Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

About the show

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot's Chad Pytel is joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.


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    190: An Unkempt Backlog

    April 19th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  55 mins 33 secs

    Chris makes progress on Upcase's to-dos in order to shift focus to after-the-funnel improvements, and makes a renewed vow to talk to customers for direct feedback. Meanwhile, Ben attends a conference, and while he picked up some great strategies for Formkeep on-boarding, he mostly just wants to fix the airline industry.

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    189: Swimming Against a Stream of Complexity

    April 11th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  48 mins 35 secs

    Chris keeps improving MRR on Upcase, patches a Javascript problem with a Javascript solution, and implements benefit focused text on course descriptions. On Formkeep, Ben discovers a flaw in an A/B test, deals with squirrely payment code, and prepares for a conference talk.

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    188: I Have a Spreadsheet!

    April 4th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  45 mins 34 secs

    Ben decides to A/B test pricing, begins grandfathering existing customers to the new tiers, teases new features on Formkeep, and recounts some interesting customer interactions. Meanwhile, Chris drives conversions through e-mail and Twitter, identifies unique customer segments, and brings in more of the thoughtbot voice to Upcase.

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    187: Missed You!

    March 28th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  54 mins 20 secs

    Chris welcomes a new member to team Upcase, confronts a drop in MRR, and looks forward to increased content production. On Formkeep, Ben introduces tiered pricing and trials, considers tier differentiators, and muses on what next to implement.

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    186: Learning Through Experimentation (Ryan Buckley)

    March 14th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  37 mins 12 secs

    Ben and Chris welcome on Ryan Buckley, co-founder of Scripted, for an honest discussion on the shortcomings, pain-points, and benefits that arise from restructuring a product's focus.

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    185: The Funnel is Just the Beginning (Lincoln Murphy)

    March 7th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  30 mins 12 secs

    Ben welcomes SaaS growth and customer success pioneer Lincoln Murphy to discuss the true importance of providing value to existing customers and focusing on their success, as every tactic you undertake as a business is predicated on understanding their desired outcome. He also delves into how focusing on customer type is beneficial for both consumers and producers, as well as gives Ben some feedback about Formkeep.

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    184: I Love You, Businesses!

    February 29th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  50 mins 41 secs

    Ben accidentally launches a Vim course, debates a B2B vs B2C focus, and feels out different Formkeep pricing tiers. Chris welcomes back a handful of former subscribers to Upcase, continues to work on content production, and integrates relevant content into broader thoughtbot docs.

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    183: Embarrassing Trailing White-Space

    February 22nd, 2016  |  Season 5  |  49 mins 22 secs

    Chris converts with email campaigns, lays out a time-table to churn out a ton of content, and tries to analyze a dip in revenue. Meanwhile, Ben tests the definition of what constitutes a "conference", focuses on how to enrich Formkeep for specific use cases, and makes headway on tiered pricing.

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    182: The Weight of Javascript

    February 15th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  49 mins 15 secs

    Ben finalizes Formkeep's Ember removal, toys with the idea of manual on boarding, and positions himself to begin experimenting with plans and pricing. Meanwhile, Chris deals with credit card fraud, too many inodes on Upcase's server, and finishes the changes required to offer free videos.

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    181: Tying Your Work to Impact (Brian Balfour)

    February 8th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  42 mins 12 secs

    Chris talks with growth expert Brian Balfour on starting and sustaining SaaS business, and his team's approach to addressing growth issues.

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    180: We Don't Deal With Paper

    February 1st, 2016  |  Season 5  |  48 mins 3 secs

    Chris gets a surprise while reviewing Upcase's Q4 profit & loss statement, gains some insight into e-mail marketing, wrestles with the added complexity of adding github auth-to-access, and brainstorms new community-driven projects. Meanwhile, Ben gets his hands dirty with Formkeep's Ember removal, is tempted by the siren's call of distraction, and gets an open review from the Bootstrapped Web podcast. Also, Chris does a live user-test of Formkeep's new user activation flow.

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    179: It's Tough to Iterate on Nothing

    January 25th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  58 mins 32 secs

    Ben resolves to cut back on dashboard checkins, makes progress on Formkeep's Ember extraction, and struggles with product-market fit. Meanwhile, Chris tackles some analytics issues, opens up Upcase landing pages from behind the paywall to improve marketing and SEO, and steps up his marketing and social-media game.

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    178: No-one Wants Form End-Points for Christmas

    January 18th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  1 hr 5 mins

    Ben and Chris both struggle with cancelations coming into the new year, Formkeep continues to strip out Ember and focus on content marketing, and Upcase resolves a major issue in the exercise system and improves the checkout flow.

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    177: I Forgot There Would Be Follow-On Tasks

    January 11th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  52 mins 47 secs

    Chris tracks new members after the release of the new Mastering Git course from Upcase, launches a drip e-mail campaign to attract more members, and focuses on increased content output. Ben continues removing Ember from Formkeep, rethinks an activation sequence A/B test, conducts user tests to improve the checkout flow, and adopts a mindset of continuous improvement.

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    176: The Pricing is Right

    January 4th, 2016  |  Season 5  |  54 mins 34 secs

    As Ben transitions from Upcase to Formkeep, so too will the podcast transition to an open discussion around growing thoughtbot's internal projects and maintaining them as businesses, highlighting our hopes, experiments, tactics, failures, and success along the way! Today Ben and new co-host Chris discuss finding that magic feature or metric around which to structure pricing, selecting the right framework for your app, and customer acquisition tactics.