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February 12 2014



Amy Hoy is known for her unfiltered, straight-shooting opinions on building product businesses. Her and her husband Thomas Fuchs have built Freckle, an awesome time-tracking web app – and have become well known in the bootstrapping, design, and Ruby on Rails communities. Amy is also a passionate teacher: her and Alex Hillman run the excellent 30×500 bootcamp whose students include the likes of Brennan Dunn, Chris Hartjes, and Jaana Kulmala. Our topic was: finding an audience, discovering needs, and building products people want. Notable quotes “The core problem with so many businesses is that they’re based on what the business owner wants.” “They’re fantasizing about being the hero: “I’m going to ride in on my white ‘software’ horse, and save these poor people.” “As much as you can, you want to sell to people who will use your product. People who buy your product and don’t use it will never buy from you again.” “Target people already in motion.” “Selling to wannabes has the least amount of upside; people who already have a business are more likely to spend money.” “I would rather have no money, than know that the vast majority of people that gave me the money aren’t achieving what they wanted to. If that’s true, I don’t want to be in that business.” “Being in business forces you to become a better human being.” Show notes Freckle Time Tracking 30×500 Amy’s blog post on why Freckle became successful The legend of 30×500 A note from Justin: A big thanks to Amy Hoy for being Amy: no bullshit, nothing held back. Just real, hard advice for product people. Cheers, Justin Jackson@mijustin PS: I’m writing a new book right now called Marketing for Developers. Click here to sign-up for updates (and get a sample PDF). Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInTumblrPinterest http://productpeople.tv/2014/02/07/amy-hoy/
Tags: product

January 03 2014


Wait! Before you Turn Your Idea Into a Product... the 4 Part Podcast Series (FS035)

If you’re on this page you likely fall into one of two camps: 1. it’s time to make your first sellable thing, or 2. it’s time to start thinking about making your first sellable thing. 5 years ago most of us literally thought we could support ourselves with advertising revenue. In case you weren’t around for that: it didn’t work. So now we’re all coming around to what’s been central to business since the beginning of time: make something people want, make it good enough to be worth a few bucks, connect the people to that thing. In other words: make a product, a thing to sell. Will the first thing you create support yourself for the rest of your life? Maybe not. But everyone can make something worth at least a buck… … and once you break that seal — once you get your first sale from someone who isn’t a family member — the light bulb goes on, your eyes light up and you say, “oh shit, I get it! And I know what I’m going to do better next time.” We want you to be a product maker (even if you’re in a service industry) because it makes you better at your thing, brings you closer to your audience, and, frankly, because this tool making stuff is in your DNA. (Making useful stuff is much deeper in your blood than cubicles, smoke stacks, Excel reports and factory lines). For the next few episodes of the Fizzle Show (including this one) we’re going to get you thinking about building your first product. Whether you’re ready to build it now or not, getting your mind right about this stuff will profoundly impact the decisions you make about your business. In each episode we talk you through a common roadblock to creating your first thing. In this episode we tackle the idea questions: Where can I find an idea for my first product? What makes a good or bad idea for a product? What examples of other ideas that have worked in the past? But that’s not even the best part. In each episode we’re going to feature the “first product stories” of several successful friends of the show. These are people supporting themselves and their families doing stuff they care about, making things they’re proud of, things that have stood the test of time and continue to sell. These are people with hard-fought, well-earned insights about the process. Their tips here are priceless. (Which is funny, cuz, like, one of the episodes is about pricing and this goes against some of the advice you’ll hear there. See what I did there? now ur curious!) If you can’t tell, we’re really excited about these episodes and this idea. You’re more capable of doing this than you give yourself credit for. It’s no longer about traffic or exposure. You can create a profitable, small and trust-oriented businesses if you just come at it from the right direction. These episodes will help you do that. Please be our guest and enjoy this, the first episode in the Product Prodcrust Series about how to find find your idea. Push Play: Wait! Before you Turn Your Idea Into a Product… the 4 Part Podcast Series (FS035) / Listen to Wait! Before you Turn Your Idea Into a Product… the 4 Part Podcast Series (FS035) A podcast for creative entrepreneurs and honest business builders... TO SUBSCRIBE: simply search for “The Fizzle Show” in your podcast app, or click here:iTunes Stitcher Instacast Podcast Feed URL It’s no longer about the traffic or exposure. I’m heading towards small, trust-based and profitable.Tweet This   or copy + Facebook Guest Interviews in this Episode Anne Samoilov — Blogger and founder of Fearless Launching, a step by step course for launching your first anything. Matt Alexander — Founder of NeedLifestyle.com, a startup in mens fashion with all the right backers making all the right moves. Leo Babauta — Founder of ZenHabits.net, one of internet’s top 50 sites (according to TIME magazine!). A guy who drinks tea slowly and serves his audience matterfully. Josh Shipp — Founder of Youth Speaker University and an insanely popular youth speaker. (He does balloon animals. He toured with Bill Cosby. Literally). A Walk Through Making Your First Product in 7 Steps In case you missed it, episode 27 of the fizzle show is a killer walk-through making your first product in 7 steps. We’d be remiss not to mention it here. Listen to it here » Hello & Welcome to 2014 We’re so excited for 2014. I’m so ready to turn a new page. We’re so excited you’re here with us. I wanted to let you know that and say: we have plans for killer stuff this year (this podcast series is just the first of those plans). Can I ask you to take a chance on us? Join up free and we’ll include you in some access to things we’re doing this year. (also, then you’ll have my email so you can tell me which singer-songwriter we’re actually like. Listen to the intro of the show for context.) Join up here (it’s free) » Show Notes How to Have GREAT Ideas by James Altucher — “And this post is not just about coming up with ideas to get rich. It’s how I saved my life.” Drafts, the iOS app we use — “Drafts is where text starts on iOS. Quickly capture text and send it almost anywhere! The most flexible note taking app on iOS.” A Walk Through Making Your First Product in 7 Steps (FS027) — “You piece of crap. Nobody’s gonna buy this stupid thing. Who do you think you are? There are so many others smarter than you about this. What makes you think anyone will care?” Ultimate Dog Tease – YouTube — “Yea? What was in there!?” Live Your Legend – Live Local Meetups! Our friends Scott Dinsmore and the Live Your Legend community are organizing a series of meetups around the world on January 7th. The goal is to help you meet other inspiring, passionate world changers and entrepreneurs in your hometown. 146 cities are involved, and 1,263 people are signed up to attend. This is a highly recommended event. Start 2014 off by connecting with supportive people who can help push you to do work that matters. Join a Live Your Legend Local meetup here » http://fizzle.co/sparkline/finding-idea-product-prodcrust-1-fs035
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December 09 2013


TMS 030: Taking Books to the Next Level with David Sparks | Think, Make, Sell.

David Sparks is also known as MacSparky, the pseudonym he uses to write his blog of the same name. So far he’s written 6 books, the last four of them published under his own MacSparky Field Guides label and he also co-hosts the Mac Power Users podcast, where he and Katie Floyd tell listeners how to get the most out of their Apple products. Your browser does not support the audio element. Download as .mp3Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe to podcast directlyListen with Stitcher Takeway Points If you’re building a business on the side, try to use less busy times in your job to work on the business. If you’re having trouble finding time to work on your business, consider quitting TV or other time-consuming habits. It’s all about priorities. There’s a creator inside of everyone and being creative lets you live a richer life. The internet has democratized media, everyone can be a publisher now. Self-publishing means you get to say what you want, how you want and in as many words as you want. If you’re writing a tech book, self-publishing is probably going to be much more lucrative. iBooks is the place to be for books related to Apple products and technologies, but it’s still only a fraction of the size of Amazon’s Kindle in terms of sales. Don’t write your book in iBooks Author — it’s a layout tool not a writing environment. If you’re going to self-publish, hire an editor. Don’t get hung up on tools. Pick a place for your writing and write. Having multiple Web properties in the same niche can be very helpful in marketing a product. Creating an iBook that uses all or many of iBooks Author’s key features can help your chances of getting featured in the iBooks Store. Don’t be shy about cross-promoting your books from within the books themselves. The decision to quit your job and take your side business full-time should be obvious. If not, you need to think about it some more. If your first product is a success, it’s easy to think you’ve got it all figured out. Consider the chance that it might have been a fluke and try to validate the market with a second product in the same space. Have the courage to say no to things that take time away from what you really want to do. Where you can find David: MacSparky.com Mac Power Users podcast Print books Mac At Work* iPad At Work* Self-published ebooks Paperless* 60 Mac Tips* Markdown* Email* Things mentioned on the show Scrivener* Ulysses* Daedalus* iBooks Author* TinyLetter *Affiliate link http://thinkmakesell.com/2013/12/tms-030-books-david-sparks/

October 15 2013


Product Excellence Principles

LukeW Ideation + Design provides resources for mobile and Web product design and strategy including presentations, workshops, articles, books and more on usability, interaction design and visual design. There is no single process that will produce great results for every company, but there are tried-and-true principles that can guide teams in the right direction. Through vivid stories, Luke will showcase several of these principles in action, including: - Thinking "outside in" using customer insights to innovate - Speaking with "one voice" despite having many stakeholders - Defining the core essence of the product you're bringing to life - Building outward from this center point - Committing to greatness and making the time - Understanding when to putt and when to drive the ball forward http://www.lukew.com/presos/preso.asp?10

August 14 2012


LukeW | Audio: Designing Multi-Device Experiences

LukeW Ideation + Design provides resources for mobile and Web product design and strategy including presentations, workshops, articles, books and more on usability, interaction design and visual design. http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1608&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FunctioningForm+%28LukeW+Ideation+%2B+Design%29

January 31 2011


Don Norman on living with complexity

Don Norman, a former Apple vice-president, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, and one of the world’s most influential designers, discusses his new book, Living With Complexity. Norman talks about differences between complexity, something being complicated, and simplicity, and suggests that people who bemoan “technology” don’t actually seek simplicity. He also discusses differences between designing a product and designing a system, using examples of iPods and iTunes, the Amazon Kindle, and BMW’s Mini Cooper — products whose success depended upon the success of larger systems. Norman also notes the difference between a forcing function and a nudge, explains how complicated rules can weaken security, and comments on sociable design in realspace and on the internet. http://surprisinglyfree.com/2011/01/18/don-norman/

January 17 2011


By Design - 2011-01-05 - Chris Bangle

Chris Bangle: global car designer and ideas agitator Do you know this name, Chris Bangle? Car enthusiasts in the By Design audience will know him, in the world of car design he's a star, but all of you know his work. Trends and Products: Pixel building - the greenest in Australia The Pixel building, as it is known, is the new Melbourne city headquarters for the developers Grocon - known for many of Australia´s major buildings. Eureka building on Melbourne´s Southbank is one of their most prominent. This is considered one of the tallest buildings in Australia. The Pixel building, though, is small, and an experiment in all things green. The building´s architects Studio 505 are one of Australia´s most innovative and thoughtful firms, with the co-founder Dylan Brady coming out of LAB Architecture, the firm that designed Melbourne's Federation Square. Wallpaper: an on-again, off-again love affair On his deathbed in a Paris hotel room, Oscar Wilde famously quipped: 'My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.' In Australia, since the 1840s, fashions in wallpaper have come and gone in Australia during our long, on-off love affair with wallpaper. When the Lights Went Out: a history of blackouts in America Where were you when the lights went out? For whatever reason they went out, you´ll probably remember where you were when it happened because our electrically lit-up life has become so natural to us that when the lights go off, the darkness seems abnormal and memorable.

July 19 2010

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