Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots Podcast

Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots Podcast

The Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots podcast is a weekly show from thoughtbot discussing the business of great products. Hosted by Ben Orenstein and Chris Toomey, we delve deep behind the scenes of thoughtbot's SaaS services.

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    197: An Engine That Throws Off Money

    On Upcase, Chris releases the Bourbon course, restructures how new courses are highlighted, and discusses juggling the various factors that contribute to MRR. Ben takes on-boarding notes from a century old dance school to improve activation on Formkeep.

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    196: Anecdotal Driven Development

    Ben changes product activation flow, possibly for the worse, launches a new UI, and muses on new customer acquisition for Formkeep. On Upcase, Chris starts to see benefits from the domain transition, and brainstorms on how to un-bottleneck course releases.

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    195: The Storm Before the Calm

    Ben delays a new feature until an easier implementation can be reached, adds additional event tracking for better site usage feedback, takes a medium to large digression to rant about Javascript, and makes headway on Formkeep's UI refactor. On Upcase, Chris steps back from the content spotlight, takes a hit to traffic from the domain transition, and tests all things email.

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    194: Changing Your Internet Home

    Chris transitions Upcase to thoughtbot.com/upcase for SEO and branding purposes, and introduces reactivate & resubscribe functionality. Ben publishes a blog post on Formkeep's pricing history, optimizes the initial form setup page, and begins work to implement a no credit card up-front trial.

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    193: This Episode Has Been Brought to You By the Letter 'S'

    Ben switches from Mandrill to Sendgrid, turns a corner on his guarantee vs trial test, and begins the process of overhauling Formkeep's UI. Meanwhile, on Upcase, Chris utilizes an interesting method for A/B Testing, teases a secret project, and increases SEO by changing out the header.

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    192: The High End of Reasonable

    Ben and Chris muse on the nature of weather-related happiness. Also, Ben works on instrumenting Formkeep's activation funnel, utilizes a monitoring utility to optimize sign-up flow, and vows to almost certainly not toy with pricing any more. Meanwhile on Upcase, Chris confronts multiple root causes for a dip in MRR, updates content displays, and overhauls the checkout.

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    191: I've Done it Once, I'm an Expert

    Ben and Chris discuss taxes and financial (as well as bedtime) routines. On Upcase, Chris showcases "The Weekly Iteration" on the site, reveals a long-term dream for the platform, and patches a critical security issue. Ben adds a bunch of features to cut down on support requests, does some UX cleanup, and performs other general tasks to improve usability on Formkeep.

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    190: An Unkempt Backlog

    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

    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!

    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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