Tips for tech product start-ups

Kiwi Landing Pad is an organisation that works to help emerging NZ tech businesses make their start in the US market, providing advice and support and making introductions. Every 6 months they get on the road and bring a selection of speakers to NZ for a Sales and Marketing Jam. This was my second time joining the jam.


Sale & Marketing Jam


The speakers divided themselves between the various disciplines of bringing a product to market. Sam talked about Product, Lauren was on Marketing and Tanya on Sales.

Whilst we don’t have a product ourselves at Custom D, this was still of great interest to us as we’ve worked with a number of start-ups, taking them from MVP through to mature product.

So what were the big takeaways? Here are my top 5:

1. Always think like a buyer

Products are not simply a list of features, they are solutions to a problem. Everything from product development to sales and marketing strategies, should focus on what problem you’re solving – what are the pain points of your customers?

2. Talk to your customers

You need to be talking to your customers and infusing that feedback into everything you do - this was the advice from Sam Wong, former Lawyer, and now VC at Blackbird.

At Surfstich, they did a weekly digest of the customer feedback – the good, bad and ugly. They then used this as a powerful tool to support product direction.

If possible, get everyone in your organisation to spend some time talking to customers, it’ll help build empathy and understanding within your whole team. And don’t hide behind tools like Intercom, have real conversations with real people.

3. Dedicate your time to solving “hair on fire” problems

Focus your efforts on solving the biggest, most painful problem. If your hair is on fire, there’s a lot of stuff you won’t care about, and you’ll use anything to solve your problem/ease the pain, even if it’s not a perfect solution.

This isn't suggesting you turn into cowboys coders, it's more about considering your priorities before embarking on features and refinements.

4. Hire for humility

Tanya talked about hiring a sales team that is more concerned with solving the problems and the pain of their customers than an ego driven feature list.

Get your sales, marketing and product teams working together – it’s easy for them to become arch enemies so try and build a “team of teams” – get a cross section from each division.

5. Measure the right stuff

Make sure you’re measuring the right things — there’s no point in measuring clicks on a button if clicks on that button don't achieve the actual results you’re after. Something to bear in mind... the critical measurement for most businesses is money, measure things that will produce more of that.

Work out what the common factors are for long term engagement and then incentivise it! Use Net Promoter Scores (NPS) - at key points in the journey of your customer.


Drop me a line or give me a call on 021 605 177 if you'd like some help interpreting or finding out more about any of the above.



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