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Resource  23, Mar 2013

e27 Reading List #5: Focusing on customer experience

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Other than reporting news, e27′s editorial team reads extensively and we want to share with you some valuable takeaways. Here’s our reading list for the week.

Jacky

Don’t Compete On Features , by Adii Pienaar

Snippet from the article:

“This means that there’s simply no competitive advantage in trying to out-feature your competitors and such a strategy is very unlikely to get you the traction you need to build a sustainable business.”

What I really enjoyed about the article:

More often than not, the companies and startups I meet and interview told me that they stand out from their competition through features differentiation. I couldnt remember the last company which told me that branding and customer experience are two areas that they are focusing on. The article is a timely reminder from the cofounder of WooThemes that we have to put customer experience above all, a timely reminder even for myself.

- Jacky Yap, Writer

Elaine

Zombie Startups, by Danielle Morill

Snippet from the article:

“How do you know if you startup is falling into this trap? Here are some hints:

  • You don’t want to get out of bed in the morning
  • You don’t want to go out in public for fear you’ll have to explain what you do
  • You haven’t hit 10% week-over-week growth on any meaningful metric (revenue, active users, etc)
  • You’re working on the same idea after 12+ months and still haven’t launched
  • You’ve launched a consumer service and have less than 2% week-over-week growth in signups
  • You’ve launched an enterprise service and have less than 2% week-over-week growth in revenue pipeline
  • You are the CEO and hole yourself up in the offices so you don’t have to talk to employees and can read TechCrunch
  • You’ve hired consultants to figure out revenue, culture, or product in a company of less than 10 people
  • You’re at SXSW right now reading this post and trying not to cry”

What I really enjoyed about the article:

Startups often fall into two categories – soulless zombies, as termed by Danielle, or overachieving superheroes. Of course, there are the ones which outrightly fail – but those are pretty rare. What startups should understand that it is okay to fail, and as the article summarized, “Flame out hard. That’s my only backup plan, because doing the silent fail is for boring. Failing is failing – do it up right!”, entrepreneurs need to remember that if something is dead-end and boring, they have to stop and think about the root of the problem.

One thing about being an entrepreneur should really be being able to do what you love, and if you are feeling terribly grouchy about it, then you are really not taking advantage of being your own boss.

- Elaine Huang, Writer

Elizabeth

Making Something People Love, by Alexis Ohanian, Reddit cofounder

Snippet from the article:

“Your user experience in your app shows people how much you respect your customers. Conversely, it also shows how much you disrespect them.”

What I really enjoyed about the article: 

A video taught at General Assembly by Reddit cofounder, this session is useful in helping us reflect on the way we have been connecting with our customers along with several case studies. It encourages us to talk to our customers and build a community of brand advocates with an emphasis on user experience. . This comes in every aspect of the business, from the basics of branding, to marketing your products and selling it to your customers. Key takeaway: Build everything, and always think from the user-perspective.

- Elizabeth Tan, Writer

Read also: e27 Recommended Reading List #4

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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