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The good, the bad, and the ugly side of your early adopters [2022 updated]

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As startups building new products, our primary goal is to move  from 0 to 1 .  In the effort to onboard our first customers, we will do whatever is necessary to engage with them, attract them, and turn them into  hard-activated users .  As your product starts to see its first wave of users, it's important to remember that these users are not necessarily your ideal customers . In fact, they probably fall into the category of early adopters , which means they are very different than the majority of users.  A product cannot exist without early adopters, and yet, it’s crucial to understand how they differ from the rest because you're about to base your next product decisions on their behavior and feedback in your quest for a product/market fit , and you don't want those decisions to be based on biased information.   Let's start with who your early adopters are:  According to  Everett Rogers : early adopters belong to 2 small groups that represent 5%-15% of your custom

How to start your competitor research - the product management guide

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As an entrepreneur or a product manager you must learn the business you're operating in and map the market pains, expectations, and trends.  In a competitive market, you need to know what your competitors are doing. Where do they shine and which areas they are struggling with. This will help you decide on the right product strategy and identify gaps (or opportunities) in your product and go-to-market strategy.  I wrote this short guide to help you get started with your competitor research.  It will focus on identifying your competitors, exploring their products, and gathering the intel you need for building your market understanding.  1. Identify main competitors  First things first, whether you are new at your job or starting a new company, you need to identify who are you competing with , direct and indirect.  Search your product or service category on the web and see what ads and search results come up.  Repeat this step with different terms and keywords relevant to you

6 useful websites for downloading free illustrations

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  Work illustrations by Storyset They say a good illustration can really boost your presentations, websites, or products.  So here's a handy list of websites where you can download illustrations for free: 1. Undraw I typically start any visual search with Undraw. There are a lot of illustrations there, with a very consistent look and feel.  I love the way those illustrations can be customized using the color picker. For advanced customizations, I sometimes download the illustration as an SVG file and modify portions of it in Figma .  The only problem with Undraw is that it became too popular and widely used by way too many products and websites...  Link:  https://undraw.co/illustrations 2. Storyset An awesome collection of free customizable illustrations that can fit products, websites, and presentations.  The search works good, and there are a few customization options around colors and backgrounds.  You can download the illustrations as PNG or SVG in case you want to further modi

Managers, here's why you should have a strong number 2

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I was watching Argentina in the world cup today, and heard the commentators talk about the key role of Ángel Di María  as Messi's number 2. It reminded me of the importance of having a strong "deputy" in the team, for any manager out there.  I often talk about it when I coach young managers and entrepreneurs. Everyone knows how important it is to hire A-players but most managers don't fully understand the amazing benefits of having a key team member acting as a number 2.   Think about Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen My best performing years as a manager were when I had a top-performing “number 2”.  My typical number 2’s had stronger technical skills than I did, and used to take over the backend/infrastructure stuff, allowing me to focus on the business/ product / front end . They were not always the most experienced individuals on the team, but they were the best, and always earned their authority and respect due to their extraordinary professionalism and work e

13 additional tips for improving your UX writing (with examples)

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Here's a second guide for boosting your UX writing skills and improving your product's microcopy. If you haven't read my first guide - make sure to check it out  here .  1. Bite-sized text blocks instead of lengthy sentences There are always words to remove and ways to simplify your sentences.  2. Less is usually better You don't have to wrap every UI element with a descriptive text.  Use common UI designs and users will find their way around.  3. It’s not about YOUR product. It’s about THEIR benefits Don’t describe what your product can do for them, explain what they (your users) can gain by using it. 4. Play hard to get  We all suffer from " the host syndrome " - that uncontrollable urge to promote every feature in our product so people realize how great it is. Only problem is, nobody cares.  Users are suspicious and impatient. An excess of data will overwhelm them and turn them off.  So instead of bloating your product with too much information, use  progre

5 Apps I use every day (and cannot live without)

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Every now and then, I enjoy taking a break from writing about product management , UX , or any of the other topics I usually mumble about, to recommend some products I use and appreciate. Here are 5 apps that I use every day and absolutely cannot live without: Volv - news bites for the curious, yet attention deficit generation I used to do my online readings with a bunch of aggregators like Feedly , Pocket , and Medium , but as my attention span kept shrinking I had to find some faster alternatives. Volv is the perfect answer. This elegant app turns articles and newsletters into a social media-style feed. Each piece takes around 10-15 seconds to read, and comes with a nice image and links to the full articles in case you want to dig further.  As the day winds down , Volv gives me a perfect wrap-up of everything that has happened and is worth knowing. Download Volv: App Store | Google Play   Craft - the future of documents Craft is one of those apps that make note-taking fun and exci

The host syndrome: what is it and how to avoid it in your product

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Imagine you walk into a barbecue party and just when you’re about to grab a beer and sit down with some old friends - the party host jumps at you, gives you a long tour around the house, brags about the renovated pool, forces you to try out all the appetizers, and introduces you to his neighbors that you’ll never see again.  I call this phenomenon " the host syndrome ”. The host syndrome happens when the host tries too hard to impress the guests and make them aware of the efforts made to arrange the party and appreciate things nobody cares about, usually resulting in the exact opposite.  Like many  cognitive biases , the host syndrome creates a blind spot that turns the host into an annoying creature. This phenomenon can be found in software products too. For example, product creators (AKA the hosts) often push their product features too aggressively, causing their guests (AKA the users) to feel uncomfortable and lose interest.  Let me walk you through the hosts' metaverse (w

Mobile Apps in 2022: should you still start with iOS?

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  Every time I’m involved in a new mobile project the same old question pops up: should we start with Android or iOS?  The technical pros and cons are known (device range, OS fragmentation, UX, code), as well as the possibility to use a cross-platform tech like Flutter or React Native , but the development effort is only one part of the decision. The other part is business needs.  Starting with the right operating system means you focus and prioritize your efforts:  user experience , QA,  user acquisition , and basically means you start with the users that will bring the highest value to the business.  So, which one’s first: iOS or Android?  Many people will tell you to start with iOS because iPhone users are great “ early adopters ”.  They like to try out new services, they “brag” about trendy & shiny apps that are only available on their precious iPhones (remember Clubhouse and Fortnite?), and they are used to paying for services others get for free.  While all of this is basi