Landmines on the Road to Product Market Fit

Giff Constable Aprizi

On Friday, I gave a 20-minute talk at a product design conference organized by Ty Ahmad-Taylor (CEO of FanFeedr) and Hard Candy Shell (the talk shared the same title as this post). I discussed mistakes and lessons from Aprizi’s journey. I don’t think it was videotaped, so I am going to take advantage of this flight to California to write …

When it comes to startups, products and services don’t mix

Giff Constable startups

[Note: 8 years later, I’ve written an update to this post] This post is about dancing with the devil (i.e. consulting) as you pursue your dreams and try to pay the bills.  I believe that it is near impossible to build a successful software product while maintaining a services business. (UPDATE: I should clarify that I am talking about the period …

Validating your startup idea and initial customer development

Giff Constable startups

A reader named Eric asked a question about customer validation / development on my “Bull doesn’t build” post, and I thought I would answer with a post.  Eric’s question was: “You talk about your ‘focus right now is on building a solid foundation of product-market fit.’ At what point do you spend more time focusing on product-market fit then on …

Learning is about the translation, not the source

Giff Constable management, marketing, startups

I was reading Fred Destin’s post on why entrepreneurs hate VCs, when a quote caught my eye: “Learning from mistakes is far less useful than emulating success.”  It’s a message that 37Signals likes to harp on as well.  I’d argue that you have an equal shot at learning from mistakes or successes, as long as you take the time to …

What is your customer acquisition strategy? (startup marketing tactics)

Giff Constable marketing, social games, social media, technology

“What is your growth strategy?” It is a classic question from VCs to early-stage consumer Internet companies, and one often difficult to answer at such an early point in a company’s life cycle because you have not yet seen which specific tactics work best.  There is usually no silver bullet answer, just a lot of hard work ahead. This post, …

Freemium Business Model Template

Giff Constable metrics, startups

Update: you can still download the model if you want and see if there are any pieces you can use, but I am working on a new version that is a little more cash-oriented. Right now, it isn’t explicitly modeling out annual subscriptions but rather averaging a monthly revenue level, and I think that should be fixed. Mark Suster of …

Startups: hiring, careers, sales people

Giff Constable management, startups

This week saw two interesting and related posts on startups and hiring/careers.  Mark Suster wrote about who you should hire into your startup, and Chris Dixon wrote about the ideal startup career path. Mark’s message is to hire hungry, smart people who want to get to the next level in their career, not the ones who have already arrived. Chris …