Episode 38: Launch a Product From The Community Outward w/Nicole St. Germain

This Episode Sponsored By:
difficult-clientsConquering Client Conflict
Paying late, not responding to emails, arguing about art direction…enough is enough. Get more respect & make more money by resolving these conflicts in your favor – more details

In this episode, organizational expert and up-and-coming product badass Nicole St. Germain shares her story of learning to launch products based on community involvement, strategies for list-building, pricing psychology and more.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • Why you should connect with a community from day one
  • How “give help to get help” can drive sales
  • How to know if you’re being self-promotional enough
  • Go-to moves for audience discovery and cultivation
Hi there! To help Chasing Product grow, please take a moment to visit iTunes and give the show a 5-star rating. Thanks!

 Show Notes:

Digital Product Mastermind – Nicole’s Mastermind group on FB
Evernote for Product Creators – Nicole teaches you how to use Evernote to manage your product success
Mastermind Meeting Notes Template – Nicole’s product for mastermind groups
Get Your Shit Together – Nicole’s 7-day freemail course for online entrepreneurs
Digital Product Mastermind
Gumroad Small Product Lab
Nathan Barry
Justin Jackson
Conquering Client Conflict – Christopher’s free training course for freelancers

After relocating to a new state in 2015, Nicole felt like she was all over the place with her product aspirations. She immediately sought to get connected with a product community to help her. Feeling she needed a lot of help & feedback, she tried to offer the product community a lot of help & feedback. This led Nicole to various Facebook groups and, importantly, to the Gumroad Small Product Lab, where her product finished as an Honorable Mention.

The Small Product Lab turned into a product community of its own, and Nicole found that making connections & helping people aided her attempts to get sales later. Also, knowing that she had launched once with the help of a product community, she had the confidence of knowing that she could do it again.

Nicole learned lessons about going too fast, pricing psychology and list-building by starting out as part of a product community. It allowed her to design her launch process from the community outward from her very first product, a step that takes some founders a long time to come around to.

As many founders do, Nicole struggled with self-promotion and marketing, and made special efforts to counteract this, such as requesting help from friends and product communities. In addition to sharing this perspective, Nicole closes the show with her three action items for all of you aspiring founders to get busy with!

Episode 36: Customer-Based Product Validation w/Brad Robinson

FAIR WARNING: I had some microphone issues with this episode, deal with it.

In this episode, Cantabile developer & founder Brad Robinson tells us how he’s been validating his product with customer feedback since day 1, how he got over burnout, and more!

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • Why changing perspective, not skills, is so important
  • How to avoid overpromising while remaining accountable
  • The unexpected benefits of scathingly negative feedback
  • How to keep customers engaged without active development
Hi there! To help Chasing Product grow, please take a moment to visit iTunes and give the show a 5-star rating. Thanks!

 Show Notes:
Cantabile Software – Live Performance VST and MIDI Host
Cantabile – Cantabile on Twitter
Conquering Client Conflict – Christopher’s new free e-mail course (pre-release)
Joel Spolsky
37Signals Getting real; make opinionated software
Work on your best idea (by DHH)
Ivory by Synthogy

In some ways, Brad has a very typical story for a software founder. He’s a self-taught programmer who dropped out of university. He has a background in music, as many software developers do. His product was developed as a “scratch your own itch” solution after discovering virtual instruments in his training as a pianist, and finding them lacking.

Where Brad differs from your typical first-time product founder is that from very early on, he was getting – and acting on – feedback. This early customer-based product validation helped him to tailor a product to the actual problems of his customers. Not the problem customers thought they were having, or the problem Brad though they were having. The actual problem they were having.

This customer-based product feedback continued even during a period of burnout during which Brad did no active development. Instead, Brad continued to perform customer service, support and bug fixing operations, all the while capturing feedback. This feedback paid off when it came time to rewrite the product in C# a few years later, after Brad had what he called “an epiphany” regarding the possibilities afforded him by the newer, more modern language.

Initially, Brad stayed quiet about the rewrite, for fear of overpromising, but he eventually went public with it. Part of his reasoning was to create an accountability structure, but part of it was to be able to release what he calls “preview builds”. With these preview builds, Brad got a whole new wave of customer-based product validation that helped him rewrite the product in ways he hadn’t forseen. Every bit of customer-based product validation contributed to his ability to refactor unnecessary features out of the software, and focus on solving the very specific problems his customers relied upon Cantabile to solve.

Episode 24: Learning As You Go w/Tracy Osborn

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Tracy Osborn joins us today to talk about her founders journey. From college CS to art courses, to an incubator, Tracy has made her bones in the industry by learning as she went along. Now, Tracy can claim multiple products and recently authored a book.

In this episode, we talk about Tracy’s early experiences working in both startups and agencies, her experiences with partnerships, and why it pays to get an app in front of customers, fast. We also cover some practical aspects of being a founder and keeping a product moving forward.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • the benefits of participating in an incubator/accelerator
  • how Kickstarter can aid your product launch
  • why it’s important not to dilute your focus
  • why learning as you go is better than reading books

 Show Notes:
WeddingLovely – Tracys web product
Hello Web App – Tracys book; Learn to Build a Web product w/Python & Django
Limedaring – Tracys blog

500 startups
Y Combinator
Nathan Barry
Product Hunt

Episode 10: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Product Launch Again w/Tim Whitacre

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In this episode, Tim Whitacre of Plain and Argyll Studios shares what he’s learned while transitioning out of freelancing and into products.  Tim is fearless, and freely shares the story of multiple non-thriving attempts at product launch, as well as the story of his newest product launch (which has since taken off!).

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • Tim’s comments on the tension between consulting revenue & investing in product
  • the critical nature of pricing for your app
  • what it feels like to sell off a product
  • how to maintain the motivation & desire to try again

You can follow Tim on Twitter or check out his blog for more info on Tim’s work and the story of the startups he’s been a part of.

Barley – The Inline Editor for Everyone
Barley for WordPress – Released after we recorded the podcast
HostedNotes – Password Management Made Simple & Secure

The show notes will be fleshed out later – for now, just check out the interview!  Tim talks about a side of product launch that most people shy away from, if not hide completely; what it looks like & feels like when a product launch “fails”.  I put “fails” in quotes because as long as you learn something, it’s not really a failure.

Tim learned from every product launch experience, moved on, and now has a hit on his hands.  Learn from him!