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April 6, 2012

6 Tasks a Non-Technical Cofounder Must Execute

This is Part II of the “Non-Technical Cofounder’s Job” series. You can read Part I here.

Each day, I ensure that I am putting the company in the best position to succeed as I can by working towards these 3 goals and executing on these 6 following tasks.

Interact with prospects (in this order):

  • Face to face – these should be with ideal customers
  • Social Media – A social media connection is much warmer than a cold phone call or cold email
  • Email – Get an introduction if you can. Otherwise keep it short, show personality, and include a video of the product.

 

Develop Evangelists

Email a customer immediately after they try your product. Doing this after a customer tries Ecquire puts me in a position to execute on what I think our competitive advantage will be – superior customer support and meaningful engagement with each customer. I try to turn them into evangelists and I do everything I can, except pick them up in a limo. Make them feel wanted and valued because they are.

Retention is the cheapest way to get new customers. If I can retain a customer that had a bad experience and create an evangelist, then we see new customers from referrals. Doing this task has the highest ROI for my time. An evangelist will always be the best salesperson for your product. They hang out with customers like themselves and their testimonials are genuine. It’s also fun.

 

Create Content

Creating creative content is fucking hard. Having a schedule to follow and keeping yourself on task is very difficult. It’s easy for this schedule to quickly go to shit and that feeling of not writing or being behind schedule will compound and create mental baggage for you. You’ll put it off because it’s hard and you’ll continue to fall in a rut. Good content means free traffic and more customers. What else could be more important? Create it.

Three things that will help you stay on task to create content:

  1. When you get an idea for something creative, quickly create a Google Doc with a potential title and three main bullet points that are interesting or controversial to popular belief (only be controversial if you actually believe it and have evidence for it).
  2. Assign the due date of this topic to yourself to be written within three days. You’ll gain more insight to the direction of the article over the next three days and anything you think of, add it to the Google Doc.
  3. Invite someone else to this task to keep you accountable. Toan, our marketing guy, does a pretty good job of reminding me about items and it’s kind of embarrassing to admit it but when someone else is aware of your tasks, you get the perfect complement of motivation to get them done.

 

Improve the Product and Measure

The product is never done and can always be better. Find ways to improve all the time by using the product, listening to feedback, looking at analytics, and creating a roadmap with your team. When looking at metrics, we use Mixpanel and Google Analytics simultaneously. We do this mostly because we can’t afford to make a decision based on incorrect data and if one of them is off for whatever reason, it could really hurt us. And the metrics we’re looking for in these services are how to optimize our funnels and usage of different events in our product as well as changes in usage when we change something within the product.

When talking to customers, I usually am not quick to make a decision unless I hear the same thing from three or four customers and what they are saying makes sense. I’ve referenced something I’ve heard from Dan Martell a few times before. He told us that “it’s weird but people will just lie about liking or using your service for different reasons”. It’s mostly because they don’t want you to feel bad or tell you your product sucks which is understandable.

There’s also a piece of this section and task which requires your confidence to make prescient decisions about what you think is right. Is this arrogant? Yeah probably a little but it’s an important piece of the balance of how to improve the product.

 

Inspire

Communicating a vision that is inspirational is what will attract and maintain the right kind of talent – one that is not interested in the highest salaries or titles. A vision that changes the World and creates a huge disruption will be inspirational to the people you want around and executing on that vision will be what motivates them. Not money.

 

Get the Fuck out of the Way

Before you can remove obstacles for your team, make sure they are amazing people. You have to get the right people on the bus and if they suck, it’s your fault. I lucked out because Tal, Toan, Ben and Chris are the best. I never worry about them and their work seems to always be above and beyond and better than expected.

Finding amazing people is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do but don’t settle for someone, it’s worse than not having anyone at all. When you do find those people, they should be on the bus because you can trust them, they don’t need much direction if any at all and if they have any obstacles in their way impeding them, you need to remove them. Sometimes this is just a paycheck and sometimes it’s getting them different resources. Otherwise let them know how valued they are, give them responsibility and free reign to take risks and get out of their way .

One Comment on “6 Tasks a Non-Technical Cofounder Must Execute

[…] This is the first part of the series “Non-technical cofounder’s job” series. Click here for Part II. […]

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