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Michael Seibel - Building Product
This is an AI-generated summary of a YouTube video "Michael Seibel - Building Product" by Y Combinator!

Successful product development requires understanding the user, focusing on helping them, tracking KPIs, and avoiding changes to find product market fit.

  • 💪
    Justin, Emmett, and Kyle's technical expertise, frugal lifestyle, and determination to solve a problem enabled them to succeed, something many founders don't understand.
    • Justin, Emmett, and Kyle's technical expertise allowed them to break many rules and survive, which is something many founders don't understand.
    • We lived in a two-bedroom apartment for $2,500 a month, each given $500 a month walking around money, and didn't spend much money, giving us the ability to make mistakes.
    • Our startup was tied to our ego, and we couldn't conceive of giving up, so the three things that saved our company were essential.
    • Founders should start by identifying the problem they are trying to solve before pitching their product idea.
    • We wanted to create an open platform where anyone could broadcast live on the Internet, and we judged our success by whether people were using it.
    • Can you define the problem narrowly and determine if it is solvable before attempting to solve it?
  • 🤔
    Understand who your user is and how often they have the problem before attempting to solve it, and focus on helping them frequently to get the most value out of your product.
    • Poppy is an Uber-like service that makes it easy for parents to find babysitters for various needs.
    • The problem of finding babysitters for infants may not be solvable due to the lack of a replaceable talent pool with the necessary skills.
    • People often want to solve a problem without understanding who they are solving it for, but it is important to narrow down the customer before attempting to solve the problem.
    • Don't build a product without understanding who your user is and how often they have the problem.
    • Founders should focus on understanding who is getting the most value out of their product and helping them with their problem frequently.
    • Apps that are on the front screen of your phone are used more often than those buried in folders.
  • 💡
    Start high, talk to the right customers, make it easy to find you, test your MVP, focus on desperate customers, not friends or investors.
    • High intensity, high frequency problems are more likely to be good business opportunities.
    • Starting with a higher price or a price is almost always better than starting free, and it's important to talk to the right customers to ensure success.
    • B2B companies need to consider how easy it is for customers to find them, as it can be difficult to reach customers without access to their email addresses.
    • Test your MVP by giving it to customers to ensure you are solving the problem you set out to solve.
    • Startup products must be useful to many people to be successful, not just appreciated by one or even none.
    • Focus on finding desperate customers who need your product, not friends or investors, as they will not have the same problem you are trying to solve.
  • 🤝
    Incorporate measurements into product specs to track usage and improvement, and use events-based metrics products to track user actions.
    • He had a company that provided on-demand personal assistant services and he fired a customer who had unrealistic expectations.
    • Understand the value you're getting back and structure discounts and incentives into your sales pitch to convince organizations.
    • He incorporated a deadline based on a third party providing a discount to the customer to speed up the process and baked in the discount by pricing the product 15% higher.
    • Setting up metrics is important to know if your product is being used and to get new product ideas, and Google Analytics is good for basic website metrics, but events-based metrics products like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Heap are better for tracking user actions.
    • Implementing Mixpanel is easy for technical teams and should be used to track user activity, but it's important to not track too many analytics in the beginning.
    • When building a product, incorporate measurements into the product spec to track usage and improvement.
  • 🤔
    Justin.tv's development cycle was based on arguments, so Kyle switched his sleeping schedule to avoid them, resulting in two months of wasted productivity; you need to track a KPI and make sure everyone in your company knows the goal.
    • Justin.tv's development cycle was based on arguments between three yell kids, so Kyle switched his sleeping schedule to avoid them, such as the three-month argument over the background color.
    • We released a web product every three months without writing anything down, resulting in two months of wasted productivity.
    • Launching a poorly-built feature and then brainstorming a new one if it isn't used right away is the wrong way to run a company.
    • Justin.tv's major product decisions, such as chat on the right and video on the left, have remained the same since 2006, and most product issues are avoided by having a process that doesn't involve arguing, writing specs, or long dev cycles.
    • You need to track a KPI (revenue or usage-based metric) and make sure everyone in your company knows what the goal is, and be able to report on it.
  • 💡
    CEOs should facilitate brainstorming sessions to prioritize ideas and build them quickly, while avoiding changes and sticking to the written spec to find product market fit over two years.
    • CEOs should facilitate brainstorming sessions where all ideas are written on the board and checked against metrics to ensure everyone feels valued.
    • We split our brainstorm into three categories and used the "Easy, Medium, Hard" process to prioritize ideas and build them quickly.
    • Deciding hard ideas first and using an objective measure to remove ego from the debate helps to quickly find easy ideas that can move the KPI.
    • To ensure successful cycles, the team had to stick to the written spec and avoid any changes during the two-week period.
    • It will take time to find product market fit, so don't expect significant progress in under two years.
    • Changing the customer or problem should be rare, while changing the solution is often necessary when the MVP doesn't work or customers don't want to use it.
  • 💡
    Start with an unsolved problem, talk to customers, charge early, track KPIs, and don't discount to succeed like Facebook and Google.
    • Identifying an unsolved problem and solving it better than those before can lead to huge success, as seen with Facebook and Google.
    • Real Steve Jobs iterates and talks to customers, not just dreams and creates art.
    • Gamers had been using Justin.tv for years, but when Twitch started talking to them and building features for them, they realized they had a product that was built for them.
    • If you never plan to charge users, it's fine to be free, but if you do plan to charge them, it's helpful to charge them as soon as possible to know if they're willing to pay.
    • If your top-line KPI is revenue and it's zero, you should still track it, but also look at other metrics that contribute to it.
    • Email founders who've done pre-sales and avoid discounting to avoid pre-sale becoming death.
  • 🤔
    Adjusting to a slow-burn lifestyle is easier if you haven't increased your expenses, and launching a product is more about process than genius. 📧 Email me for help.
    • It is harder to adjust to a slow-burn lifestyle if you have already leveled up your lifestyle, but it is easier if you are still working and have not yet increased your expenses.
    • Once people are using your product, you can consider it launched, regardless of labels like beta, pre-launch, alpha, etc.
    • It's more important to have a process to quickly build and measure MVPs than to be a genius who can predict the future.
    • Email me at Michael@YCombinator.com for help and I will try to assist you.
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Michael Seibel - Building Product
This is an AI-generated summary of a YouTube video "Michael Seibel - Building Product" by Y Combinator!