Brian Gardner is the founder of StudioPress, creator of the Genesis Framework and Themes for WordPress, and Chief Product Officer at Copyblogger, the company that teaches business owners how to do online marketing that works. He is an ideal example of a product innovator and business creator. Brian saw a need and created a solution that people valued and were willing to pay for. He continues to be the “idea guy” behind product innovations at StudioPress.
Brian and I met through charities we support that are both making a difference in the lives of people by providing clean water – Charity Water and Compassion Water of Life.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers, Developers, and Innovators
Highlights from the discussion include:
- Test the feasibility of product concepts with customers before beginning development. As an example, Brian asked people if they would buy a WordPress theme before he started creating it
- Innovative products are often borne out of necessity to solve problems and create value for customers
- As an example of innovation, Brian shares the creation of the Genesis Framework to separate WordPress theme functionality from theme layout and style
- A familiar user experience increased acceptance of Brian’s products
- Always listening to the customer community and being responsive to feedback leads to product improvements and new products customers want
- Learning takes place through trying things for yourself and experimenting
- Observing what is working for others is a good source of ideas
- Project management and customer service experiences prepared Brian for creating his own company
- Just-in-time-learning of what you need to know quickly increases your value
- Max Lucado describes a methodology for finding your “sweet spot” and living the life you want in his book “Cure for the Common Life”
- The merger of StudioPress with Copyblogger provided the opportunity for Brian to be part of a larger team, delegate activities he did not enjoy, and focus more on his strengths
- Innovation takes a team of people with different strengths to be successful
Brian’s Advice for Innovators
- Test feasibility of product concepts
- Identify trends in the market
- Benchmark competitors to see what they are doing well and how you are positioned in the market
- Gain insights from the customer community
Listen Now to the Interview
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS
Thanks for Listening!
Thank you for joining me again. I love discussing product development and learning from the successes and failures of product innovators. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product innovation professional by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.