Note: This AMA is closed for new questions, but you can check out the existing conversations below.
This March 25th, we had the pleasure of hosting Sleeknote’s co-founder and CEO, Mogens Møller. Founded in 2013, Mogens and team have continued to turn their great grasp of usability and digital conversions into an elegant, versatile product; trusted by the likes of Toyota Denmark, Campaign Monitor, Oberlo, and others.
Aside from the subjects listed above, you can ask Mogens about charging beta users from the get-go, choosing the premium route in a market abundant with cheap products, and his love for electronic music pioneers, Kraftwerk!
AMA Index (Mogens’ brain-pickings)
(founding insights, opinions, and observations; examined and articulated)
— Processing customer feedback from a unique if-you-were-this-company’s-CEO survey
— Catering to multiple segments with tailored messaging
— How Sleeknote drives inbound partnership requests from agencies; “The strategy we’ve found works best is to get common customers.”
— Why Mogens continues to talk to customers even when it has become easy to not do so as the company has scaled
— The challenges of growing a global business
— How Mogens carries out usability testing; including a typical script template
— OKRs, quarterly hackathons (“It’s kind of a way to bypass our product roadmap and just do and implement something crazy and funny”), and their chosen product methodology
Further reading/listening/pondering from the interwebz /
(Other insightful excerpts drawn from blog posts, interviews, and conversations)
On obsessing over feedback, almost as a verb than a noun:
One of the things I know how to do is to ask people for feedback. It’s actually extremely simple. There’s no rocket science in it. There are no tools needed for it. But it takes a lot of courage to do that. To ask people for feedback.
And that is something I’m always willing to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s colleagues, if it’s partners, if it’s customers, feedback is implemented throughout the whole kind of company and the processes that we have.
To give a few examples, this is more on a company level, but every quarter I ask all the employees in Sleeknote an anonymous question. So it’s a survey I send out to all employees. ‘If you were in my shoes as the CEO of Sleeknote tomorrow, what would you do differently.’ …
And after I did that for a few years, I decided why not ask our customers the exact same question. I think we started this about half a year ago. And we have about 2,000 customers in Sleeknote so it takes some time. But I send out an email to all our customers where I ask the exact same question…
I will personally read all answers and reply to them individually. So I set aside around a week in my calendar to do nothing else and answer these emails. And, honestly, I can’t wait to do this again. Because it gives you so much honest feedback.
Because it puts customers in a situation, not only to say, ‘I need this feature,’ but more like, ‘if I were Mogens, what would I do differently. If I was the CEO of this company, I know I wouldn’t be able to do just this and that.’ But maybe it makes them think about what kinds of processes, what kinds of tools, what kind of stuff would I do if I was in his shoes.
I really love that kind of feedback. …
I could do a lot of other things that for some CEOs would make more sense. But that kind of brings me back to the first thing I said, that is what you believe in. I believe one of the most valuable things I can do as a CEO of a company is to know what our customers feel about our product. And why they decided to use us. Or why they decided not to use us.
Source: Out of Growth with Nicki Friis | 2020
On discovering the precursor for successful partnerships:
In the first year or so we were extremely lucky and everything just happened for us. A challenge for us is to scale our products to new markets. And while we’ve got great success in Denmark and Scandinavia. So web agencies often recommend customers to use Sleeknote, as they can see it generates a lot of value.
About a year ago we thought, now we’re going to the UK, we’ll try and approach this new market because it’s a lot bigger than Denmark and has a lot of potential clients. So we thought that we can just contact all the web agencies in the UK and get them to recommend Sleeknote to their customers and to their clients. But man were we wrong.
That didn’t happen. We traveled over there a couple of times, did some meetups, trying to set up some meetings with these agencies. None of them wanted to just hear about our product. Because we didn’t have any clients in the market. That was really a wake-up call that things just went extremely easy in Denmark but it’s just a whole another game when we enter a new market where nobody has heard about us and we have got no clients…
All these web agencies have so much else to take care of and selling another SaaS product is just not interesting for them. Even though we could provide some kickback or something like that. It was just not interesting. So what we found out is that it works the other way around. We need to have customers in a given market before partners contact us. And sign-up and recommend us to their customers.
Source: The SaaS Podcast | 2016
On founding-team-segment fit:
After we had created this app and had some customers using it, we actually focussed a bit broader. We said, ‘well, why should it only be e-commerce websites that use our product.’ So we tried to get everyone onboard.
We got newspapers, a lot of customers that were consultancies. And this is one of the mistakes we made early on, as we could see these clients, consultancies, newsletters, and all; we couldn’t really advise them as well as we could advise these e-commerce websites. And what we really essentially built was more valuable for ecommerce websites…
So we started very narrow, with ecommerce websites because that is what we tested the product to begin with. And then we thought, now we’re going to conquer the world and get everyone. But then actually, a year and a half ago, we decided to focus back on this one group. To be honest, also because we saw more competitors in the market, we saw that these competitors were good at targeting other niche websites.
Our team, me and my co-founders, and the people that we hired were all e-commerce experts, we had a lot of knowledge developing e-commerce websites, I had advised a lot of them. This was what we loved. So it was obvious for us. [Going broad] was a mistake we made.
Source: The SaaS Podcast | 2016
On what a usability test isn’t:
When you ask people if they’re doing usability testing, most of them say ‘yes we are.’ And then when you ask them how they’re doing it, they’ll say, ‘well, we’ve implemented Hotjar on our website or some similar thing.’ Hotjar can be perfect for a lot of things. We’re using it ourselves. It’s a great tool. But it’s not usability testing.
It’s, you know, user sessions that you’re seeing recorded. So you’re not sitting besides one of the people from your target audience and you’re not listening to them. You don’t get any audio. And that’s the whole thing about usability testing.
Hotjar would often tell you what a person is doing on your website, but you don’t know what they’re thinking or why they’re doing it. And that is the information that you get in a usability test. You’re listening to what is actually the problem. You’re not just experiencing the problem, you’re listening to what the problem is and why they think it’s a problem. And that is where you can get some really actionable insights.
Source: Growth Marketing Toolbox | 2019