Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined

Early Stage Startup Advice – Interviewed by Eric Weiss

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I recently reconnected with someone I used to share coworking space with, Eric Weiss. We got to talking and realized we share a lot of the same mentality when it comes to product development.

A few weeks later, Eric asked if I would do an interview with him for his new site BuildTheRightThings.com. We cover all kinds of topics focused around product development in a wandering conversation.

You have two ways to consume this content:

  • Watch the video in it’s entirety (it’s below)
  • Skip to the part you’re most interested in (use the Table of Contents below)

Table of Contents

00:03Introductions
03:06What are the most important things from a Product Development perspective?
07:52How do you get access to enough potential users, and assure you’re getting good data out of them?
14:11How do you take feedback and turn it into a solution?
18:00What are the elements of a great user experience?
20:13Any guidance on how to transform a prototype into an MVP?
23:25What are some of the bigger pitfalls you think founders fall into that can be avoided?
26:37How do you validate whether or not you have true product-market fit?
28:41How do you remove “founder blinders” to see beyond what’s right in front of you?
30:34What are some ways to find smart mentors and advisors?
33:28How did you lead Email Copilot to a successful acquisition?
37:50Do founders actually know more about what customers want than the customers themselves?
43:40What have you learned while experiencing the meteoric growth of Seismic?
45:34What contributes to an accelerated pace of innovation at a rocket ship company?
47:17How do you keep the voice of the customer strong throughout the organization?
49:05How do you keep that startup mentality or magic alive at scale?
53:11Any parting words of wisdom?




About the author

Al Bsharah

Al’s been involved in multiple San Diego startups since 1999 after leaving the Detroit auto industry as an electrical engineer. He's started two of his own companies where he's raised capital from both VCs and angels, and sold one of them to both Seismic and Return Path. He resides on the board of Startup San Diego, is a Tech Coast Angels member, and has graduated both Techstars and Founder Institute accelerator programs where he now mentors. Al is currently the Vice President of Product Strategy at Seismic and in his free time he manages to play a little beach volleyball, trade stocks, and camp with his wife, son, dog, and friends.

By Al Bsharah
Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined