Product People on Smash Notes

Product People podcast.

December 28, 2019

A podcast focused on great products and the people who make them



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How to master a new skill (even if you think you're too old to try)

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"Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become."

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Ben is the co-founder of Tuple.app and is running a new course called Habits for Hackers.

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Jason Cohen asks Justin Jackson hard questions about his startup, and what it's going to take to go full-time.

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Justin Jackson interviews Jason Cohen from WPengine about bootstrapping, and what it really takes to grow a company.

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After a live event, Hamish and I talked offline about the realities of being a maker in tech.

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Should you double down on your strengths, or learn something new?

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Ben Orenstein, Derrick Reimer, and Justin Jackson are all building a new product. What still works?

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You need to price your software on two pillars: who you're selling to, and your value metric.

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Are you coming to MicroConf in Las Vegas this year?

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Josh started out trying to build a "GitHub for music." When that idea didn't pan out, he still wanted to do something with Web Audio and WebRTC. So he started building Zencastr, which gives podcasters the ability to record "double-ender" interviews in the browser.

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6 years ago, Bjorn Forsberg built an app called OrderlyPrint for Shopify. His goal was to increase his freedom, and to spend more time with his family. Was able to achieve it? (This is the 5th case study in the Mega Profitable series)

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Back in the early 2000s, Wildbit was an agency building Flash websites for Philly nightclubs.

Then, in 2007, they launched their first product, Beanstalk. Two years later, they quit doing consulting. Natalie Nagele takes us through their story!

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Pippin Williamson started out like a lot of us do: building websites for whoever would pay him. He decided to try selling one of his WordPress plugins. Now, Pippin's Plugins earns over $1 million in revenue a year. This Mega Profitable series aims to help founders, like you, get profitable!

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It's time for another Mega Profitable interview! This series aims to help founders, like you, get profitable. Learn how Nick went from having $21 in the bank (in his first year) to creating a solid, profitable solo-founder business.

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Introducing a new series: Mega Profitable. What's the difference between a founder who is mega profitable, and a product person who's just making a living? Brennan Dunn joins me to talk about his journey.

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You'll recognize Mike from Startups for the Rest of Us and the MicroConf conference. He's launching a new product called Bluetick.

We talked about the pressure we put on ourselves to succeed, setting the ego aside, and growing a SaaS.

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"Charge more!" "Use content marketing!" "Start with an ebook!"

There's a lot of folklore in the startup and bootstrapping community. Do they all stand up to scrutiny?

This is my interview with long-time SaaS entrepreneur, Ian Landsman.

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How do you find product ideas that resonate?

Hear how Laura knew there was demand for her project, Client Portal.

(This is my special MicroConf 2017 episode!)

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When we last chatted with Adam he'd just written his first book, which did really well.

His next project is a course called Test Driven Laravel. You won't believe his launch results!

Happy holidays everyone!

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Adam Wathan has always been passionate about learning new things, and sharing what he's learned with the world.

Then he discovered that he could earn an independent living doing it.

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Should you start a SaaS company in 2016? Does it still make sense to run a SaaS as a solopreneur?

(Originally posted on the MegaMaker podcast)

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Josh is the founder of Baremetrics. He talks about the pros and cons of running a transparent startup, dealing with scrutiny, and his life as an entrepreneur.

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This is part 2 of my conversation with Nathan Barry. In the past four months, he's taken his burgeoning SaaS company (ConvertKit) from $1 million in annual recurring revenue to $2 million.

That sounds exciting, but it wasn't easy getting there. In this episode Nathan talks about the stress of being a new CEO, running out of money, not being able to get a loan, and finally figuring out a way to succeed.

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The last time I talked to Nathan, his web app (ConvertKit) had just hit $5,000 in MRR. In this two part series, Nathan describes how they grew that to $182,000 in monthly recurring revenue.

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Tom and Dan had one of the most successful Kickstarters of 2010 when they released the Glif. But was that enough to launch full-time careers as product makers?

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Jason Zook has a different perspective on life and business. He's not afraid to try weird and crazy business ideas. In 2008 he started a business called I Wear Your Shirt. Over 5 years he earned over $1 million in revenue from wearing over 1,600 sponsored t-shirts.

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If you want to launch your own Kickstarter, write your own book, or build your own web application you're going to love this episode. Tracy Osborn is a serious bad-ass who's done all three!

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Chris Hawkins (from Chasing Product) takes over interviewing and asks Justin the questions.

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After having great success with books and courses, Nathan Barry has shifted his attention to his SaaS: a web application called ConvertKit.

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Des Traynor is one of my favorite writers and speakers on the topic of SaaS businesses, and jobs-to-be-done.

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Samuel has become the internet's authority on user onboarding. In this personal and open interview, Samuel talks about how he was able to discover his niche, build an audience, and launch his first product. He also talks about what to do after a dissapointing launch.

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In June of 2013, I was introduced to Nir Eyal through Ryan Hoover. Nir had been blogging a lot about psychology and analyzing what makes a highly engaging product.

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Brian Casel is a bootstrapper with a lot of projects: he has a podcast, a hosting platform called Restaurant Engine, and a new course called Productize.

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Mike Rohde is a designer and an author, but he's probably best known for illustrating the 37signals books. Mike is now building his own products: The Sketchnote Handbook, and the Sketchnote Workbook.

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Marc-André Cournoyer is a passionate coder and product person from Montreal, Quebec. If you're a developer, engineer, or technical person looking to make the jump to building products, you're going to love this one.

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Andreea Mihalcea is a dynamic young founder from Romania. Her and her team are building a new product called Startup Kit. I loved her insights into how and why people buy software products.

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First, you need to know that Jarrod Drysdale is a good dude. He's also the author of Bootstrapping Design, and the creator of Cascade.io. He's smart, and humble, and talented and he has tons of great things to say about building products, succeeding and failing, and the importance of really caring for the people you're serving.

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Sacha Greif joined me again for a chat on how he marketed Discover Meteor, and why certain blog posts get popular.

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I freakin' love Paul Jarvis. He's creative, he's unique, and he's Canadian.

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Today’s interview is with one of my favourite people on the internet: Nate Kontny. He’s the solo-founder of Draft, a web application that helps you improve your writing through collaboration.

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This week’s guest is Ryan Hoover. We've been online friends for a few years now. Back in 2013, Ryan invited me to join a new site he'd created called ProductHunt.

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Dan Norris is the co-founder of WP Curve, and the author of The 7 Day Startup. He gave himself 1 year to build a profitable product.

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Garrett Dimon is the founder of Sifter and author of Starting + Sustaining. We talked about finding an idea, validating an idea, and building your product.

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Brennan Dunn is the go-to guy to talk about marketing automation. He's build a SaaS, called Planscope, but these days he recommends first-time entrepreneurs build something smaller (like an eBook, or a webinar).

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I like Sean a lot. He’s from Chicago, and he struggled for years trying to build products. Then he wrote this book, and it took off. You'll hear his story, and how he succeeded after lots of failures.

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This week you'll hear from Patrick Mackenzie (Patio11 on the internet), an influential member of the self-funded, bootstrapping community, as well as a high profile member of Hacker News. Patrick is a great guest: he's a great storyteller, and is always completely himself. (He does some great voice impressions too) Our topic was: how to market yourself, make connections, and promote that app, SaaS, or other product you've just built. Notable quotes: "I like to play League of Legends. The vast majority of people will never make a living off League of Legends. If you want to build your business on something like LoL, that's probably not the best things." - Patio11 "Self-promotion is not accepted by the community at every watering hole on the internet. Hacker News is a bit of an anomaly, because Hacker News is a community who are making or starting businesses." - Patio11 "I haven't submitted my stuff to Hacker News in years. I'm also really careful about what I publish. Before I publish a blog post, I ask: 'Is this post worthy of being in the top 5 of Hacker News?'" - Patio11 "The Hacker News launch is like a mini version of the Techcrunch launch. But I wouldn't bet the success of my business based on whether or not it gets to the top of Hacker News." - Patio11 "My first internet business launched to a total of 76 people the first day. You can build your reputation organically, by building awesome things over time." - Patio11 Show notes Patrick's email list Patrick's blog Patrick's book on conversion optimization Appointment ReminderA note from Justin: A big thanks to Patrick for being on the show! Cheers, Justin Jackson @mijustinPS: I'm writing a new book right now called  Marketing for Developers.  Click here to sign-up for updates (and get a sample PDF).

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David Heinemeier Hansson started working with Jason Fried at 37signals about 14-15 years ago. 10 years ago, they created Basecamp, their first SaaS product. This past week they decided to stop using the 37signals brand, and sell off (or stop developing) their other products (notably Highrise and Campfire). Our topic was: Why is 37signals changing it's name to Basecamp? How will this change the company? Was it worth building those other products? Notable quotes: "Basecamp was special because it was forged out of constraints." - DHH "I'm interested in trade-offs where it's not easy: everyone wants more. More stuff, more money, more, more, more. What I find interesting is: 'I want more peace of mind, and I'm going to give up some things for that.'" - DHH Show notes Announcement: 37signals is becoming Basecamp The new Basecamp 2006 interview: who is 37signals?A note from Justin: A big thanks to David for being on the show! Cheers, Justin Jackson @mijustinPS: I'm writing a new book right now called  Marketing for Developers.  Click here to sign-up for updates (and get a sample PDF).

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Alex Hillman is many things: first, he’s the king of JFDI (he even has the tattoo to prove it). Second: he’s the founder of IndyHall, a co-working space in Philadelphia. Third: he’s Amy Hoy’s partner in 30×500. And fourth: he’s just recently launched his own product called  GroupBuzz.io. Our topic was: What do communities & product businesses have in common? Notable quotes “Having a connection with people is really important. A lot of people build tools without thinking about the people that are using them.” - Alex Hillman “It’s not hard to get a group of people in a room. It’s hard getting a group of people doing something useful together.” - Alex Hillman “Cult of personality is one of the most dangerous things for a community.” - Alex Hillman “Customer interviews are bullshit. Not because people are mean, because they’re too nice. You have to observe what they do, not what they say.” - Alex Hillman “Put a lot more stock in what people do as opposed to what they say. Be a pattern watcher. Pay attention to how people act.” - Alex Hillman Show notes GroupBuzz.io The Bullseye Model Alex on Twitter Alex's blog 30x500 Justin's JFDI communityA note from Justin: A big thanks to Alex for being on the show! Cheers, Justin Jackson @mijustinPS: I'm writing a new book right now called  Marketing for Developers.  Click here to sign-up for updates (and get a sample PDF).

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Amy Hoy is known for her unfiltered, straight-shooting opinions on building product businesses. Her and her husband  Thomas Fuchs have built  Freckle, an awesome time-tracking web app - and have become well known in the bootstrapping, design, and Ruby on Rails communities. Amy is also a passionate teacher: her and Alex Hillman run the excellent  30x500 bootcamp whose students include the likes of Brennan Dunn,  Chris Hartjes, and  Jaana Kulmala. Our topic was: finding an audience, discovering needs, and building products people want. Notable quotes "The core problem with so many businesses is that they’re based on what the business owner wants." "They’re fantasizing about being the hero: “I’m going to ride in on my white ‘software’ horse, and save these poor people." "As much as you can, you want to sell to people who will use your product. People who buy your product and don’t use it will never buy from you again." "Target people already in motion." "Selling to wannabes has the least amount of upside; people who already have a business are more likely to spend money.” "I would rather have no money, than know that the vast majority of people that gave me the money aren't achieving what they wanted to. If that's true, I don't want to be in that business." "Being in business forces you to become a better human being." Show notes Freckle Time Tracking 30x500 Amy's blog post on why Freckle became successful The legend of 30x500A note from Justin: A big thanks to Amy Hoy for being Amy: no bullshit, nothing held back. Just real, hard advice for product people. Cheers, Justin Jackson @mijustinPS: I'm writing a new book right now called Marketing for Developers. Click here to sign-up for updates (and get a sample PDF).

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This my conversation with Nathan Barry. Lots of great stuff: specifically for building an email list.

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Jakub Linowski  is a Toronto (Canada) based interface designer. He surprised everybody this year (including himself) by releasing a viral hit called GoodUI.org. In this interview we go behind the scenes, and try to unpack that success. There's lots of good insights in here for content marketing and conversion optimization. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "What stirred the discussion was that people were pissed off about the fat, big footer (where the email signup was)." "People were asking: what's this 'good ui' guy doing with that big footer?" "If you look at conversion optimization, the footer was a clear success. My conversion rate on that email sign-up is 20%. I have over 26,000 people on my list right now." "There's a few factors that affected the success of sign-ups: the visibility of the call to action, plus a promise for future content, plus visuals that a depict a clear idea (they were sketched out on purpose), social proof, a small number of fields (just email), no commitment, the ability to unsubscribe at any time" "It costs me $200/month to send emails to this list." "Your landing page should be opinionated. This will fuel the debate and discussion. On Goodui.org I had this element of 'this vs that'; I think stat stirs interest." Show notes Linowski.ca Jakub on Twitter GoodUI.org

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If you've been making excuses as to why you can't build your product, bootstrap your own business, or hire someone on oDesk? Well you need to listen to this episode because Ruben Gamez here to destroy all those objections. This is part 2 of our conversation. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "In the early days, I spent from $6-$10 an hour on programmers from Odesk. Nowadays, when I hire developers I pay in the $20's. It's ways easier to find someone of better quality, when you pay them in the $20-$30 range. Now both of the developers I have are in Argentina." "The developers I'm hiring now, from Odesk, are better than the developers I worked with the USA that were making 6 figures." "I treat my full-time outsourced developers the same way I would treat a normal employee." "By outsourcing, I was able to build Buildsketch in 4 months. Quick." Show notes Ruben Gamez on Twitter Bidsketch.com Bidsketch blog

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Ruben Gamez is one of the most thoughtful and wise entrepreneurs I've met. He has some great advice on outsourcing, staying focused, getting work done, and building a profitable business that's not based on your personality. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "When you're browsing Odesk, I always filter by 4 stars or better." "In the early days, I spent from $6-$10 an hour on programmers from Odesk. Nowadays, when I hire developers I pay in the $20's. It's ways easier to find someone of better quality, when you pay them in the $20-$30 range. Now both of the developers I have are in Argentina." "The developers I'm hiring now, from Odesk, are better than the developers I worked with the USA that were making 6 figures." Show notes Ruben Gamez on Twitter Bidsketch.com

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This week I get into the meat and potatoes with Chase Reeves. This is part 2 of our discussion. This week we talk about that struggle of building products, especially when you're just starting out, and trying to figure out which direction to go in. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "I'm essentially a marketing guy, who's trying to make something instead of just sell something." "I have my Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies. It's true. I have one of those." "Why do I love Louis CK so much? He makes me feel comfortable in my own skin." "Why am I working so hard? Why wouldn't I just become a janitor?" "What could I do? I'm just a guy that could be a pretty decent blues band." "How much do you worry about money now?" "You can have a successful business in 10 years, if you start right now. You can't expect it to happen in 1 year; you should probably think about it happening over 4 years" Show notes Chase Reeves on Twitter Chase Reeves' blog Fizzle.co His old blog: Write to Mean Chase Reeves on Adam Clark's the Gently Madd Proper Confidence

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This week, I’m joined by a man. A man named Chase Reeves. We’re going to talk about the business they’re building over there at Fizzle.co. Chase and I both like to talk, so this is a two-parter! This is part 1. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "There's a lot of drama and pasta in how you say JavaScript." "I was a self-taught, no lessons webby designer guy." "My first freelance gig was with Corbett Bar; by the time I was done his website, we were in partnership discussions." "That church background steeps you into existential questions: and these lead to creative endeavours. It also gives you lots of opportunities to be creative." "The tip is, be willing to be an apprentice underneath someone who's more advanced than you." "With partners: waste as much time as you can, just talking. Get on the phone and just talk." "There's something humanizing in just talking to someone; hearing their voice." "Do your creative stuff in the morning. In the afternoon do customer support, email, meetings." "Good for you Ryan!" Show notes Chase Reeves on Twitter Chase Reeves' blog Fizzle.co His old blog: Write to Mean Chase Reeves on Adam Clark's the Gently Madd Kevin Rose's conversation with Ryan Carson (Foundation)

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Chris Enns, Tim Smith, and Adam Clark have a great podcast called the Intellectual Radio Program. I was recently listening to episode 8 on SSKTN.com. And right near the end, Chris has this beautifully honest moment, where he describes the frustration I think a lot of us feel when it comes to building our own products:

How long do you hold on to something you’ve built?

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In our last episode we talked about how David started working as a contractor for 37signals making $15 an hour. He eventually worked his way up, and became an owner in the company (along with Jason Fried). In this episode we talk about he and Jason work together on a daily basis - and we go behind the scenes on their decision to rebuild Basecamp. We also talk about how he got into driving race cars (a mere 2 years after he got his license). This is part 2 of the interview. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Are you creating an application that needs charts or a dashboard?  FusionCharts is a JavaScript charting solution trusted by over 450,000 developers around the world. They have tons of interactive and animated charts with advanced features like tooltips, drill-down, chart export and zoom. Their charts also work across PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones and Android devices. You can download a free-trial at: Go to fusioncharts.com Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! And let me share with you something that one of our listeners is working on: Follow @TopSideConcepts on Twitter.Randy is working on a product that will help companies improve their service by prioritizing input from customers. It's a really neat concept. Check it out: www.topsideconcepts.comNotable quotes "When you're starting to build something new, it doesn't really help to have a bunch of cooks in the kitchen." What are you doing now? "We have a new product idea in mind. I'm doing the same thing I did on BCX; just me and a designer, just spiking things out. If we decide to go ahead and build it, we'll involve more people." Do you just like building new stuff? "No, I'm not just about greenfield development. I get a lot of pleasure about building things to last - I'm still working on Ruby on Rails a decade after I made the first changes. That's still really satisfying to me. To me it's just programming that's fun." "Driving race cars is a dangerous amount of fun." "When I discovered Ruby, I wanted to spread the wealth - to share it with as many programmers as I could." "What is really interesting  to me (about programming) is getting in the zone; where you lose track of time, and other concerns. That's a rare state of mind to be in." Show notes Remote: Office not required (David and Jason's new book - out October 29, 2013) DHH Racing on Twitter DHH Racing website DHH Racing YouTube channel Book: Flow DHH on Twitter David's personal blog Ruby on Rails

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David Heinemeier Hansson started working with Jason Fried as a contract worker from Denmark. How did he eventually become a partner at 37signals?

I’ve kept in touch with David over the years, and we’d planned on doing an interview for awhile now. It finally happened this past week. This is a pretty personal interview. I spoke with David about growing up in Copenhagen, and how he met Jason (there’s a great story in there). We also discussed his new book (with Jason Fried) called Remote, and how he stays motivated when writing. This is part 1 of the interview.

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Paul Jarvis ( Everything I Know), Sacha Greif ( Discover Meteor), and Nathan Barry ( Authority) invited me to host a Self-Publishing Hangout with them this week. It was a great opportunity for me, because I’m about to publish my first “book” ( Amplification). Our Google Hangout ended being a 2 hour marathon of us sharing our experience with writing, publishing, and promoting eBooks, as well as answering questions from everybody in the chat room.

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Paul Jarvis ( Everything I Know), Sacha Greif ( Discover Meteor), and Nathan Barry ( Authority) invited me to host a Self-Publishing Hangout with them this week. It was a great opportunity for me, because I’m about to publish my first “book” ( Amplification). Our Google Hangout ended being a 2 hour marathon of us sharing our experience with writing, publishing, and promoting eBooks, as well as answering questions from everybody in the chat room.

In Part 1 we cover choosing a topic, whether you need to be a good writer, writers block, fear and quality!

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If you’ve dreamed about building your own product, you’re in the right place. This week the hilarious, talented, and honest Allan Branch joins us to talk about why he’s leaving LessConf behind to focus on LessAccounting. Sponsors This show wouldn't be possible without these great sponsors. When you support them, you support the show! Sprint.ly has been there from the beginning. Perfect for software teams of 3 or more people, Sprint.ly is the easiest way for managers and developers to track the software development process. You and your team can try Sprint.ly for free, go to  www.sprint.ly. Use the code productpeopletv2013 to get 10% off! Notable quotes "LessConf was a fun little hobby that started to take over." "With our app, we're still battling it out for users, and LessConf was becoming a distraction" "Notoriety in the startup community doesn't translate into users in the small business." "Notoriety and fame and all that bullshit feels good; it's a disease. It sucks you in… looking at Instagram likes, and who likes stuff, and re-tweets you. If startups aren't your target marketing, notoriety can be a distraction." "Running a conference is like being a bride at a wedding." "What about a social network to connect golfing buddies?" "We both took pay cuts to start LessEverything, because we wanted to build a nest-egg to build products" "Having a partner makes it better. Steve likes to make my ideas better." "A good partner will give you the courage to be more of yourself." "The ignorant user is your best customer." "There's no legacy in pixels." Show notes Allan on Twitter LessConf LessAccounting Allan and Steve's books Massalina Drive 

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Spencer Fry built his first product when he was 19, and now’s building a new product called Uncover. It’s a big risk: it’s an HR product, which is a difficult vertical. Listen to hear how he plans to succeed.

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What were you doing when you were 19? Spencer Fry built his first online product.

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Imagine building a product for a whole year, and then deciding to try something new on a whim. You build it in a weekend, and in 4 days you already have your first paying customer.

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Imagine this: you sell your web consultancy, and give yourself 1 year to build a product. You decide to do everything by the book: you’re going to validate the idea, and use the lean startup methodology to build it.

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This is part 2 of our interview with Noel Tock. He built a SaaS app on top of WordPress. In part 1 we talked about the thinking behind that, in part 2 we talk about the lessons he’s learned along the way.

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If liked our episodes on using WordPress to build your web app’s MVP, you’re going to love this interview with Noel Tock, of HappyTables.com.

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It’s part 2 with Jason Calacanis!

In this episode we explore the question every product person needs to answer: should I bootstrap, or should I get investors?

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Normally we cover bootstrapped products: people who are self-funding the stuff they build. We do this because I’m naturally drawn to bootstrapped companies.

For this episode I wanted to go into “enemy” territory: I wanted to talk to the VC community. To do that I contacted Jason Calacanis, an angel investor, and the voice of funded startups on his podcast This Week In Startups. This is part 1 where we delved into the human said of Mr. Calacanis – where he came from, and how he got to where he is today.

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Dan Martell discovered computers in rehab. After he overcame his problems with drugs, he taught himself to program. From there, he started building businesses. Eventually, he travelled to San Francisco to learn everything he could from the startup scene.

You might recognize his former product: Flowtown, and his current one: Clarity. In this episode Dan shares his story from the beginning, and how he overcame a difficult beginning to build his own products.

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Dan Martell discovered computers in rehab. After he overcame his problems with drugs, he taught himself to program. From there, he started building businesses. Eventually, he travelled to San Francisco to learn everything he could from the startup scene.

You might recognize his former product: Flowtown, and his current one: Clarity. In this episode Dan shares his story from the beginning, and how he overcame a difficult beginning to build his own products.

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Imagine this: you build a product that you’re passionate about. To demonstrate it’s capabilities, you create a demo that attracts the attention of the New York Times legal department; who promptly send you a cease and desist letter. That’s exactly what happened to Cody Brown and his team at ScrollKit.

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Hey, let me ask you a question: when you were a kid, after a game of Mario Brothers, did you ever take out a pencil and paper and try to draw your own video game levels? The idea of creating video games from a kid’s imagination is something that today’s guest is working on.

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In this episode of Product People: does Amy Hoy still get scared before a launch? How do you choose an audience? And she answers some listener questions.

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Amy Hoy gives a personal interview on her growing up in suburban Maryland, programming on an Apple IIc, selling her My Little Ponies to buy a Power Mac, and how she ended up building her first products.

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Hey Product People! What’s your process for finding an idea that people love? How do you take your initial hunch for an idea, and make it a reality? What is a funnel? Hiten Shah from Kissmetrics is back to answer these questions and more!

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Can you build a healthy software business when you don’t know how to code? Hiten Shah is on the show today. He and his co-founder Neil Patel, have built two successful SaaS apps: CrazyEgg, and Kissmetrics.

Today you’ll hear Hiten’s secret to being a successful entrepreneur.

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On the show today is one of the best bootstrappers in the business: Paul Farnell of Litmus.com joins me and shares some great stories.

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On the show today is one of the best bootstrappers in the business: Paul Farnell of Litmus.com joins me and shares some great stories.

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This week we have part 2 of our interview with John Saddington that literally sent warning bells blaring through the 8Bit office. We also hear about his new Kickstarter campaign: Pressgram (an iOS app that allows you to take filtered photos, and publish them to your WordPress blog).

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Before this interview we thought John Saddington was a guy that built WordPress products with his team at 8Bit (we were also intrigued by his new Kickstarter campaign: Pressgram). What we didn’t realize is that John, at a young age, had worked his way up the corporate ladder at big companies like Fox and Dell. Today you’ll hear his story.

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Jason Evanish has made a name for himself as a customer-focused entrepreneur. He caught the eye of Hiten Shah, the founder of KISSmetrics. Hiten asked Jason to leave Boston, and move to the Valley to become KISSmetric’s Product Manager.

Since then, he’s become known as a generous teacher; especially when it comes to customer development, pattern matching, and product development.

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While in Boston, Jason Evanish made a name for himself as a customer-focused entrepreneur. He caught the eye of Hiten Shah, the founder of KISSmetrics. Hiten asked Jason to leave Boston, and move to the Valley to become KISSmetric’s Product Manager.

Since then, he’s become known as a generous teacher; especially when it comes to customer development, pattern matching, and product development.

In this candid interview, Jason shares what he’s learned so far leading product at KISSmetrics.

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Nathan Barry has released two really successful ebooks, and a new web app called ConvertKit. If you’ve ever wanted to write your own ebook, but couldn’t get started, this interview is sure to inspire you to create and launch your own stuff.

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Nathan Barry is an amazing individual: when you spend time with him you can’t help but be inspired to create and launch your own stuff. As a young man he’s had tremendous success is releasing his own products: an iPad app called One Voice, two really successful ebooks, and a new web app called ConvertKit.

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This week we have Jason Fried of 37signals on the program. We discuss how he made thousands of dollars in high school, why he chose DHH as a partner, what it’s like to be “internet famous”, and the thinking behind the new Basecamp, Basecamp Breeze and Basecamp Personal.

A quick note about the audio quality of this show: Jason had a bad WiFi connection that caused Skype to drop out at numerous times in the interview. We felt like the content was good, and so we released the show (even though the audio is not up to our standard). In order to serve you the listener, we paid to have a transcript made so you can read the interview.

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Kyle Fox is back for another episode: this time he talks with Justin about the power of design, how big their launch mailing list was, and why it’s important to track your metrics from the beginning.

How should you run your beta program? Should you give beta testers free access for life?

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Kyle Fox is a real Renaissance man. Besides co-hosting this podcast, and working as a Product Manager at Granify, he also runs his own SaaS app on the side: FotoJournal. FotoJournal allows photographers to create a professional looking photo blog.

If you’ve asked these questions, you can learn from Kyle’s experience: what should I build? Should we incorporate? Should I get the .com?

Kyle talks about why he decided NOT to launch a competitor to Freshbooks, why perfectionism is his enemy, and how he had people sign-up and become paying customers when he launched.

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Learn Brennan’s trick for identifying a good market: “find a community, and just keep adding value.” Whether that’s a forum response, blog post, info-product, or SaaS app, learn how choosing an audience and sticking with them can pay off.

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How do you make a name for yourself, and your product?

That’s the question we posed to Brennan Dunn. It seemed like almost overnight he was everywhere: blog posts on Hacker News, popping up in my Twitter stream, and promoting a new product for consultants called Planscope. In this episode we delve into how he made this happen: we asked him how he got his start in products, how he promoted himself, and what Latin has to do with all of this.

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Have you ever wondered how much personal brand affects software sales? Check out this is great episode with Rob Walling. In our interview he reveals a ton of tactics for outsourcing your development on oDesk, finding a good idea for your business, and marketing your product effectively. If you’ve ever wanted to start and launch your own software products as a solo-founder, this episode is full of practical advice you can use. Rob is the founder of HitTail, and co-founder of Startups for the Rest of Us and the Micropreneur Academy.

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Rob Walling is the man behind products like HitTail, DotNetInvoice, and Drip. But he also helped start a movement of micropreneurs: solo-founders, who launch their own products. These small startups don’t take venture funding and don’t hire employees. In this part 1 of our interview you’ll hear how he went from consulting, to building products full-time. Learn how you can acquire a product (instead of building it yourself) and why the code is less valuable than the product marketing.

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This is part 2 of our interview with Sacha Greif. In this episode we talked with him about how to find a partner, and the pain involved in building up a product income.

Sacha is a designer and coder from Paris, France, but he’s now living in Osaka, Japan. He’s worked with companies like Hipmunk, but he’s best known for his cool side-projects. His most recent, called Telescope, is an open source platform for creating your own Hacker News.

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What are some good strategies for creating, pricing and selling an ebook? In Part 1 of our interview with Sacha we discuss what he learned launching his first book, and what he plans on doing next time. We also take a look at Meteor, “an open-source platform for building web apps” using pure JavaScript.

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Want to build a software product that actually earns income?

In this (Part 2) episode Patrick McKenzie (Patio11) shares specific tactics for researching a market and finding a problem to solve.

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Part 1 of our interview with Patio11 (Patrick McKenzie) where you’ll hear how he actually learned to program with graph paper, and how he built his first product business with $60.

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Are you a developer who wants to cut down the amount of time it takes to build a prototype? Are you a product person who can’t code? Do you have a product idea that you want to validate quickly?

This is Part 2 of our interview with Daelan Wood on building an MVP using WordPress.

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Are you a developer who wants to cut down the amount of time it takes to build a prototype? Are you a product person who can’t code? Do you have a product idea that you want to validate quickly?

If any of those describe you, you’re going to love this 2-part interview we had with Daelan Wood on building an MVP using WordPress.

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In this week’s call Kyle and Justin talk about people: specifically, the people you choose to build a product with.

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This isn’t a podcast, it’s our first Skype call! As a result, it’s definitely a bit rough, but we think it will give you a good idea of who we are, and what a podcast with us might be like.

We covered two questions:

1) What were some of the first digital products we built as kids? What got us into product development?

2) What was the first software product we sold for money?

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