Iteration, “Customer 0” and Problem Solving: An AppMasters Podcast with Jeff Haynie

What does it take to build a successful product?

That’s a question our CEO Jeff Haynie sat down to discuss with Steve P. Young on a recent episode of the AppMasters Podcast, a talk show that brings together leaders in the mobile space to share their experiences and strategies for success.

To hear the wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from Jeff’s family of entrepreneurs, his experience in the Navy, to how he landed his first customer through a classified ad, check out the full podcast episode. Here, we highlight three takeaways which focus on advice for entrepreneurs in the mobile industry and beyond:

1. Startups usually die of indigestion, not starvation.

When startups fail, it’s rarely because they have nothing to do—often, it’s because they’re trying to do too much. At Appcelerator, for example, we don’t take on nine month-long projects. Instead, we aim to build something that will take between nine days and nine weeks, roll it out and continue to prototype and iterate from there. Nobody can come up with a perfect product on the first try, and development is always a trial and error experiment.

2. Think of yourself as “Customer 0.”

If you build a product that solves a real pain point that you personally face and are passionate about, others will flock to it. That’s what makes a great brand—solving core problems in a differentiated way. In fact, here at Appcelerator we use our own software up and down the technology stack. If our products aren’t amazing for us, the user experience will never be amazing for our customers.

3. Specify your core values and everything else will follow.

Have a good understanding of your company’s beliefs and use them to shape your organization. From everyday processes to the people you hire to the priorities you set, everything must be built around the vision. Sometimes, that might mean letting go of a project that no longer gels with what the company stands for, and that can be painful. Who said entrepreneurship is easy?

You can listen to the full podcast below.