When you run a startup, it’s easy to assume that your small team necessarily works cross-functionally, because you all talk pretty often. But when you’re trying to move quickly, and lots of projects are run by just one person, you can inadvertently skip important collaboration across roles. Cheryl Contee, CEO at Fission Strategy and co-founder of Attentive.ly, talks about how her startups bake in cross-functional collaboration from the beginning, both to improve their products and to lay the groundwork for holistic product development as they grow.
It’s one thing to decide that you’ll rigorously test product ideas, and it’s entirely another matter to actually kill something that isn’t clearly a dud. AppFolio faced this dilemma when deciding whether to launch a new product last year. Product Manager Ursula Shekefundeh takes us through the surprising–and hard–decisions her team made at the persevere/pivot/kill crossroads.
When you’re tackling a hard problem, the solution rarely comes from what you do initially. Rather, it emerges from what you do continuously–provided you set up systems to learn as you go. Max Ventilla, founder at AltSchool, explains how his organization is staying very close to its customers as its key mechanism for scaling up a large network of independent schools.
When you’re moving fast to build and grow a new company or project, you’re bound to make mistakes as well as unexpected discoveries. Mikkel Svane, CEO & founder of Zendesk and author of Startupland, shares real stories from the front lines of starting Zendesk that explore how you stay in touch with the human side of customers and your business as you scale.
As the founder and CEO of Idealab, Bill Gross has started more than 100 companies, with MVPs of all kinds. This afternoon, he’ll share his best advice for making them successful–and this morning, as an experiment within the conference, he’ll share a preview of that talk from the main stage.