36: Building Level


April 5th, 2018

30 mins 2 secs

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About this Episode

Derrick continues to talk with customers and gain insights about a team communication and management tool he is developing called, Level. Derrick is developing personal connections with people interested in his mission, and his conversations with customers is reinforcing patterns.

Today, he shares the main problems with “Chat” functionality and why people are frustrated with the tools they use today. He is exploring possible solutions for Level to replace Slack and other tools. What issues do you experience?

Today’s Topics Include:

False sense of urgency; Derrick’s tool would allow you to filter notifications on whether they are urgent or not; and let users view messages at their own pace
Chat is like a conveyor belt; if you don’t pick things up, they are going to fall or you are going to miss them
Lack of Decent Threading: People do not find threads useful and difficult to encourage appropriate use of them
No Mechanism for Tracking State of Conversation: Everything needs to be reviewed to find information and decisions; should offer Open, Closed, Request Review, and On Hold, and other statuses
3 Ways to Structure Messages: 1) Subject and body; 2) Body; or 3) Very small message in infinite timeline
Derrick is clear on problems with existing tools, but less clear on exact solutions
Simple nuances can make a tool friendlier and easier to use - it’s all in the details
Derrick kicked off the Building Level series
Ben and Derrick strategize on the best approach to getting teams to try Level
Derrick is trying to make the barriers to using Level for low
Level will most likely be an open source product with a commercially hosted version to generate revenue
Ben and Derrick discuss when it is the best time to start developing Level publicly
Ben decided to say “No” to speaking at MicroConf this year; saying “No” to something, is saying “No” to one thing, saying “Yes” to something is saying “No” to everything else

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Ben Orenstein Website; Twitter
Derrick Reimer Website
Building Level #1: Idea Validation
Startup Stories Podcast
Clearbit’s Reveal
Derek Sivers