Startups for the Rest of Us Notes 2014

Startups for the Rest of Us

Episode 166 | Quitting Your Job When You Have a Mortgage, How to Get 1,000 Pages of Content Indexed in Google, and More Listener Questions

Date: 2014-01-07


Be careful that partnerships will create customers and not just more work.

It is easier to get a mortgage before you quit a job rather than when you are self-employed.

Ask beta testers what features it would need to have before they would give you money.

Ask leading questions but not ultimatums.

There is a difference between paid services and unpaid services.

If it feels scammy to you it probably is.

If concierge services helps your value proposition then it probably isn’t spammy.

It doesn’t matter how much content you have as long as you have the content they are looking for.

Package old content into an ebook.

Figure out how to prequalify customers early.

You want to avoid people that are buying on price rather than buying on value.

Episode 167 | How to Organize & Run a Startup Mastermind

Date: 2014-01-14


A startup mastermind is a group of business owners who want to talk to others in the same boat.

Isolation is something you need to avoid.

A mastermind is a semi-replacement for having co-founders.

The best startup masterminds are 2 to 4 people. The ideal number is three people as you’re getting two other people’s perspectives.

Have a policy of confidentiality.

Make it regular rather than planning it individually each time.

Use something that has video (for masterminds over the Internet).

You need to have the right types of people.

Have an opt-out clause so people can walk away with no feelings hurt.

Personality may trump similarity of business.

Think hard before you get into a mastermind relationship.

Episode 168 | Things That Don’t Scale (And Why You Should Do Them)

Date: 2014-01-21


A startup is two dimensions. One is what you’re going to build. The second is the unscalable things you’re going to do to get it going.

A startup idea is incomplete if you haven’t thought the early days through (how to bring it to market and get in touch with your early customer base).

Recruit users manually.

Expect your startup to be fragile in the early days.

Start in a niche.

Use your software on your customer’s behalf. (A free concierge service to get people setup.)

Big launches don’t really work and neither do partnerships (with other companies).

Episode 169 | Getting Testimonials, Getting Inspired and Competing on Price

Date: 2014-01-28


Taking on too much is not fun.

Don’t have your co-founder in the same mastermind group as you.

MVP is the minimum thing you can do to validate your assumptions.

In order to play the game you have to do the work.

Big companies might have rules against giving testimonials.

Building community sites is super hard.

Episode 170 | 12 Strategies for Avoiding Shiny Object Syndrome

Date: 2014-02-04


Use a site blocker to block websites at specific times.

Inbox Pause (Gmail plugin)

Use triggers to get you into the zone.

Have a specific playlist that gets you in the zone.

Rescue Time

Time boxing.

Make an annual plan.

Focus on your primary projects.

Learn the difference between productivity and entertainment.

Prune down your podcast list and your RSS list.

Be on an information diet.

Episode 171 | Top 12 Signs You Should Walk Away From a Project

Date: 2014-02-11


Episode 5 of

If you have a long term loss of motivation you should walk away.

If new (funded) competitors move into your space then you might want to walk away.

It doesn’t matter how good your product is if nobody hears about it.

If they’re not using it when it’s free then they’re definitely not going to use it when it’s paid.

You can be priced too high or you can go after the wrong market.

If your life goals of life situations changes then you should reevaluate.

Episode 172 | 12 Signs You Should Continue Investing In Your Product

Date: 2014-02-18


Use Evernote web clipper to save web pages to read later rather than breaking your flow.

Get purchase commitments before starting to build a product.

You need at least ten purchase commitments or you haven’t done enough legwork.

You just have to be a better marketer than the other people in your niche.

Estimating is really hard. It is important because it can help you see where your product is stalling.

You need a couple hundred email subscribers to get the snowball rolling when you launch.

Ultimately after launch you want to drive the cost of acquisition down.

Episode 173 |  Hiring Sales Consultants, Scaling Offline Acquisition and Keeping Data Safe in the Cloud

Date: 2014-02-25


Book: Pitch Anything

Book: The Year Without Pants

The founder has to be the first salesperson.

If you don’t have sales experience it is difficult to hire a salesperson.

Don’t try to sell to offline audiences that are price sensitive.

Episode 174 |  Momentum, Stress, HitTail and AuditShark

Date: 2014-03-04


If you’re getting five to ten times the prospects you don’t need to close all of them for it to be substantially more profitable for you (than when taking credit cards up front).

You don’t necessarily know what you don’t know.

If you’re not getting enough sleep then your whole day suffers.

Episode 175 | Your Product is Not the Hero (with Chase Reeves)

Date: 2014-03-11


Creativity, brand, and tone can build a business.

There is a cultural momentum around design.

Design is nothing. Design is a container.

The whole purpose of design is first and foremost to get out of the way of the business. Then to amplify the message of the business.

Any visitor to your site is so well trained to hit the back button.

Create an emotionally authentic moment.

Design creates trust.

Copy is absolutely the most important thing on the site.

You’ve got to care.

Don’t fall in love with your solution. Fall in love with the problem and you’ll be just fine.

Half the time we’re developing for ourselves.

Allow yourself to listen for a while.

Episode 176 | Troubleshooting Early Customer Engagement

Date: 2014-03-18


If customers aren’t engaging with your product you need to find out why.

Clearly identify the problem.

Reach out to each customer individually and start asking them questions.

Your goal is to just give information. Ask questions and shuttup.

The reality is that some people aren’t going to be a good fit for your product.

When you’re talking to people you need to be able to speak the same language.

Aspirin type products vs. vitamin type products.

A single product can provide a different amount of value to different markets if you talk to them about your product using the right language.

Episode 177: How RivalFox Launched to $2k in Recurring Revenue

Date: 2014-03-25


Set up a landing page.

Have prominent calls to action.

Have a screen for newsletter signups.

Often there is something you can give away on your landing page that is of more value than cranking out a series of blog posts.

Consider guest blogging.

Quora, Linkedin, and Twitter for B2B.

Do a private beta.

The best feedback is going to come from people that are willing to pay for (the product).

Blog as soon as possible.

Connect to industry leaders for opinions.

Experiment in a controlled way.

Concentrate on inbound leads.

Make the first customers 100% happy.

Offer an incentive an incentive to pay before their trial is up.

You have to build a product that people are actually interested in.

Episode 178: Growth Hackers, Small Wins, Buying Websites, and More Listener Questions

Date: 2014-04-01


There are no bug free software products in the world.

No developer wants to touch existing features that other people built but you have to.

All software is legacy software.

If you buy a half-finished software product you’re better off writing it from scratch.

Focus on building an email list.

Content marketing is not for everyone.

True content marketing is super high quality stuff that gets shared.

If you get bored with something you need to move on.

Episode 179 | When to Ask Your Customers for Credit Cards

Date: 2014-04-08


Write tests.

The more test coverage you have the more confidence you’ll have to modify existing features.

You should ask for credit cards up front.

Asking for a credit card filters out people who aren’t serious.

The people who don’t enter credit cards are way, way less qualified.

If you ask for a credit card up front you should email every customer before their trial expires and let them know that their card is going to be charged.

People that enter their credit card up front have a higher trial to paid conversion.

End-to-end conversion rates with credit cards are lower.

You can’t treat free trials as if they were a black box. You really need to engage with your customers.

Proactively reach out to as-risk customers to offer help.

It is tempting to stop asking for a credit card up front to open up the funnel.

Episode 180 | The Benefits & Drawbacks of SaaS (for Users and Founders)

Date: 2014-04-15


Advantage to SaaS for the user is that there is no installation.

Another advantage for the user is no upgrades.

There is a big difference between multi-user and collaboration.

It is easier to reproduce errors with SaaS.

Customer support is really, really key when you have a SaaS app.

People can leave Saas apps pretty easily.

Episode 181 | Our Takeaways from MicroConf 2014

Date: 2014-04-22


If you’re not taking care of yourself it is difficult to take care of other people.

It takes time and effort and continuous iteration.

Everyone makes mistakes.

Ask a question (to your customers) and shut-up.

Even if you know the answer you ask the question and be quiet.

Episode 182 | The State of AuditShark

Date: 2014-04-29


Things are either genius or just stupid.

Have a market before building.

Have a problem that is worth solving to people.

There is a big difference between developers and system admins.

Everybody wishes that whatever they’ve done that was difficult took them a lot less time.

Episode 183 | 5 Startup Rules to Live By with Dan Norris

Date: 2014-05-06


Test every assumption.

Consider an idea that enables you to launch quickly.

Rely on your own data.

You need to love what you’re doing.

You need to visualize what you’re going to be doing every day for your business.

Make people love your product so much that they stay and refer it to other people.

Episode 184 |  When to Pivot, Gaining Trust From Early Adopters and How To Handle Credit Card Expirations

Date: 2014-05-13


Unless you have paying customers or a decent sized launch list you should pick cheap hosting.

Don’t pivot too early.

Stripe’s subscription API is good to use because other services can tie into it.

Value proposition needs to overcome the trust issue.

Day to day your gut feeling will change. Especially if there is a lot of money on the line.

You can’t serve too many masters with your product.

The clearest path to profitability is recurring revenue.

Don’t build a business where you are taking a small percentage of each transaction because you probably won’t get the volume.

You need to be able to answer how your product is better than a big competitor in one sentence.

Episode 185 | Moving from Windows to Mac

Date: 2014-05-20


They each have their plusses and minuses.

Mac wireless will cut out from time to time.

You can get a remote desktop client for the Mac.

Mac app: Plexiglass

Episode 186 |  Life Hacks for Entrepreneurs

Date: 2014-05-27


Do breathing exercises.

You can only remember so many things.

Hire a personal trainer to build a workout program for you rather than go to the gym with you.

Avoid business and self-improvement books before bed.

Don’t have LCD screens in front of your eyes just before bed.

Plan your meals and snacks a week in advance.

Limit the numbers of choices you have to make (throughout the day).

Use smaller plates for dinner and lunch.

Instead of using bread for sandwiches use giant lettuce leaves.

Episode 187 | Startup Metrics (A Slide Deck by Andreas Klinger)

Date: 2014-06-03


Building almost the right thing might be the most painful thing about starting a startup.

Product-market fit is different than product-solution fit.

Product-solution fit is before product-market fit.

it is not worth optimizing funnels until you know you have something that people want.

You need to pivot before product-market fit and optimize after.

Retention is a function of user happiness.

You have to focus on building something that people continue to use.

A startup should focus on only one core metric at a time.

Episode 188 | Six Hacks for Building Your Mailing List

Date: 2014-06-10


Use an exit pop-up.

The key to using a pop-up successfully is not to be a jerk about it.

People remember stories more than the remember statistics.

Make sure there is value for your target audience.

A/B test your headlines.

Keep your subscribers happy.

Not everyone is going to read everything you write.

You can repurpose content into your mailing list.

Don’t call it a newsletter. “Growth tips for startups.”

Don’t say subscribe or sign up. “Get the book.”

Episode 189 | Founder Hot Seat with Matt from Quote Manager Pro

Date: 2014-06-17


With pricing, no matter how many times you do it, you start by taking your best guess.

Remove (storage & bandwidth) limits until you get 10 customers in there.

If you go towards a tiered pricing model you’ll make more money.

Do funnel marketing and optimization once you start to scale.

The more leads you have in your funnel is great.

Episode 190 | SEO Across Multiple Domains, Charging Before Product/Market Fit, and More Listener Questions

Date: 2014-06-24


You should have a product site. You don’t need a company site.

You don’t want to compete with yourself for search terms.

You always write a test before writing code. Write a test, have it fail, and then write code.

Writing tests is a learned skill.

When it is fresh in your head it is easier to write the tests.

Do customer development around the problem itself.

Episode 191 |Brian Tracy’s ABCDE Method For Setting Better Priorities

Date: 2014-07-01


Book: Hatching Twitter

Book: Things a Little Bird Told Me

Book: Eat That Frog

Write out your to do lists.

Assign each item to a specific category.

There is only so much you can do no matter what.

If it is ever possible to eliminate something go ahead and do it.

Episode 192 | How to Make Your SaaS App More Contagious

Date: 2014-07-08


Book: Contagious

Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Find inner remarkability. What is your purple cow?

Leverage game mechanics. Get customers or users to compete.

Have customers compare results.

People take pride being on a leaderboard.

You need a critical mass if you’re going to aggregate stuff from your customers.

Make people feel like insiders.

People want to follow a crowd in general.

What about your app is observable by the public?

People remember stories.

Episode 193 |Distributed Team Collaboration for Startups

Date: 2014-07-15


When you don’t care about people coming into an office you can extend your reach across the globe.

Generally people like working remotely. You avoid a commute.

If you don’t know (your remote workers) well enough to trust them you need to fall back on some software (to make sure they are working).

There are a lot of people who when they’re just sitting in a chair does not mean they’re working.

You need to focus on the work itself.

Even companies with remote workers have a culture.

Try to operate on a non-interrupted schedule. Reserve voice and instant message for things that are critical rather than everyday stuff. Use email for everyday stuff.

Schedule things in sprints and milestones.

Have a style guide.

If you’re not aware that burnout can become an issue you can get to a point where it is too late.

It is not easy to find good people.

Don’t give people too many chances.

Episode 194 | Should You Charge Before Product/Market Fit?

Date: 2014-07-22


Charging limits your user pool.

Not only limits user pool but limits range of feedback.

When charging it is going to take you longer to get the same amount of feedback.

There is a difference between bootstrapping and self-funding.

With bootstrapping you need revenue to stay alive.

When you’re not charging you might receive too much feedback particularly from people who would never pay for the product.

If you don’t charge you don’t know if people will pay for your product or if they’re just using it because it is free.

Episode 195 | How to Craft a Great Story for Your Product or Service

Date: 2104-07-29


People tend to remember stories.

Stories get people talking if they’re told well and told consistently over a long period of time.

The Hero’s Journey.

Start the story with success.

Turn against the status quo–what did you want to change about your identity or the prior world.

What is the insight?

If you don’t have struggles then you’ll rarely have insights worth anything.

Choose your point of view.

Episode 196 | How to Use a VA in Your Startup

Date: 2014-08-05


It might be time to hire a VA if you find yourself doing a lot of busy work.

It is hard to hire a VA too early unless you have nothing you can hand off.

Customer service and chat support are good places to use a VA.

Complicated travel plans is a good thing to outsource.

You really want a VA to get you 80% of the way there.

Episode 197 | How to Sell a Web Application (with Guest Thomas Smale)

Date: 2014-08-12


When you’re larger you have a multiple of EBITDA.

With smaller businesses it is generally a multiple of seller discretionary earnings.

Software apps typically sale for close to 3x.

When preparing a sale depersonalize the site as much as you can.

Episode 198 | How to Perform an SEO Health Check on Your Website

Date: 2014-08-19


Look at manual actions under Google Webmaster Tools.

Review crawler errors.

If you have a lot of content have a site map.

Review any site messages that come up.

Most SSL certificate vendors offer free reissuing of certificates.

Bing Webmaster Tools.

Bing gives you the actual search queries.

Put in a calendar reminder to look at Google and Bing webmaster tools once a month.

Google Analytics.

Compare traffic of last week to last month.

If you don’t have landing pages then you need to make some.

You can set up alerts in Google Analytics to alert you to traffic nosedives.

Disavow shady inbound links.

Check your domain authority using Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

Google takes away ranking points for a slow website.

There is always something new you don’t know about.

Episode 199 | Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers (with Guest Gabriel Weinberg)

Date: 2014-08-26


Everybody should take a 48-hour (retreat) by themselves at least once a year.

Prequalify people early.

Book: Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

Traction trumps everything.

Traction is sustainable customer growth.

Traction is growth.

If you don’t have growth in a startup you don’t have a startup.

Your key metric should be growing up and to the right.

B2B and B2C companies often get traction from the same mechanism.

Engineers already have a predisposition to focus on the product.

The first step (in identifying marketing channels) is brainstorming.

Any good marketing channel eventually saturates for you.

Spend 50% of your time getting traction. It is just as important as product development.

You generally want to go where your competition isn’t (for marketing channels).

Some things might work in phase one of your startup but they won’t work in phase two or phase three.

For every platform there is usually a company, or multiple companies, that solves things the platform company didn’t think to do.

Episode 200 | Customer Acquisition Plans for Bootstrappers

Date: 2014-09-02


Figure out things that are necessary but aren’t necessary for you to do. Get somebody else to do them.

Most business plans are crap.

A customer acquisition plan is different than a marketing plan.

Build, test, deploy, measure, fix what is broken, then repeat.

You can only optimize a page so far.

You need to be able to measure your progress towards your high level goals and your milestones along the way.

Work backwards from your goals. (e.g. how many customers do I need to reach my revenue goal?)

Customer contacts made is the number of emails you’ve sent that have actually been opened.

Just because you have an email address doesn’t mean you have a good lead.

The volume of your email list is less important as your price goes up.

You need to understand what your sales funnel looks like.

If you don’t understand what your sales funnel looks like it is hard to fix it.

Episode 201 | Dealing with Crunch-Time Stress, Balancing Life and Work and More Listener Questions

Date: 2014-09-09


Test database backups.

Trying to acquire a competitor will give you an idea of market size.

Decreasing caffeine levels is a bad idea when you get close to crunch time.

Advanced preparation is what will help you with a major upgrade or transition.

That last thing you want to do is make major decisions at 3:00 am.

When working really focus on work.

Don’t try to work when with your kids.

Take some time for yourself every day.

We all need some time to ourselves.

When you change your schedule to work more or less it needs to be intentional.

Episode 202 | Outbound Sales for Startups with Guest Steli Efti

Date: 2014-09-16


Book: Ultimate Startup Guide to Outbound Sales

Cold calling and cold emailing has a stigma to it.

Rather than talking sales is a lot more about asking questions and proactively listening.

When listening someone will convince you that your solution is the right one and you need to tell them that.

Sales is more psychologically hard. You don’t have to do anything that is physically hard.

When you do sales you can’t avoid rejection. You have to embrace it.

We all can get good at sales.

Sales is highs and lows.

On every single day you’re not going to have the same outcome.

Make your goal to get rejected every day.

Sales will come as a result of making calls. Don’t tie your goals to sales.

In the early days it is more about learning.

In the early days focus on how I can learn as much as humanely possible about your customer.

Cold email usually works better for large established organization and works to just get in touch with the right person to schedule a demo with.

Cold calling sometimes works better in the SMB market than the enterprise market.

To do cold calling the customer lifetime value should be at least a few thousand dollars.

The reasons people will not buy your product will be about ten to twenty objections that you hear every single day. Write those down. Then write down an answer to each of them. The answer doesn’t need to perfect it just needs to be short. Two to three sentences max.

People like confident people.

A lot of people outsource sales because they think they don’t know how to do it.

Episode 203 | How to Build A Marketing Calendar

Date: 2014-09-23


You don’t want too many emails going out the same week.

A marketing calendar is supposed to help you not shoot from the hip. It lays out what you need to do and you can work towards it.

Use Excel or Google spreadsheets.

Write down all marketing activities you want to engage in or try out in the future.

Your marketing game plan needs to live for several years.

It is a living and breathing document.

Niche down your target audience as much as you can so that you can effectively write to them.

If you’re before product-market fit you only want to plan a month or two out.

If you’re really starting to scale and you know your audience and message then you can plan six months out.

For each marketing strategy break that down into its component tasks.

There is a bit of art in prioritizing marketing activities.

Give yourself enough time for your marketing activities to work.

You can outsource writing articles.

You want to get to the point where somebody who is not a founder can do it well enough.

Don’t push out bad content just because you have a content calendar.

Episode 204 | 9 Tactics for Aggressive Time Management

Date: 2014-09-30


Have the willpower to prioritize and to move things out of email into your to do list.

Turn off email, Facebook, Twitter, text message, or any other notifications during the day that can interrupt you.

Stop consuming mainstream news.

Put your phone in the other room when you’re with your family.

Don’t say “email me” or “call me” unless you really mean it.

Say no a lot.

Most of the time your default answer should be know unless you have a compelling reason to say yes.

When you say yes to things people will ask for more things.

Early on in your career you should say yes to more.

Most people over commit themselves in general.

Either don’t do Twitter at all or schedule your time to do it.

Use a to do list in the cloud.

Eliminate meetings.

Maker schedule vs. manager schedule.

Episode 205 | Trust Signals for Your Website

Date: 2014-10-07


You have this vision of what your product is supposed to be and then there is reality–what the customers actually want. You have to balance between those two things.

Find the minimum path to awesome.

Heavily script the onboarding process.

People don’t buy things from websites they don’t trust.

You have to establish trust on your website.

Trust is grounded in ability and integrity.

People will trust you more when you come out with something that looks really sharp.

Book: Don’t Make Me Think

Book: The Non-Designer’s Design Book

Don’t serve up ads on a corporate website.

Be careful about using stock images in place of people you have pictures of.

About pages get a fair amount of traffic.

Choose the things that are important and put them in the top nav. Move everything else down below the fold, into the footer, and in other pages.

Think of all of your content as if first time visitors are looking at it.

In your copy use “You” rather than “We”.

Show contact information for your company.

If it feels very safe to write then it is junk.

Episode 206 | Drip, AuditShark, Enterprise Sales and Podcasts

Date: 2014-10-14


People aren’t interested in buying your app. Their interested in buying a solution to a problem. Lay out the problems they’re having on your website.

Your first thirty or sixty days of churn is pretty high if you ask for a credit card up front.

Podcast: How to Build a Rocketship

Podcast: Bootstrapped Web

Podcast: Linchpin

Podcast: History of Rome

Podcast: Daily Tech News Show

Episode 207 | SEO tips with Dave Collins

Date: 2014-10-21


Google Authorship is about connecting content people wrote with the people that wrote the content.

Submit your pages through Google Webmaster Tools as soon as you post it.

You can’t fight Google.

If you create good quality content that is relevant to your target audience you can’t go wrong.

Google Keyword Planner

The golden rule is good content, original content, and it has to be of interest.

Most searches are because people have a problem.

If you create some really great content use it for its best possible use. is a good starting point.

Episode 208 | How To Productize Your Service with Brian Casel

Date: 2014-10-28


A productized service is one that runs systematically and continues to grow with or without your direct involvement.

Look for businesses with money to spend.

Work on your business and not in your business.

The three steps to productizing:

  1. Standardize (Focus on one way of doing things)
  2. Streamline your processes
  3. Documentation

The most important thing (for marketing) is knowing your customer.

Talk to your customers and then use their language on your landing page.

Episode 209 | How to Run A Successful Webinar with Brennan Dunn

Date: 2014-11-04


Realize what the goal of the webinar is both for you and the audience.

Even if you’re trying to sell something the webinar should be valuable in its own right.

If they’re not ready to buy now they might be ready to buy later. If you turn it too much into a sales pitch then they might get turned off and you lose them as a future customer.

The target audience should learn something.

Hangout On Air for webinars. It automatically records everything.

Give people something of value immediately.

(On signup page) don’t have too much stuff that is keeping people from opting in.

Showup rates are very, very minimal.

You need to get people excited.

There needs to be some sort of urgency factor.

You need to have an event that is informative, educational, and, most importantly, really ties in with the product you’re trying to sell.

If you have a small list it might be helpful to turn off the autoresponders and email people manually.

Episode 210 | Key Takeaways from MicroConf Europe 2014 & DCBKK

Date: 2014-11-11


Nobody is ever fired too soon from a job.

You get reinvigorated when you step away from work for a long time.

The missing features at launch don’t matter to anyone but you.

Ship it before you get to that comfort zone or else you will never ship it.

A lot of your happy customers you will never hear from.

The reasons customers tell you they love you should be in your headlines.

You can learn a lot from the misuse of your features.

When choosing metrics always ask, “What is the biggest constraint right now?”

Pick one marketing channel and focus on it for a three-month sprint.

Episode 211 | When to Consider Outside Investment for Your Startup

Date: 2014-11-18


Book: Zero to One

Book: Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer

Problem/solution fit occurs before product/market fit.

Investors are looking for a way to accelerate the value of their money.

If you’re just coming on the scene and you want to solve a problem for a group of people you’re going to need traction to be taken seriously.

You typically want to take smart money (as opposed to dumb money).

Don’t take money from a first time angel investor.

Funding allows you to get somewhere faster.

Episode 212 | How to Prioritize Feature Requests

Date: 2014-11-25


If you’re going to go business to consumer you kind of need good luck and some real sense of product.

Consumers don’t necessarily know what they want before you show it to them.


  1. Is a prospect asking for the feature?
  2. Is a customer asking for it?
  3. Is someone on your team asking for it?
  4. Do you think it will shift your product into a new market?

A prospect’s feature request tend to be the most important because they haven’t paid you money yet and their time is very limited.

A lot of this is dependent on the price point and the stage in the company you are at.

A higher priced point product has a much longer sales cycle so it give you more time (to implement requested feature).

If customers have trust in you they aren’t likely to jump ship quickly.

Ask yourself if the feature request fits in with your vision of the product.

Things that most people will not  use should not be very visible in the UI.

Episode 213 | How to Plan a Conference

Date: 2014-12-02


The size of the conference can impact where in the world you can have it.

Think about the cost to the attendees. Be aware of the total cost of going to the conference.

You’re on the hook for a minimum number of rooms in addition to a minimum food and beverage cost.

In Europe it is substantially less to have it on the weekend. In Vegas it is substantially more to have it on the weekend.

In Vegas most hotels have some sort of resort fee.

Hotels that aren’t owned by big corporations will be more willing to negotiate with you.

Event space is different than meeting space. Event space has higher ceilings and gives it a different feel.

You want an elevated stage with a podium on it. You want large projector screens.

Have a prearranged event every night.

But the first drink for everyone.

Have an appetizer.

Different people have different dietary needs.

At least one talk is going to tank every year.

You want to have one of your best speakers go first and one of your best speakers go last so your conference starts on a high note and ends on a high note.

Have a speakers dinner.

You have to have a solid value proposition for sponsors.

Have a rate card for the sponsors.

Have somebody who is working with you on the conference in a major capacity.

Episode 214 | Our Goals for 2015

Date: 2014-12-09


If you’re not working on your own business then it is probably tanking.

Read: Steve Pavlina’s article on how to become an early riser.

Have systems in place.

Episode 215 | Our Predictions for  2015

Date: 2014-12-16


Retargeting is paid per impression rather than pay per click.

Read: The Value of Content by Andy Beaumont

Integration marketing is when you do integration with other SaaS apps and then you promote the integration and they promote the integration.

Episode 216 | How a Single Founder Launched a 7-Figure SaaS App (with Nate Grahek)

Date: 2014-12-23


Follow Up Then for inbox zero.

One way or another people need a reason to buy today.

People buy when they have been referred by somebody they trust.

The only time paid advertising works is when you already have a foundation of word-of-mouth referrals happening.

Hire a support rep to have consistent growth.

There is always more features to build.

Focus on sales to keep the lights on.

Don’t focus on the competition. Focus on your own business.

More people error on the side of too much product rather than too much sales.

Just because you are yelling in your corner doesn’t mean anybody is hearing you.

Build relationships with other people.

Find a reason for other people to talk about you.

Bloggers love having something shiny and new to show off.

Focus on really good content.

Early on in your business you want to hire people who are good at a thing rather than a person who is a Jack-of-all-trades.

217 | Why You Shouldn’t Worry About Competitors

Date: 2014-12-30


Competition isn’t always a good thing particularly in a smaller market.

Be less concerned in general about being seen to be copying others.

Once your product is out there people are inevitably going to copy from you.

What you should be concentrating on is making your product special.

You shouldn’t be afraid about talking about your ideas with people.

Established competitors help to justify the market.

Be more concerned about new competitors. They are the ones who are agile.

Continue to evolve or you’re going to lose market share.

Once you understand who your customers are you have a competitive advantage.

By positioning yourself differently you have an opportunity to compete with established companies.

Your customers should be the ones driving your product roadmap–not your competitors.

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