Showing posts from June, 2017

Deciding What to Build

I recently spoke on a panel and was asked, “how do you decide which features to build next?” This was a great question and really comes down to two things:
First, as you may already know, you should build something that solves a big, painful problem for your clients. Working with the Chicago Lean Startup Circle for the last few years taught me how to figure this out – ask them if they will pay for it. This question may sound a bit mercenary but it actually helps your client figure out their priorities – involving their money helps them clarify their priorities.
For example, we’ve all been in client meetings where a client shared ideas. Frequently we’ve been pushed to build a feature because someone with a C-level title came up with the idea. In Lean Startup this is called the HIPPO – the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. If we aren’t careful, we’ll get sidetracked by HIPPO requests and spend our scarce development budget on features that only solve small, convenience problems.
When we p…

Balance Conflicting Priorities

I believe most business decisions come down to keeping three things in balance: clients, employees and margin. When you think about it – everything you do supports one of these three. I like to think of them as the three points on an equilateral triangle.

If we focus exclusively on one of these three, the other two suffer. For example, when we only focus on our clients and allow them to make unreasonable demands, we may overwork our employees or offer discounts that ultimately make us unprofitable. In the end, we don’t satisfy our clients because our unhappy employees leave or we have to downsize because we can’t pay our bills. Conversely, focusing too much on employees or only caring about margin will damage our relationships with clients.

Let’s apply this to a business decision. Imagine a software company rolls out a new product then finds it’s defective. They have to decide whether to offer clients a discount (affecting margin), ask employees to work extra hours to fix it (affecti…

Creating a Facebook Chat Bot

After learning about chat bots and hearing how people are using them to help recruiters and hiring managers interact with their resumes - I decided to build one. Since I'm not a software developer I used tools that don't require development. Here's how you can build one to promote your business, resume or Facebook group - using free software.

Set up a business Facebook page: starting from your FB personal home page, click on Pages in the left navigation list, then click Create Page at the top right of the next page. Chose "Artist, Band or Public Figure" for an individual page, like a resume, or click on one of the other choices to set one up for your business or brand.Add some basic information and a picture to your new FB page using the wizard or configuration buttons.Go to and create an account. As part of your account creation, ChatFuel will ask for your FB page.Click through the tutorial which will show you the basics in about three minutes. Build