- make more small bets
- decide quickly on reversible things
- do things which still matter in 40 years
- small amounts of value that create value over future and do it a lot over time
what should I build?
- wrong question
- who should i serve? who do i feel a calling to serve?
OH GOD NO
- you are energized in talking to: find the people you dont get tired of talking to
- whose problems are tractable
- with money
running a healthy impulses
pieces of the puzzle figured out. the first time you walk into a bank - three squirrels in a trenchcoat. that feeling never goes away.
you’re building a puzzle over time
there is no end state for your business, you are just snapping little pieces together.
it is never a bad time to talk to a customer or a prospect.
have high bandwidth conversations.
platform before product
build the things that will allow you to engage an audience and improve it over time
- 3 friendcatchers: build something that solves problems for people. they will come with their problems to you.
- 5 emails
- 45 days of grinding it out. no great brand strategy. wake up, email, twitter, blog
friendcatchers: resonant, tractable, underserved
- resonant: problem that promises to solve itself. ie not “solve global warming” but “salary negotiation for engineers” 500k/yr. it resonates. when audience sees that it exists, they say they knew they needed that. incentivizes promotion to friends. find things that push emotional buttons. not react vs vue - build pipeline.
- underserved: fill holes in the internet. the 101 guide is done 100x. the 201 guide is not done. tech a+b together. nsqueue + websockets.
- stick a fork in it and done guide to broad tightly scoped problem
- calculator which replaces excel spreadsheet. there is almost no calculation too trivial for a program to replace excel. eg ab testing calculator
- definitive curated list of resources. not listicles. josh kaufman personal mba - definitive list of business books.
- cheatsheet. amy hoy ruby on rails cheatsheet.
GET THEIR EMAIL
- not rocket science - put email thing on the bottom of blogpost
- email literally everyone - companies cannot do this at scale. having 100-200 email subs. grind. email individually. I am unreasonably interested in this topic. grind until you get sick of it.
Evertyhin about email courses in one slide
- make a promise with every subject line. keep it.
- 75% education 25% sales. You need both.
- frontload delivery. 3x in first week is fine.
- after end of course, email 1x every 2-4 weeks.
checkpoints you want to reach in your business (you are not out of research phase until…)
- 10 great conversations (25 for saas)
- 500 emails
- 10 commits to buy (in SaaS)
objective external indicia of progress
- 10-40-100 hour work week. can only get 3 things done in a week.
- main dish 50%
- 2 other things 25% each
- everything else is dessert.
- one of those 3 is stuff u dont like but need to do
- one is talking to customers
build the actual thing
- it should be awesome.
- the bar is very low. slightly above where you get sued by people.
- it doesnt have to be the mona lisa
raise your hand if you identify as having impostor syndrome
whole room raises hands
abuse your advantages
- this is what i do: you are going to be much better than almost all of humanity. builds trust.
- be irrationally responsive to customers esp early
- move fast and make things
- help you attract the kind of people you want to serve
- whgatever your number is right now, that number is too low.
stripe atlas is great
- get a new credit account - 1 wk of your life back
- business gmail /google apps account
- password manager
- find an accountant
- peer group to talk shop. meet regularly
- derisk your family life
- retirement savings
- insurance (term life and long term disability)
dont write blog posts
- blog as 3m words
- blog was a mistake
- blog is a commitment going fwd
- blog is one of the 3 dishes
- dead blog is bad.
- do small valuable things
narrative structures like heroes journey
- steve jobs 99c - google 0
- answer with a story
- you cant compete with 100b warchest
- dont do horizontal b2c - find a particular grp of cust with emotional resonance about a topic
- prosumers: dnd gamers, semi pro figure skaters.
emailing your customers - talking to people who are saas
- go to 50%
- selling for people who arent themselves developers
- thought that software for devs
- theres not enough software for devs int he world
- number of software devs is increasing 50% a year
- thats fine
- there are large mkts - whoa re underserved
- they may not be best met by you
- its really rough addressing those markets
- women who are profesisonal empoyees at tech businessess
- did a 180 over the years
permaculture talk: https://microconf.gen.co/marie-poulin
- what is your goal
- what do you want to get out of your saas
didn’t do enough customer research
- observe and interact
- obtain a yield
- use small and slow solutions
- apply self regulation and accept feedback
dont build in secret
dont let competitors lead your innovation - learn from your customers. your custs have a lot to teach you.
design from patterns to details
founders learn from failure
- startup runway of almost certain death. measuring runway. 2009: launched after 11 months but didnt charge
- chris chen social music startup - ideas focusing less and less on building social music apps - as he was out of money
- 2 days to luanch a profitable product after 3 years of pivoting
- max lytvyn of grammarly - less than 6mths: solid plan for how to get there. didnt know who was going to buy.
- how did you know this was the right thing to do: by the time we were done, we’d prob be out of money
- need to change the order: sell first
- secret: buy helicopter
- dont quit your job: plan while you still have a helicopter
- the el dorado of ideas
- trello board to have ideas, obviously good ideas have people working on it
- you need ideas for stuff all the way
- building audience -> product idea -> launch -> new distro channels -> new features -> new cust segments
- figure out the right levers to press
- gold hunting analogy:
- giant treasure chest is too obvious
- digging shallow holes
- dig deep holes
- who are these people
- where do they hagn out
- what do they complain about
- what makes them really excited
- what do they buy
- what do they never buy
- who do they follow
- what if new idea?
- dig another hole
- where should you dig
- amy hoy: stacking the bricks: qtns you should ask
- where the money’s at
- how much money is changing hands here
- are the customers reachable
- theory of growth
- one pivot point. yelp, airbnb, dropbox, hotmail. its a lie/not the whole story.
- growth is a climbing wall: navigate saturated channels, previous wins, dead ends, bad ideas, new ideas
- jason driscoff on IH story.
- indie shuffle blog for 7 years since 2009
- 2015 submithub in 2015 - 55k in mrr
- “jason already had a successful blog”
- hand tailored 1k emails to blogs. fb msg, soundcloud, email.
- 8 months to get first dollar.
- first step is the simplest. dont need a brilliant strategy.
- its ok that you started small
- now there are new steps easier to reach
- keep climbing. nobody jumps straight to the top
- plan your route - see what paths others took. look multiple steps ahead.
- stay on track to your destination
- the higher you climb, the more distracting your options. easy to climb sideways. vision helps you say no and keep climbing up.
- living room of vision
- why do you have a vision
- diamond hiding in the living room
- founders who try everything and it eventually succeeds - why do they do this? they are “sure” it WILL work. try much harder.
- shrug - no idea how much time to spend
- “i quit”
- IH vision: “inspire people to create internet businesses and to help these new founders succeed at a scale large neough to have a global impact”. never get bored of this.
- create you rown landscapes and metaphors as you learn.
- stairstep approach
- sales safari