Not A Genius Overview

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Think of this as an actionable version of “LEAN Startup” meets “Google Product Sprint” meets “Jobs To Be Done” meets “Product Led Growth” for the Bootstrapped founder’s next side-project.
 
I’ve combined this experimental approach with approaches I’ve synthesized from books, interviews, podcasts and articles on how to launch a new product or company. I’ve broken this down into 8 chapters of success that lead up to a launch. To pass each level, we get feedback on our idea, prototype or initial product that demonstrates out idea has value. It takes over 200 hours because building a company is hard. However this is structured so that ideas that aren’t going to work out are identified in the first weeks and not months.
 
Life is too short to waste your time on nights and evenings for months without getting paid or learning as you build.
 

Chapter 1: Audience Discovery

  • Low competition keywords → Discover using AHREFs or RankIQ
  • “People in Motion”
  • Regulatory, Economic or Societal Tailwinds
Find the audience, understand their problems, write to them and build and audience. Day 1 SEO basics…

Chapter 2: Problem and Solution Research

Or how I convince my wife that reading Reddit is part of my job
  • Time Frame: 1 week
  • Result: A deep understanding what users want, do and say about the problems they are solving. We understand the language they use to describe their actions and how they select between existing products in the market.
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Useful Tools:

Chapter 3: Product Ideas, Landing Pages and Leads

Are people picking up what we’re putting down?
People are starting to find us and resonating with the messaging. We should be getting a lot of ‘head nods’ as people read the websites and steady signups.
  • Time Frame: 2 weeks
  • Result: We have 2-3 landing pages being A/B tested with different product positioning and core features live on a domain. We have a started growing an Early Access Email List and have published some initial content published on 1 channel. We get user feedback and make landing page changes after each week until we get sufficient user engagement.
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Chapter 4: User Flows and Wireframes

Do people find their way? It’s ugly but can users quickly and easily do everything they expected, given the information on the landing page?
  • Time Frame: 3 weeks
  • Result: A Flow chart that implements all features from the top landing page. Each part of the wireframe is implemented in a wireframe were we test: Sitemap, Text, Layout and Interactive elements with users.
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The Speedy System - The Founder (2016)
The Speedy System - The Founder (2016)
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Chapter 5: From Vaporware to MVP

Does the look and feel add to the engagement and satisfaction of the user?
  • Time Frame: 4 weeks
  • Result: We solidify the data models and how the users transition between all parts of the app. A lot of core calculations use the “Wizard of Oz” approach and are faking the core analysis. We add color, fonts, animations and better user logging.
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Chapter 6: Real Data, Authentication and Payment flows

Are people paying when they hit various upgrade limits? Are they using all features and getting satisfaction from them?
  • Time Frame: 6 weeks
  • Result: Users should now be able to create accounts, log in and out, pay, and complete all of the features listed on the landing page. We are ready to soft launch.
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Chapter 7: Activation, Conversion and Retention

Do we have a self-sustaining business with sufficient margins?
  • Time Frame: 6 weeks
  • Result: Focus on converting new customers who walk into the door into being engaged, paying and returning users of your product. Is expansion revenue outpacing cancellations? Monitor and interview users.
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Chapter 8: Growth Model Analysis

Are we ‘crossing the chasm’? Do we have accelerating growth as we start to get more ‘mainstream users’.
  • Time Frame: 6 weeks
  • Result: A review of the highest growth levers for the business. Do we need more resources put to existing channels, develop new leads channels, do we need support staff, sales staff, developers, raise capital?
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