SSE Labs' Blog

Stanford's Student Startup Accelerator

7/21: Dan Olsen at SSE Labs on Product Management

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It was great to have Dan Olsen in the office today for our weekly workshop. Dan is currently CEO & founder at YourVersion, a “discovery engine” for finding content relevant to users’ interests in all different types of web media, such as Twitter, blogs, news, etc. He is a Stanford MBA with a strong technical background, broad general management skills, and deep expertise in product management and marketing. Within the consumer software and web industry, he has held senior management positions at established companies as well as executive roles at start-ups. Previously, he has had extensive experience in Product Management at Friendster and Quicken at Intuit.

Dan was able to provide a lot of useful information to our teams on the entire timeline of product development. The teams found his presentation extremely helpful, especially in areas such as user testing, considering their current stages and that many of them are developing consumer applications. Dan emphasized user testing, quick iterations, and clearly defining a value proposition. Some key takeaways are:

  • High Importance of User Need + Low Satisfaction with Current Alternatives = Opportunity.
  • Ruthlessly prioritize what features your team focuses on, based on its expected ROI.
  • Identify and track key metrics of your business. These will help you measure progress as well as aid in prioritizing which areas you need to focus on next.

Also, it was great to see Matt Bartus (one of our sponsors, and a Partner at Dorsey & Whitney) at Dan’s talk today.

Thanks to Dan for another great workshop at the SSE Labs office!

If you’re interested in Dan’s presentation, be sure to check out his slides at: http://www.slideshare.net/dan_o

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Written by ahzietsman

July 21, 2010 at 5:25 am

Posted in Mentorship, Workshop

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