I am currently at Copyblogger’s Digital Commerce Summit 2016 at the Paramount Theater in Denver. This is my third year at this conference, and I always learn something new and noteworthy. For the first time ever – and so there may be some glitches along the way – I will be live blogging from the event.
The first speaker is Rand Fishkin, founder and “wizard” of Moz and someone whose blog I follow closely. His presentation outlined nine things he would’ve changed with his company, which just underwent a round of layoffs. This is first time at the Digital Commerce Summit.
Here they are:
- 1.) Learn software engineering – to improve his product
- 2.) Spend time at another startup or two – “if you’ve seen the journey before, you’ll know what it looks like for the second and third time.”
- 3.) Reject no-touch onboarding – you need to have someone showing you the way from the start.
- 4.) Push my investors to be tougher with me – you need people to reign you in, especially when it comes to expenditures.
- 5.) Only launch EVPs, not MVPs – that’s exceptional viable products, and you need to have more of them and not just the outstanding one.
- 6.) Hire less. Build less. Focus more – self-explanatory
- 7.) Pay more for fewer, proven hires – also self-explanatory
- 8.) Multiple products vs. singular focus – this is a matter of priorities, and making what you are strong at your main business emphasis
- 9.) Sell early, start again – if it’s time to give it up and start fresh, go for it.
Then he talked about seven things he’d stay the same:
- 1.) His wife Geraldine – his “rock” and person who got him through the rough times.
- 2.) TAGFEE – transparency, authority, generosity, fun, empathy, exceptionality, or Moz’s core values.
- 3.) IC vs. PW Tracks – individual contributor and people wranglers, knowing where people perform their best
- 4.) Marketing first. Product second – most do this the other way around, so it’s important to put a structure in place to sell.
- 5.) Live our customers’ lives – gives you empathy, and make what you do better.
- 6.) Raise capital – to have enough resources to keep your business on track
- 7.) Choose a sector other startups avoid – most haven’t touched SEO, and that’s what Moz has done.
Then he touched upon things he doesn’t know yet:
- 1.) Whether is the juice is worth the squeeze – talking about his friend and colleague and his tragedies, is all the effort you put into something worth the sacrifices in your personal life.
- 2.) Whether he’s good at designing software, or if he was lucky
- 3.) Self-service vs. enterprise SaaS (software as service)
- 4.) Acquisition vs. build in-house
- 5.) Making work personal
Then he recommended making your own lists
- What you’d change
- What you’d keep the same
- Mysteries you don’t know yet.