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Day 1: Idea generation

Use the power of communities to curate and find powerful ideas, backed by data and potential. Examples of such communities include Softwareideas, trends.vc, exploding topics, glimpse, trends.co, ondeck, trends google, G2/trustpilot low review products

Use the Β DPSC Framework to measure which ideas are worth your time

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Day 2: Idea Evaluation

Using the DPSC Framework we can categorize problems we care for and ones we don't.Set up an excel sheet, y axis have your "idea" or unique business, on the x axis have Data Trend, Problem , Solution & Competition each to be ranked out of ten

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Day 3: Defining north star and product pitch

What is the core problem you're solving. There needs to be just one. Use various tactics to get there, the 5 Whys strategy works well here. Use the Shawshank Effect Framework to attain this answer as well, what problem is so big for customers right now that they're willing to crawl though a mile long pipe of crap because the end outcome is so so victorious.

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Day 4: Understanding how & who to sell

Always always find out where your customers are. Founder of wavvee said this well when he mentioned, that distribution is half if not more than half the battle.

Remember, 60% of market are not problem aware, 20% are problem aware, 17% are gathering information, 3% are actively buying now

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Day 5: Validating ideas - presales

Market first, build later. Now you know the problem you're trying to solve, who exactly will need this and where they'll most likely buy it from.This will be a big section all together but here's some quick wins on getting atleast $1k-$3k in pre-sales before you start or go any further.Build a website using unbounce, carrd or even converkit's landing page builder, your goal is to get emails (which I qualify as attention) and revenue (which is the ultimate validator. Remember No CC No Bueno)

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Day 6: Scoping your SLC

Simple, Lovable and Complete. This concept is adapted from Jason and it nails it! Stop building lazy MVPs using Reid Hoffman's 2005 methodology of embarrassing products to build something that is not useful, half baked and solves no problem. His approach is still 100% true, in that build something great but small and fast - not 100 things that barely work.The beauty of an SLC is that it is a complete product, unlike an MVP which will need more work, so this product in itself can act as a startup with no extra development, but highly unlikely that you'll stop building on this

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Day 7: How to talk to customers

Don't try peddle your solution too much, you're still trying to validate the problem. Love the problem not the solution, so when you do have customers on an email list, and they're willing to pay or hesitant, jump on a call with them and further dig down the problems they're facing.

No incase you haven't had the chance to get a lot of email subs, thats fine. You can easily cold outreach to 100s of people on LinkedIn, using a combination of sales nativigator, meetalfred as well as a buyer persona to reach out to 100s of people with a clear message and follow up message (meetalfred will handle this) set up a calendly meeting with them. Note this process is super manual and for it to work will need a bit of effort regardless of automation

Questions to ask:

  • What is the problem that got you interested
  • How often do you face this problem
  • ...

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Day 8: Wireframing to your Ahaa moment

Okay you've got a TONNE of information about problem, ideal solution, competition and what customers are really struggling with when it comes to this problem.

To this I bring you to the AAARRR framework Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue to light

Awareness - User learns of your product, blog or Ad

Acquisition - User installs or downloads app, Visits website

Activation - User signs up, or is active for some time

Retention - User comes back and uses app often

Referral - User leaves rating, talks about product, excited to us

Revenue - User is willing to pay for product

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Day 9: Building growth into your product, criteria's that will print you money

Product led growth is the best type of growth, where you don't need to sell but every customer you acquire sells on your behalf. This means the viral coefficient is > 1. Something you should try aim for, not need to force, but aim for it

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Day 10: Growing a newsletter / building an audience / building in public

Own your audience, I think this is the mantra of 2020 and the fight against the machines. Emails have shown to have a 4% conversion vs a 1-2% conversion on social ads etc according to foundr.

If you did the first steps right, you're already building an email list and an audience of customers in your niche, don't stop at the validation phase, continue building your newsletter

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Day 11: Hiring a designer, what where and how to look for one, setting scope

Upwork, freelancer, behance, facebook communities are great places to start to find designers.You've done a lot of leg work, so it's time to build a design brief that covers exactly what you're looking to have built for your business and you need to be VERY disciplined as well as strict in not stretching scope.

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Day 12: Hiring a developer, Setting them up for success

Hiring developers is hard, designers is visual so you can measure their outcome. How to find the best developers:

Upwork and Freelancer can work, Toptal is great too, Facebook groups and Indiehackers has been the best place

When hiring a developer to build the first version, do not look for enterprise experience, if it exists, great - what you're looking for is developers who are makers. People who understand the SLC and MVP route and are okay to build and launch fast. They understand componentisation, decoupling and building for now and scaling later

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Day 13: Working with a designer in the most successful way possible

Create very tight feedback loops with your designer, but do not micromanage them. This is an easy way to get them to lose interest in the project.

One of the keys to success in project delivery is usually transparency and communication, sounds stupid simple, but i can guarantee 90% of project deadlines are missed because of this.

Fully utilise figma's capabilities to create the design, the prototype as well as build a collaborative environment where you can comment and provide feedback....

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Day 14: Helping your developer build the dream

One rule to stick by no matter how short in time you are, is to build a design system. Whilst it will feel like the wheels aren't moving fast enough, design systems will sky rocket your development speed

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Day 15: The launch plan framework that will get you 5-10k visitors on Day 1

Launching is hyped way too much, no one remembers launches, they remember how the product made them feel. So focus on the product outcome, however getting the launch right can definitely kick you off the plateau and boost you to the stratosphere. There's multiple areas you can launch your startup, we'll cover a quick approach:

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Day 16: Skyscraper of authority

Defining authority in the problem you're solving for is pivotal to help show you know what you're doing. This doesn't mean staking your own social profile, this comes off purely on a content play. Taking the investment example, you can create an entire series on things people have done (not even you) to improve their financial position and where your product fits in to this place

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Day 17: Distribution framework, EPICCS Framework

If you've got past pre-sales and you have customers then you already know which channel works and which channel doesn't. However pre-sales channels can be non-scalable and one off wonders, in this care you need to define all your existing marketing and growth channels. For this use techniques such as Bulls Eye Marketing to strategically attack each growth vertical with clear defined goals and then summarise the exercise with your top 6 preferred channels.

I try follow a pattern whenever i'm trying to grow a product with limited budget and it follows this...

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Day 18: How to validate with a prototype & Getting customers to beg for your product using the UBP positioning

The source of virality and rather anything to do with getting people to do something for you comes from one core principle, importance. The primal feel to get validation or importance is what causes articles to go viral. To which I bring to reference Unique Bragging Proposition, stop thinking in Unique Selling Proposition and focus on UBP instead as mentioned by Kunal Shah

You need to position your product well enough to help customers want to spread your product and feel proud of it. This comes from that ahaa moment you show them. And using this metric will quickly help you evaluate if your product UX is optimised for the right outcome initially

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Day 19: Creating your flywheel

Unlike creating funnels, flywheels are built around customer happiness as the core and all the elements that drive that metric. Flywheels are all the buzz and some billion $ businesses we built around it. Lets dive a little deeper into the fly wheel approach and understand how this can be implemented into your own business and what layers are involved.

There's several ways to look at this, we'll explore 2 in particular

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Day 20: Feedback iteration and momentum creation / Analyse how they use it

This adds to our previous day's work on flywheel optimization, use specific tools and user interviews to understand exactly where and why people are using your product. Realise if you're introducing your ahaa moment too prematurely.

The goal of modularisation in design will come to play really well here because you'll be running loads of rapid iterations to improve your product flow as customers continue to use your product. The goal of today is to simply set up the processes and tools in place to get people to give you vital feedback about your product.

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Day 21: Content creation plan to hit 60k monthly visitors in 8 months organically

The critics can say what they want but some of the most successful companies in the world from buffer, meetedgar, hubspot and alike achieved their success by focusing heavily on content marketing.

This is very hard to envision so early in your business but absolutely important to set out as this will decide if you make it past 8 months - 1 year in your startup journey. Note this strategy will not convert users in the early days but it will be your MOAT and defense in the future.

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Day 22: Content creation plan to hit 60k monthly visitors in 8 months organically

The critics can say what they want but some of the most successful companies in the world from buffer, meetedgar, hubspot and alike achieved their success by focusing heavily on content marketing.

This is very hard to envision so early in your business but absolutely important to set out as this will decide if you make it past 8 months - 1 year in your startup journey. Note this strategy will not convert users in the early days but it will be your MOAT and defense in the future.

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Day 23: Community creation and finding initial fans

Having a community will save you an eternity of pain, lemlist are champions of doing this, similarly so Visualize Value as well as Trends.vc and Trends.co have done a fantastic job at building the community behemoth.

Community creation should be something you need to be setting up from the earlier days, this is despite your startup succeeding or not, because even if you realise your product is not going to take off, having a community around your product will help you effectively pivot adapt and change it until you reach product fit

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Day 24: The Ultimate Validation Framework

Time is your most precious asset and allocating time (rather money) efficiently will make you wealthy / get you free. This early on you're still not sure if your product is showing the right behaviours for you to take it to the next step. Using this framework will help you make it about maths, not emotion - protect yourself as sunken cost fallacy can really hurt your entire mojo, at the same time do not cut out a business just because it's have a bit of a struggle street

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With that said, here's how to handle the validation framework which will save you $100000s of dollars, stress, relationships and failure

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