97: To Build, or Not to Build - Jane Portman of Userlist


August 1st, 2019

28 mins 40 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

While Ben’s on vacation, Derrick welcomes another podcast host who can commiserate with him about email automation.

Jane Portman is a UI/UX expert and consultant who hosts the UI Breakfast Podcast and co-founded Userlist.io. She describes what it takes to create a customer messaging tool.

Today’s Topics Include:

  • Product Priorities: Slow, steady, and quality
  • Lifestyle Business: Overall goal is to replace consulting with SaaS recurring revenue
  • Challenges: Limited development time and resources; slow growth rate to adopt mission-critical product
  • To Build, or Not to Build: Avoid feature creep by focusing on what to add or improve
  • Playbook Post: 10 steps to successfully position a product
  • Launch Process: People are waiting for the right time for the right tool for their business
  • Customer Conversations: Pre-product interviews about problem to be solved; followed by product demos to grant access to beta version for feedback
  • Finding Customers: Landing page, updates, stories, sign-ups, mailing list, and more
  • We’re out of Beta! Simple and straight-forward product launch plan and strategy
  • Generic Illustrations: Product design trend that has to end
  • Email Experiences: Educate people on how to ethically use email to serve their business

Links and resources:

User Onboarding: The Ultimate Guide for SaaS Founders

UI Breakfast Podcast


UI Breakfast on Twitter

Userlist.io on Twitter

Behind the Scenes of Our Upcoming Public Launch

How We Used April Dunford’s 10-Step Method to Overhaul Positioning at Userlist

AoP Episode 91: Feeling Superhuman with Rahul Vohra

Product Hunt

Hacker News



Humans of Flat Design on Twitter 

Paul Jarvis


Art of Product on Twitter

Derrick Reimer Website

Derrick Reimer on Twitter

Ben Orenstein Website

Ben Orenstein on Twitter


Tuple’s Pair Programming Guide



Level Retrospective

Level Manifesto