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DigitalOcean SaaS Webinar - Jake Levirne

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DigitalOcean SaaS Webinar - Jake Levirne

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Recording available here: https://youtu.be/zZVoo5AbANI

As technologists, we love to build things. And we sometimes forget that our customers (or potential customers) don’t care about what we’re building-- they care about what they’re building, doing, or feeling. In this talk, we’ll explore methodologies that help us continually focus on our customers’ needs, building just enough to learn and iterate towards their desired outcomes.

Recording available here: https://youtu.be/zZVoo5AbANI

As technologists, we love to build things. And we sometimes forget that our customers (or potential customers) don’t care about what we’re building-- they care about what they’re building, doing, or feeling. In this talk, we’ll explore methodologies that help us continually focus on our customers’ needs, building just enough to learn and iterate towards their desired outcomes.

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DigitalOcean SaaS Webinar - Jake Levirne

  1. 1. SaaS Webinar Part 1: Customer-Driven Product Development April 2020
  2. 2. Jake Levirne Sr. Director, Product Management Developer Experience
  3. 3. 4 Simplicity • Community • Service
  4. 4. 2012 founded in New York City 480+ employees1.3M+ developers and teams 80M+ Droplets launched to date $123M+ funding raised 3rd largest and fastest growing cloud provider Investors
  5. 5. peers around the world of RAM of storage 12 data centers in 8 global markets 1500+ 1.2PB+ 50PB
  6. 6. Seamless cloud infrastructure Droplets Scalable compute services Managed Databases Worry-free setup & maintenance Spaces Simple object storage Kubernetes Run managed Kubernetes clusters Load Balancers Easily distributed traffic Block Storage Attach scalable volumes One-Click Apps Deploy pre-built application
  7. 7. Building a SaaS, Part 1: Customer-Driven Product Development
  8. 8. Abstract: As technologists, we love to build things. And we sometimes forget that our customers (or potential customers) don’t care about what we’re building-- they care about what they’re building, doing, or feeling. In this talk, we’ll explore methodologies that help us continually focus on our customers’ needs, building just enough to learn and iterate towards their desired outcomes. Coming away from this, you’ll have a few more tools in the toolbox for your lean startup.
  9. 9. Building something new is always difficult Now may feel more difficult than ever But there’s hope
  10. 10. 50%+ Drop from peak First time that peak was reached againS&P 500 Some of the greatest tech companies were built in the period during & after the last recession
  11. 11. Move quickly (while big companies reorganize) Downturns create problems that entrepreneurs can solve Save on costs (while big companies cut their fat) Find the talent seeking opportunity (while big companies shed workers) All recessions end (hardy startups are the readiest to rebound) Maximize Startup Advantages During a Downturn
  12. 12. Aaqib Gadit Serial Entrepreneur, Co-founder & CEO Cloudways Lessons Learned from a Successful Entrepreneur
  13. 13. Not raising VC can be a blessing in disguise Challenging times offer room for reinvention Entrepreneurs in challenging times are unique because they are resilient, purposeful, and don’t take things for granted Serve your customers, one at a time; know your customers; genuinely help them It’s possible to successfully transition from projects → products Invest for the long haul
  14. 14. So how do we get ruthless about solving real customer pain points? Obsessed with helping our customers?
  15. 15. Field of Dreams ^broken No they won’t
  16. 16. How do I know?
  17. 17. Imagine the year 2000
  18. 18. These don’t exist yet
  19. 19. But a few smart people from MIT thought they could build a better search engine...
  20. 20. At the time, this technology felt like magic
  21. 21. BUT… Nobody wanted to type full sentence queries Average query length in 2000: 1.9 words; in 2004: 2.1 words
  22. 22. Why did we fall into this trap?
  23. 23. Wicked smart engineers VCs bought into the vision Customers were paying us We were heavily invested in our solution
  24. 24. Wicked smart engineers VCs bought into the vision Customers were paying us Heavily invested in our solution Talked to users all the time
  25. 25. What could we have done differently?
  26. 26. Understand the difference between users and customers
  27. 27. customer user
  28. 28. Build just enough to learn something critical that you don’t know
  29. 29. “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” — Reid Hoffman
  30. 30. OK. Where should I start?
  31. 31. OK. Where should I start? Riskiest first
  32. 32. Hint: It’s usually not this at first
  33. 33. Knowledge
  34. 34. How to identify the riskiest parts?
  35. 35. Now ask yourself, which of these makes me most uncomfortable?
  36. 36. I know what customer segment to target, but I’m not sure these are really their problems Example:
  37. 37. What’s the simplest way to test this?
  38. 38. Jobs To Be Done 1 Interview Users ● Mental Model interviews - users’ own words ● Worst case + Ideal “stories” ● No solutions! 2 Synthesize ● Write “jobs” across the whole Customer Journey ● Grouping larger themes ● Build a mental model ● Touchpoint Mapping workshop 3 Write User Stories JTBD.info. https://jtbd.info/; strategyn.com/; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kI-CshHxHY
  39. 39. Tell me about a specific instance where you faced a particularly difficult situation with a tool or solution you or your team was using. What solution/tool and what was the story?
  40. 40. Tell me about a specific instance where a tool or solution you (or your team) was using worked particularly well. What solution / tool and what was the story?
  41. 41. When we’re a very small team trying to build something new we often want to use 3rd party solutions for large parts of it so that we can focus more of our time on the things that make us unique.
  42. 42. Desired Outcomes 1 Identify Desired Outcomes ● Use their own words ● Progress or improvement ● No solutions! 2 Quantify ● Survey (statistical significance) ● Scorecard ● Analyze for Under-Served 3 Speak to your audience ● In their own words + desires
  43. 43. When thinking about your daily work, how important is it to: focus more on the things that make your company unique ? Get Quantitative
  44. 44. How would you rate your current set of tools in how well they help you: focus more on the things that make your company unique ? Get Quantitative
  45. 45. Analyze
  46. 46. Another example
  47. 47. I feel good about my unique value prop, but I’m not sure what channels are best for reaching my target customers
  48. 48. What’s the simplest way to test this?
  49. 49. Don’t underestimate the low-tech channels
  50. 50. 25% off
  51. 51. How to figure out this marketing thing: (Check out the Beginner’s Guides) (Understanding CAC and Content Marketing experts) LTV CAC >> 1
  52. 52. Another example
  53. 53. I know my customers and their problems, but not sure my unique value prop will result in revenue
  54. 54. What’s the simplest way to test this?
  55. 55. And yes, sometimes it’s good to build something
  56. 56. ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔
  57. 57. But not everything’s an experiment
  58. 58. vs.
  59. 59. Quantitative vs. qualitative
  60. 60. PIVOT OR PROTEST? How to position your idea with User Research Colleen Diez, Lead User Researcher
  61. 61. Data vs. intuition
  62. 62. But there are biases: ● Sunk cost fallacy ● Confirmation bias ● Hindsight bias And you need to minimize your own biases
  63. 63. Balancing Intuition and Biases Design thinking can help
  64. 64. Balancing Intuition and Biases
  65. 65. Delay solutioning Explore multiple solutions Bias towards the user Understand full context and the jobs to be done
  66. 66. Most Important Tactic
  67. 67. Takeaways Path of least resistance can lead into the trap Actively de-risk the thing that makes you most uncomfortable Find the simplest thing(s) you can do to get comfortable Move on to the next most uncomfortable thing Even in challenging times, you can create something valuable but it’s more important than ever to solve real customer pain points
  68. 68. All the links ● https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/arent-any-typos-essay-we-launched-too-late-reid-hoffman/ ● https://learn.onemonth.com/if-youre-not-embarrassed-by-your-startup-you-launched-too-late/ ● https://www.ideou.com/blogs/inspiration/how-to-prototype-a-new-business ● https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous-Innovation-ebook/dp/B004J4XGN6 ● https://www.amazon.com/Running-Lean-Iterate-Plan-Works-ebook/dp/B006UKFFE0 ● https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kI-CshHxHY ● https://jtbd.info ● https://medium.com/envato/a-step-by-step-guide-to-using-outcome-driven-innovation-odi-for-a-new-product- ded320f49acb ● https://www.verywellmind.com/cognitive-biases-distort-thinking-2794763 ● https://designthinking.ideo.com/ ● https://growsmethod.com/grows_overview.html
  69. 69. Thank you

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