mesh – Viable Web Applications
Live blogging is something I saw Stephen Downes do last year at the This is IT Conference in North Bay. As I watched him blog during the sessions, I wondered how and why he did it. I can’t answer for him but now that I’m blogging my way through mesh, I’m finding it helps me focus! It’s not doing 2 things aat once, it’s sort of like taking notes in a lecture, where you ‘get’ more of what’s being said because you write it down.
I’m in Idee‘s Leila Boujnane’s session on Creating a Viable Web Business, with Michael McDerment of FreshBooks, Malgosia Green of Nuvvo and Albert Lai of Nuvvo
They are describing the start-up mistakes they made, and what they would do differently if they were to do it over.
- Being flexible and responding to change seems to be central. Feedback is essential.
- Different patterns for getting your name out, some through the blogosphere, some more traditional newsletters etc. plus the blogosphere.
- Making things simple to use and having good customer support are really important
- Different approaches for tech support, one by phone, others by email and forums
- Your tech support can be your sales department – you build loyal users who stay and refer others
- Nuvvo – most users are free, then they can subscribe for more robust services. The free users are more forgiving of weak support.
- Bubbleshare and Idee find customers want to help each other, (like on MySpace)
- This conference – mesh http://www.meshconference.com/ – was advertised by 4 guys writing on their blogs, and the news spread.
- simplicity of use, a fluid user-experience, is what users find attractive. Design for these, not for elite super-users
- Understand the purchasing process of your customers, and it’s different for different applications
- Set up almost a funnel – first someone looks, then a free trial, then full users – about 5% of the lookers
- Raising money takes a lot of time
- Recruiting talent is tricky
- Knowing enough to know how to communicate with employees is important, worth taking some courses in their areas.
- churn is scary but a chance to learn
- mentors are a real help