Episode 336 | Key Takeaways from MicroConf Vegas 2017

Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike reflect back on MicroConf Vegas 2017 and give you their key takeaways from both the starter and growth edition talks.

Items mentioned in this episode:


Rob:    In this episode of Startups For the Rest of Us, Mike and I talk about our key takeaways from MicroConf Vegas 2017. This is Startups For the Rest of Us Episode 336.

Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing software products, whether you’ve built your first product or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.

Mike:  I’m Mike.

Rob:    We’re here to share our experiences, to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, sir?

Mike:  I am still dehydrated and hoarse from last week. At the moment, I’m not sure if it’s just from being in Vegas for seven days or if it’s combination of that plus the pollen and stuff that I came back to in New England.

Rob:    Yeah. Yeah, it’s crazy, the dehydration ability of Vegas. Right when I landed, I pull out the ChapStick. I was wearing ChapStick the whole time this time so my lips never got super raw. Yeah, I was drinking a ton of water. I didn’t stay up too late any night this time either. That was good. I think that helps.

Mike:  Yeah. I tried to avoid that as well but I think there were couple of times where I was in bed sometime after midnight. I don’t think it was several hours late, it’s like one or two except for the very last night. Going to bed early certainly helps.

Rob:    Yup. It also helps that we start the conference now at 10:00AM instead of 9:00AM. It’s just that extra hour gives you time to have a good breakfast and wake up slow. I didn’t feel tired at really any day at the conference, which is interesting considering that we basically had four days of back to back conference.

If you’re new to the show or you haven’t heard, we split MicroConf. Normally, we do two days and this time we did two back to back two day conferences. We did growth edition which started with a welcome reception on Sunday evening, and then we did two full days of talks, and then hanging out on Monday and Tuesday. We did starter edition which is for people who aren’t yet making a full time living from their business. That’s the differentiator between starter and growth. If you’re already making a full time then you should come to growth. Starter ran on Wednesday and Thursday.  I was in Vegas close to a week by the time we took off.

Mike:  You and I haven’t really talked about this. How did you feel about running the two of them back to back?

Rob:    I have to admit, the fact that we’ve sold both of them out, heading into it made me think it was probably the right decision, because it really was a gamble. We decided to do this six months ago, realizing that we preselling the conference out too quickly. We didn’t want to grow it. There’s always the struggle of do we just keep raising prices till we just make the conference super big, make it a 400 person conference, 500 person conference. We’re trying to figure out how to do that. We eventually decided to split it up this way.

I was hoping that it would work well but I was, with any new thing, I’m always a little concerned about what could go wrong. Given the fact that we sold both of them out, my expectations were high that we made the right choice.

Once we arrived there, I pretty much heard almost exclusively positive feedback about the split, both from the growth folks and the starter audience. How about you, how did you feel?

Mike:  Xander had asked us, it was Tuesday night, how we felt so far and whether or not we were going to be able to do it again. My mindset coming into Tuesday night was just, “Hey, we’re coming up on the halfway point.” It’s not like it was running two conferences back to back. It really felt like one giant conference just spanned four days. I think that from that perspective, it was more about mindset shifts.

I was also cautious about having this idea in my head that, oh yeah, I’ve talked to people here and they’ve said that they thought it was a really great idea because I feel like the people that don’t think it’s a good idea, or are not happy with it, or were uncomfortable with it, are probably not going to tell you basically to your face. Some people will but I feel that’s the stuff that’s going to come out in the reviews afterwards. You’re not going to find out right away. I don’t know, I was a little cautious about it just because I was hearing from people, “Hey, I really like the fact, this split.” Like I said, they’re not going to tell you necessarily, “Hey I really hate this.”

Rob:    Yeah. I could totally see that. In the feedback though, in the survey we gave afterwards, people seem to have generally, a positive outlook on it as well. I think it really helped that we’re able to target the talks so well. We’re going to talk through some handful of a growth talks and a handful of the starter talks. Obviously we can’t talk through everything we did. Over the course of 4 days, we had 18 talks, 10 attendee talks, which are the shorter 12 minute talks given by attendees, two Q&A sessions, and two workshops. There’s a lot to pack in there. We obviously can’t cover everything in the span of a single show.

You’ll see as we talk through the topics that the growth ones are definitely more oriented at existing products, trying to scale up, or trying to stay sane while you’re doing it. And then the starter stuff is a lot more focused on these very first steps. That was the goal from the beginning, it was to be able to target the content specifically at the audience so you didn’t have someone coming feeling half the talks weren’t aimed at them.

Mike:  Yeah. I think we did a really good job at that, in terms of splitting the content between those two. Going back and looking at the reviews, I think you’re right. As I said, Tuesday, I was cautious about just accepting things at face value but even in the reviews as you said, there’s a lot of good feedback there about how they liked how targeted everything was directly at where they were. Of course, we did see this from some of the reviews. People like, “How I wish there is a little bit more commingling of the two.” There’s always going to be a suggestions of, “Hey let’s do a two track conference or something like that.”

That’s really hard to pull off, especially if you’re trying to manage everything all in the same venue. There’s a lot of logistical stuff there but I think generally what did went over really, really well.

Rob:    Yeah. The two track thing has only been success to the few times over the years but it’s tended to be something that we have intentionally, very deliberately avoided. I don’t know, we should probably crack that open again and just talk through and spit ball what it might actually look like to do that, to have a single conference for the starter track and the growth track.

Mike:  Right. I figured in the past, all of our thoughts about that particular thing had been geared with the idea of having the entire conference aimed at one audience. And then of course, that’s where you do get in the logistical issues of let’s say, just for raw numbers. You’ve got 100 people coming and let’s say 70 go to one, and then 30 go to the other. If you’re really targeting two different audiences, then the two track conference idea kind of makes more sense. It’s easier to manage those logistics instead. I think you’re right, I think we just revisit it and think about it and see if it would work or see if it’s something we want to try.

Rob:    The interesting thing is the cross growth and starter if you include the attendees, the speakers, the sponsors, and then we sold better half tickets where people can bring their significant other to evening events. Across all that, I think there were something like 420-ish attendees across both.

Actually day to day attending, growth was about 230, 235, and starter was around 165 or 170. Definitely healthy numbers but a good size in terms of manageability. I felt I was able to talk to a lot of people and it didn’t feel a sea of people to me.

Mike:  Yeah. It’s hard once you get up to those numbers to be able to talk to every single person there but I do feel like I got to talk to it a decent chunk of people. That size is nice because everyone is still approachable. It’s not like I’ve talked to people while we were there and they said that they’ve been to a couple of other conferences where there’s 3000, 4000 people. It’s really hard to I guess maintain and establish relationships with people there but at the size, it’s a lot easier.

Rob:    Yeah. Let’s dive in. As I said, we won’t be able to discuss all the talks but we do just want to take some highlights based on feedback that we received in the surveys we sent out at the end.

Russ Henneberry from a Digital Marketer made his first MicroConf appearance. He appeared based on a recommendation from Ruben Gomez, who said this guy is super sharp. He knows what he’s doing. He has a really unique insights on content marketing.

We had him speak on the first day. I instantly started hearing people being blown away. His talk was The Perfect Content Marketing Strategy. He talks a lot about misconceptions that content marketing is blogging. He looked at the seven characteristics of perfect content marketing.

This is a guy who’s been doing this since before it was called content marketing. He knows what he’s doing. Right in the hallway when we left, I heard some people saying, “Boy, that blew my mind. I’m going to change up my content marketing strategy because of it.”

Mike:  What I really like was the way he identified specific pieces of the content marketing strategy and called them assets. I heard that from several other people as well, referring to the pieces that you plug in as an asset. We could give us an idea that you can reuse those assets in other places but by what referring to it as an asset and treating it as such, it gives you a more focus clear idea of exactly what you’re going to be doing with that particular asset or that piece of content and gives you the ability to build it in such a way that it’s not templatize but it’s got a specific purpose and that’s what it’s for. It was an interesting way to look at that that I haven’t really seen or heard before.

Rob:    By the way there are summaries of all the MicroConf talks. If you go to microconfrecap.com. Thanks to Shai for taking notes and they’re very detailed outlines of what speakers were talking about.

Next talk I think we should discuss the same to have an impact was James Kennedy’s talk. It was how to stop giving demos and build a sales factory instead. I was super into it even though I’m not giving demos. I have noticed, I ought to give demos but he just had this whole process of how he grew Rubberstamp.io and how they’ve been growing it using essentially sales demos.

What was funny is I walked out at that talk and Anna on my Drip team, she came up and she said that talk made me want to do demos again. You know it’s having an impact when it makes you miss doing demos.

Mike:  Yeah, that’s funny. I really liked how he’d laid out the entire process, the follow ups, what they do, how do they get people to the demos, how do they follow up with them to make sure that, “Hey, you have this demo coming up.” The foreshadowing aspect, the letting people know, “Hey, this is going to be the next step. This is what we’re going to do next.” So that it’s not a surprise to people so people aren’t wondering, “Okay, when is this person going to call me again? Are they going to send me an email or am I going to get a reminder?” It’s all about foreshadowing what those next steps are. I really liked that aspect of it.

Rob:    I rounded out the day with a modified version of the talk that I had done in Europe about selling Drip and it was called 11 Years to Overnight Success: From Beach Towels to A Life Changing Exit. I tweaked the talk quite a bit for the growth audience. I just thought through some more aspects of it. Also, I have so much more distance from the sale now. A lot of it was about the Drip acquisition, the thought process, and the mindset behind that.

I definitely enjoyed talking about it. Since it was essentially the second time I’ve given the talk, I find that my second, third, fourth times of giving talks are always better. You just have more of an idea of what resonates with people and it’s better practice and that kind of stuff. I felt like it came off pretty well.

Mike:  Yeah. I think in your talk, one of the things that you pointed out, this is not a surprise to anyone but the fact that it takes a long time to get to that point, there are all these different missteps or places you go where it’s either just the learning opportunity or you feel you’re making a lot of progress, if you take it as a whole then you get to see that entire journey. It’s interesting to see that. I saw in Europe as well. I do think that you gave a better talk here in Vegas than you did in Europe. It probably is a direct result of hearing yourself give that talk on a stage, and then talking to people, finding out what resonates, then plug in those things back into it. It’s nice to get that feedback and be able to incorporate it later on.

Rob:    On the second day of growth, this would have been Tuesday, we had Ezra Firestone from Smart Marketer. He talked about the exact formula they’ve used to generate $5 million in revenue from software in the past 3 years. It’s pretty obvious that Ezra does a lot of speaking because he commanded the stage and really kept people captivated.

Mike:  Yeah. As you said, he obviously speaks a lot. It’s nice to be able to see somebody get up there and be able to just do things off the cuff. It’s clearly not rehearsed. Clearly, he has the ability to get up there and speak to things from the audience. Almost like a comedian when you see them perform and they’re able to either deal with the hackler or comments from the crowd and incorporate that into what it is that they’re talking about. Ezra definitely had that ability. It’s clearly a direct result of being up there in front of a lot of people and talking to a lot of people. Some of that could just be the personality in terms of being what appears to be a strong extrovert. I think that being able to incorporate those things really helps to send the right message when somebody is up there on stage like that.

I do like the fact that he went into some detail. For example, the multi-touch marketing and creating multiple touch points in your sales funnel so that people are hearing different messages along the way through that sales funnel. They might hear one message and then they hear a different one. In some cases, they’re getting reiterated to them so they are essentially strengthening the original messages.

Rob:    That afternoon, Sherry Walling talked about understanding your past, current, and future self. Really kicked off with how founders view their startups as they do their children. That there is a study done that was doing brain scans of founders as they showed pictures of children they didn’t know versus their own children and it showed parts of their brain activating. It was people seeing companies that were there versus other people’s companies in that sense. It was showing that the brain activity when you see your children is very similar to when you see your own company.

She talks about the pluses and the minuses of this. She looks at how your past contributes to who you are, what to do in the present, and then looking ahead, asking yourself, “What will my future self want me to do about this decision right now?” I was pretty fascinated by it.

Mike:  Yeah. I thought that when she dove into that part of the talk, that was kind of fascinating to me just because when you’re building a product, you’re working so hard on it and you’re pouring all of your energy into it. It’s not something I think that most people think about in terms of what would my future self think of me doing this or what would my future self want to be the result of this. She really dug into that and tried to portray it as a situation where you do have to think about those things and you do have to let things grow on, in some cases on their own, without too much input from you, whether it’s hiring people to take over certain pieces of it or just being cognisant in other fact that what you’re doing today is not always going to be correct but you have to make the best decisions that you have with the details you have right now.

Rob:    Lars Lofgren wrapped this up. He finished off the growth speaker docket. His talk title was 2 Inbound Engines that Drive 30,000 Leads Per Month, actually more than that. I think he said they’re collecting more than 40,000 emails a month, which is just fascinating. He runs marketing for Ramit Sethi.

He really talked about the two engines are one, ramping volume and two, split testing your choke points. He talked a lot about going really deep on one thing and how they’ve spent a year just going after, they started going after SEO with the ultimate guide and then that wasn’t working so they switched it up. He said he’d rather have 49 amazing blog post and one PDF than 50 amazing PDFs because he need the blog post to drive the organic traffic, so that people will download PDF and become a lead.

He has talked a lot about how he doesn’t do any campaigns. He only puts in systems that he doesn’t want to go from marketing campaign to marketing campaign. I thought was a really interesting look attitude. It’s a very long term way to think about it but it’s also the way to think at scale in terms of really scaling up sustainable traffic.

Mike:  I thought it was really interesting that even given the size of the team that Lars runs, that they really are only focused on one channel at the moment. I guess I would have thought that they would have done more or I would have thought they were been going after two or three. In the context of this talk and looking at it retrospect, it does make a lot more sense as to why they’re going so deep on one particular channel. It’s because it’s working well for them. You really want to double down on those and optimize everything you possibly can until you get to a point where it’s no longer working or you’re longer getting the gains that you could be getting.

I think you and I have talked about similar things in the past where people have said, “Oh, I want to take my app and go multilanguage with it or localize it for different places.” The reality is most people are not at a point where they’ve saturated the market. This is the same idea. It’s really going so far deep until you get to the point where the diminishing returns are so little. That’s when you would start focusing on something else. It’s amazing with 40,000 email addresses acquired every month, they’re still not there.

Rob:    Tuesday night, we had the closing reception for growth and we had that opening reception for starter. That was a time for people to mingle and have S’mores, and an open bar.

Mike:  You’re not kidding about the S’mores either.

Rob:    I know. There were fire pits in the back and people are making S’mores. That was a lot of fun, though. I see everybody mix in together. It was a big group and that allowed the starter folks to meet some of the growth folks, and then the growth folks to do their last hurrahs before they kicked off for home.

Like I said, starter was around 165, 170 people. We did something interesting. For those who don’t know, we worked with a conference coordinator who handles a lot of the logistics. His name is Xander. He suggested that you and I not try to emcee two conferences back to back. I think his original phrase was consider getting some fresh blood on the stage. Just someone new with a fresh voice who maybe could our starter audience could really relate to.

We invited Jordan Gal to do it this year. I think our plan is that every year, we’ll either do it with ourselves or we may bring in a different guest emcee. I thought that went really well. My thought, it was nice to not have to be present and constantly thinking about what was going to happen after the next talk and what we’re going to say. I think it took definitely took a load off of me.

I’ll toss it to you in a second here if you felt the same way. I thought the feedback was generally positive. I didn’t really hear anybody who was surprised or shocked that you and I weren’t up on stage all the time. Even then, you and I, were introing some things and you were handling sponsorships so it wasn’t like we weren’t present.

Mike:  Yeah. It definitely felt some of the load was taken off for the starter edition just because with the growth edition, there were so many things going on. You and I were back and forth on stage pretty much the entire time. I felt I couldn’t concentrate as much on the talks during the growth edition as I could in the starter edition. It was really nice to be able to I’ll say step back a little bit but still be pretty heavily involved in all the stuff that was going on.

I think that I agree. I’ve heard from some of the different attendees that they thought that it was interesting that we did that. I didn’t really see any negative feedback on that particular piece of it. I think there was maybe a little bit of disappointment that people, they don’t get to see you as much up there because you spoke a growth but not at starter. I think there was maybe a little bit of an expectation of that. But generally, it was pretty positive feedback.

Rob:    Yeah, that’s interesting. You know about half way through starter, I started thinking to myself, “I think I should speak. I think I should have spoken this year.” I think neither you nor I knew how challenging that it would be to run these back to back conferences and so didn’t want to commit ourselves to speaking at both, which is why we divided and conquered. I spoke at growth and you spoke at starter.

Given how things went and how I felt it was fairly smooth and I wasn’t exhausted. I don’t know if I could have written two talks from scratch but certainly I might have some material that I could have pulled together for starter.

Mike:  Yeah. I think for this year, I think it was definitely the right decision to have you speak at growth and have me speak at starter just because there were so many unknowns. That’s really the issue. With MicroConf, you really only get the one chance of that specific event, whether it’s MicroConf in Vegas or MicroConf in Europe. You can’t just do it over again. It’s not something that you do every week. You don’t want to go too far in a direction that is going to be difficult to manage moving forward or for the rest of that week.

I think for this year, it was definitely the right choice. Whether we change that in the future is up for debate or discussion but I don’t think that we made the wrong choice there.

Rob:    Jordan Gal also kicked us off and did the first talk of starter. He talked about all the mistakes that they made along the way with his startup Carthook. You know how they’ve continued to grow during that and the learnings that came from it. When we originally talked, we talked about him doing the same talk he had done in Europe but he basically just wrote a completely new talk for the Vegas audience.

Mike:  What I really liked about Jordan’s talk was the fact that he showed all those different failures along the way, at least the ones that he felt were failures but if you looked at how things were going for the business, things were still generally going up into the right. It’s interesting to note that your own personal viewpoint of how things are going, are always going to be worse than how things are actually going. Not always I guess. There are some exceptions where things are just tanking and you have no idea. I think at the back of our mind we know that things are going in that direction.

From external, you look at the business saying, “Oh things are going fantastic, things are going great.” But the founders we’re like, “Oh man, we screwed this up or we screwed that up.” It’s a very different viewpoint when you’re talking to somebody about, “Hey, we’ve made this mistake, we made that mistake.” Externally, people have a different view of what’s going on inside the business than you do as the founder.

Rob:    Another notable talk from that first day was Ben Orenstein. He works for thoughtbot and he’s a co-host of the Giant Robots Podcast. He was another one who had obviously had quite a bit of speaking experience. Just really nailed the audience engagement part. I thought he did a very, very good talk. He had actually surveyed the starter audience in advance and he had rewritten his talk multiple times to try to really nail exactly what they needed.

When he surveyed the audience, he found out that about half of folks, it’s starter edition so it makes sense they seem split about, but about half of folks had basically $0 in revenue and then half had in the hundreds and on up. He actually just had two parts to his talk. It was like, “If you have $0 in revenue, do this.” It was super prescriptive and it was really good. I think it hit home with people. It gives a good message to have. If you are over that, then he had these 10 tactical wins that they had implemented over at Thoughtbot because they have a couple different SaaS apps that he runs over there. I thought it was pretty fascinating.

Mike:  I think part of what resonated with his talk was that he zeroed in on those tactical pieces where it’s essentially a switch or a lever that you can use to get more out of your business and move things forward faster. Some of them are not necessarily obvious. Some of them that are obvious like for example, created an email course. Then there are other ones where integrating and partnering with other people that’s not quite as obvious but in retrospect, it makes a lot more sense that you can leverage those partnerships to grow your business because you’re essentially leveraging other people’s audiences. If you’re starting out and you don’t have a lot of discussions with other founders, that might not come to you as an obvious tactical piece of advice.

Rob:    Rounding at that first day at starter, it was Sujan Patel, who many of may know as a growth marketer. He worked for When I Work and has a number of SaaS apps that he runs now.

He talked about from idea to launch your first 1,000 customers was zero marketing budget. He broke it up into three separate sections. The first was about prelaunch marketing, the second was about nailing your launch, and the third was about scalable marketing approaches.

I really like that differentiation. I think folks who are just starting out often get confused of, “How do I fill my email list?” And that’s your pre launch marketing stuff. “How do I market once I’m out and I’m trying to grow?” They are highly related but they are different. I like that he differentiated that. And then he just kept throwing out ideas that they had tried, things that had worked, things that hadn’t. Again, I took away a lot and I think the audience probably did as well.

Mike:  That’s something that I saw from the survey results is that people really liked the speakers who dug into things that didn’t work because it was easy for them to look around and find examples of, “Oh, somebody did this and it worked for them. Somebody did this other thing and it worked for them.” The thing that stuck out in people’s minds was the fact that some of the speakers talked about, “Hey, I tried this and it didn’t work.” Or “I was going to go down this path and we backed off because of X, Y, and Z.”

It was interesting that that piece of it, not even just failure but the pieces that resonate with people were the ones where the speakers started to go down a particular road and pulled back because those are not the things you typically hear about on blogs. You read about the success stories but not necessarily the failures or the missteps. People really found that those aspects of the talks were really helpful to them.

Rob:    On the following day, one of the notable talks was Mr. Patrick Mckenzie Patio11. He dug into basically a paint by numbers approach to productized consulting, which is a pretty good option for folks just starting out, wanting to get their first dollar. He broke down an approach of how to build that up. I think he said within 12 months you could be a $12,000 MRR in terms of a productized consulting business and then he laid out the steps to do that.

Mike:  I think it was probably surprising to people that when he laid out that approach that he was talking in broad strokes numbers about, “Hey, you could charge $800 to a large business for just taking out the trash for example.” That’s not a huge amount of money to them because companies with more than 20 employees pay way more than that sometimes.

I’ve seen business plans or businesses for sale where that’s exactly right. I’ve seen literally that line item before. It can be fairly high. You don’t really think about it but there is all those business problems that larger companies have. By larger, I mean 20 employees and up that is a genuine business opportunity. You just don’t typically think about it unless you see what those line items are. That’s difficult for most of us who are developers or just not involved with any sort of budget discussions for a larger business.

Rob:    Another talk that I heard positive feedback about and I thought he did a good job commanding the stage was Justin Jackson talking about the freedom ladder, financial independence through products. He talked about a lot of different ways that he had tried over the years to make a full time living. In essence, he said January 1 of 2016 is when he finally was able to make it from his own products and he didn’t have to consult anymore.

He talked about many different ideas but one that was interesting and seem to resonate with a few people that no one else has talked about was just doing workshops, like in person workshops. He says yes, it’s super scary and yes, he has given a workshop where it was just him and two other people but he said, “That’s how you’re going to learn. If you can’t get a couple people to get into a room in your local town, how are you going to get folks on the internet to pay you any money?” I thought that was cool way to think about it.

Mike:  I think that’s one of the fears that people have about running those workshops, is that you only get one or two people there. I talked to somebody who had given a talk at a conference where they said they were expecting a couple of hundred people in the room and it was multitrack conference and they ended up with eight or something ridiculously small like that. One or two of them got up in the middle of the talk and left but at the same time those are the places where you learn, those are the places where you figure out what’s going to work and what’s not.

What we all want is to be able to go in and run a workshop like this. We get 30 or 40 people. The problem is at that point, you are essentially performing in and front of a group of 30 or 40 people and you’ve never really performed in front of group of 5 for example.

What you’re doing is you’re making larger mistakes in a larger environment. It’s intuitive that you want the smaller ones first. Those are the ones that help you get the experience so that when you go those larger environments, you give a larger talk or a larger workshop that is not as scary. You’ve got the butterflies out, you’ve been able to answer the exact same questions in that larger workshop that you have in smaller ones. You can refine your answers from there as well.

Rob:    You mostly rounded out the day and rounded out starter. You actually interviewed John Collison, did a moderated Q&A with him. For those who don’t know, he’s a co-founder of Stripe. Xander was saying he’s the youngest billionaire, either in America or in the world. Because I think he’s what, 25? Stripe is now worth $9 billion and he owns a big chunk of it. That was cool. How did it feel to be up on stage with him?

Mike:  That was interesting. I wasn’t necessarily nervous from that regard because I don’t think that Xander had mentioned that to me. It was interesting looking at the schedule and how things were going to be going for the rest of the day. I realize that I was probably going to be up on stage for a good chunk of that last day.

I think that the Q&A session went well. We took some questions from the audience and let them. There was a list of questions that we had, that we want to get out there and then ask. A lot of the audience asked questions. I thought that was a good split.

Of course, obviously, I’ll say a little bit risky because you never know what somebody is going to ask. I thought that John was very honest and upfront. He just said, “Look, if I can answer the question and help you out, I will. If there’s something I can’t talk about it, I’ll just tell you I can’t talk about it.” I thought that that was very humble of him. I really liked talking to John both before, during, and after the conference just because of how he carries himself. He’s obviously a very skilled and intelligent person. I think he makes for a good founder that is a good fit with our audience as well.

Rob:    The last talk of starter was your talk. It was idea validation and customer development. It’s pretty self-explanatory what you went through. How did it feel? What feedback did you get and how did you feel on stage?

Mike:  After the talk, I got some good feedback from people. It was odd because the workshop that I did was also on that. That was I’d say pretty well attended. Even during the workshop that I did, there were a lot of questions that I got. I took some of those questions and I went back to my talk and rearrange things a little bit. May or may not have been the best idea to make some of those changes in the middle of it or just before I was going up there but I also think that some of those things are really important to cover in terms of, “Hey, if you do this, this is what can happen.” Going out there and showing a specific idea, that was something else that people are pointed out to me like, “Hey, I thought that that idea had legs and it’s really interesting you showed that hey, you got these data points and were able to prove like hey, this idea is not going to work or it’s not going to work for you at least.”

Rob:    Overall, I think MicroConf this year, the MicroConfs in Vegas were quite successful. I had a great time and we’ve already gotten a lot of positive feedback about it. Keep plugging along and we’re looking at doing one in Europe here in late fall.

I did want to give a shoutout to our sponsors, to the speakers that flew in, very busy people coming in to give back to the community, as well as Xander. Xander helps us run the conference. If you have an event that you need help with, even meet ups, product launches, and conferences, Xander really works a lot in the startups space and the techs space. He’s at startupeventsolutions.com.

Mike:  I think that about wraps us up for this. If you have a question for us, you can call it in our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690 or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com.

Our theme music is Next for Periodic Control by MoOt used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for “startups” and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.




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