What’s the best way to manage your community?

Tristan Pollock (Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups)
14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup | 500 Startups

Moderate and curate a lot, especially early on in the life of your company. The more you relinquish control to the community, the better the experience, the more engaged the community, and the faster you can scale.

What’s the best way to manage your community?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Public Writing and Community Building – AVC

If you want to make a splash and create something new, writing publicly and building a community around that is one important part of the playbook.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Does this make someone a troll? | A Founder’s Notebook

One of the things we learned from building Seeking Alpha’s successful comment community was which behaviors hindered productive debate and caused animosity. One of the most common is: Ascribing negative motives to someone you disagree with.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
What I’ve Learned from Hacker News

There are two main kinds of badness in comments: meanness and stupidity.

Tristan Pollock (Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups)
14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup | 500 Startups

Moderate and curate a lot, especially early on in the life of your company. The more you relinquish control to the community, the better the experience, the more engaged the community, and the faster you can scale.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Should websites shut down comments? | A Founder’s Notebook

Moderating comments requires a meaningful resource commitment, which you’ll only make if you deeply believe in the value of comments.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
You Can Turn Off Comments, But You Can’t Turn Off Discussions

The web (and increasibly mobile) is a great place to talk about stuff that matters to you. It always has been and it always will be. Some publishers will foster those conversations on their own domains. Some will let the conversations happen elsewhere. I am not particularly concerned about who does what.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Pseudonyms Drive Community – AVC

Pseudonyms lead to higher quality comments. Pseudonyms are more engaged and active.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Comments Are Dead, Long Live Comments – AVC

Commenting is alive and well on the web and mobile. It’s just dead on sites that would prefer to have the conversation happen elsewhere.

What’s the best way to manage customer feedback?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Balancing product vision and listening to customers | A Founder’s Notebook

Finding the right mix of vision and listening is hard. It varies over time, and getting it wrong can lead to failure.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The challenge of pitching your app to journalists or VCs | A Founder’s Notebook

One of the situations where your product (such as a mobile app) gets judged by the wrong criteria is when you talk to journalists. For many products, journalists aren’t your target users, so they have limited patience. I found that getting journalists to install our app, including choosing 5 stocks, was tortuous.

Des Traynor (Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom)
5 mistakes we all make with product feedback

If you want to improve your onboarding, only listen to people who recently signed up. If you want to improve a feature, only talk to those who use it.

Des Traynor (Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom)
5 mistakes we all make with product feedback

Distinguish free from paying feedback. Periodically check in with users.

Des Traynor (Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom)
5 mistakes we all make with product feedback

Ask users for feedback on day 30, 60, 120, 365, etc. Sightly more advanced — gather feature specific feedback based on usage.

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
16 product things I learned at Imgur — Medium

Public forums are not a useful way to get feedback, but are a useful way to get buy in from the community. This is true of both online and offline communities.

Sam Gerstenzang (Director of Product at Imgur)
16 product things I learned at Imgur — Medium

Communities are unpredictable. Don’t take the community’s criticism too personally or you’ll become afraid of change and slow. Instead, be open, thoughtful and move quickly.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
How to use net promotor score surveys to improve your product | A Founder’s Notebook

Using NPS survey responses has an advantage over mining usage data: the verbatim comments from detractors can tell you what’s missing from your product or what’s wrong with it, whereas usage data can only tell you what’s successful.

Sachin Rekhi (Group Product Manager at LinkedIn)
A Practitioner’s Guide to Net Promoter Score (NPS) | Sachin Rekhi

The most actionable part of the NPS survey is the categorization of the open-ended verbatim comments from promoters & detractors. Each survey we would analyze the promoter comments and categorize each comment into primary promoter benefit categories as well as similarly categorize each detractor comment into primary detractor issue categories.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: We don’t care enough to give you constructive feedback

Most of the time, people won’t bother to give you feedback. But when someone does care enough the ball is in your court. You can react to the feedback by taking it as an attack, deflecting blame, pointing fingers to policy or the CEO. Then you’ve just told me that you don’t care enough to receive the feedback in a useful way. Or you can pass me off to a powerless middleman, a frustrated person who mouths the words but makes it clear that the feed… (read more)

Ben Foster (Currently advising 10+ companies, 16 yrs PM/UX experience, VP Product at Opower, PM at eBay)
What’s the recipe for invention? – PM Rant

Recognize that ideas you hear (as a Product Manager) are typically shorthand for problems and solutions. Usually, with a little abstraction, youll discover some real nuggets.

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

…the facts that we need to gather about customers, markets, suppliers, and channels exist only “outside the building.” Startups need extensive contact with potential customers to understand them, so get out of your chair and get to know them. The first step in this process is to confirm that your leap-of-faith questions are based in reality, that the customer has a significant problem worth solving. (p.88)

Tristan Pollock (Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups)
14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup | 500 Startups

Buyers are silent judges of your success: treat them well and they’ll spend money, otherwise they’ll just silently disappear.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Massively Multiuser Feedback – AVC

Finding the right balance between listening to your users and becoming hostage to them is hard. When you operate a large and public channel for these users, it is even harder. Being a CEO requires great listening skills, the ability to really hear and internalize opposing views, and then, ultimately, the courage to make the decision and go with it. That is true in terms of managing your team and your company and it is also true in terms of managi… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Watch What They Do, Not What They Say – AVC

Loyal users are always going to hate a big change to a service they use every day. I recall the outrage when Facebook rolled out the news feed, which has become the central feature of its product. It was as if they had destroyed the service.
Users’ actions will tell you what they think about a change more than what they write (on your platform and elsewhere).

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Getting Feedback and Listening To It – AVC

People tell you what they think you want to hear. That you are so smart. That you are so successful. They suck up to you. And it goes to your head. You believe it. I am so smart. I am so successful.
You have to get out of that mindset because it is toxic.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Continuous Feedback – AVC

Companies are using simple web tools to get continuous feedback on their performance. They are using this kind of approach to do performance reviews of everyone in the organization, they are using this kind of approach to get feedback from their customers, and they are using this kind of approach to get feedback from their Board, investors, and advisors. This makes a ton of sense. Startups are rapidly changing systems. If you use an annual review… (read more)

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

If you need continuous innovation like faster horses, listen to your sales team. If you need distruptive innovation like make a car, they won’t tell you that. They’ll mirror what your buyers are telling you.

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

Don’t listen to idiosyncratic feedback, make sure that lot’s of customers want it. Make sure that feedback goes toward the product you have, not the product they want. Be careful not to overindex for the buyer, you need to create value for the end-user.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
When your product change is greeted by a torrent of complaints, what should you do? | A Founder’s Notebook

Its easy to react emotionally to negative feedback. But as Eli Hoffmann (SAs VP Content) points out, a torrent of user complaints shows that people really care about your product.

Jason Lemkin (Managing Director at Storm Ventures, SaaStr.com)
What are the potential dangers in using a Freemium model? – Quora

The less the customer pays, the more feedback they provide, and the less engaged they are (making their feedback worse). The best feedback and least noisy feedback is from your most engaged (and generally most profitable customers). The biggest risk of all is listening to all the wants/wishes/complaints from the free and low-value converts and potential converts.

Des Traynor (Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom)
5 mistakes we all make with product feedback

Treat every clustering of feedback that you see as a hypothesis, and then don’t build it, verify it. Don’t assume users request the right features: It’s essential to abstract a level or two above what’s requested, into something that makes sense to you, and benefits all your customers.

Eran Aloni (Head of Products at EchoSign)
Feedback versus vision in product management | A Founder’s Notebook

The trick is finding the point where feedback merits changing course. Small changes are usually easy to digest and act on, but acknowledging that key parts of your vision are flawed and that so much energy and effort are about to go down the drain goes against our nature and our inherent tendency to stay on course and reach our goal, even it’s no longer the right goal.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Survata – AVC

We’ve been using a tool at USV recently that I like. It is called Survata and it allows to you to create a survey and then target it at whatever number of completes you want. You can target it to respondents in 17 countries “by age, gender, geography, and custom attributes.” It is helpful for us to get a sense of what is going on in a market quickly. We generally go for thousands of completes and we get results within three to seven days. We have… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Use Social Sharing Platforms Like A Panel – AVC

You can turn your followers on social sharing platforms into a panel that will allow you to understand them and connect with them better.

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Single User Utility In A Social System – AVC

One of the most important lessons we took from delicious was the value of single user utility in social systems. It might seem odd that systems designed to leverage interactions between people can have (should have?) single person utility. But I strongly believe they should.
The first users of delicious were barely aware of and rarely used its social aspects. They just wanted to store their bookmarks in the cloud instead of in their browser. And… (read more)

David Sacks (CEO at Zenefits)
New Sales Models – David Sacks, Founder and CEO of Yammer – YouTube

have you found a real market need? Once you have that do you have a product incarnation for that need? Do you have a simple interaction or user behavior that you can get users to use the product? What’s the initial simple behavior you can get a user to engage in? At PayPal it was getting users to email money. At Yammer it’s What are you working on?

Boris Wertz (Founder of version one ventures)
How to seed your marketplace – Version One

So how to you go about seeding supply? There are four common strategies: 1. Identify unique inventory for which the sellers have no current marketplace 2. Convince existing inventory to list on your platform 3. Pay for inventory 4. Aggregate readily accessible inventory

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Get Startup Ideas

ask yourself: who wants this right now? Who wants this so much that they’ll use it even when it’s a crappy version one made by a two-person startup they’ve never heard of? If you can’t answer that, the idea is probably bad.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

One of the things I always tell startups is a principle I learned from Paul Buchheit: it’s better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy.

David Cummings (Managing Partner at Shotput Ventures)
10 Ideal Customers are More Important than 30 Random Customers | David Cummings on Startups

[When you’re looking for product/market fit], signing 10 customers that fit your ideal customer profile is more important than signing a large number of random customers in the near-term. Customers will always ask for product enhancements, so it’s key that requests align with the entrepreneur’s vision of the future. Ideal customers are going to be happier customers and happier customers are going to provide testimonials as well as references for … (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Hypergrowth

If you make the audience you’re initially serving too big, you will dilute the very thing you set out to make, avoid critical mass, and compromise the magic of what you’re building. You’ll make average stuff for average people instead of something powerful for the few. Fast growth comes from overwhelming the smallest possible audience with a product or service that so delights that they insist that their friends and colleagues use it.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Doing things that don’t scale | A Founder’s Notebook

In the early days of Seeking Alpha I remember personally reaching out to bloggers to ask whether I could republish their posts, and explaining to each one how it would get them a larger audience. It was a ton of manual work that wasn’t scalable.

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Startup Playbook

You usually need to recruit initial users one at a time (Ben Silbermann used to approach strangers in coffee shops in Palo Alto and ask them to try Pinterest) and then build things they ask for. Many founders hate this part, and just want to announce their product in the press. But that almost never works. Recruit users manually, and make the product so good the users you recruit tell their friends.

Tristan Pollock (Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups)
14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup | 500 Startups

Ensure you win the trust of your customers, and watch out for their safety. Let your customers know about your marketplace protections early in the dialog.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Hypergrowth

If you make the audience you’re initially serving too big, you will dilute the very thing you set out to make, avoid critical mass, and compromise the magic of what you’re building. You’ll make average stuff for average people instead of something powerful for the few. Fast growth comes from overwhelming the smallest possible audience with a product or service that so delights that they insist that their friends and colleagues use it.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don’t scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. You build something, make it available, and if you’ve made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

The most common unscalable thing founders have to do at the start is to recruit users manually. Nearly all startups have to. You can’t wait for users to come to you. You have to go out and get them. If [a] market exists you can usually start by recruiting users manually and then gradually switch to less manual methods.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

How do you find users to recruit manually? If you build something to solve your own problems, then you only have to find your peers, which is usually straightforward. Otherwise you’ll have to make a more deliberate effort to locate the most promising vein of users

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

The usual way to do that is to get some initial set of users by doing a comparatively untargeted launch, and then to observe which kind seem most enthusiastic, and seek out more like them.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Your first users should feel that signing up with you was one of the best choices they ever made. And you in turn should be racking your brains to think of new ways to delight them.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Any startup that could be described as a marketplace usually has to start in a subset of the market, but this can work for other startups as well. It’s always worth asking if there’s a subset of the market in which you can get a critical mass of users quickly.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Sometimes we advise founders of B2B startups to take over-engagement to an extreme, and to pick a single user and act as if they were consultants building something just for that one user. The initial user serves as the form for your mold; keep tweaking till you fit their needs perfectly, and you’ll usually find you’ve made something other users want too.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

When you only have a small number of users, you can sometimes get away with doing by hand things that you plan to automate later. This lets you launch faster, and when you do finally automate yourself out of the loop, you’ll know exactly what to build because you’ll have muscle memory from doing it yourself. It would be a little frightening to be solving users’ problems in a way that wasn’t yet automatic, but less frightening than the far more c… (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

I should mention one sort of initial tactic that usually doesn’t work: the Big Launch. It’s easy to see how little launches matter. Think of some successful startups. How many of their launches do you remember? So why do founders think launches matter? A combination of solipsism and laziness. They think what they’re building is so great that everyone who hears about it will immediately sign up.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Partnerships too usually don’t work. They don’t work for startups in general, but they especially don’t work as a way to get growth started. It’s a common mistake among inexperienced founders to believe that a partnership with a big company will be their big break. Six months later they’re all saying the same thing: that was way more work than we expected, and we ended up getting practically nothing out of it.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

You have to make an extraordinary effort initially. Any strategy that omits the effort—whether it’s expecting a big launch to get you users, or a big partner—is ipso facto suspect.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

The need to do something unscalably laborious to get started is so nearly universal that it might be a good idea to stop thinking of startup ideas as scalars. Instead we should try thinking of them as pairs of (i) what you’re going to build, plus (ii) the unscalable thing(s) you’re going to do initially to get the company going.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

If you have to choose between [a subset of customers] that will sign up quickest and those that will pay the most, it’s usually best to pick the former, because those are probably the early adopters. They’ll have a better influence on your product, and they won’t make you expend as much effort on sales. And though they have less money, you don’t need that much to maintain your target growth rate early on.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

Don’t worry if something you want to do will constrain you in the long term, because if you don’t get that initial core of users, there won’t be a long term.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences

Offer surprisingly good customer service. Customers are used to being maltreated. In the earliest stages of a startup, it pays to offer customer service on a level that wouldn’t scale, because it’s a way of learning about your users.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How Not to Die

It will be good for your morale to have even a handful of users who really love you, and startups run on morale. But also it will tell you what to focus on. What is it about you that they love? Can you do more of that? Where can you find more people who love that sort of thing? As long as you have some core of users who love you, all you have to do is expand it. It may take a while, but as long as you keep plugging away, you’ll win in the end.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: First, ten

Find ten people. Ten people who trust you/respect you/need you/listen to you… Those ten people need what you have to sell, or want it. And if they love it, you win. If they love it, they’ll each find you ten more people (or a hundred or a thousand or, perhaps, just three). Repeat. If they don’t love it, you need a new product. Start over.

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Start with a small geographic area, perhaps as small as a few city blocks, and instead of paying for expensive television or radio advertising to let people know about the service, use highly targeted advertising. Flyers on billboards, newspaper advertisements to those blocks, or specially targeted online ads would be a good start. Since the target area is so small, they could afford to pay a premium to create a high level of awareness in the tar… (read more)

Amir Elaguizy (CEO Cratejoy, YC Alumni)
58 things I learned at YC – Giftshop Scientist

All the technology heavy startups wanted to try to somehow outsource their marketing or customer acquisition

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Keep your target market narrow | A Founder’s Notebook

Keep your target market narrow.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Over-engaging with early users is not just a permissible technique for getting growth rolling. For most successful startups it’s a necessary part of the feedback loop that makes the product good.

Patrick Collison (Co-Founder & CEO at Stripe)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

At some point, there was a very noticeable change in how Stripe felt. It tipped from being this boulder we had to push to being a train car that in fact had its own momentum.

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

Like paying excessive attention to early customers, fabricating things yourself turns out to be valuable for hardware startups. You can tweak the design faster when you’re the factory, and you learn things you’d never have known otherwise. Eric Migicovsky of Pebble said one of things he learned was “how valuable it was to source good screws. ” Who knew?

What’s the best way to design your UI/UX?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Rethinking Mobile First – AVC

If you design for the web and then port to mobile, you will find that it is really hard to fit your UI onto the small screen. Better to design for mobile first and then build a web companion. Mobile first, web second.

Steven Sinofsky (Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz)
Frictionless Design Choices | Learning by Shipping

1. Decide on a default rather than options. 2. Create one path to a feature or task. 3. Offer personalization rather than customization. 4. Stick with changes you make. 5. Build features, not futzers. Stay focused on delivering features will enable your product to do more. 6. Guess correctly all the time.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Witch Hunts and Public Data – AVC

I think we will see all the systems we use in our lives become more transparent over time and the data that becomes public as a result will provide countless opportunities to be analyzed, optimized, and yes, sensationalized. No good comes without some bad. That’s the way forward progress works.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Feature Friday: Trust – AVC

I went back and looked at the Ten Golden Principals For Web Apps presentation I did four and a half years ago.
Nowhere on this list is Trust. Maybe that was an oversight. Or maybe times have changed.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Some Quick Thoughts on I/O – AVC

Here, in no particular order, are the things that I am most excited about or thinking the most about:
1) Smart notifications. 2) Android mirroring on Chromecast. 3) In app data available in web search. 4) Wear, Car, TV.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Five simple rules for better design | A Founder’s Notebook

For people who work in product or design, Matthew Butterick’s Typography in ten minutes is a must-read. One caveat: its not written for mobile designers

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Lightweight Engagement Gestures – AVC

I was on vacation with my friend John and he asked me how I used the favorite button on Twitter. I told him it is a way to tell people that I’ve seen the tweet when I do not want to reply. I use it in two primary ways. To signal that I saw and liked a tweet. And to signal that I saw a tweet to the person who sent it. The two are different only in that in the second case, I probably did not like the tweet but I still wanted to acknowledge it. I re… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Is It The Content Or The Packaging? – AVC

The high level point to me is that the packaging matters a lot. Over the top services, a direct relationship with the content producer, all at once release (promoting binge watching), and great content is the winning formula. Content quality alone is not enough.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Development Is Cheap. Production Is Not. – AVC

I have seen engineering teams spin their wheels and burn through countless hours of writing code that ends up getting tossed out just because the design process was not right or not specific enough or not thought through enough. While we might think these issues and challenges are unique to the world of tech, software, internet, and mobile, the truth is these issues pervade everywhere you are making something. This is not so applicable to a start… (read more)

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Frictionless vs. minimalist product design | A Founder’s Notebook

Product managers should care about friction, not minimalism. Minimalism only matters if it reduces friction.

Katie Sherwin (User Experience Specialist at Nielsen Norman Group)
“Learn More” Links: You Can Do Better

“Learn More” is dangerous because of its ambiguity and poor information scent. Here are three alternatives: Option 1. Use keywords that describe the link’s destination. For example, instead of “Learn How Professional Chefs Cook Squash”, try “Cook Squash Like The Pros. ” Option 2. Retain the “Learn More” format and add descriptive keywords. “Learn more about our services. ” Option 3. Convert the preceding-paragraph heading into the only link.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
If your product relies on user data, there are two keys to winning | A Founder’s Notebook

If your product relies on user data, there are two keys to winning 1) a much easier user experience [for] getting users’ data imported and 2) making the user do almost no work at all

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Messaging, Notifications, and Mobile – AVC

And so for certain people, and certain kinds of conversations, one messaging app is preferable to another. It’s very possible that entrepreneurs will continue to come up with unique and differentiated experiences and that will drive further fragmentation.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
A Lens Into The Future Of Enterprise Software – AVC

Mobile matters, a lot. I mentioned in my What Just Happened post that mobile is starting to really impact the enterprise software business.
At Work Market, the freelancers want to get work, accept work, and close out work on their phones. So mobile app development has become a huge part of what the Work Market engineering team has to work on. At some point, the enterprise will likely want to issue work orders on their phones too.

Marissa Mayer (CEO & President at Yahoo!)
A Dozen Things I’ve Learned from Marissa Mayer about Business, Management, and Innovation | 25iq

I think a great product is something where you see an acute user need and you solve it in a way that is frictionless and beautiful. You really hope there’s an element of personality and delight there.

Tristan Pollock (Entrepreneur in Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups)
14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup | 500 Startups

[Stop trying to] prevent disintermediation instead of adding value.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Thoughts On Twitter’s Growth Problem, And Why It’s Losing To Facebook – Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) | Seeking Alpha

The product must combine high liquidity of content with a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
The Similarities Between Building and Scaling a Product and a Company – AVC

The system you and your team built will break if you don’t keep tweaking it as demand grows. Greg Pass, who was VP Engineering at Twitter during the period where Twitter really scaled, talks about instrumenting your service so you can see when its reaching a breaking point, and then fixing the bottleneck before the system breaks. He taught me that you can’t build something that will never break. You have to constantly be rebuilding parts of the s… (read more)

Mattan Griffel (Co-founder & CEO at One Month)
The Minimal Homepage

What do you notice about the homepages of the fastest growing companies in the world? No access without signup. Navigation and hyperlinks are almost always absent. Focus on a single, clear value proposition. Your product is not about sharing. Big images. Embedded signup forms.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
What happens when a content site stops optimizing for page views? | A Founder’s Notebook

In a world awash with pageview-driven content and no robust way to filter for quality, a service with a high signal-to-noise ratio is valuable.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
The best product and growth hacking advice ever | A Founder’s Notebook

the product team’s most important task is to figure out the foundation of the user experience, namely:How do you get people through the door? How do you get them to an “aha!” moment as quickly as possible? How do you deliver core product value as often as possible?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Hiring Mobile Engineers vs Training Engineers On Mobile – AVC

In a board meeting of one of our most successful “web first” companies last week, we learned that they no longer have a mobile engineering team or a mobile product team. All the engineering and product teams do mobile and web at the same time in the same team. They still have some small teams that work on mobile growth and other specific issues that are unique to mobile. But most of the product, design, and engineering work on mobile happens in t… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Curated Marketplaces – AVC

Marketplaces can work in a highly curated model or a wide open model. Stephanie’s post suggests to me that marketplaces are moving to a more curated model in order to become more user friendly (in many ways, not just on mobile). I think entrepreneurs need to be careful not to curate too much because you lose the power of the peer network, open Internet model that has proven to be so potent and disruptive over the years.