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Software for Startups

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Jesse Clark

on 31 July 2015

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Transcript of Software for Startups

Customer Relationship Management

Payment Processor

Storefront as a Service

Case study:
Product Development
Kanban Boards
Gantt Charts
Software for Startups
Software you Produce
Software you Consume

Project Planning
Rapid Prototyping
Outsourcing Design
Group Coordination
Insourcing Testing (Eating your own dogfood)
Jesse Clark
Sales and Customer Service for all Products
E-Commerce Site
Business Administration
HR and Recruitment

As a small business grows into a large business, it may need more specialised tools:
Enterprise Resource Planning
Business Process Management
Desktop App
Mobile App
Physical Product
Back-end Server
An Application Programming Interface (API) is an automated embodiment of your business logic. By running this on a server you control, you can enable rapid iteration, avoid costly recalls, and securely integrate with other services.

Use off-the-shelf platforms to prototype rapidly, and develop custom code if needed.
API for software-defined services and online products
Metrics Collection
Feed data back to your analytics and market research.
Understand how people are using your product.
In order to optimize something, you need to measure it. Use your best judgement to choose metrics that align with your unique value proposition.

You are not always measuring what you think you are measuring, so beware of policy-based evidence: In Hanoi, under French colonial rule, a program paying people a bounty for each rat tail handed in was intended to exterminate rats. Instead, it led to the farming of rats.
Market research

Software-defined advertising campaigns

Landing pages and mailing-list campaigns

Social campaigns and referral programs

Case Study:
Storefront as a Service

Integrated live chat for any site
A new business will need several software services and most new products have some software component.

Software-defined services have a lower barrier to entry than their old-media equivalents. A new business can open an online storefront and run an online advertising campaign with an initial investment less than $200, and only have to pay more as their needs (and revenue) grow. That isn’t possible with services that need to pay for human sales and support staff.

Software-defined services are also less capable of discrimination: you don't need to speak the right dialect or know the right people in order to buy services that are sold algorithmically. Someone who wanted to reproduce a 1998 version of Google or a 2004 version of Facebook could do the technical part with $100 worth of Amazon servers, without needing to touch any physical hardware.

Robin Sloan on AdWords as market research: [I came] up with a whole set of names, basically wide variations on a theme. One was my original pick, but I liked all of them. Then, I created an ad for each one, all with the same body text but each with a different name swapped in for the headline. Allocated a small budget ($40, to be exact) and kicked off the campaign. And wow there are a lot of people searching for stuff on Google. Over the span of 24 hours, my ads made about 100,000 impressions.
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