Kathy Sierra at Business of Software 2009 | Business of Software

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Kathy Sierra at Business of Software 2009

Kathy Sierra at Business of Software 2009

“In the old days, getting customers was easy. You could just outspend. You could use brute force to get the word out. Now, thanks to social media, you don’t have to outspend. There is a much better technique. It is to out friend. If you can just be friendly enough and get your users to party with you, the rest is really easy. If you don’t want to take the time to develop – building like 20,000 to 200,000 close, intimate friends can take a few weeks – then we have the viral model so you can do this really quickly.”

Skewering social media is just one of many things Kathy Sierra does in this brilliant talk from last year’s Business of Software conference. If you do one thing today, watch this video. Cancel lunch, shut down twitter, don’t go to that meeting. Whatever you do, watch this (the higher resolution version is here):

 

This year’s conference is in Boston, in October. Joel Spolsky, Seth Godin, Dharmesh Shah, Eric Ries are among the speakers. You can find out more at the Business of Software conference web site. There are videos from other speakers there too.

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This post has 9 comments

NULLgarity

Wow… if anyone out-friends redgate, I haven’t met them.

Kathy Sierra

Well, my worst fear about this talk has been realized on Twitter… someone actually thought I was *serious* about the “Out-Friend The Competition” strategy…
I must say this conference was one of my very favorites. Thank-you so much, Neil, for having me :)

Ziker

Thank you for this great talk. It makes me realize that I feel that way when I use softwares that don’t make me feel awesome.

Eduardo

Great talk, Kathy!
I think our experience reflects some of what you describe here. We have a product that we are offering to senior management in several Fortune 500 companies and they like it the first time they see it. However, once they ask us to “customize it”, they inevitably drive it towards something they are familiar with, lets say “Powerpoint”.
The problem is, once they are there, they dont see any reason to use our product anymore, since “I got powerpoint to do that”. I think this is related to that behavior you describe of “not wanting to suck again” at something. They drive the product towards something they know.
Thanks for sharing.

Database Software

To the point about how the big guys could once outspend everyone, perhaps the greatest thing about social media is how it levels the marketing playing field.

Michael Komarnitsky

Hi Kathy-
Terrific presentation – I thought I’d share 2 anecdotes that align with your experience.
First Anecdote: For 10 years I’ve run a site for rock climbing (mountainproject.com). For the entire time, we’ve used guideline:
“don’t be a jerk.”
Amazingly, even though we are at 100K users now, and climbers can be notoriously prickly, we have (mostly) civil discourse. It’s something that I think differentiates us from the competition.
Second anecdote: I’m starting a new site to help people easily manage all their frequent flyer miles (GoMiles.com). As we thought through the value proposition (features, benefits, etc) – the one that really stuck with us was:
“we make YOU awesome at managing your miles”
Not only is this the value prop clear to the user, it’s now inspiring to US. Because one can only get so excited about building features… but if you can make SOMEONE awesome – now that is something worth coding all night for! So that value prop objective not only is the right one for users, but it is powerfully enabling to developers.
Thanks,
Michael

Phil Simon

This video was awesome. I’ll have to throw together a post about this.
Kathy’s a great speaker and uses slides effectively. I only wish that more speakers used her style and techniques.

Mike Llewellyn

I loved this presentation, just great! Thank you Kathy!

Jason S

Great talk, I’m glad someone is addressing this. We live in a new age of “caring your way to success”



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