Every founder wants to build a must-have product today. It has become kinda obvious that one should. But what still remains a serious mystery is how do you build one such "must-have", "painkiller" product?
To bring concrete evidence to this notorious fix, we sat down with Userlist's co-founder, and a brilliant bootstrapped entrepreneur, Jane Portman. The result was this detailed piece where Jane poured her heart out, sharing many behind-the-scene workings, frameworks, and candid feelings about taking her company from a 0 to a solid must-have for their users.
In this conversation, we go deep into:
- what actually useful user research looks like. "Defining your ideal customer means getting much more specific than saying you serve ‘SMBs’ or 'founders.’ If you’re B2B, what company model does your ideal customer own or work in? What industry or niche? How mature is their business? Is it profitable? Well-funded? Lean? Rapidly expanding? What challenges do they face in doing their work well (or better)?”
- how you can run your own positioning audit (she even shares her Userlist handbook)
- why selling scrappy MVPs can be a deadly mistake if your users are in crucial functions. Jane says “we never had an ‘MVP’ — we were gradually building a solid product, feature by feature. Email automation is not the industry to launch a half-functioning MVP into the wild.”
- how you can design your own version of thoughtful onboarding (spoiler: Superhuman's process might not work for you)
- why launches are just the beginning, and how to approach them
- and an insight into the wicked cousin of high retention: high switching costs