Category Product and Marketing

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Understanding Network Effects

I am a big fan of A16Z podcasts, and they just released a terrific episode on Network Effect. Network effect is an important, and somewhat confusing topic. The reason network effect is important is that the businesses with a true network effect are highly defensible, have strong retention and engagement, exhibit characteristics of a monopoly, and tend to last for […]

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5 Tips for Startup Engineering Teams

Every single company depends on software, and startups are no exception. Software has gone from being critical to every business, to BEING the business. Software creation is an art, a craft, and a process. Building and shipping software is a marathon that lasts the entire lifetime of the company. To ship software effectively you need to establish cadence, […]

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What is the API for YOUR startup?

I was recently chatting with one of the Techstars founders and found myself asking her, “What is the API for your business?” This may sound like an odd question, but it actually is not. Every single startup, and every single business has an interface that it offers to the world. Some of these interfaces are super […]

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What is the Magic Moment for your Startup?

Early on, after Facebook launched its Feed feature, the product team at Facebook was trying to understand how to engage and retain users. What the product team noticed is that IF a user got to 10 or more friends in 14 days, there was very high likelihood of this user sticking around for a while. The team […]

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Dude, you need a marketing plan!

Last week we talked about MVP, and that it is important for MVP to be actually viable. Viability, as we explained, means ability to live. To be viable, the product needs to have enough hooks and feedback loops. But even if you design the most amazing product, it still may not take off. To have […]

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Your MVP is minimal, but is it viable?

In this day and age, when startups talk about MVP the emphasis is always on minimum. Everyone encourages founders to not wait too long to launch, to get it out there, to get feedback, and to start learning from the market. That is great advice in general, and I am personally a big fan of […]

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Ideas on a Napkin: Integrating Email, Todos and Calendar

Brad Feld just wrote a post on why email clients suck. Go read Brad’s post if you’ve not read it yet. Brad makes a point that we keep doing the same repetitive tasks, like adding someone to email chain, or moving someone to bcc, and the tools just don’t get it. The collective of these […]

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6 practical things to help your content (and product) go viral

Last week, on Friday, I wrote a post called 9 Seed Funding Gotchas.  I tweeted it out, as usual, and got a bunch of people to re-tweet. No big deal – 10 retweets. https://twitter.com/alexiskold/status/561205747758166016 I also emailed the post to David Cohen and Brad Feld, and asked them for feedback. I do that from time […]