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2 November 2018

Week 13: Working on Fluidkeys the Business

Recap: we’re building Fluidkeys to make it easy for software teams to implement great security across their organisations. We’re currently building a command line application that’ll be a foundation for further functionality.

This week

This was another stimulating week with Mozfest at the weekend, some bug-bashing after our 0.2 release, arranging some more research interviews and thinking about the business we’re trying to build.

Listening to potential users

We’ve had our heads down in the code recently and it felt like long time since we last listened in depth to prospective users (at least in a user research interview format).

I won’t say too much in order not to taint the research, but we’re confident that it’s the right approach to do this regularly: listen to people, adjust course, repeat.

The last round of interviews was invigorating so I’m looking forward to next Thursday.

Thanks to everyone who responded to our call for feedback!

Three Sales Mistakes Software Engineers Make

Yesterday I hesitantly opened this blog post with a suspicion that it might be uncomfortable reading. It was!

Three Sales Mistakes Software Engineers Make

I think we’re doing OK on mistake 2, listening. Mistake 3 felt a little uncomfortable:

If you’re building a product that delivers any incremental value, you’ll likely be able to win the interest of potential users, but that does not mean that you have created enough incremental value for customers to make them willing to pay you a meaningful amount of money for your product.

We’re getting warm, positive feedback on what we’re doing which is great. We’re asking for feedback often, and getting quite a bit of it, but we have to be extremely careful we don’t treat that as validation that people want to pay anything.

At this stage we’re confident we’ve building something new and useful, but we really don’t know what companies might pay for it, if anything.

To that end, we’ve taken two actions:

Can you really do selling before you building anything?

We’re completely on board with validating demand before building. Heck, I wrote a soul-searching piece about this in 2013.

But when it comes to selling something: say, offering a free trial, getting a committment, is that really possible without building anything?

Can we “sell” something that doesn’t exist while remaining credible? Is it different because we’re initially focusing on developers, who might see right through that?

Or am I making excused because I just love making things?

If you’ve got any thoughts about that, we’d love to hear them.


All feedback is welcome, pop us an email to hello@fluidkeys.com

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