Obviously this isn't a problem because the submission has the content, as does the other commenter's direct link, but I just hate this sort of UX.
Let me see the value of your content (not a sales page) and if I really like it I'll subscribe to a mailing list after.
We usually meet somewhere in the middle and call it a day.
GDPR may not apply depending on what jurisdiction this site falls under, but it sets the expectation for all digital goods anywhere in the world. If you're demanding someone's personal information as a currency rather than as a requirement, that is a scam.
If you want to make money, charge money. If you're not trying to make money, there's no need to require my email address in exchange for the product.
I also shouldn't have to research around to see if a website author is the "type" to sell my email around, that's bad UX.
If you want free stuff, you should be okay being advertised to.
"Pay $1 to access this file" OR Sign up for email sends confusing signals to users. To the author, book is not worth $1, it is worth one email list signup. To the user, the book's value is entirely relative. They can offer up their email (positive value perception), or they can leave the site (zero value perception).
Much better than "Print to PDF" option
A couple things I've realized while doing this:
1. Business is a competition. Much like in sports, skills are only built up through practice. For an entrepreneur this means actually selling something. You will start at level 0. There is no substitution for actually doing the work.
2. The bigger you grow, the easier it gets. A year ago we were running around like headless chickens not knowing what to focus on. Now that we've got a core group of customers, and it's much easier to decide where to go. We can start to plan a month or two months out now. Opportunities such as partnerships also present themselves as your business grows larger.
I guesstimate it's easier to grow until start hiring, and hit the point where you can no longer directly manage everyone who works at the company. And if you've never hired & managed people, being new to having employees is it's own kind of adventure!
Business looks interesting but Im not the target demographic
Come on, we can do better than that. This isn't an ol' boys club.
I don't know if itsbenlee is Irish or in Ireland.
But it was a short comment intended to convey "Oops! Sorry. My bad." So you basically replied to an apology with a suggestion that the apology had committed some greater sin.
My feeling is that probably falls under the heading "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater." I don't think it qualifies as a Best Practice for improving the social climate on some metric or other.
That's not intended to lecture you. I'm just trying to make conversation on a topic I find interesting. Given the nature of the beast, I'm having very mixed feelings about commenting at all.
"Guys" is not any more gender neutral than "Lads" (they both are often used in a gender-neutral way, but they're etymologically male). "Folks" is what I personally use if I specifically want something gender-neutral, but "lads" is definitely appropriate if the author is speaking to men.
Which brings me back to "this is a lot of noise for nothing".
Food for thought.
I think once you have your why, you'll find yourself naturally doing whatever it takes to execute, which sharpens your focus away from noise like what you're describing (i.e. other people's communication styles) and allows you to 'take what you need' from resources, such as this book, and ignore everything else.
I truely believe that everything we create in life, which includes a new venture, can be viewed in the frame of self actualization. To me this means the motive to realize one's full potential.
To me that is the essence of what an entrepreneur is trying to do, just in the context of co-creation with the market.
But there is no way I can be reasonably sure the message I got is the one you trying to convey, what means the post isn't clear (and in fact, I get a slightly different message from your answer). There is no indication on your post that the message is largely known to be true, or that it's opinion, or a hypothesis, I can't get how certain I must be of it. Overall I can't be sure that I'm just getting a message that fits my biases from noise, or if I am actually deriving meaning from the text.
I think it's really interesting how modes of communication can throw you (or at least me ;-) ). I seem to evaluate the content by the mode of communication, which is really incorrect. I suspect it was a coping mechanism I used when I was young to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff.
What others have said about your post is true for me as well. When I look at it superficially I think, "What does 'become unstoppable' mean in measurable terms". Well, it doesn't mean anything because it is not actually possible to become unstoppable in this context. You can always be stopped. But I think that leaving it there is not a good idea. The meaning of a sentence is not in the words: it's in the actual meaning that the original person intended to convey! So if I don't understand what you intended to convey, then I have missed the point entirely.
I think this is what I'm slowly learning, so I appreciate your contribution to that learning.
As for the 'why', I have a very good 'why', but the thing that is stopping me is probably that I just don't want to do it. Several years ago I thought about starting a brewery. I had the money. My friend who owned an empty factory even offered it to me for zero rent. I had the business plan. Everything was ready to go... and then I thought, "Wait a minute... working in a brewery. That's exactly the same as working in a factory. No matter how much I think making beer is cool, I don't want to work in a factory." Then I thought, "I can hire people to work in the factory. But what will I do?" And I thought of all the jobs that I could have at a brewery and I didn't want any of them. So I canned the brewery idea :-)
So for me, I think to be "unstoppable", I really need to find a job that I want to do at my new company. This is probably the biggest stumbling block I have.
Anyway, thanks again!
If I could clarify what I mean by being unstoppable, I mean something like, 'your attitude, or mental frame, is critical to making the first step as much as it is to each step of your new venture journey'.
I personally believe, from the experiences gained on my own new venture journey, that barriers are opportunities for growth... but they can also be reasons you use for abandoning your journey. Ray Dalio has a good YouTube video that summarises his book 'Principles' in 30 minutes which illustrates this idea perfectly. I wholeheartedly recommend the video and the book.
As I mentioned before, I believe when you have that 'why' you'll naturally do what you must. My ultimate 'why' is simply to be the best version of myself. Everything I do needs to live up to that... so decision making in the moment becomes simple and compelling (occasionally I do mess up and grow).
All my other 'whys' are a ranked subset... which makes me think that even though you had a 'why' for your brewery, you actually had other more compelling 'whys' which basically overrode that particular 'why'.
However, there is no right or wrong answer to the direction of your life (assuming you don't initiate harm on others)... you must decide for yourself what you believe.
You can even say that 'whys' are just beliefs... and that we have a hierarchy of them that pre-programs us to a particular set of actions. Think of it like f(x) = y. I think if you can assess your beliefs you can also decide what you want them to be, and if you decide on their ranked order, you can program yourself to whatever success means to you.
As for finding a job to do at your new company... I define my 'job' as someone who looks after 'people'. In this context 'people' means myself, employees, clients and society (in that order). This then naturally leads me to ask, "Am I being the best version of myself as I look after people?"
This is an infinite game and one that I'll never be bored doing because there is always scope for improvement.
Anyhow just some throughs... all the best!
So when you see Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins quotes everywhere you can move on.
The trick though is not to let your distaste for a certain kind of content-free motivational business writing prevent you from taking a rigorous and scientific approach to management, business, and sales, which does require realizing that charisma, charm, interpersonal skills, motivation, emotional stability, and so on actually do matter and you’d better have a plan for those areas as well.
Get to 10 customers, and then double down on anything that worked.
Some ideas for the first 10:
- write an essay about something interesting that you can weave your business idea into, submit to tech blogs like hackernoon
- join a maker group that can help you in an informal quid pro quo with social media shares and upvotes
- launch on hacker news, product hunt and indie hackers. All have their rituals. Spend a little time, not too much, to get it right.
- contact all the people you talked to before/during product development (bc you did talk to people, right?)
- use an seo keyword research tool or just start searching for things and use the suggestions at the bottom of the google results. Write actual content on your website that is directed toward answering these questions. Seo compounds slowly so start early.
- find places your customers are (questions on quora or stack overflow; Facebook groups; etc) and learn about them and interact without being spammy.
These are the techniques we used to take Cronitor to 10
customers and then hundreds more.
> we used to take Cronitor
You clearly have skin in the game due to following your own advice.
Say there is an already established business that has more than proven the idea is viable.
What does it take to... join the same market space? Can you offer the same features at the same price? Can you offer the same features at a lower price? Can you offer less features at a lower price?
Are there cases where there is only room for one player and no matter what you do, you will not be able to steal any sizable amount of market share from them?
Hint: It's a trick question
An AWS Lambda program is therefore a server!
"What does it take to... join the same market space?"
What does it take to join the same market space? Here's some strategies:
1. Find a niche that is being ignored and really needs your specific
product. This is getting harder to do.
2. Raise money. One way to build a good product is to throw good developers at it.
3. Give yourself a longer runway. Think years instead of months.
4. Buy an existing business, and run it yourself.
"Are there cases where there is only room for one player and no matter what you do, you will not be able to steal any sizeable amount of market share from them?"
The flip side of the coin is that demand for software is increasing, as software is "eating the world". This is why average salaries for software developers have been increasing: growth demand is outpacing growth in supply.
Another alternative is to just offer features better -- better support, better reliability, fewer bugs, etc. Better support being the most impactful value you can add.
Position yourself as a purveyor of premium goods, hand-crafted using genuine leather with a personal touch for each customer. Make the competition suddenly look like cheap knockoffs, the kind that serious people should never even consider buying. Convince people to pay for the privilege of buying from you instead.
This strategy doesn't work in all markets, but when it does, it does wonders.
Short answer: let the data do the talking.
How big is the market?
Have you driven paid/organic traffic to a landing page?
Have you tested any funnels?
Have you gotten feedback your prospective customers?
You can do all these things with a minimal investment.
For those clients its beneficial to them to go to someone new that will cater to their exact wants
I don't want to discredit the author... but that number seems way too high. 500 apps for a period of "more than 10 years" (which usually means prob is just 10 years or really close to it) implies that you would've had to release (on average) 4 apps per month non-stop during 10 years. How can you have time to do anything else?
I get you're not developing each app, but if you're helping them, then you must allocate some reasonable amount of time per app, otherwise your contribution would be close to zero (not relevant).
Was that a typo? I could believe 50, but 500?
BTW - you might want to just host the PDF on your website behind an email wall and put it behind Cloudflare. I just spent 10 minutes trying to get the PDF, it's that busy on Google Docs.
Edit: I just tried to convert it, it works okay, not super great, since the source is PDF. I'm sure you have the raw text document, you can flawlessly convert from that to EPUB/MOBI if you want.
You can get the PDF downloadable link here: first100.yobenlee.com.
Will work on EPUB/MOBI formats!
How on earth is raising money a synonym of successful product market fit?
(A1) The founders of a successful custom apparel startup didn't get even close to 100 customers until after they had tried two different distribution channels. First, they opened a store and that didn't work. Second, they tried to sell on-line and that didn't work. Finally, with implosion imminent, they tried a hybrid model where you get measured in the store, but every purchase is made on-line and then delivered. It worked.
(A2) Co-founder of one of the publicly-traded food delivery companies told us how he started out. Was hungry, realized he couldn't order online, so he sits down and codes an initial web page (as well as an API). Asks a friend of a friend that runs a restaurant to let him list the restaurant on his new site. Guy gives him $140 for one month.
Figures he'll just knock-on doors to add restaurants, but managers kick him out with no meeting. Realizes if he walks in the back door (alley) and pretends to have a meeting with a manager he might get somewhere. So, he walks through the kitchens of 100's of restaurants and they ask him who he is there to see, tells them he has a meeting with the manager. 50% of the time he gets kicked-out, the rest of the time he gets restaurants to agree to being listed.
(A3) My VC professor's fourth business was a bridal gown website he purchased with his co-founder. They didn't use paid SEO. Rather, they came up with creative hacks to drive traffic to the site. One of the better ones:
Pay writers in India to compose short articles about stuff happening in the bridal space. The writers read the first articles to be published that morning (UK time) in the BBC, etc., then write up the same stuff, and publish it on their bridal gown page right as (US time) the same stories were hitting presses at the NYT, etc.
Using such hacks, they got their site to number two on google search results without paid SEO.
(P1) "Half of the difficulty is going from zero customers to one customer. Everything after that is the other half."
(P2) Every startup is a science experiment. Come up with a hypothesis, test it, and see what worked and what didn't. Rinse, repeat.
Following a structured, hypothesis-driven process is key. Literally, write in a journal what your hypothesis/assumption is, how you are going to test it, and what you hope to learn from the test. Next week, write-out what your hypothesis is, what you need to do this week to make further progress on validating/invalidating it, what progress you made the week before in validating/invalidating it, and what your plan for the following week is. Continue writing out these four things every single week to stay organized.
(P3) If you feel extremely strapped for cash, view this as a blessing in disguise. There is some creative hack that will allow you to validate/invalidate your hypothesis or set of assumptions - you just haven't found it yet. Running solid, structured experiments (i.e. process) is most important. Love process.
Unless you have blown way past 100 customers, the sciency/experimental aspect of a startup doesn't change. And even inside unicorns, management is (hopefully) still ultimately just running a never ending series of experiments.
Do you have any pointers to get started on this for someone whose last practice of scientific method was a middle-school science fair project? (Asking for a friend)
I picked up the book "Uncontrolled" by Jim Manzi, which is ostensibly about this subject. Would love to hear any recommendations you picked up from learning about this material and applying it.
My entire business is actually in helping people get customers and at least half of our clients are those seeking P/M fit who partner with us to get early demos of their product (or even pre-demo conversations) scheduled. I have a sketchbook full of cool SAAS ideas that I'm not savvy enough to build. But I'm good at getting customers so viola that's my business.
I would offer these tips if you are trying to start a business - any business - and need a nudge to get your first few customers.
1. You don't need to be different. The world is HUGE. Most of your potential customers have never heard of your competitors. In fact, they may well be saying "I wish this-thing-that-solves-a-need existed" without knowing that 20 versions of that thing exist. We tech folks drastically overestimate the amount of time and energy people put into finding ways to solve problems they have. Most folks just live with the misery.
2. Your competition sucks. If you pick up the phone and start the process of selling than you already way ahead of most of your competitors. Why? Because most of them act like they sell but they really just sit and agonize over one more line of code or one more feature instead of getting out there in front of customers. Use this to your advantage! Your product is already good enough, so stop developing it and go find users.
3. Your network is a goldmine. We had a potential customer approach us to help set 20 demos a month for their SAAS product. So far they had scheduled zero demos even though all 3 founders had over 1000 LinkedIn connections. Instead of taking them on as a client I consulted with them for a couple of hours on how to reach out to people they already knew. (Side note: If you won't put your product/service in front of EVERYONE you know who is a potential customer than you are lacking confidence. This can be solved, but selling to people you know is MUCH easier than selling to strangers. Offer something you believe in and the conversations come easy).
4. People hate cold callers, spammers, and unsolicited messages. So make warm calls (after an introduction) and send relevant emails (how it is you know they have this problem and how you can help). Do not be fearful of reaching out! People ARE interested in real things that solve real problems and they will pay real money for that.
5. Charge more. Charging a low price doesn't motivate buying any more than a high price discourages it. Don't price your SAAS at $2 a month because you are afraid no one will pay $5. Don't price it at $10 because you are afraid no one will pay $50. Especially in B2B when purchasers aren't often spending their own money. Problems in the business world are worth more than $5, $10 or even hundreds of dollars to solve.
Good luck to all of you. Finding new customers can and should be fun, not a source of stress. And seeing the first official sale or first dollar in the bank is a high that never gets old.
Hard to read, annoying to scan. I can see a lot of generic fluff. There may be pearls in there, but I didn't spot any on quick glance.
I've read 1/4 but carefully and already found several pearls. Mind you, some people will already know 80% of knowledge in this book, but it's not the same 80% for anyone. I won't tell you what is usable because this book is very general and different parts are usable to different people.