Tag Archives: product management

3 Lean Startup Tips for Building Your Business

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Eric Ries's lean startup book

Image courtesy of Betsy Weber via Flickr

“If you build it, he will come,” is the famous line from the film Field of Dreams, in which those mysteriously whispered words convince a farmer to replace his cornfield with a baseball diamond to draw people to use it. But while that may have worked in the film, it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to new apps, products, and services. How can you make sure you don’t invest your life savings in a business idea that users don’t want? That’s where the lean startup philosophy comes in.

If Eric Ries, blogger, entrepreneur, and author of The Lean Startup, were in charge of the cornfield, he would have tried something less drastic — like taking out an ad or building a web page — to find out if there was a need for a new stadium.

Reis’ philosophy is that instead of creating elaborate business plans and bringing fully fleshed-out products to market, it’s best to follow (and repeat) a three-step process — build, measure, and learn — to test and validate ideas prior to a major investment of time and resources.

The following three strategies will get your business on board with the lean philosophy in no time.

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4 Can’t Miss Calendar Apps That Sync With Everything

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cross device image

Recent surveys indicate that a majority of online adults–more than 60%, according to Econsultancy–use at least two devices every day. With multiple device usage becoming commonplace for most, the ability to manage time and utilize applications across platforms is a necessity. Here are a few cross-device calendar apps to consider.

Related Story: The 3 Best To-Do Apps For Gmail Users

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Perks, Storage, and Multiple Users: 3 Ways to Get People to Pay for a Freemium Product

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Apps on a phone

More than five years ago, Chris Anderson wrote in a seminal Wired article that, “The Web has become the land of the free.” Since this declaration, there have been some extraordinary freemium success stories including Dropbox, Spotify, CandyCrush, and Evernote.

But detractors have also emerged, such as Dmitri Leonov, who feel that for many companies, the freemium model doesn’t make sense. Leonov, a VP at Sanebox, wrote in an op-ed for Mashable that “by charging nothing for your service you’re actually anchoring that value in your customer’s mind, making it harder to raise the price later.”

So why would users ever opt for a paid product, instead of sticking with the free option? Before your freemium launch, take a look at how limiting features, space, and the number of users can provide a clear incentive to purchase the premium version.

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Looking for a New Career? Here Are The 3 Most Promising Careers of 2020

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Design-Heuristics-for-Developers

Although bad news seems to be the order of the day, there is reason for optimism on many fronts–one of them being the future of employment in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a projected 20.5 million new jobs will have been added between 2010 and 2020, a 14.3% growth in employment. And if you’re technologically inclined (like us!), there’s even more reason to rejoice. Read on to find out which careers are most promising. Continue reading

Innovation is a Joke: How companies Can learn Innovation Through Comedy

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Stand-up comedy and business image

A company enters a market, releases a new product and makes tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, a stand-up comedian walks on stage, opens her mouth and brings an audience to tears. So, who has the harder job, the stand-up comedian or the company CEO? Who has more to lose? Is it scarier being in front of 500 people and dying on stage, or releasing a product that dies in the market?

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Is The Freemium Business Model Right for Your Product or App?

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freemium business model image

Freemium gets my vote for being the ugliest portmanteau in existence. But despite the unlovely combination of the words free and premium, the freemium business model, which gives away a core product, app, or service, but charges for upgrades, features, and additional space, is hugely popular. When the model works, it can be wildly successful: Think Gaming estimates that the addictive game Candy Crush is raking in $975,000 in revenue a day. But what works well for one product, doesn’t necessarily always lead to success–discover some of the key characteristics of profit-making freemium apps and products to help determine if freemium makes sense for your idea.

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What Open Source Thinking Can Do For You (And You, And You)

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open source image

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a hilariously titled blog post that his company would be removing all of its patents “in the spirit of the open source movement.” And it’s a movement indeed. More and more companies are making the switch to open source thinking, embracing a philosophy of quality and innovation through sharing.

So just what is open source, and what can it do for you and your business?

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Bright Ideas, Big Company: Encouraging Corporate Entrepreneurship

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light bulbs image

CC Image Courtesy of Brian Talbot, Flickr Creative Commons

Companies are sort of like sharks. Just as sharks must keep moving to avoid death, companies must keep growing. But large, well-established corporations often find it difficult to grow organically under an existing business model. Corporations are less nimble than startups, and more averse to risk. Because of reputation and shareholder expectation, they lack the ability to “pivot” the business when a product or idea is not working out as planned.

How can large corporations focus on product innovation in the same way that startups do? Through corporate entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship.

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What It’s Worth: The Essentials of Product Pricing

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Intro to pricing strategy imagePricing a product is a highly important yet deceptively tricky task. Highly important because it can determine how well your product performs on the market, thus laying the foundation for your business’s success. Deceptively tricky because while you might think you have enough experience as a consumer to come up with an appropriate number, the truth is that pricing a product requires a lot more than market comparisons and a hunch.

So what does it take to figure out your product’s worth? Let’s take a look.

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Hacking for change in the healthcare industry

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HackingHealth-NYCTeamAlumni

In May 2014, Shawn Dimantha launched the first US-based chapter of Hacking Health, an organization designed to ignite collaboration between tech creators and healthcare professionals to solve healthcare issues. Shawn has since invited two fellow Product Management graduates on as co-organizers. Together, they’re on a mission to make an impact in health tech. We caught up with Shawn (left) and Frida (middle) to hear their story.

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