#170: “Be so good they can’t ignore you”, with Peldi of Balsamiq

Peldi Guilizzoni is the founder of low-fidelity wireframing tool Balsamiq.

Peldi and Steve discuss:

  • why Peldi tracks almost nothing except revenue and profits
  • talking to customers instead of using analytics
  • on being “so good they can’t ignore you”
  • how to apply a coder’s approach to marketing
  • how Balsamiq is run like a “cozy restaurant on the web”
  • not getting to code much when running a software company
  • the painful experience of rewriting Balsamiq Wireframes from scratch that took five years (!)
  • choosing technology carefully for your company

This episode is also on YouTube.

You can also listen to this episode here.

1 Like

Hi friends! Any questions, I’m here. :grin:


Well, I found this episode totally useless. Speak with your customers! Don’t look at analytics! Coding doesn’t bring the business forward! What a bunch of misleading advice. Now excuse me while I go to check daily stats and then proceed to clean up some HTML :slight_smile:

Joking aside, talking on the phone (or Skype, whatever) is something I really hate and avoid as much as possible. I haven’t talked to ANY user in 16 years my main product exists. I’m not bragging about this fact, I know it’s not good. It’s holding business back. I do communicate by email, of course, but that’s something totally different, it’s centered around a single issue or suggestion user has, it’s not open ended so it never leads to new insights about product or market. On the other hand, I built a business for myself to enjoy going to work, not to hate it. I’m also old enough to realistically know my strong and weak points. I could force myself to do something I hate, but I wouldn’t be good at it.

So, I know I’m missing out by not talking to customers. My question - how much am I missing out? I’m not asking just for myself, I bet there a lot of us around here in similar position. Coding - bring it on, emails - ok, talking on the phone - no way.

Is there a way to have email conversation that would bring that kind of insights like real time conversation does? To know that product is not going anywhere, or, huh, the person I talked to made a pause when I mentioned new feature, he said it would be nice but didn’t sound enthusiastic at all. Is it possible at all to somehow get that “body language” kind of feedback from email?

I would also take this opportunity to say that Peldi is an excellent communicator and writer. It was obvious from the start, from first posts on Hacker News or wherever I’ve read it. That’s an excellent skill (or I would say talent) for founder to have, but we all have to play with cards we’ve been dealt. Congratulations on your success, it’s well deserved!


This is an excellent response to the podcast episode.

You get to run your company in the way that works for you.

If you company is profitable and you are happy with where it is, and you hate voice calls, then not doing voice calls is a good decision.

If, however, you feel that your company really needs you to be talking to customers - and you hate doing it - you can get someone else to do it indeed. My content person did several customer calls on my behalf.


Great episode and a nice antidote to the endless tide of Silicon Valley/VC BS.


this is the content I am here for :slight_smile: Great episode