To Build or Not

Recently I've been asked the same question many times over: how do you decide if you want to build a product in the first place?  My answer is very basic and always the same. Here it is:

1. Exactly what problem will this solve? (value prop)

2. For whom is that problem solved? (target market)

3. How large is the opportunity? (market size)

4. How is success measured? (metrics/revenue strategy)

5. What alternatives are available? (competitive landscape)

6. Why you? (differentiator)

7. Why now? (market window)

8. How will the product get to market? (g2m strategy)

9. What are critical success factors? (solution requirements)

10. How to measure success / make money? (financial plan)

I’ve fallen in love with SquareSpace

I love SquareSpace. It’s the most complete ‘company’ I’ve ever interacted with: starting with how I found them to learning about their solution to starting a product trial to becoming a paying customer to being a happy active user.  

One of the main requirements for the Bolt Capital website was a 'for dummies' system that I could easily manageI learned about SquareSpace from a photography website called FroKnowsPhoto.  Jarid Polin aka The Fro recommended the solution.  I reviewed and quickly got the feeling they were talking to me, so I took the plunge for a 14-day trial.

The product is so intuitive and easy to use. I mean really really easy. I had a website designed with an hour, even with a custom logo thanks to their logo generator. They have taken a 'true' design philosophy to the product. While there is a ‘template’ framework, they kept it flexible so each customer can have their own unique design. You can make your site not feel like the others.

Next I got addicted.  I started sampling with the design template inventory, which allows changing an entire site's look and feel with a few clicks. I created new page after page in minutes to play with ideas, layouts, graphics and so on. To top it off, all the templates are designed to run on mobile devices. Awesome!

Finally there is support. I’ve had a few questions along the way and every time I got an answer back within an hour. Not only that, one answer provided me with a video showing how to solve my problem and another was answered by creating a sample page for me in my website admin console.  Absolutely rockstar customer service.

I also mention SqaureSpace at some point during my work day. My experience has been that amazing that I refer to them on how it should be done. Hats off to the team at SquareSpace. Great product, fantastic support! . 

Update: I came across an interview by Google Ventures of SquareSpace CEO Anthony Casalena. Listen to minute 17 about customer service.