perhaps this is because the proletariat never was a class, as had been supposed - because only the bourgeoisie was a true Class, and therefore the only one capable of negating itself as such. For it has indeed negated itself, along with capital, and so generated a classless society, albeit one which has nothing to do with the classless society that was supposed to arise from a revolution and from a negation of the proletariat as such. As for the proletariat, it has simply disappeared - vanished along with the class struggle itself. There can be no doubt that had capitalism developed in accordance with its own contradictory logic, it would have been defeated by the proletariat. In an ideal sense, Marx's analysis is still irreproachable. But Marx simply did not foresee that it would be possible for capital, in the face of the imminent threat to its existence, to transpoliticize itself, as it were: to launch itself into an orbit beyond the relations of production and political contradictions, to make itself autonomous in a free-floating, ecstatic and haphazard form, and thus to totalize the world in its own image. Capital (if it may still be so called) has barred the way of political economy and the law of value; it is in this sense that it has successfully escaped its own end. Henceforward it can function independently of its own former aims, and absolutely without reference to any aims whatsoever. The inaugural event of this mutation was undoubtedly the Great Crash of 1929; the stockmarket crisis of 1987 was merely an aftershock.
Jean Baudrillard (The Transparency of Evil: Essays in Extreme Phenomena)
I learned this lesson the hard way when I was running my first start-up, SocialNet. I didn’t want to be embarrassed by our first release, so the approach we took was to complete the entire product before we pulled back the curtain and let people sign up. This approach delayed SocialNet’s launch by a year, and when we finally did launch, we quickly realized that half of the features we’d painstakingly implemented weren’t important, and half of the important things that our service would be useless without were missing because we hadn’t thought of them. While there were other reasons why SocialNet failed, not launching early and iterating based on market feedback was probably the main cause of death.
Reid Hoffman (Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies)
The electronics effort faced even greater challenges. To launch that category, David Risher tapped a Dartmouth alum named Chris Payne who had previously worked on Amazon’s DVD store. Like Miller, Payne had to plead with suppliers—in this case, Asian consumer-electronics companies like Sony, Toshiba, and Samsung. He quickly hit a wall. The Japanese electronics giants viewed Internet sellers like Amazon as sketchy discounters. They also had big-box stores like Best Buy and Circuit City whispering in their ears and asking them to take a pass on Amazon. There were middlemen distributors, like Ingram Electronics, but they offered a limited selection. Bezos deployed Doerr to talk to Howard Stringer at Sony America, but he got nowhere. So Payne had to turn to the secondary distributors—jobbers that exist in an unsanctioned, though not illegal, gray market. Randy Miller, a retail finance director who came to Amazon from Eddie Bauer, equates it to buying from the trunk of someone’s car in a dark alley. “It was not a sustainable inventory model, but if you are desperate to have particular products on your site or in your store, you do what you need to do,” he says. Buying through these murky middlemen got Payne and his fledgling electronics team part of the way toward stocking Amazon’s virtual shelves. But Bezos was unimpressed with the selection and grumpily compared it to shopping in a Russian supermarket during the years of Communist rule. It would take Amazon years to generate enough sales to sway the big Asian brands. For now, the electronics store was sparely furnished. Bezos had asked to see $100 million in electronics sales for the 1999 holiday season; Payne and his crew got about two-thirds of the way there. Amazon officially announced the new toy and electronics stores that summer, and in September, the company held a press event at the Sheraton in midtown Manhattan to promote the new categories. Someone had the idea that the tables in the conference room at the Sheraton should have piles of merchandise representing all the new categories, to reinforce the idea of broad selection. Bezos loved it, but when he walked into the room the night before the event, he threw a tantrum: he didn’t think the piles were large enough. “Do you want to hand this business to our competitors?” he barked into his cell phone at his underlings. “This is pathetic!” Harrison Miller, Chris Payne, and their colleagues fanned out that night across Manhattan to various stores, splurging on random products and stuffing them in the trunks of taxicabs. Miller spent a thousand dollars alone at a Toys “R” Us in Herald Square. Payne maxed out his personal credit card and had to call his wife in Seattle to tell her not to use the card for a few days. The piles of products were eventually large enough to satisfy Bezos, but the episode was an early warning. To satisfy customers and their own demanding boss during the upcoming holiday, Amazon executives were going to have to substitute artifice and improvisation for truly comprehensive selection.
Brad Stone (The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon)
At first, Mahalo garnered significant attention and traffic. At its high point, 14.1 million users worldwide visited the site monthly.[lxxxix] But over time, users began to lose interest. Although the payout of the bounties were variable, somehow users did not find the monetary rewards enticing enough. But as Mahalo struggled to retain users, another Q&A site began to boom. Quora, launched in 2010 by two former Facebook employees, quickly grew in popularity. Unlike Mahalo, Quora did not offer a single cent to anyone answering user questions. Why, then, have users stayed highly engaged with Quora, but not with Mahalo, despite its variable monetary rewards? In Mahalo’s case, executives assumed that paying users would drive repeat engagement with the site. After all, people like money, right? Unfortunately, Mahalo had an incomplete understanding of its users’ drivers. Ultimately, the company found that people did not want to use a Q&A site to make money. If the trigger was a desire for monetary rewards, the user was better off spending their time earning an hourly wage. And if the payouts were meant to take the form of a game, like a slot machine, then the rewards came far too infrequently and were too small to matter. However, Quora demonstrated that social rewards and the variable reinforcement of recognition from peers proved to be much more frequent and salient motivators. Quora instituted an upvoting system that reports user satisfaction with answers and provides a steady stream of social feedback. Quora’s social rewards have proven more attractive than Mahalo’s monetary rewards. Only by understanding what truly matters to users can a company correctly match the right variable reward to their intended behavior.
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)
Once we assembled the entire package, Mike named it Netscape SuiteSpot, as it would be the “suite” that displaced Microsoft’s BackOffice. We lined everything up for a major launch on March 5, 1996, in New York. Then, just two weeks before the launch, Marc, without telling Mike or me, revealed the entire strategy to the publication Computer Reseller News. I was livid. I immediately sent him a short email: To: Marc Andreessen Cc: Mike Homer From: Ben Horowitz Subject : Launch I guess we’re not going to wait until the 5th to launch the strategy. — Ben Within fifteen minutes, I received the following reply. To: Ben Horowitz Cc: Mike Homer, Jim Barksdale (CEO), Jim Clark (Chairman) From: Marc Andreessen Subject: Re: Launch Apparently you do not understand how serious the situation is. We are getting killed killed killed out there. Our current product is radically worse than the competition. We’ve had nothing to say for months. As a result, we’ve lost over $3B in market capitalization. We are now in danger of losing the entire company and it’s all server product management’s fault. Next time do the fucking interview yourself. Fuck you, Marc I received this email the same day that Marc appeared barefoot and sitting on a throne on the cover of Time magazine. When I first saw the cover, I felt thrilled. I had never met anyone in my life who had been on the cover of Time. Then I felt sick. I brought both the magazine and the email home to Felicia to get a second opinion. I was very worried. I was twenty-nine years old, had a wife and three children, and needed my job. She looked at the email and the magazine cover and said, “You need to start looking for a job right away.” In the end, I didn’t get fired and over the next two years, SuiteSpot grew from nothing to a $400 million a year business. More shocking, Marc and I eventually became friends; we’ve been friends and business partners ever since. People often ask me how we’ve managed to work effectively across three companies over eighteen years. Most business relationships either become too tense to tolerate or not tense enough to be productive after a while. Either people challenge each other to the point where they don’t like each other or they become complacent about each other’s feedback and no longer benefit from the relationship. With Marc and me, even after eighteen years, he upsets me almost every day by finding something wrong in my thinking, and I do the same for him. It works.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
In the past underwhelming products could survive and thrive merely on distribution alone. A bad product, backed by a large television campaign and retail distribution, could find growth and profits for the company, regardless of quality. This is no longer the case. Today, mediocre products can still be launched in this way, but their longevity and returns quickly crash as word of mouth spreads and demand dries up faster than ever before.
Sean Ellis (Startup Growth Engines: Case Studies of How Today's Most Successful Startups Unlock Extraordinary Growth)
In response, BEA launched an innovative program to put the company’s experts at the heart of its best customers’ IT organizations. BEA created Global Service Executives (GSEs) who were responsible for all services across education, consulting, and support. A portion of their compensation was based on customers’ ongoing success and full utilization of all purchased products. In addition, a client architect was placed on-site at strategic accounts, reporting to the customer’s CIO. These roles were in position to see customers’ needs from the inside and to help customers create strategy and road maps. Use proactive services to extend
Lilia Shirman (42 Rules for Growing Enterprise Revenue: Practical Strategies to Matter More and Sell More in B2B Markets)
The first visible effect of converting from departments and batches to product teams and flow is that the time required to go from concept to launch, sale to delivery, and raw material to the customer falls dramatically. When flow is introduced, products requiring years to design are done in
James P. Womack (Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation)
Kiip’s move comes at a time when more and more data on people’s actions is becoming available as wearable devices, Internet-connected home automation equipment, and cars with integrated data connections head to market. Those new data streams could form the basis for many new services and products, but they also bring new privacy concerns. Ads tailored to driving behavior will be possible thanks to a partnership between Kiip and fellow startup Mojio. It expects to launch a $149 device this summer that plugs into a car’s diagnostic port and streams vehicle data to a smartphone app to help users track their driving, their fuel economy, and their vehicle’s maintenance status. Kiip will use data from that device to target promotions inside the Mojio app.
Simplifying the product offering doesn’t mean that you are taking away the customer’s choice; rather it sends the message that you know the customers so well that you are delivering the exact solution they are looking for.
Nathan Furr (Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation: The lean startup book to help entrepreneurs launch a high-growth business)
THE CHASM – THE DIFFUSION MODEL WHY EVERYBODY HAS AN IPOD Why is it that some ideas – including stupid ones – take hold and become trends, while others bloom briefly before withering and disappearing from the public eye? Sociologists describe the way in which a catchy idea or product becomes popular as ‘diffusion’. One of the most famous diffusion studies is an analysis by Bruce Ryan and Neal Gross of the diffusion of hybrid corn in the 1930s in Greene County, Iowa. The new type of corn was better than the old sort in every way, yet it took twenty-two years for it to become widely accepted. The diffusion researchers called the farmers who switched to the new corn as early as 1928 ‘innovators’, and the somewhat bigger group that was infected by them ‘early adaptors’. They were the opinion leaders in the communities, respected people who observed the experiments of the innovators and then joined them. They were followed at the end of the 1930s by the ‘sceptical masses’, those who would never change anything before it had been tried out by the successful farmers. But at some point even they were infected by the ‘hybrid corn virus’, and eventually transmitted it to the die-hard conservatives, the ‘stragglers’. Translated into a graph, this development takes the form of a curve typical of the progress of an epidemic. It rises, gradually at first, then reaches the critical point of any newly launched product, when many products fail. The critical point for any innovation is the transition from the early adaptors to the sceptics, for at this point there is a ‘chasm’. According to the US sociologist Morton Grodzins, if the early adaptors succeed in getting the innovation across the chasm to the sceptical masses, the epidemic cycle reaches the tipping point. From there, the curve rises sharply when the masses accept the product, and sinks again when only the stragglers remain. With technological innovations like the iPod or the iPhone, the cycle described above is very short. Interestingly, the early adaptors turn away from the product as soon as the critical masses have accepted it, in search of the next new thing. The chasm model was introduced by the American consultant and author Geoffrey Moore. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi
Mikael Krogerus (The Decision Book: 50 Models for Strategic Thinking)
fact, there was no such thing at that time—or later—as a "missile gap," a phrase that Democrats and others flung at the GOP during the 1958 and 1960 election campaigns. The Sputnik launches indeed demonstrated that the Soviets had an edge in capacity for thrust—the ability to boost satellites into orbit. But in fact the Soviets lagged badly in the production of usable warheads and did not deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during the Eisenhower years.
James T. Patterson (Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 (Oxford History of the United States Book 10))
(A very common question: Where do I find the right people? If this isn’t immediately obvious to you, then you don’t know your own industry well enough to even consider launching a product yet. Period.)
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
Not having a specified launch plan and process is one of the biggest pitfalls in the technology market.
Brian Lawley (Optimal Product Process)
In 2010 Grasslands, LLC, was launched as a “triple bottom line” enterprise with the conjoint goals of creating a high-quality product (well-nourished beef cattle), generating equity and financial return to investors, revitalizing rural economies, sequestering carbon, and regenerating land on a large scale.
Judith D. Schwartz (Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth)
At its heart, Product Launch Formula is made up of sequences, stories, and triggers.
Jeff Walker (Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams)
Our product launches use a series of sequences—pre-prelaunch, the prelaunch, the launch, and the post-launch.
Jeff Walker (Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams)
An example is the campaign that Goodby, Berlin & Sil- verstein produced for the Northern California Honda Deal- ers Advertising Association (NCHDAA) in 1989. Rather than conform to the stereotypical dealer group advertising ("one of a kind, never to be repeated deals, this weekend 114 Figure 4.1 UNUM: "Bear and Salmon. Figure 4.2 UNUM: "Father and Child." 115 PEELING THE ONION only, the Honda-thon, fifteen hundred dollars cash back . . ." shouted over cheesy running footage), it was decided that the campaign should reflect the tone of the national cam- paign that it ran alongside. After all, we reasoned, the only people who know that one spot is from the national cam- paign and another from a regional dealer group are industry insiders. In the real world, all people see is the name "Honda" at the end. It's dumb having one of (Los Angeles agency) Rubin Postaer's intelligent, stylish commercials for Honda in one break, and then in the next, 30 seconds of car salesman hell, also apparently from Honda. All the good work done by the first ad would be undone by the second. What if, we asked ourselves, we could in some way regionalize the national message? In other words, take the tone and quality of Rubin Postaer's campaign and make it unique to Northern California? All of the regional dealer groups signed off as the Northern California Chevy/Ford/ Toyota Dealers, yet none of the ads would have seemed out of place in Florida or Wisconsin. In fact, that's probably where they got them from. In our research, we began not by asking people about cars, or car dealers, but about living in Northern California. What's it like? What does it mean? How would you describe it to an alien? (There are times when my British accent comes in very useful.) How does it compare to Southern California? "Oh, North and South are very different," a man in a focus group told me. "How so?" "Well, let me put it this way. There's a great rivalry between the (San Francisco) Giants and the (L.A.) Dodgers," he said. "But the Dodgers' fans don't know about it." Everyone laughed. People in the "Southland" were on a different planet. All they cared about was their suntans and flashy cars. Northern Californians, by comparison, were more modest, discerning, less likely to buy things to "make state- ments," interested in how products performed as opposed to 116 Take the Wider View what they looked like, more environmentally conscious, and concerned with the quality of life. We already knew from American Honda—supplied re- search what Northern Californians thought of Honda's cars. They were perceived as stylish without being ostentatious, reliable, understated, good value for the money . . . the paral- lels were remarkable. The creative brief asked the team to consider placing Honda in the unique context of Northern California, and to imagine that "Hondas are designed with Northern Californi- ans in mind." Dave O'Hare, who always swore that he hated advertising taglines and had no talent for writing them, came back immediately with a line to which he wanted to write a campaign: "Is Honda the Perfect Car for Northern Califor- nia, or What?" The launch commercial took advantage of the rivalry between Northern and Southern California. Set in the state senate chamber in Sacramento, it opens on the Speaker try- ing to hush the house. "Please, please," he admonishes, "the gentleman from Northern California has the floor." "What my Southern Californian colleague proposes is a moral outrage," the senator splutters, waving a sheaf of papers at the other side of the floor. "Widening the Pacific Coast Highway . . . to ten lanes!" A Southern Californian senator with bouffant hair and a pink tie shrugs his shoulders. "It's too windy," he whines (note: windy as in curves, not weather), and his fellow Southern Californians high-five and murmur their assent. The Northern Californians go nuts, and the Speaker strug- gles in vain to call everyone to order. The camera goes out- side as th
A third example of this was when we said, "Let's make some kind of coupon system"—because we had this idea that we would send people an automatic email when they visited our website that would tell them—and we had all these crazy ideas like, "Buy our software within the next 72 hours and get 25 percent off." (That thing was actually a bot that we wrote years ago, and it still runs. If you try CityDesk, which is our least popular product right now, you will get an automatic email with a 25 percent–off coupon that you have to use in the next 72 hours.) When we launched that, it did increase our sales a little bit. It gets people to evaluate the demo version right away—because they don't want to lose their 25 percent off coupon which is going to expire. These were all marginally good marketing ideas. Unfortunately we spent a lot of time chasing them. The one thing we learned over 5 years is that nothing works better than just improving your product. Every minute, every developer hour we spent on any one of these crazy things—although they had some marginal return on the work that we put into them—was nothing compared to just making a better version of the product and releasing it. If we had taken all the effort we put into these crazy schemes and put it into moving our software development schedule ahead by the equivalent amount, it would have paid off much more. That was probably the biggest mistake we made. And that's the advice I give everybody. All those little coupon schemes, this is what General Motors does. They figure out new rebate schemes because they forgot all about how to design cars people want to buy. But when you still remember how to make software people want, great, just improve it. Talk to your customers. Find out what they need. Don't pay any attention to the competition. They're not relevant to you. Only talk to your customers and your potential customers and see what it is that caused them not to buy your product or would cause them to buy more copies of it. And do that, and then ship it. That was something we really, really should have focused on, but, you know, we didn't know any better.
Jessica Livingston (Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days)
If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Reid Hoffman
Dan Norris (The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch)
That’s on purpose. The problem and the solution are totally independent of one another. First, you have to prove that the problem exists, that it’s a serious problem that amounts to a migraine. Then we can worry about whether customers will actually buy your product as a solution. Make sense?
Diana Kander (All In Startup: Launching a New Idea When Everything Is on the Line)
...a long-term reputation is only at risk when companies engage in vocal launch activities such as PR and building hype. When a product fails to live up to those pronouncements, real long-term damage can happen to a corporate brand. But startups have the advantage of being obscure, having a pathetically small number of customers and not having much exposure. Rather than lamenting them, use these advantages to experiment under the radar and then do a public marketing launch once the product has proved itself with real customers.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
What Do the Results of a Successful Tour of Duty Look Like for the Company? A successful mission objective delivers results for the company for either quantitative or qualitative goals, such as launching a new product line and generating a certain dollar amount in first-year revenues, or achieving thought leadership in a specific market category, as measured by the writings of industry analysts. At LinkedIn, for example, managers ask, “How will the company be transformed by this employee?” What Do the Results of
Reid Hoffman (The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age)
Issue a major update 30 days after launch A quick update shows momentum. It shows you're listening. It shows you've got more tricks up your sleeve. It gives you a second wave of buzz. It reaffirms initial good feelings. It gives you something to talk about and others to blog about. Knowing a quick upgrade is coming also lets you put the focus on the most crucial components before launch. Instead of trying to squeeze in a few more things, you can start by perfecting just the core feature set. Then you can "air out" the product in the real world. Once it's out there you can start getting customer feedback and you'll know which areas require attention next.
Retiring a product is just like launching a product in reverse; much of your process and communication for orchestrating a successful product launch can be reused.
Jock Busuttil (The Practitioner's Guide to Product Management)
LEADERSHIP | Intuit’s CEO on Building a Design-Driven Company Brad Smith | 222 words Although 46 similar products were on the market when Intuit launched Quicken, in 1983, it immediately became the market leader in personal finance software and has held that position for three decades. That’s because Quicken was so well designed that using it is intuitive. But by the time Smith became CEO, in 2008, the company had become overly focused on adding incremental features that delivered ease of use but not delight. What was missing was an emotional connection with customers. He and his team set out to integrate design thinking into every part of Intuit. They changed the layout of the office, reduced the number of cubes, and added more collaboration spaces and places for impromptu work. They increased the number of designers by nearly 600% and now hold quarterly design conferences. They bring in people who have created exceptionally designed products, such as the Nest thermostat and the Kayak travel website, to share insights with Intuit employees. The company acquired one start-up, called Mint, and collaborates with another, called ZenPayroll, to improve customer experience. Although most people don’t think of financial software as a category driven by emotion or design, Smith writes, Intuit’s D4D (“design for delight”) program has paid off. For example, its SnapTax app, inspired by consumers’ migration to smartphones, led one user to write, “I want this app to have my babies.
One of my favorite retailers has a release process that rivals a NASA launch sequence.
Michael T. Nygard (Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (Pragmatic Programmers))
Moreover, the reward, as Hopkins envisioned it, was even more enticing. Who, after all, doesn’t want to be more beautiful? Who doesn’t want a prettier smile? Particularly when all it takes is a quick brush with Pepsodent? HOPKINS’S CONCEPTION OF THE PEPSODENT HABIT LOOP After the campaign launched, a quiet week passed. Then two. In the third week, demand exploded. There were so many orders for Pepsodent that the company couldn’t keep up. In three years, the product went international, and Hopkins was crafting ads in Spanish, German, and Chinese. Within a decade, Pepsodent was one of the top-selling goods in the world, and remained America’s best-selling toothpaste for more than thirty years.2.10,2.11
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
Either way, you’d have a really good shot at making something that they can’t live without simply because of your intimate knowledge of their interests. And odds are, since your product would be so laser focused to their interests, it wouldn’t already exist.
Rob Walling (Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup)
Here’s an exercise: Pick one person you know well…your spouse, your brother, your sister, a parent, etc. How hard would it be to design a product that you’re sure this person would use…not very hard, right? That’s because you know so much about the intimate details of their life.
Rob Walling (Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup)
The lesson here is that the narrower you can make your product while still maintaining a large enough market, the more profit you will generate. It’s that simple – if you can find a small group of people and make them amazingly happy, you will make money.
Rob Walling (Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup)
Paul Nutt, a former Ohio State University professor who spent thirty years carefully analyzing 168 major corporate decisions, found that a full 71 percent were made after the executives responsible for them considered only a single alternative. Each choice was a binary one: whether or not to acquire that company, launch that product, enter that market, hire that person. And yet analysis showed that these “yes-or-no” scenarios led to poor outcomes 52 percent of
Claudio Fernández-Aráoz (It's Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best)
Over the course of the year, the marketing and product teams would conceive one major initiative that would be rolled out just in time for tax season. Now they test over five hundred different changes in a two-and-a-half-month tax season. They’re running up to seventy different tests per week. The team can make a change live on its website on Thursday, run it over the weekend, read the results on Monday, and come to conclusions starting Tuesday; then they rebuild new tests on Thursday and launch the next set on Thursday night.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
For example, consider one of Intuit’s flagship products. Because TurboTax does most of its sales around tax season in the United States, it used to have an extremely conservative culture. Over the course of the year, the marketing and product teams would conceive one major initiative that would be rolled out just in time for tax season. Now they test over five hundred different changes in a two-and-a-half-month tax season. They’re running up to seventy different tests per week. The team can make a change live on its website on Thursday, run it over the weekend, read the results on Monday, and come to conclusions starting Tuesday; then they rebuild new tests on Thursday and launch the next set on Thursday night. As Scott put it, “Boy, the amount of learning they get is just immense now. And what it does is develop entrepreneurs, because when you have only one test, you don’t have entrepreneurs, you have politicians, because you have to sell. Out of a hundred good ideas, you’ve got to sell your idea. So you build up a society of politicians and salespeople. When you have five hundred tests you’re running, then everybody’s ideas can run. And then you create entrepreneurs who run and learn and can retest and relearn as opposed to a society of politicians. So we’re trying to drive that throughout our organization, using examples which have nothing to do with high tech, like the website example. Every business today has a website. You don’t have to be high tech to use fast-cycle testing.” This kind of change is hard. After all, the company has a significant number of existing customers who continue to demand exceptional service and investors who expect steady, growing returns. Scott says, It goes against the grain of what people have been taught in business and what leaders have been taught. The problem isn’t with the teams or the entrepreneurs. They love the chance to quickly get their baby out into the market. They love the chance to have the customer vote instead of the suits voting. The real issue is with the leaders and the middle managers. There are many business leaders who have been successful because of analysis. They think they’re analysts, and their job is to do great planning and analyzing and have a plan.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
The best product managers, therefore, focus on defining and prioritizing problems, not solutions.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
Applying design-thinking principles to one’s own life is both fun and satisfying.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
Management is about doing things right; leadership is about doing the right things. Peter Drucker
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
Be stubborn on vision, flexible on details.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
Ultimately, where the vision comes from is less important than ensuring that it is the correct one. As product management guru Rich Mironov says, “It’s not important to me who has the good idea, but it is my job to make sure it’s the best one, that it’s still validated, and that we have people who are going to pay for it. The process has to continually validate the vision. If we do that, I don’t care whose vision it is.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
There is a wealth of research that underlies the value of diverse teams and shows that being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent, and harder-working,6 and has also been proven to make companies more innovative and successful.7
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)
Free yourself from the mental constraints of just giving options to people, and focus on the problem statement. Once you’ve got clarity on that, you can pass the responsibility of solving the problem onto your team.
Richard Banfield (Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams)