Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"10 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Product Design" unveiled at the Bessemer Annual Cloud CEO Conference

For the third year in a row, Bessemer hosted its Cloud CEO Conference, assembling roughly 100 CEOs/CxOs of our cloud and rich internet applications portfolio companies (Yelp, LinkedIn, Playdom, Zoosk, Smule, Wix, Eloqua, Teamviewer, Cornerstone OnDemand, Intacct, Criteo, Bizo and many others) as well as a few leading public cloud executives (Josh James from Omniture, Jeff Jordan from OpenTable, Adam Selipsky from Amazon Web Services, Grieg Coppe, CSO of Intuit, Michael Simon from LogMeIn...). The event was very well received by the group with our survey showing a rating of 4.4 out of 5! The full agenda of the event can be seen at the following link

The event started with an optional golf round on May 11th afternoon at the
Palo Alto Golf and Country Club with a wonderful weather to welcome the participants. The golf was followed by cocktail, dinner and poker: a very fun start to prepare the full day of content and networking on May 12th at the Rosewood SandHill.

Unveiling of the "10 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Product Design"

The best rated session of the day was the presentation by Jason Putorti on product design. Jason is the design Czar who designed the Mint user experience and we are incredibly lucky to have him as our first Designer In Residence!

Jason's presentation was focused on the "10 Things Every CEO Needs to Know About Product Design and User Experience". The full presentation is available at the bottom of the post but here are the key highlights:
  1. Design can change businesses: little things can have a great impact. A simple example: the difference between "I am on Twitter" and "You should follow me on Twitter here" increased the registration rate by 173%!
  2. Design is more than pretty picture: it is all about the user experience and the brand you are trying to build
  3. Talk benefits not features: It is much better to write "Understand your money" than "20 colorful configurable charts and graphs". Another way to think about it is Microsoft vs. Apple packaging :+)
  4. Think in flows, not screens
  5. Do not make the user think: Make obvious what is clickable, minimize noise, omit needless words
  6. Start with a great story: Make the value obvious and present it first in the user flow
  7. User design as a lever: The best marketing tool you can have is a well designed application
  8. Get out of the office: Watch people experience your product or service
  9. Have your bible: Synthesize your design guidelines in a company style guide
  10. Repeat & refine: Allot product cycles to improvement

A few highlights from the different keynotes and speakers

On top of Jason, we also had the chance of having many great speakers at the event and here are a few quotes and notes that I have taken during the different keynotes and panels:
  • Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua moderated the panel on Revenue Performance Management. One of his secret: "Incentivize your marketing team on sales not leads"
  • Jeff Jordan, CEO of OpenTable speaking about his IPO process: "Build relationships with key public investors 2-3 years before going public (Morgan Stanley, Fidelity and T. Rowe). It is enough to meet them 1-2 times a year and it helps a lot during the roadshow"..."don't expect the IPO to boost your consumer brand, it does not help a lot"
  • From the panel on the "Consumerization of Software" that I was moderating: "integrate your user flow from landing page to payment and usage into one single flow", "test, test, and test: user feedback is key"..."Use the 1/60 rule: less than one minute to understand the value and less than 60mn to experience it"
  • Sarah Friars, lead software analyst for Goldman Sachs on IPO timing: "Go when you can"
  • Michael Simon, CEO of LogMeIn on the Exit/IPO panel: "Pick the bankers you really like as you will spend a LOT of time with them!"..."1 out 25 company going public is bought in the process, ...the likelihood is fairly low"
  • Bob Goodman, Bessemer on the same panel: "Bankers are good negotiators, that's why you hire them: the only way to get something out of them is to adopt a 'take it or leave it' stance!"..."having a large VC on your board helps keep the bankers honest and they are less likely to walk on your toes"
Looking forward to the fourth edition next year!


Radu Prisacaru - UK Internet Marketer said...

Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

Anonymous said...

As an Eloqua customer and just getting done reading the Bessemer’s Top 10 Laws of Cloud Computing and SaaS and am working on being able to share it potential clients. The promotion we are running and company is a variation of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacHeist
but in the SAAS market.
So a few questions.
I would like to see more info on the Annual CEO Cloud event. (and look forward to earning an invite to the next one)
Permission to use your report in our pitch to clients (our clients are the SAAS companies themselves)

Merci mille fois
Jonathan Drake

.net Obfuscator said...

That's quite a post designing is the part that has to be taken care of before planning and implementing. If the design is good chances are the final product's quality will be quite impressive.

Sara said...

I absolutely agree, and very well written.
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