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SchnitzelConf Panel 3 by Mind Map: SchnitzelConf Panel 3
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SchnitzelConf Panel 3

Panel Discussion 3 Growth

Geoffrey Grosenbach Seattle, WA

Geoff Grosenbach is the tremendous brain — and sultry voice — behind everyone's favorite screencast / ebook / software company, Peepcode. Geoff is SchnitzelConf-tastic because: He took a not-uncommon idea, and ran further and harder than anyone else.

Tobias Lütke Ottawa, ON

Tobi Lütke, a German expat, is one-half of the original founding team of Shopify, the friendliest do-it-yourself ecommerce platform. Tobi is Schnitzelconf-orous because: He grew an ecommerce empire out of an online snowboarding shop, and made lots of changes along the way.

We tried every software on the market, customers that use the software, really like it

Communicating vision, develop a strong distortion of reality, you can't really plan for more than 6 months in advance, anything else is guessing.

I did all the customer support for the first few years, built out a team of Shopify guru's, mitigating support, you learn about opportunities for you business by listening to your customers.

Think big, startup put up a contest award of $100k, massive success, ROI achieved before contest was over

Peldi Guilizzoni Bologna, IT

Peldi Guilizzoni is the cheerful head honcho behind Balsamiq Mockups, the hottest (and most profitable) thing to hit wireframing since gluesticks. Peldi is Schnitzelconf-o-matic because: He not only took his product from spare-time to $2 million, he's also a true mensch!

We're not that big that we have conflicting visions, hired people I was in sync with, the vision is still the name, a little too much still in my head, based on customer feedback, a give and take between what I want to do, and what people want to do with the ap.

It's stayed the same., building tutorials, I'm a bit slower replying than i would like

Team building, outcome was far better than I could have imagined., we became a single unit

Adii Rockstar Capetown, SA

Adii Rockstar is the irrepressible designer-founder of WooThemes, and the philanthropist behind The Rockstar Foundation for underprivileged girls. Adii is Schnitzelconf-licious because: He grew one premium theme into a 3-person, million dollar business — and he's giving back.

Allow people to make better websites - cheaper, listen to the customers, Semi-doing what they want, Learned to slow down a little, keep the team small, woo on the slopes

If we have to add someone to the team to achieve goals, then yes - larger is better, if that means 100 people working on the team, as long as it doesn't compromise my lifestyle, then by all means...

I've become more obsessed with email, as long as we can get to a specific user ASAP, things are still fine, start email at the top, answering an email quickly is a win, the guy who sent an email 12 hours ago, won't mind waiting another 2 hrs., Read "Delivering Happiness"

Don't try and be something that you're not, embrace the difference

Tom Preston-Werner San Francisco, CA

Tom Preston-Werner is a crackerjack developer, accomplished essayist, maker of Gravatar and one-half of the original founding team of GitHub. Tom is Schnitzelconf-fabulous because: He turned down (big) easy money to work on his dream — then worked his tail off to make that gamble pay.

The company becomes the compelling idea, We sit in campfire alot, we talk so much, that the vision becomes shared.

Not yet decided, but we shouldn't have to in the beginning, we believe that everyone who uses the product will be better off for it, It's good to be restrained in hiring, we will wait until 4 months after we need someone until we hire them, someone that is going to be idle is toxic to a company, you shouldn't have to decide immediately

It's absolutely changed, early days, Tom and Chris would handle support, a tidal wave of unclosed tickets., hired a full time support person to handle Tender, employee#2 - 5th team member, fast response time is key, twitter

Team, you spend so much time with these people, if you can foster an environment that's fun and productive, you've won., Don't be afraid to say you're small, You're in a position to provide individual attention and support

Take your weaknesses and turn them into selling points, we're only 2 people, and that makes us special, we're from this obscure place, that makes us special

Don't forget the global market, don't forget about the rest of the world outside your homeland/continent


As size grows, how have you kept your vision alive?

How large do you want to grow?

What's changed in regards to your customer interaction since your product has become popular?


Where will Schnitzelconf be held? In a nasty 1980s hotel ballroom? NO! In a sea of fusty faux red velour that's been crushed by 5 decades of butts in suits? No! Behind the lion, up the stairs… Yes, we're holding our conference in Vienna's incredible Museum of Natural History! It's the center of everything, and so easy to get to, with scenery that can't be beat. And, by the way, we'll have the museum to ourselves. We'll have snacks and lunch in this very (gorgeous) lobby, and the gorgeous staircases and scenery will be ours to look upon while we munch, chat, query, and connect. It's gonna rule!


SchnitzelConf is a 1-day, full-contact conference in Vienna, Austria on September 7. The focus: creating products, launching businesses, and charging real money.


You'll meet and learn from the founders of successful bootstrapped businesses—including Software as a Service, downloadable software, and digital goods. Hard-won knowledge will be shared. Fun will be had. Wine will be drunk. Inspiration will be sparked.


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