All About the Product(s)

I’m a big fan of Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg (or at least his writing). He recently wrote a blog post of 90 things he learned from founding 4 technology companies, and every point is a gem. Here are my favorite four:

It’s all about the product. Always has been. Always will be. The only thing that matters is how good your product is. All the rest is noise. At Fab, our virtual product is our website & apps, our physical products are the merchandise we sell, and our experience product is our operations and service. Getting all 3 parts of our product right is everything.

It’s not about you, part 2. It’s not about you, it’s about your customers. At Fab we have been focused from day 1 on making our customers smile. From the start we said that we would never make a decision as to what features to build or what products to sell based on revenue alone, rather we would focus on things that make our customers smile and by doing so lots and lots of revenue will fall out over time. Sticking to that philosophy has been one of the keys to Fab’s success.

Follow your gut, and back it up with data. At Fab we like to say that we start with emotions and then support our emotions with data to learn whether our emotions were right. But, it’s emotions that come first. I firmly believe that’s how it should be.

Celebrate your challenges. We have all-company meetings weekly at Fab and they’re about 30% about why we’re awesome and 70% about the challenges ahead. If you want to grow and do amazing things, that’s how it should be. Our management meetings are skewed even more towards improvement, more like 10% success focused and 90% improvement focused. Again, as it should be IMO.

These are spot on with what we believe in at PostalPix, especially the three different types of “product” — virtual, physical, and experience. When people hear “product” they usually think either physical or virtual. The experience product is often overlooked. I think this why companies that acknowledge and optimize their experience product, like Zappos, are so successful.

These three classes of product are obviously interdependent. Your virtual and physical products effect experience, but improving the “experience” product independently is important too. Asking “how can we make this customer’s experience better?” leads to much different answers than “how can we make this app/website/widget better?”