Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More video "what to do if customers don't like your (initial) product" plus full webcast

First up is an interview with Mixergy, about lean startups and what to do if customers don't like your (initial) product. You can watch the whole hour-long discussion here. Here's a little taste from a story I've mentioned on this blog a few times, but haven't discussed in detail, about the decision at IMVU to abandon our IM add-on concept; you can also watch an excerpt on YouTube.

I mean, it requires a lot of explanation. instant messaging add-on - it’s not a category that exists in her mind. But, since she’s in the room with us we can talk her into doing it. So she downloads the product, we have her install it on the computer, and we’re like “okay, it’s time to check it out, you know, invite one of your friends to chat.”

She says, “no way.”

We say, “Why not?”

She says, “I don’t know if this thing is cool yet. You want me to risk inviting my friends to a thing that I don’t think is cool? What are they going to think of me? If it sucks, they’re going to think I suck, right?”

And we say “No, no, it’s going to be so fun. It’s a social product…”

And the look of dubiousness, I mean, you can just see, this is a dealbreaker. And of course the first time you have that experience you say, “All right, it’s just that person, let em out, you know, send them away. Get me a new one.”

So then the second customer comes in. Same thing. Third customer comes in, same thing. You start to see these patterns and you’re like, okay. No matter how stubborn you are there’s got to be something wrong here.

Watch the rest here...

Here's an excerpt from YouTube:

Second, the complete audio (with slides) from my webcast last week is up on YouTube now too:

I hope you'll indulge me as I share some of the testimonials we heard from the participants who opted to answer the post-event survey. I'm trying to get better about taking advantage of the many testimonials you all have written for me. Thank you all so much.

His thinking about the relationship between business and technology is refreshing. His understanding of development problems impressive. I can't think of anyone who would not benefit from the presentation. No wonder Kent B. was there!
-Blaine Wishart

I was pleasantly surprised at how concise, useful and poignant the content was...well worth the time!
-Brian Moelk
Great presentation, as always!
-Sachin Rekhi
Eric is one of the smartest guys in the business.
-Ryan Kuder

Probably the best thing was knowing that Eric has done this and seen it work. It's not just a hypothesis but he has real working knowledge
- Trevor Gerzen
I absolutely loved the closing. "Stop typing, take your hands off the keyboard. Think of one concrete thing you can do in the next 24 hours to move you closer to this." Long pause. "Thanks for listening."
-Kyle Maxwell

Inspiring presentation, makes the daunting process of putting together a startup seem just a bit less daunting.
-Lawrence Green

Thanks for reading, listening, and watching. Your feedback, positive or negative, is always welcome.


  1. Eric,

    Thank you for the inspiration. In response to your challenge I added the first little bit of real-time feedback to JUnit Max and released it today. I hope it brings me a little validated learning about my customers. The first bit of learning is whether they are seeing errors. Next I plan to move on to usage analysis--what features are they using.


    Kent Beck

  2. Even Wharton is talking about the Lean Start-up. In their own MBAey kinda way. http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2227

  3. Just listened to your interview at Mixergy. Great stuff there!
    Thanks for sharing more details about some of the topics you talk about consistently.

  4. Great stuff, the guys at 37signals would be proud.

  5. Thanks for doing the interview with me.