All posts by Benjamin Brandall


14 Ways Your Team Can Boost Productivity While Working From Home

This guide was written by Mauricio Prinzlau. Mauricio is the CEO of Cloudwards.net, a data and user feedback driven comparison engine for cloud apps and services. He enjoys writing and producing educational videos around the cloud to help people find the best cloud service for their needs.

working from home productivity

So, you’ve given your employees the option of working from home. A win-win situation for the both of you!

And why shouldn’t you; considering that working from home has become a popular trend in the corporate world. While working from home is the norm for most freelancers, for full-time employees it can come with its own set of productivity and motivational challenges.

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App Virality Hacks: How Trello and Asana Grew to Millions of Users

Trello vs Asana

If you’re looking to rapidly grow your user-base by optimizing your product, simply signing up to Trello and Asana will give you a masterclass.

These two apps are optimized for virality because they work best when teams collaborate around them. Here’s how it’s done.

The whole point of project management apps is to give teams a central place to collaborate, update project status and store information. Trello and Asana aren’t particularly useful for individuals, so their product teams put extra effort into getting users to propagate the apps within their own organizations. No marketing required.

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5 Common Legal Mistakes Startups Make (And How to Avoid Them)

The following is guest post from Nick Brown. Nick is a blogger and marketing expert, currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.

The world is full of ideas. Especially the business world, where rapidly growing competition has made innovation mandatory at any cost.

Your idea can be a real game-changer, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to set it in motion in the right way. If you own a startup, you probably can’t wait to see it launch, and that’s completely natural.

But just remember all those space movies with close-ups of faces behind monitors drenched up in sweat – if you’re off by just a 10th of the degree, the deviation is multiplied by a hundred and you can say goodbye to your precious rocket.

In other words, launching a startup requires great precision.

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8 Things My First Year at a Startup Taught Me About Productivity & Remote Work

startup productivity

As anyone who’s done it will tell you, being one of the first employees at a tiny company is a huge responsibility.

As you settle in to your routine tasks, you find you get more and more to do with just as many hours in the day.

It’s not the workload that has to change, because as the company grows you’ll naturally take more on. Instead, you need to tighten up your workflow to make sure you get as much shit done as possible without burning out.

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What is a Workflow? A Simple Guide to Getting Started

what is a workflow

If you look at the Wikipedia definition of a workflow, you’re probably going to get confused as I did:

“A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information It can be depicted as a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person or group, an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms.”

Let’s put this simply…

Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.

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Freemium Conversion Rate: Why Spotify Destroys Dropbox by 667%

Freemium Conversion Rate

In 2015, The Fader reported huge news for Spotify. Out of its 75 million monthly users, 20 million are paying customers.

A 26.6% conversion rate is staggering on freemium products. As Jason Cohen says:

“A really good conversion rate for free-to-paid is 4%, like Dropbox. Awesome for them, but normal rates are more like 1%, and that’s if users are reasonably active.”

If 1% is average, and Dropbox‘s “really good conversion rate” is 4%, then 26.6% is absolutely bloody ridiculous.

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I Analyzed 250 SaaS Pricing Pages — Here’s What I Found

SaaS pricing pages

We recently had a major overhaul of our pricing and landing page and wanted to get a good idea of what a high-converting pricing page looked like. We turned to the experts.

There are a lot of best practices for SaaS pricing pages out there, with giants like HubSpot, ConversionXL and SixteenVentures being the authorities.

I thought the best way would be to look at the pricing pages of the SaaS 250 — a list compiled by Montclare of the most successful SaaS products in the world.

To see this data in the form of an infographic, you can skip straight down to the bottom on this page.

Before we start — why did 80% of companies not have pricing pages?

Before jumping right in, it’s interesting to note that of these 250 companies, only 48 had pricing available. The rest had pricing available on request by contacting the sales people.

Jason Lemkin, CEO and Co-Founder of EchoSign, says that most companies have a very good reason for this. Writing on Quora, he outlined 5 key reasons you might be better off not showing pricing on your website.

  1. Deals will get more complex as you grow. Some day you’ll do a deal so large and complicated it wouldn’t have been able to be expressed in $/user/month. Products with integrations and add-ons will be priced so confusingly, it’s simpler to just get them on the phone to sales.
  2. Discounting will become difficult. With a preset rigid pricing structure, you’ll put off enterprises. Jason says “Your champion will require a discount. Then, it will get sent to procurement. Procurement’s bonus will be tied to the next discount they win. If you have rigid pricing, you’ll blow the deal.”
  3. A $700k deal is sold differently to a $100k deal. When it means the difference between an everyday deal and a huge account, you’re going to treat the customers differently. Pushing both down the same track is risky because you want to make sure that the big customers are on the phone to sales straight away.
  4. Enterprise customers just want to buy. Jason says that price doesn’t matter for enterprises. More than 80% of the time, they just want to get set up with a solution as efficiently as possible. Price comes after features.
  5. Looking as if you’re ‘all about price’ is a bad look. Pricing can make your product look cheap, and not enterprise-oriented. Jason says, “If your competitor says “Call Me” and appears more or equally enterprise-grade and trustworthy — your transparent pricing may say “cheap”. “

So, 202 of the SaaS 250 have good reasons for not being transparent with their pricing. Let’s look at what I found when analyzing the SaaS pricing pages of the remaining 48.

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How to Use WorkFlowy to Take Better Notes Today

Take Better Notes

Lots of text editors, like Word or Evernote, feel too ‘formal’ for proper note taking. They’re clunky and don’t work in harmony with my erratic train of thought at a meeting, lecture or presentation.

Lately, I’ve got instructions introducing me to new projects via video or voice recording, which I’d try to summarize in bullets, expand on and create to-do list items from the notes. When I was done writing and listening, I’d usually be left with a big mess of text that needs organizing, which would take more time still to go through and fix. With this method, I’d need to listen to the recording at least twice to get my notes.

Instead, now I use WorkFlowy to take and edit notes. Here’s how.

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The Checklist Manifesto Quotes

The Checklist Manifesto Quotes

The most useful Checklist Manifesto quotes

After publishing the Checklist Manifesto Review and following up with the Checklist Manifesto Summary, I thought it’d be fun to share the most memorable The Checklist Manifesto quotes by surgeon Atul Gawande. The book is packed full of useful knowledge, and not just from the author himself.

He interviews professionals from the man responsible for foolproof checklists given to pilots flying incredibly complex Boeing airplanes to a group of high-powered venture capitalists. All the people in the book have something in common – they want to reduce risk. And Gawande himself, like every human being with a will to survive, is no stranger to risk reduction. For him, however, it’s vitally important.

The Checklist Manifesto is the story of how this simple checklist was made.

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How to Create and Implement a Brainstorming Process in 5 Steps

The following is a guest post from graphic designer and copywriter Erik Fessler.

What do you think is worse: sitting for 100 days because you didn’t know what direction to travel in, or going for 100 days down the wrong path?

Here’s the good news:

This question doesn’t matter if you have a reliable and logical process to find the right direction.

Brainstorming is the key to finding that direction, and it’s something you can implement for your team in a logical, structured way. With that in place, you can use that process as a reliable way to generate ideas, iterate upon them, and harness the power of your team’s combined creative energy to make real business change. That is, if you can build and optimize your brainstorming process…

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