On setting priorities

“The podcast is key for our success. We absolutely need to differentiate our content so that professionals begin to see us as experts in online marketing.” Grant argued.

“I just don’t see it. Sure, podcasts are an interesting medium, but the vast majority of successful podcasts are created by entertainment and media publications such as NPR.” I retorted. “The podcast won’t be a big customer acquisition channel for us.”

“It can and it will. Trust me.” Grant was persistent.

Priorities. Everyone has them; few people actively and consciously set them.

There are two challenges we face with setting and accomplishing priorities:

  1. Scheduling distraction-free time to complete priorities
  2. Prioritizing priorities (see what I did there)

To settle our debate about creating a podcast in Q2, Grant and I conducted a priority session. In this article, we’ll examine how we set priorities on the Growth Team for Bunny Inc.

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Product design analysis: Dropbox Carousel vs Google Photos

“What should I use to save my photos online?” Kim asked.

“I use Dropbox. They have this nifty camera uploader that automatically uploads all of my photos to the cloud.” I responded. “The thing is, it costs $99/year. It seems like a waste if we’re both paying for it.”

Kim did a quick search on the app store for photo storage. “How about Google Photos? It’s free and it seems easy enough to use.”

The motivation behind using photo cloud storage is very functional: I want to save my photos online so that they are never lost. Through its function-focused design, Dropbox Carousel achieves its simple purpose.

It’s hard to get someone to switch products, even if you offer something slightly better. Amazon Photo came out with a free service, but I didn’t make the switch from Carousel to Amazon. I ignored the free product because the functionality was basically the same and $99 was not a big enough pain for me to make the change.

However, after watching Kim use Google Photos for a week, I immediately jumped ship from Carousel and made the move to Google Photos.

This is the power of human-focused design over function-focused design.

In this post, we will examine why I made the switch from Carousel to Google Photos and how a human-focused design beats a function-focused design every time.

Continue reading Product design analysis: Dropbox Carousel vs Google Photos

On selling your product for free

“Guys, we are on fire! I’m selling our product like hot cakes fresh out of the oven.” I exclaimed as I walked into our office/home.

Yu-kai and Stephen turned to me from their laptops with a bright smile. Our company, RewardMe, was off to a terrific start. In only 2 weeks of walking door-to-door, I had signed up 30 restaurants and retailers in Downtown Mountain View.

However, our positive attitudes quickly faded when we realized clients wouldn’t pay for our product. Yup, I was walking door-to-door, selling our product for free. We fell into a startup trap: we thought businesses loved our product, when in reality, businesses love free stuff.

We had to pivot our business model quickly or else we would run out of cash in no time.

Continue reading On selling your product for free

On work and life

Kim loves two things in life: Disneyland and snuggling. So when it came time to have fun at the magical kingdom or spend a weekend afternoon spooning, Kim didn’t understand why I just couldn’t stand it.

“It was as if I was torturing him. All he kept saying was how big a waste of time it was to stand in line at Disneyland and how he could instead be working on his startup right now.” Kim remembers.

At one point I made Kim cry at Disneyland, the happiest place on earth. We haven’t been back since.

Continue reading On work and life

How to get to the top 4 on Product Hunt with a B2B product

What would you do to get on the front page of Product Hunt? What value would it even bring to your company? My team at Bunny Inc. just went through a rigorous 6 months of building and launching our latest product: ArticleBunny. As part of our launch efforts, I decided to make Product Hunt a big initiative. It paid off: in a span of 2 days, we drove over 5,000 highly targeted site visitors and over 100 projects posted. This post is about how we did it.

top 4 on Product Hunt

What you will learn in this post: this post is about ideation to launch. We conceptualized the idea of ArticleBunny in the Winter of 2014 and launched the product in June 2015. You will learn how we chose to build and launch ArticleBunny (out of the many options that we had) and how we hit the top 4 on Product Hunt on Wednesday, June 17th.

Who will benefit from this post: entrepreneurs, product managers and growth hackers.

Continue reading How to get to the top 4 on Product Hunt with a B2B product

Premature scaling killed us

$1,000,000 in the bank. Shorty what you drank.

We were funded, had a working product, clients, and revenue. On the surface, it seemed like we were growing fast and moving toward the right trajectory.

Within 2 years, we had grown tremendously, but that growth ultimately killed us.

Continue reading Premature scaling killed us

Retention is more important than acquisition

There are a few experiences that I cherish in life that other people take for granted. For example, I absolutely love going to my dentist. There is no better feeling than beautifully polished clean teeth.

Another example is getting an oil change. Most people go for the cheapest oil-changing option and get a mundane experience, but me, I pay extra for the Oil Can Henry’s experience. For a decade I’ve been going to Oil Can Henry’s for an oil change because they go above and beyond to make the experience wonderful.

I’ve recommended many friends and family to Oil Can Henry’s, but after my experience yesterday, I may never recommend a friend to them again.

This got me thinking: if a decade of amazing experiences can be shattered by one, inconsistent bad experience, then what can companies do to ensure and maintain consistency across all of their stores and employees?

Continue reading Retention is more important than acquisition

How I knew she was the one

I met Kim on Thursday, April 12, 2007.

It was the very first event of Bruin Consulting, the kickoff event that would determine if my first entrepreneurial endeavor would prove to be a success. I had my business suit on, a hand-me-down from my dad that was 2 sizes too big for me, and was nervously preparing for my welcome presentation.

To my surprise, hundreds of students showed up. And then I saw her. She was wearing a business casual suit and glasses. She had this vibrant hair that stood out among all others. And her face, her heart-shaped face sealed the deal for me.

I’ll never forget the first moment I saw Kim, the moment that I fell in love.

Continue reading How I knew she was the one