Is Your Product Sick? | Software Branding

I had some bad shrimp and thought of a branding analogy.

January 8, 2021

My roommate made some shrimp last night and offered me some. After my first bite I could tell this wasn't gonna be something that made my stomach feel good, so I scrapped the rest. Waking up this morning, it was even clearer that something wasn't right. I didn't feel like eating anything else, as if my body was illuminating a "no vacancy" sign over my stomach.

So, I listened. My body was feeling sick and needed to (putting it euphorically) expel or fix everything that was making it feel bad. If I'd tried cramming more food in my belly to ease the gurgles, it wouldn't have ended well and I'd have a bigger mess to clean up.

It leads to the question, are you treating your product the same way?

Are you forcing more features to make up for those that are making your product sick?

Are you trying to gain more users when the ones you have aren't close to satisfied?

Are you trying to expand your brand without first solidifying it?

Take time and make your product healthy before you starting filling it with more.

More you say?

You Are a Pickle

The reason it seems impossible for you to connect with investors and customers.

4.13.2020

I admire the confidence of startup founders. Everyday, they get up and get after it in the hopes of doing something to change the world. It's inspiring. However, it's sad that most of them fail to see the obviously awesome things about themselves and their companies that would make them unforgettable. Instead, they try to focus on what they think people want them to be. It's an inauthentic approach to building a brand and it usually results in being labeled something they are not proud of. In time, they become something they fail to recognize.

I call it, "pickle syndrome."

Since they spend their lives in a jar, pickles have no idea what they look like from the outside. They also don't recognize the unique qualities that make them special either. They float in the jar hoping someone will recognize them and see their worth.

It's in moments like this that is pays to have an external voice chime in and tell you all of the things that make you and your startup significant. To give you a new label based on the obvious truths you take for granted.

You are still a pickle and you're freaking awesome at it. Don't be afraid to tell everyone.

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It's Your Fault People Don't Understand Your Startup

For those who think no one seems to get it.

1.14.2020

When you are creating a startup, it's easy to get sucked into the mindset that your product/service is needed and that everyone could benefit from it. Regardless of how true that is, people just don't seem to get it. You drill down on your marketing efforts talking about the features of what you offer, but no one understands.

You're bitter. You're frustrated. And it's also your fault.

Yea. It's your fault. It's your fault people do not understand the value of what you've created.

"Zach, that's pretty harsh," you might say. But, I believe it's better than the alternative.

Here's the thing: if it's your fault people don't understand the value of what you've created, then you can change. If it's everyone else's fault, you're shit outta luck.

It's never too late, it's all your fault, but that is the absolute best-case scenario. The question is: what are you going to do about it?

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