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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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Session 3: Episode 08: Goodz with Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito

    January 23rd, 2024  |  Season 13  |  28 mins 35 secs

    Lindsey Christensen and Jordyn Bonds catch up with the co-founders of Goodz, Chris Cerrito and Mike Rosenthal, where they share insights from their journey during the Incubator program, including the usefulness of the application process in aligning their vision and the challenges and benefits of user interviews and the importance of not overreacting to single user feedback and finding a balance in responding to diverse opinions. They reveal the varied reactions of users to Goodz's product, highlighting the different market segments interested in it.

    As the Incubator program nears its end for Goodz, Chris and Mike reflect on their achievements and future plans. They've made significant progress, such as setting up an e-commerce site and conducting successful user interviews. The co-founders discuss their excitement about the potential of their product and the validation they received from users. Mike mentions the importance of focusing on B2B sales and the possibility of upcoming events like South by Southwest and Record Store Day.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Session 3: Episode 07: Knect with Josh Herzig-Marx

    January 16th, 2024  |  Season 13  |  38 mins 23 secs

    Josh Herzig-Marx, founder of Knect, discusses the latest developments in his startup journey since his last appearance on the show. He emphasizes the program's value in helping founders like himself refine ideas and strategies. He particularly notes the program's effectiveness in addressing challenges unique to startups, such as managing professional networks and dealing with the rapid growth of online presence.

    The conversation also delves into AI's technical aspects and potential applications and the practicalities and ethical considerations of using it in professional networking. Josh and Jordyn explore various AI use cases, distinguishing between beneficial applications and those they deem undesirable.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 06: Goodz with Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito

    January 9th, 2024  |  Season 13  |  26 mins 27 secs

    Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cirrito discuss the progress of Goodz, focusing on the recent intense weeks they've had. Goodz, a startup merging the digital and physical worlds of music, has stayed on course with its initial concept. Mike details their approach to Thanksgiving and the launch of their e-commerce experiment. He shares insights from recent user interviews, which have influenced their approach and understanding of their target audience.

    When the discussion turns to the challenges of launching and maintaining their e-commerce platform, Mike and Chris talk about learning from analytics, marketing strategies, and the importance of understanding consumer behavior. They discuss the challenges in balancing short-term and long-term goals, and the upcoming fundraising efforts.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 05: Knect with Josh Herzig-Marx

    December 12th, 2023  |  Season 13  |  27 mins 30 secs

    In the third interview with Josh, Lindsey Christensen, head of Marketing at thoughtbot, and Jordyn Bonds, head of the Incubator Program at thoughtbot, discuss the progress of Knect in the thoughtbot Incubator Program. Most of the conversation involves identifying and focusing on the right target audience. Initially, they considered startup enthusiasts, but after exploring other segments like journalists, they returned to startup enthusiasts with a more refined focus. Josh also talks about developing a prototype and its usefulness in getting feedback and refining the product concept.

    The technical feasibility of integrating various communication platforms into their solution is a significant focus. They examined different platforms like email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Telegram, and SMS to determine which integrations were essential for the minimum viable product. Looking forward, Josh outlines the next steps for the program, which include finalizing high-quality prototypes and making strategic decisions about the scale and funding of the project.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 04: Goodz with Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito

    December 5th, 2023  |  Season 13  |  25 mins 46 secs

    Startup founders Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito are participating in thoughtbot's eight-week incubator program. Mike, with a background in the music industry, and Chris, experienced in physical computing and exhibit development, are collaborating on a startup that creates physical objects linked to digital content, primarily in music. Their goal is to enhance the connection between tangible and digital experiences, starting with a product that resembles a mixtape, using NFC technology for easy access to digital playlists.

    This project is unique within the thoughtbot incubator as it's the first pure consumer product and involves both physical and digital elements. The team is engaged in user interviews and market validation, with the aim of launching a physical product with a digital backend. They are exploring various marketing strategies for the product and are in the process of building its technical backend.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 03: Knect with Josh Herzig-Marx

    November 28th, 2023  |  Season 13  |  24 mins 31 secs

    A key focus of Josh's second episode is the importance of user research and customer discovery. Josh stresses that talking to users is crucial, as it grounds the development process in reality. thoughtbot's Director of Product Strategy, Jordyn Bonds, adds that direct engagement with users builds empathy and understanding within the team, making it more effective.

    They also discuss the challenges of identifying a product's target audience and the importance of iterative customer feedback. Josh and Jordyn highlight the need for founders to be resilient and open to feedback, even when it's negative.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 02: Goodz with Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito

    November 14th, 2023  |  Season 13  |  33 mins 35 secs

    This episode introduces the second participants of the season's thoughtbot's Incubator Program, Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito. Mike has a background in music industry marketing, and Chris is a maker and tinkerer with experience in exhibit development. They're developing a product combining physical objects with digital content, starting with music. Their concept involves creating physical items like wooden mixtapes with NFC chips linking to digital playlists. This blend of physical and digital aims to revive the tangible aspects of fan engagement in a digital era.

    Their project, named Goodz, is the first pure consumer product in the Incubator program, adding complexities like supply chain and manufacturing considerations. The team is conducting user interviews to validate market interest and refine their messaging. They aim to have a functioning physical product and a supporting digital backend by the end of the program. Challenges include defining the target market and understanding how to attract customers to a new product type. The thoughtbot team is excited about the project due to its fun nature and technical aspects, offering a fresh perspective compared to problem-focused startups.

    The conversation also explores the broader implications of bridging the digital and physical worlds in fan engagement, with the potential to collect valuable data for artists and create lasting, meaningful connections for fans.

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    thoughtbot's Incubator Program Mini Season 3 - Episode 01: Knect with Josh Herzig-Marx

    November 7th, 2023  |  Season 13  |  37 mins 28 secs

    thoughtbot's Incubator Program is back for a third round! This episode introduces founder Josh Herzig-Marks of Knect, and he will be sharing his journey from freelance work to joining the program and what happens throughout! So far, he appreciates the deliberate communication practices required for practical remote work, despite remote work already being second nature to him, and he understands the importance of proactive and transparent communication in a team setting.

    One critical insight for Josh so far was the misconception surrounding the term "CRM" in personal relationship management. His moment involved mislabeling a survey, which led to confusion about the project's intent.

    As the Incubator Program progresses and continues to scale, Jordyn expresses excitement about involving more teams with different geographic focuses. The goal is to foster a collaborative environment within the thoughtbot Incubator Slack channel, encouraging past and present participants to share experiences and advice.

    We invite listeners who resonate with any of the challenges heard or have potential solutions to reach out! Our next Incubator episode will introduce our other Session 3 participants, Mike and Chris, founders of Goodz.