9 Ways to Prioritize Your Product Development

In the fast-paced world of software development, it’s prioritize or fail. Alex Adamopoulos, founder and CEO of Emergn, breaks down nine ways companies can gauge value and make difficult decisions about what to focus on first.

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Prioritization is never easy. It often involves painful decisions and difficult trade-offs, and for early and expansion-stage companies, there is the added pressure of trying to accomplish a great deal with limited time and limited resources. In order to achieve growth, both of those crucial commodities need to be directed solely on the things that truly matter and are going to have maximum impact.

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The Biggest Buzzword in SaaS: The Real Meaning of “Customer Success”

“Customer success” — it’s a term that has been getting a lot of attention in SaaS circles lately, but what does it really mean? SaaS veteran Lincoln Murphy searches for a definitive answer behind the buzz, and explains why it’s about more than just service or support.

The Biggest Buzzword in SaaS: The Real Meaning of "Customer Success"

When Lincoln Murphy attended the Customer Success Summit in San Francisco in mid-March, the SaaS veteran and founder of Sixteen Ventures expected there to be a noticeable — and obvious — buzz around the growing popularity and implementation of “customer success” (it’s a topic he’s been thinking a lot about recently, and has even written a guide around here: Customer Success: The Definitive Guide).

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Thinking Outside Your Product Category Box

In order to have an unyielding attention on your users’ behavior, you need to move beyond the product category walls that keep you contained.

 Thinking Outside Your Product Category Box | OpenView Labs

What does your product do? Don’t simply regurgitate your elevator pitch. That’s for investors who love industry jargon. When your product hits customer hands (or screens), what does it really do? How does it help them? Too often, we get stuck indentifying our businesses with pre-existing definitions. But if you set yourself free from the product category box, you can actually eliminate the competition, as you’ll see in this post at Signal vs. Noise.

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3 Steps to Creating a Smart SaaS Pricing Structure

Is your SaaS business facing a pricing crisis and you don’t even know it? Software pricing expert Jim Geisman shares three tips for developing a tiered pricing structure that clearly communicates the value of your various product options or editions.

How to Develop a Tiered Pricing Structure

Building a business around a single product is like standing on one leg: You can do it for a while, but in the long run you will fall down.

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photo by: kennymatic

Why You Should Let Customers Prioritize Your Backlog

Scrum Inc. consultant and Team WIKISPEED CEO Joe Justice breaks down the benefits of having your customers prioritize your product backlog by telling you exactly what it is they want to see delivered.

Lego People

How do you ship to your customers faster and deliver a better product you know they will love? Simple. Get them directly involved early in the process.

At any point, you might have 100 (or more) “to-do’s” in your product backlog that represent features your organization thinks your customers might want.

But as Scrum Inc. consultant and Team WIKISPEED founder and CEO Joe Justice explains, the best companies don’t let assumptions drive their product development. Instead, they prioritize based on something much more substantial and important — actual feedback from their customers.

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photo by: Joe Shlabotnik

How to Build a Habit-Forming Product

The best way to build a base of returning users is to create a product people can’t live without. What you need is a habit-forming product.

 How to Build a Habit-Forming Product

Everyone has a handful of go-to websites they check daily, or even multiple times over the course of the day. These sites have created a product that people rely on each and every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives. How do you crack that code and break through the clutter of viral sensations that are hardly more than fleeting flickers of HTML? Ryan Hoover offers insights into how to create a habit-forming product in this post at Pando Daily.

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photo by: mendhak

The Art of Doing Less: How to Maximize Product Development

Looking to focus in on the absolute priorities and ship better products faster? Scrum Inc. consultant Joe Justice shares a story from his work with Team WIKISPEED that serves as the perfect example of what’s possible when you get lean and creative with your product development.

A Lesson in Lean Manufacturing: Why Less Is More

When volunteer-based green automotive company Team WIKISPEED needed to develop a system that would clean and limit tailpipe emissions from its prototype car, founder and CEO Joe Justice didn’t seek out the world’s best engineers to build a revolutionary catalytic converter.

Instead, he turned the product development project loose to anyone who was willing to help the company quickly develop a core product that solved Team WIKISPEED’s most basic challenges.

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The 5 Essential Requirements for Top-Tier Software Service Offerings

For today’s software companies, the service you provide is often just as important as your product — and unless what you are offering hits five key requirements, you’re doing it wrong. Professional services veteran Ken Lownie shares the criteria for services that simplify the sales process, decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase profitability.

5 Key Requirements for Software Service Offerings

In a post for OpenView Labs last fall entitled “Crossing the Services Chasm,” I touched on the central role that well-defined service offerings play in allowing a software or SaaS company to mature into a scalable, stable business. In fact, not only is it difficult for many companies to transition through the expansion stage without a set of well-designed software services offerings, it often isn’t possible at all.

Why? Because until your services team is doing the same thing, over and over again, they will not get great at it. And as long as each engagement is being uniquely defined and scoped, your services team members will too often be “making stuff up” in terms of tasks and deliverables. That may be fun for them, but it isn’t good for your customers, or your business.

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