Category Archives: Internet/technology

9 Minimum Viable Product WordPress Themes

The Minimum Viable Product is one key tenet of the Lean Startup and Customer Development methodology. According to Eric Ries “the Minimum Viable Product is that product which has just those features (and no more) that allows you to ship a product that resonates with early adopters; some of whom will pay you money or give you feedback.”

With the raise of cloud computing and SaaS, the website often makes the product itself. Nevertheless, commoditization of Amazon-ish hosing services, search marketing, free and open source software such as the LAMP stack and publishing systems like WordPress – allows startups to build and market their products at a lower cost. This is a simple overview of – cut to the chase – minimum viable WordPress themes.

1. Optimize by WooThemes is a product and feature-centric theme that emphasizes a clear value statement and sense of call to action.

2.iPhone App theme by Templatic. The name speaks for itself. The theme is designed for, but not limited to marketing of iPhone apps. The call to action button is nicely positioned in the mid of the screen. Although the blue area/the header is static, I’m sure that this can be changed with ease.

iPhoneapp WordPress theme

3. Feature Pitch by WooThemes is an out of the box theme suitable for marketing that one compelling product of yours. Also take a notice of that lighting orange tab at the upper right. Good thinking.

Feature Pitch Minimum Viable Product wordpress theme

4. eBook theme by Templatic. Although the name implies a focus on eBooks, its message can easily be changed to work for any product.  It comes with widgets for testimonials and newsletter sign-up right out of the box.

ebook WordPress theme

5. Coffee Break by WooThemes has unlike the others put the call to action buttons at the leftmost side. It is clean and clearly built with usability in mind. The slider can easily be disabled.

Coffeebreak Minimum Viable Product WordPress theme

6. iProduct Theme by Templatic. Yes it is a product-centric theme. Its layout differs from the others as its download buttons are centered underneath the product image. iProduct comes with a pricing plan module, as well as a testimonials and customer service widget by default.

iProduct Minimum Viable Product wordpress theme

7. Eminent is a simple company-product hybrid. It provides call to action along with Twitter aggregation and client list features.

Eminent minimum viable product wordpress theme

8. Ignite is one dead simple theme. It is primarily a landing page, but it might make a good basis for starting the design of a minimum viable product site.

ignite minimum viable product wordpress theme

9. GetBusiness is a Web2.0-style theme more focused on company profiling. However, with slight modifications it would work as well as a minimum viable product theme. The call to action button and value proposition is at the heart of the front page.

GetBusiness minimum viable product wordpress theme

The themes have in common the emphasis on minimum viable product techniques. Their design is built around the product rather than the other way around. There is a clear slogan and value proposition, as well as product feature listings. Call to action buttons, along with testimonials and customer service widgets are at the center of the templates. Perhaps the most important, the minimum viable theme should organize for customer feedback and simple testing of ideas.

You may have noticed that WooThemes and Templatic themes dominate the list. I believe that this is not by accident. If you have a look at their respective sites, you’ll see that they make good examples of how to design a compelling reason to buy.

Stay tuned for more minimum viable product themes to come.

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Social Media Strategy Frameworks: what about the metrics?

The social web has created an ecosystem where off- and on-line businesses are rushing into blogs, social network pages, communities and other social media. When will organizations start taking a structured, holistic approach, rather than just pouring budgets into all cool ideas? While I have been on the outlook for such supportive frameworks during the previous weeks, the following three seems to be the most referred.

  • The POST MethodPerhaps the most popularized framework as of today, the POST method by Groundswell describes a systematic approach to social strategy. POST is a acronym for People, Objectives, Strategy and Technology.
  • The Three SpheresAlthough Jeremiah Owyang applies the Three Spheres to web strategy in general, social media strategy could be considered a sub-set herein. The three spheres are the Community Sphere, the Business Sphere and the Technology Sphere.
  • The Five S’s. Windmill Networking suggests five basic “S” concepts of social media marketing: Share, Support, Social, Strategy, and Sales.

The figure’s colors show correlations among the components in the frameworks. Conceptually there is a technology component at the bottom, and a business/strategy one at the top. In the “middle”, there is a social-community component (often user-generated media) – the business logic that technology and strategy align with. Yet, there is room for more descriptive frameworks for managing social media strategy.

With this middle layer I believe that time has come to revisit the true meaning of bubble-ish network effects and the “openness” as a part of every business model. This is the gist of  user-generated content. Also, I’d prefer to add an additional layer, it be “M” for Metrics into “POSTM”. In the months and years to come, measurement will become a key activity and impetus to competitive advantage . While control migrates back to the demand-side (i.e. buyers of social media strategy), knowledge of metrics will become invaluable. As Thomas Davenports title suggests, is Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning?