Welcome! We are helping each other build remote careers. Are you looking to build one?
  1. 11

What do Apple, Tesla, and Salesforce have in common apart from them being based out of SF? 

Each of these revolutionary products defined their enemies and showed how their product solves an existing issue. From Salesforce’s aggressive stance against ‘No Software’ to Tesla’s promise to make the world a better place without carbon emissions, one of the most powerful ways to turn prospects into aspiring heroes is to pit them against an antagonist.

Although, I feel that companies are overusing this great sales technique. Recently, Hey challenged other email providers and this move alone was enough to garner attention from all corners of the world. Whether it lived up to that hype or not, it was a huge success for Basecamp.

But, do you think every product should follow this? And finally, as a lot of you are product makers, who would you pit against? 😎


  2. 6

    Good point Ermira. To change an existing industry, I think you need bold statements for sure.

    However, what can't be discounted is the massive marketing budgets of each of these companies. So, defining an enemey of your product and making a bold statement is a good start, but not sure if that alone is enough. You need an audience that can receives this message.

    While Basecamp probably doesn't spend as much in marketing, both their co-founders, Fried and DHH are marketing powerhouses. They have been doing this for so long that they were able to build this narrative around mails with an already existing audience. Not discounting the smart narrative, but doubt it would have been successful if it was executed by a person with a small/no following.

    1. 5

      In the theme of marketing to a noble idea.... https://mashable.com/article/patagonia-vote-the-assholes-out-tag/

      1. 4

        Karthik's argument is a very good one. Getting the world to see things differently can be very expensive.

        I would add that energy focused on an 'enemy' is an interesting approach if the enemy is an idea (e.g. software, pollution, etc.) rather than another competitor. A variation on this theme is to craft your sales messanging to appeal to these noble intentions in your prospects, that choosing your solution is a way to do good and change the world for the better. But... don't lose sight of what's in it for them.

        1. 3

          Super pertinent points.

           enemy is an idea (e.g. software, pollution, etc.) rather than another competitor.

          and also

          do good and change the world for the better.

          I don't mean to be crass, but capturing on the latest & popular customer sentiments and wrapping that with your product is really useful.

          'Hey' to be honest did just that - user privacy. There are other small startups that are trying to replace Google Analytics by providing good data without prying too much into the users on the website.

          Definitely think that the "doing good" or "the right thing" aspect as a part of your product can be really useful.

        2. 4

          They don't essentially put it as an enemy, though bold statements around the problem they solve and their USPs.


          1. 3

            Correct, Pouya. But the bold statements are sometimes far from reality like in the case of Slack who were termed as an 'email killer' but in the end failing miserably :/ Again, it was more like a marketing technique rather than a problem that they were actually trying to solve.

            1. 2

              Agreed- Kinda marketing only

          2. 3

            Re: Hey, the marketing buzz on that was definitely immense, at least on Twitter.

            Would be curious to see the conversion on that though if they ever release or if there's insight made public somewhere.

            1. 3

              For sure - the foudnders have such a big following and they have the ability to mobilise them. Strong opinions and playing the "David vs Goliath" card perfectly has helped them quite often.

              For all their transparency, I doubt they will release the conversion numbers though. But, as much I have seen for many indie hackers, mobilising Twitter audiences is a really important part of their sales. So, should be the same for Hey too.

              1. 2

                That’s true, Justin. I was more interested in the numbers too, and even listened to a few Rework podcasts but all the founders say is that it was an overwhelming hit

                1. 2

                  1. 2

                    I see you have decided to only talk in gifs today :P

                    1. 3

                      1. 2


                    2. 1

                      I'm thinking if we should have a new badge called 'Meme Lord'

                      1. 2