Weekly Roundup, Aug 3 2013: Brad Feld, Matt Blumberg, Mentoring, Marketing, MVP, Gamification, Structure, Growth, and More.
The Mentorship Debate
On one hand, Fred Wilson says there is too much mentorship in Mentor/Investor Whiplash, and advises entrepreneurs to take note, not action. Brad Feld countered with The Benefit of Mentor Whiplash, where he says, take the advice, but learn how to analyze it. I ask whether we should focus on quality vs. quantity of mentorship, in What Startups Want from Mentors. And Bart Lorang, CEO of FullContact has a creative perspective. Instead of having coffee at Starbucks, he says Mentoring Entrepreneurs? Try Hiking a Mountain Together.
I was impressed by Matt Blumberg’s upcoming book, Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, and it shows in my review, Startup CEO: The Book Every Founder Should Read.
Scott Brinker says that Most Marketing Automation is Really Experience Design. He has a point because the first customer interaction is typically via a Web experience. And it confirms what Pratik Dholaklya says, “experiences are the missing half of conversions”, in What Every Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy is Missing, published on the Unbounce blog. Fritz Nelson wrote a meaningful post in PandoDaily, asking Why do Salesforce and Oracle keep buying social and marketing companies, and he has some important thoughts on the future of marketing. I am framing this one.
MVP and User Experience
The Intercom blog has an insightful Q&A Interview with Andy Budd on the relationship between design and MVP. This is a must read, let alone for The Minimum Viable Pizza analogy.
Branding and Marketing
Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote stresses the importance of becoming a brand in this Wired Q&A, Evernote Wants to Become the Nike for Your Brain. That is why I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of Branding, in Beyond the Obvious in Startup Marketing, and in a guest post at the Clarity.fm blog, Riding the Roller Coaster from Growth Hacking to Growth Marketing.
Janaki Kumar at UX Magazine offers Five Steps to Enterprise Gamification. Gamification is an emerging trend in apps, although Gartner says “80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives” by 2014.
Andrew Parker says you have to find out Why Do You Grow, and Elie Khoury, CEO of Woopra says when it comes to Growth Hacking, there’s a Difference Between Growing Fast and Growing Efficiently. Both articles point to the importance of understanding the root cause of growth, so you can do more of what works. I offered a simple framework to think about Growth, The 4P’s of Growth: Push, Pull, Peer and Paid. Rob Go re-hashes Product Market Fit vs. Growth, but there’s a good discussion in the comments with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s CMO.
Steven Sinofsky has a mega post on organizational structure, linking startups to large organizations and debating the various ways to organize your functions, Lessons from org structures. And in Startups Lessons: Product First, Jeff Nolan makes the excellent point that you need “constructive tension between the product management and product engineering sides.” Both are “heady” reads, so give them the time they deserve.
The Salesforce.com blog has a post on the 6 Dashboards Every Sales Leader Needs. Try guessing them, prior to glancing at it, to test your sales managerial skills. And while you’re at it, on the same blog, guess what the other 10 stats on sales are, like “40% of salespeople can’t understand customer pain”, in 10 Things Every Sales Manager Should Know About Sales Performance.
Cara Harshman at Optimizely has a case study on A/B Testing with results, An A/B Test Validates New Business for uSell.com. And the StatusPage.io blog has another case study, How We Increased Our Conversion Rate by 311% (from .136% to .424%).
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