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The Business of Digital Innovation:
Get to Market Fast

Last month at Twin Cities startup week, we gave five presentations aimed at helping product teams build better product businesses while avoiding common pitfalls. As part of a new series on our blog called the Business of Digital Innovation, I’ll be boiling these down into key takeaways that you can use in your product business today.  For the second part of our series, I’m going to be giving some tips about making the right choices to get to market quickly. But before we get into how to get to market quickly, let's talk briefly about what getting to market quickly is all about. It’s Not About Your Competition Most people I talk to about speed assume that I’m talking about getting to market faster than your competition. If you have a good idea, and you implement it properly, and get to market sooner than your competitors, you succeed, right? Not necessarily. First mover advantage is overblown. The market is littered with the corpses of first movers, and second movers, and third movers. Getting to market faster than your competition [...]

By |2022-11-17T11:59:10-06:00November 17, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

The Business of Digital Innovation:
Picking the Right Team

4 Tips for Product Teams Last month at Twin Cities startup week, we gave five presentations aimed at helping product teams build better product businesses while avoiding common pitfalls. As part of a new series on our blog called the Business of Digital Innovation, I’ll be boiling these down into key takeaways that you can use in your product business today.  For the first part of our series, I’m going to be giving some tips about managing business risk by picking (and sustaining) the right team. Developing Products is Risky As entrepreneurs, inventors, and internal innovators, the endeavor you are about to engage in is a risky one, both for your company and for you personally (if they aren’t one in the same). Most people go into this business with some knowledge of the risks, but we don’t often talk about the reasons why it’s so risky. Unfortunately, a list of all the reasons wouldn’t fit in any reasonable length post. I want to focus on what I think is the biggest contributor: if you’re innovating, by definition you’re [...]

By |2022-10-19T15:55:24-05:00October 20, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

Growing The Business: What’s Next?

In the third webinar of our collaborative webinar series with Lighter Capital, we examined the ways you can build SaaS products that scale. Once you’ve brought your product to market and begin to understand your audience, how do you make money? Dustin Bruzenak, Chip Pedersen, and Jim Moar share their expert opinions.  Three Metaphors to Consider  Jim tells us, “Think of growing your business like a series of rocket launches. Hopefully the first rocket is successful, but naturally, it’ll reach a point of returning to earth. You need to be well prepared for your next rocket launch… “My lead VP had two good ways to think about this. One, your market growth is a set of concentric circles. Markets 2, 3, and 4 are the next rings surrounding the first market. A mentee of mine started with solo yoga entrepreneurs. He’s now moving into yoga studios and has a plan in place to move into broader areas of fitness.  “Another concept is that of a Trojan Horse. With that, you can gain quick entry into a marketplace, and figure [...]

By |2022-10-05T14:15:36-05:00October 6, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

Six Gaming Industry Secrets To Make You Money

In the third webinar of our collaborative webinar series with Lighter Capital, we examined the ways you can build SaaS products that scale. Once you’ve brought your product to market and begin to understand your audience, how do you make money? Dustin Bruzenak, Chip Pedersen, and Jim Moar share their expertise. Borrow Strategies from the Gaming Industry From freemium to subscription, the gaming industry has long been a pioneer of monetization. By observing trends in gaming apps, you can learn important lessons about creating sticky apps that actually generate profit. Chip Pedersen, who spent decades in the game industry, tells us: “We’ve borrowed the terminology of minnows, dolphins, and whales. You need an ecosystem of all types of users. Whales are brand loyal, tell people all about you, and give you more money, but you can make plenty of money from minnows and dolphins playing for free and watching advertisements. Create multiple tiers for participation that would allow people to self-select as minnows, dolphins, or whales.”  Give Them the Game They Prefer to Play Analytics will help you identify [...]

By |2022-09-28T16:38:12-05:00September 29, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

3 Tips for Understanding Your Customer Early

In the third webinar of our collaborative webinar series with Lighter Capital, we examined the ways you can build SaaS products that scale. So you’ve brought your product to market. How do you understand where you’re losing people, and what’s making your best customers come back? Dustin Bruzenak, Chip Pedersen, and Jim Moar share their expert opinion.  Prioritize the People In this stage, remember: the first goal is not to make money. The first goal is learning. What are you doing right? What are you doing wrong? Who’s your customer?  Dustin says, “So many companies we work with have a techie as a founder, and sales isn’t their experience. Just be inquisitive, and ask open ended questions. Don’t be the one talking 80% of the time about your features and functions. Let the customer talk 80% of the time, and really see how they use the product you offer. Ask for testimonials, even if anonymous, with a focus on your value proposition.” He continues,  “I know many founders who feel a sense of shyness about talking to their customers. [...]

By |2022-09-21T16:05:40-05:00September 22, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

5 Principles to Get Your Product to Market Quickly

In the third webinar of our collaborative webinar series with Lighter Capital, we examined the ways you can build SaaS products that scale. How can you find your first market, build, and launch quickly? Dustin Bruzenak, Chip Pedersen, and Jim Moar share their expert opinion.  Find a Fast First Market  “Speed is just as critical as cash for a startup,” says Jim. “Whatever you select is critical for customer acquisition.” Getting to market quickly with a smaller, faster first market allows you to establish a beachhead of paying customers as soon as you can.  But it’s not just for cash. Your fast first market can accelerate your learning and create credibility for additional acquisition through customer testimonials. It’s More than Nice to Be Needed - It’s Essential  How do you find the fastest market for you and your product? Jim tells us, “The most important aspect of finding your first market is that your value proposition is seen by those customers as a Need to Have, not just a Nice to Have.” While most entrepreneurs are sure that what [...]

By |2022-09-14T16:32:46-05:00September 15, 2022|Development, Strategy|0 Comments

Why Mobile Applications are the Blocking and Tackling of Your Digital Strategy

For years now, your customers have been spending more and more time on their smartphones and other handheld devices than engaging brands on desktop or laptop computers. And this trend is just as true for B2B and B2C companies.  For instance, in 2021, time spent using shopping apps reached over 100 billion hours, which increased 18% year-over-year. Moreover, with the rapid rise of remote workers in the previous few years, more employees are using mobile apps to improve productivity from anywhere they work, says ServiceNow. Additionally, IDC predicts a 47% rise in corporate IT budgets going to mobile application development platforms and tools in 2022. By some accounts, up to 42% of small businesses employ mobile applications. Yes, mobile apps have become more critical than ever in developing your business’s digital strategy.  Mobile Applications: The Blocking and Tackling of Digital Strategy Mobile apps are essential for meeting your customers where they’re at, so you probably won’t find them sitting at a desk at home or in an office. To borrow a sports metaphor, we consider mobile applications the blocking [...]

By |2022-07-20T13:52:19-05:00July 21, 2022|App Development, Strategy|0 Comments

3 Tips for Getting from Zero to One in B2B Scaling

Thank you to Lighter Capital for co-hosting our recent webinar. Dustin Bruzenak, Modern Logic CEO, served as a moderator for a panel of marketing experts: Carrie Waite, Assistant VP of Strategic Partnerships for Pets Best, with previous experience as a senior marketing manager; Eileen Hansen, Director in Digital Experience at Valera, with extensive experience in B2B technology marketing; and Nate Champion, Chief Growth Officer at Banner Commerce and the founder of LookBack. They provided their feedback on getting from zero to one in B2B scaling. Test Different Channels Nate Champion: Be thoughtful when evaluating what channel is right to pursue For example, in B2B, channels like LinkedIn work much better than B2C. B2B can also work on paid social. For example, in my work with LookBack, we needed to answer, “who does this product resonate with, and what is the messaging that works?” While it is not the most efficient, what’s getting me the most information is to run paid social, going broad, testing multiple types of creative and seeing what works and doesn’t work quickly. Right away, I'm [...]

By |2022-06-28T15:19:50-05:00July 14, 2022|Partner, Strategy, Webinar|0 Comments

Three Expert Tips for Understanding
Your User’s Journey

Thank you to Lighter Capital for co-hosting our recent webinar. Dustin Bruzenak, Modern Logic CEO, served as a moderator for a panel of marketing experts: Carrie Waite, Assistant VP of Strategic Partnerships for Pets Best, with previous experience as a senior marketing manager; Eileen Hansen, Director in Digital Experience at Valera, with extensive experience in B2B technology marketing; and Nate Champion, Chief Growth Officer at Banner Commerce and the founder of LookBack. They provided their feedback on how to better understand your user’s journey. Bring Data to Life with Feedback Carrie Waite: Once somebody becomes a customer, you can actually have conversations with them about the buyer journey. They’ll provide incredible insights, which can then help you then optimize future buyer journeys. Try to pair as much technical data as you can with heat maps looking at user sessions. Any tracking you have on pages can provide really valuable insights. Eileen Hansen: Marry some data with real verbatim. There's no substitute for actually going out there. You don't necessarily identify yourself as your company; you just say you're doing [...]

By |2022-06-28T15:17:19-05:00June 30, 2022|Partner, Strategy, Webinar|0 Comments

How Our Experts Do More With Less Data

Thank you to Lighter Capital for co-hosting our recent webinar. Dustin Bruzenak, Modern Logic CEO, served as a moderator for a panel of marketing experts: Carrie Waite, Assistant VP of Strategic Partnerships for Pets Best, with previous experience as a senior marketing manager; Eileen Hansen, Director in Digital Experience at Valera, with extensive experience in B2B technology marketing; and Nate Champion, Chief Growth Officer at Banner Commerce and the founder of LookBack. They provided their feedback on how new changes to privacy laws impact marketers. Brush Up Your Fundamentals Nate Champion: There's a lot of talk like Facebook limiting data collection after the IOS 14 release. There are companies that have just given up on it. They simply think it doesn’t work anymore, and they won’t do it. More and more, it's been important to have foundations, running a system asking “What are our KPIs? What are we looking for every week? How are we blending down our acquisition costs?” In this environment, you have to become comfortable with ambiguity and make the most of non-paid so you don't [...]

By |2022-06-22T15:54:31-05:00June 23, 2022|Partner, Strategy, Webinar|0 Comments
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