I'm Salim Virani. I used to design peer learning programs, and these days I'm having fun building stuff.
Ever caught yourself spinning your wheels on a decision, letting it hold you back from progress?
We see this all the time with startups since so many decisions are complex and involve a lot of unknowns. Seemingly simple things homepage or pricing page designs are typical culprits. Working with startups at Founder-Centric, I’ve picked up a few ways to unhook this and get back to productivity.
If you don’t know any of the answers, you can start with just one - say who will pay for what - and set out to speak to that group to better understand their needs. If you’re not sure of the threshold - how many clicks should be free before they pay - you can simply remove those from the pricing page, and test different thresholds within the product itself. (100 clicks - time to upgrade!)
Is the pricing page there to give us some revenue or learn if people will pay? Do we even need a pricing page for that?
At a recent Braintrust (a peer-advisory group) I was struggling with how to make time for a side project. I’d framed it as a time management issue in my head, but within 5 minutes of discussion, my Braintrust revealed it was really a matter of priorities and better aligning my side project to my bigger goals.
In the early days of Leancamp, every announcement, every email, every tweet was a reason for hestitation. I’d justify it as “measure twice, cut once” or “I’m just a perfectionist” but really, I was scared. Now, I’m more scared of ideas that get comfortably stuck in my head. They fester and weigh me down until I can finally let them breath by exposing them to customers.
I just had a conversation with a friend who was trying to decide whether or not the call to action on his new homepage should be more functional or emotive, and this was holding him back. It seemed to me that bigger questions were unanswered - like how do people make this decision now? And this revealed that it was more important to just get any page out to learn if it worked. In the meantime, he could talk to a few customers to learn about their thought-process and come up with homepage variants to test based on that.
On that note, this blog post is great - time to ship it! :)
I’m working on a communication tool for loose community groups and unconference-style interactions. It focuses on individual autonomy rather than top-down coordination.
I recently became a Kernel fellow, where I was exploring models for self-directing communities of care, the history of economic cultural norms, and the connection between mimicry, memes and our sense of belonging.
In the past, I designed peer learning programs for Oxford, UCL, Techstars, Microsoft Ventures and The Royal Academy Of Engineering. I also played a role in creating the Lean Startup methodology, and the European startup ecosystem. You can read about this here.
Choose happiness (2021)
Emotional Vocabulary (2020)
Project portfolios (2020)
The history Of Lean Startup (2016)
Entrepreneurship is craft (2014)