Elliot Nash

Builder of NZD.life, Co-founder of Croovies.com, CampusHero.com, 404engine.com and a few others. Dribbbler, fitness jabroni. Doing stuff with Fliptables.io. VP of Product Devlopment @ Aiera

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The “build value” stage

Underpants

+

?

=

Profit

That hilarious question mark is what I like to call, the “build value” stage.

A common example of this
is any product where you have two types of users (any kind of marketplace, social network, job board, community etc.).

There are product users who use what you built and become your product (think facebook or twitter users).

And there are customer users who pay you money to access the “product users” (think advertisers). These people aren’t buying a product or service, they’re buying a return on their investment.

Here are a few insights I’ve picked up from each of the times I’ve reached this stage.

Once you’ve identified your user groups, there is absolutely no chicken and egg dilemma - you must build value for the product users before your customers will arrive. This is the quintessential idea behind building your value.

So lets say your product is...

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Own your identity.

6 months ago I started blogging.

A week ago something funny happened. A friend’s company attempted to recruit me. The friend had no idea - until he received recommendations from two different people, independently, in an extremely short time period. It happened because I’m slowly building my brand.

This is why you absolutely must own your online identity.

There is such great hubbub around online privacy, and I don’t mean NSA privacy, but the kind we abandon by over sharing on facebook, twitter, foursquare etc. I’m here to tell you the opposite: Worry about under sharing. Worry about people not being able to find you. I can say with confidence, I want to be the only Elliot Nash online.

Like most people I’ve googled myself, and I’ve gone through my namesake dopplegangers. My concern is people looking for me, might find them.

Here are three high value points of creating your own brand:

...

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Write less.

v1 The less words you use to tell a story, the more effective its message will be, and a greater number of people will read it to completion. Anyone who cares about the user experience in regards to their software, will tell you “people don’t read.” Which while being somewhat accurate, really isn’t the case. People do read, they just value their time. That is just as important in blogging. Protect your reader’s time, and deliver the message as quickly as possible.

v2 Many designers will say users don’t read text, and therefore, you should have as little copy as possible. This is a lie. Users do read text. Users protect one thing above all: their time. The more text they have to read, the more time of theirs is lost. Protect their time by delivering strong messages with fewer words.

v3 Reading takes time. The less reading you force someone to do, the more time you save them.

v4...

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