Then when the stars align with some kind of peace
I know I'm loved by you, either way.
We made it, friends. It’s 2021. And on this first day of the New Year, I want to recommend Ólafur Arnalds’ latest album some kind of peace to you. I am a huge fan of Ólafur and Nils Frahm (start with Spaces) and their gentle and beautiful approach to neo-classical music. Some kind of peace is another album that got me through 2020. It is meant for quiet reflection, for sadness mixed with hope, and for finding… well, peace.
One of my favorite songs off the album is called Back to the Sky and it features Icelandic singer Jófríður Ákadóttir (also known as JFDR). Ólafur and team recently got together on the winter solstice to do a “Sunrise Session” where they played a few of the songs from the album live. And their rendition of Back to the Sky absolutely floored me. This link will take you straight to that song.
I know what I’m about to say is lazy writing, but I really feel it, so I’m going to say it anyway. My hope—for all of us—is that we truly find some kind of peace this year.
Yesterday I finished Bob Moesta’s latest book and I highly recommend it. In fact, it’s so good and so universally applicable that I recommended it to my wife for her business—a counseling private practice. Bob brilliantly contextualizes the Jobs-to-be-Done framework (which most readers will be very familiar with) as a way to sell any product/service by helping customers make progress in their lives:
The focus is on understanding the buyer and the user. How do people buy and how do they make progress? What's causing them to make a purchase? You design your go-to-market strategy around the buyer’s worldview, not the product. You are looking at the world through a real buyer’s eyes. It's understanding value from the customer-side of the world, as opposed to the product-side of the world. Demand-side selling is understanding what progress people want to make, and what they are willing to pay to make that progress. Our products or services are merely part of their solution. You create pull for your product because you are focused on helping the customer. Demand-side selling starts with the struggling moment. It’s the theory that people buy when they have a struggling moment and think, “Maybe, I can do better.”
Speaking of JTBD, this is a great, very practical article by Sunita Mohanty for the First Round blog on how to craft a standout JTBD statement for your product or service:
A clear JTBD statement should help you communicate with absolute clarity what a specific group of people want in a specific circumstance — and their barriers to getting it.
I did want to mention this post that I wrote for the Postmark blog towards the end of last year. A few weeks ago we released one of the biggest features and product changes in the history of Postmark. Here’s the thing: very few people noticed. And yet I consider it one of the most successful releases we’ve ever done. In the post I explain our process and thinking throughout:
It’s at this point where I need to take a bit of a detour to talk about Postmark’s superpower when it comes to product development. Here it is: We make our own timelines, and then we prioritize doing the right thing over hitting those timelines. Timelines are our guardrails—a way to keep momentum and motivate ourselves. But if something takes longer than expected, or we need to change scope to make the product better based on customer feedback, there is not even a debate internally. We just do it.
I hope you’re having a good day and a good first week of the new year. We are headed into a few weeks of planning here at Wildbit, and all I will say at this point is that we’re doing it a little differently this year. Once we’re done and have reflected on the new process I’ll definitely write about it some more.