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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    205: Bottling Calm

    Fresh back from vacation, Ben shifts his attention to a Hound project, adding in tiered plans and pricing. Chris begins to build out a drip sequence for content recommendations, prepares to roll off to return to client work, and leaves us with some final reflections, takeaways, and lessons learned while on Upcase.

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    204: Disinclined, For Simplicity's Sake

    Chris delves into marketing mode for the TDD course, removes more client-side analytics code, and starts redesigning the information architecture on Upcase. On FormKeep, Ben alerts users to site down-time, removes all pay-per-form logic from the codebase, and begins to set up trials sans credit-card.

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    203: Worry Beads on Business Chains

    Ben receives some insight on customer referrals for FormKeep, applies his pricing philosophy to Hound, and realizes a personal blind-spot when it comes to customer satisfaction. On Upcase, Chris patches an automated follow-up messaging bug leading to enhanced focus on server-side analytics, welcomes Tyson to the team to begin work on trail mapping course content, and soft launches the Fundamentals of TDD trail.

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    202: A Full 360

    Ben rants about bad jokes on twitter, doesn't ship any improved activation features on FormKeep this week, irons out some bugs on FormLinter, and begins an ad campaign. Chris contemplates shifting Upcase's business model, and walks through the impetus driving this decision.

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    201: The Difficulty is in Focusing

    Ben encounters a downed FormKeep and enables a monitoring service, completes the un-grandfathering process for accounts on old tiers, and begins work on improving activation flow. Chris sends out a survey to users and discovers a shift in the Upcase demographics.

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    200: Summertime Sadness

    Chris digs into the causes for a MRR drop, discovering usage trends with seasonality; and in the process gets a clearer picture of Upcase's user base. Also, he welcome Geoff to the project, and begins a new marketing initiative driven by user testimonials. Ben welcomes Tyson onto team Formkeep to begin redesigning on boarding, and continues FormLinter improvements / marketing.

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    199: Heartening Frustration

    This week, we ruminate on the meta-organization of project management. Ben embraces team feedback on FormLinter.com, reaches the end of Formkeep's grandfathered pricing window, and removes sandboxing to streamline plan structures. Chris contemplates Upcase's role as a product within thoughtbot, prepares to welcome on new team members (bye Gabe!), and restructures topic relationships to improve discoverability. Also, the return of Dance Talk!

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    198: Nailing Down the Why

    On Formkeep, Ben launches FormLinter to increase form accessibility and conversions, and looks forward to additional persons on thoughtbot product work. Chris continues marketing of the Bourbon Smash course, wrestles with metrics and analytics, and improves team logins on Upcase.

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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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