Book - The 7 Day Startup: You don't Learn Until You Launch

  • Metadata:
    • author: Dan Norris
    • title: The 7 day startup: you don't learn until you launch

Unprocessed highlights and reading notes (turn them into separate notes when revisiting the topic):

  • That lesson is: “You don’t learn until you launch.”
  • Execution is your ability to present your idea just as well as the best ideas in the world.
  • There’s no use complaining about being self-funded and not having resources. Customers don’t care. They make comparisons and make a choice.
  • Hustle is relentlessly pursuing what needs to be done at the time.
  • Hustle for an early stage startup is generally about spending your time on the things that are most likely to bring you customers.
  • idea, execution, or hustle
  • Notes: 1) These are the three elements you need as a starting entrepreneur.
  • Email Opt-In/Beta Signup Totals Do Not Indicate Purchase Intent
  • Notes: 1) Link this to tim ferris "would you pay for this?"
  • People don’t want to hurt your feelings.
  • Notes: 1) Especially given positivity bubbles like linkedin
  • People don’t know what they don’t want until they are forced to open their wallets.
  • The people who sign up to pre-sold deals may be your best customers. By providing them with a yearly (or god forbid lifetime) plan, you have killed any chance of building momentum with those people as you grow.
  • The Concept of “Validation” is Too Simplistic
  • If you have a conversation with a friend about your business idea this month, and next month you are having the same conversation, you are a wantrepreneur.
  • Day One - You need to have an idea. I’ll explain how to generate ideas and tell a good one from a bad one (as best we can without having real customers). Day Two - You need to have something to launch at the end of the seven days. I’ll explain what a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is and you can start thinking about what you will launch. Day Three - You need a business name. It doesn’t really matter what it is, but I’ll look at a few ways you can create a simple, useful name. Day Four - You need a landing page or some sort of online presence. I’ll show you how to build a website in less than a day. Day Five - In this chapter I will give you a look at free methods for getting your business in front of enough people to help you decide whether or not to continue. Day Six - You need to measure what success means to you. The last thing you want is to launch and then not know whether you have a hit a few weeks later. I’ll help you set some goals and plan to make changes if you don’t reach those goals. Day Seven - You have to launch.
  • Think long and hard about what your day-to-day tasks will be. Visualize yourself doing these tasks. If you don’t like what you see, then it’s not a good business idea for you.
  • Product/founder fit
  • It’s worth thinking about what skills you have, what are you known for, and where you can provide the most value.
  • You need to be able to see a point where you can hire in staff or systems to replace you, and still continue to generate a profit. At that point it becomes a real business.
  • Notes: 1) If content marketing works, your business is a lot easier to market
  • Unique lead generation advantage
  • Unfortunately, innovations like the iPhone don’t get built by first-time entrepreneurs or self-funded companies. For a business idea to be a good idea for a bootstrapper, it needs to be something you can launch quickly.
  • Don’t Try to be Steve Jobs With Informly, I tried to be Steve Jobs. I let my creative side take over my entrepreneurial side. It helps for entrepreneurs to be creative, but fundamentally entrepreneurship is about creating a product that people want and selling it to them.
  • Solve problems where people are already paying for solutions.
  • Notes: 1) This seems to be the core takeaway here. Does this apply to attention?
  • Everyone might be saying that your idea is great, but look at whether or not they are currently paying for a solution to the same problem.
  • Idea Evaluation Checklist The Nine Elements Comment Enjoyable daily tasks Product/founder fit Scalable business model Operates profitably without the founder An asset you can sell Large market potential Taps into pain or pleasure differentiators Unique lead generation advantage Ability to launch quickly
  • A common MVP mistake is over-emphasizing the “minimum” and under-emphasizing the “viable.”
  • Day 2 Task - Write down exactly what you will launch on Day 7. What will your customers get, what is included, and what is excluded? If necessary, write down what is automated and what will be done manually in the short term.
  • You will grow into whatever name you come up with.
    1. Is it taken?
  • Is the Twitter handle taken? This can give you a good idea of how active someone is if the name is taken. You can use to see what social profiles are active under the name.
    1. Is it simple?
  • Every single one of the top 25 brands in the world are 12 characters or less.
    1. Is it easy to say out loud?
    1. Do you like it?
    1. Does it make sense for your idea?
    1. Broader is better.
  • A marketing funnel is the process by which someone will become a customer. One that works well in a lot of cases is: Customer visits your website and “opts in” by handing over their email address in return for a freebie that helps solve a problem they have. Over time you send them useful information about that problem. When they are ready to buy, they visit your payment page and purchase.
  • For this to work, you really only need three things: 1. A page that collects email addresses. As mentioned above, “Coming Soon” can do this for a launch page. Or you can use an opt in plugin like our plugin ConvertPress.com24 for other parts of the site. 2. A system you can use to email people. I use Infusionsoft.com25, but MailChimp.com26 is a great free solution for a new business and getdrip.com27 is a good lightweight automation option. 3. A page where you can sell your product/service.
  • The copy is extremely important and it can make or break your business. If you are just getting started with copywriting, you should use Dane Maxwell’s CopyWriting Checklist30 as a starting point.
  • The main purpose of marketing is to get your product in front of qualified buyers.
  • 1 - Create Content on Your Site Most of our early customers came as a result of our content marketing efforts.
    1. Create in-depth content based around the customer problems that your business solves.
  • I suggest building an email list before you launch and continually looking at ways of growing your list.
  • 6 - Listing Sites Prateek Dayal created a help desk system called SupportBee.com38. When he launched, he visited a number of app comparison sites and added Support Bee in where he could.
  • 9 - Doing Free Work
  • Day 5 Task - Build a list of what marketing methods you are going to choose. Put together a rough plan for the first week or two of your launch.
  • One Metric That Matters (OMTM) at different stages in your business.
  • Save your excitement until you land people you don’t know as customers.
  • “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Reid Hoffman
  • Simple Business Model Having a simple product and a simple value proposition makes everything else easier. From elevator pitches to growth tracking to hiring—the more complex a model, the harder it is to know when things are going well. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
  • Solve Problems as They Arise  A lot of business owners spend time solving problems they don’t have. Rob Walling refers to this as premature optimization.
  • These days you can solve most business problems quickly.
  • It’s often asking a lot for a small business to reach the levels of an established leader. You will be compared to leaders, and if you don’t measure up, then people will notice.
  • Don’t debate every last issue internally until you are blue in the face. Whatever you are discussing can probably be solved by either looking at what other companies have done before you, or implementing a quick decision and learning from the real data.
  • Listen to your customers and watch what they do.
  • Notes: 1) This is probably the biggest takeaway here, launch to see what customers want asap
  • From Lean Analytics: