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EXECUTION An App A Month...Tony Tong's Execution Journal

Tony Tong

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Hi Fastlaners,

Since my last school exam ended about ~8 days ago, I've been swimming deep in the mindset of the Fastlane, while executing as much as I can.

Despite the short time, I've learned so much about myself, the lifestyle I am pursuing, and gaining a clearer sense of the clarity of purpose such a pursuit brings. This is the first time in my life I've allowed myself to truly dedicate my waking hours to entrepreneurship, and I can't wait to continue on and see what is in store for me.

Some evidence of my execution comes from my Facebook - I posted a couple of ideas simmering in my mind and reached out to get feedback. I tend to feel introverted especially on social media so doing this felt outside my comfort zone.

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 8.25.24 PM.png

Nevertheless, from the 30+ comments, I got the most popular idea and continued refining it, talking about it and creating a prototype on Google slides after 1 round of feedback.

I've shown the prototype to anyone willing to listen, and today I just ended a day-long course on Vue.js, the programming language I am using to build out this app.

Many of my life goals and strengths are pointing me towards building web products like Saas, simple tools that add value to people's life.

I've followed some nomad entrepreneurship circles for a while and following their advice on shipping fast and checking for traction. If it does not work, move on to the next idea and keep iterating until someone pays for something you made.

A part of me finds it hard to convince people to join my beta email list to test and use the product (while I have more people to learn and iterate from). However, I realized this comes down to track record and execution more than anything else.

In other words, I'm not good enough to be where I want to be, so now's the time to put in the work to get there.

Idea-wise, I'm validating the need for an online tool that reminds workaholics to keep in contact with their close friends.

This motivation came from observing others and my own life. Young adults are too busy with career stuff, and there are close people we lose contact with not because we want to, but because of different life paths.

In other words, some app that tells you "You have not contacted X for 3 months, send her an interesting article?" kind of pings.

Love to get any feedback on this!
 

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OlivierMo

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I like your concept. I have to remind myself to catch up with my valued and far away friends too often.

I looked at your screen shots and have a few suggestions:
- skip web for that. Mobile app first
- polish the UI.
- integrate it with my phone contacts, calendar and friends lists on various social media

I love Vue.js by the way. Built many sites with it and you can use something like Onsen UI with Vue for mobile.
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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I like your concept. I have to remind myself to catch up with my valued and far away friends too often.

I looked at your screen shots and have a few suggestions:
- skip web for that. Mobile app first
- polish the UI.
- integrate it with my phone contacts, calendar and friends lists on various social media

I love Vue.js by the way. Built many sites with it and you can use something like Onsen UI with Vue for mobile.
Hi Olivier, thanks for the comment. May I probe as to why you would prefer this to be a phone app?

Would it help if you got the actual reminders through Gmail and telegram bots, (not through the web app)?
 

jon.M

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Idea-wise, I'm validating the need for an online tool that reminds workaholics to keep in contact with their close friends.

This motivation came from observing others and my own life. Young adults are too busy with career stuff, and there are close people we lose contact with not because we want to, but because of different life paths.
Workaholics don't keep in touch with their friends because workaholics don't prioritize friends. Will your app change that?

How are you going to monetize? Will workaholics who don't care about their friends enough to keep in touch, pay for it? Would they even use it for free? Would the userbase be big enough for generating advertising revenue?

As I see this, it's almost like a CRM/followup tool but for consumers. Who have less money than businesses. And the benefit of it doesn't seem to be that big. And the niche you'd like to target is probably not terribly eager to adopting it.
 

OlivierMo

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Hi Olivier, thanks for the comment. May I probe as to why you would prefer this to be a phone app?

Would it help if you got the actual reminders through Gmail and telegram bots, (not through the web app)?
I think mobile makes more sense because the workflow is more appropriate:
- I get a notification I have reached out to a friend
- I send them an email or text or gives them a call
- I use my phone to send the latest picture of me to them
 

lowtek

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If I were doing this, I would follow the same process the ecom guys do. I'd find an app that is already selling, with not many competitors, with reviews that tell me what to improve.

Either way, the prize is in the process. I wouldn't get so hung up on analysis at first. Pick a direction, start moving and start learning.
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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Workaholics don't keep in touch with their friends because workaholics don't prioritize friends. Will your app change that?

How are you going to monetize? Will workaholics who don't care about their friends enough to keep in touch, pay for it? Would they even use it for free? Would the userbase be big enough for generating advertising revenue?

As I see this, it's almost like a CRM/followup tool but for consumers. Who have less money than businesses. And the benefit of it doesn't seem to be that big. And the niche you'd like to target is probably not terribly eager to adopting it.
Hi Jon, thanks for your feedback!

I’ve received feedback similar to yours, and in totality the feedback is mixed - most of my student friends who are graduating soon and entering the workforce resonate with the problem (whether the solution I am building the right one is another issue)

Definitely there is greater profit/ ease of sell for the business CRM space, I’ve gotten feedback from a mentor on the angle and will execute on it, prefably after this one as I’m still in the process of getting used to execution and validating a product.

Monetise wise, I’m considering either a “free for first 3 months, then $10/ month” or straight up $10/ month with a demo page to showcase the value. The reality is that people only get value from this when they it’s time to meet their friend, which can be 2-3 months later, so it’s not the easiest sell upfront.

I appreciate your thoughts and I do agree with where you are coming from, just that at this point I feel I’m too inexperienced and need more execution, building an MVP and seeing how people react.

I’m ok with failing this idea and moving on quickly to another within days, that’s just the way I’m rolling with this!
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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I think mobile makes more sense because the workflow is more appropriate:
- I get a notification I have reached out to a friend
- I send them an email or text or gives them a call
- I use my phone to send the latest picture of me to them
Thanks Olivier, I’ll make as much of the workflow to work on mobile as possible!
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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If I were doing this, I would follow the same process the ecom guys do. I'd find an app that is already selling, with not many competitors, with reviews that tell me what to improve.

Either way, the prize is in the process. I wouldn't get so hung up on analysis at first. Pick a direction, start moving and start learning.
Thanks lowtek for this - prize in process!
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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Thanks lowtek for this - prize in process!
I’ve tried using other competitors, but I didn’t go as far as to see their user reviews and provide them in my app.

Thanks for reminding me!
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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An update from me after a week...

I've started serious coding for the app, putting a consistent 4-5 quality hours a day into debugging and getting out a standard template I can easily plug and play for any future ideas (should this one not gain much traction).

I got stuck for 3-4 days on building login authentication but with some grit and preserverance, I've pulled through.

On the marketing side, I've reached out to over 15 people online seeking for beta testers/ people willing to give feedback and ~5 have replied positively.

That adds to my list of ~10 friends who have already told me they are happy to be my beta testers.

All-in-all, outside the work I'm focusing on keeping my energy state, motivation consistent and constantly reminding myself of the achievements I have done each day to end each day feeling a small sense of accomplishment.

My drug of choice is not alcohol, not weed but how I feel about myself when I am alone, so during much of these periods of alone time executing, I really feel the cycle of "busting my balls and leaving it all on the table" and then resting, rinse and repeat. It is a different kind of lifestyle from slowlane education so while it takes some getting used to, it is definitely a step closer to my ideal life and the cultivation of an extremely confident me. I feel happiness in shorter, more predictable cycles and this is what keeps me going.

Outside of business, I can feel the impact of being aligned (and actively executing) on my true, closest goals. I've noticed my inner confidence skyrocket and I feel I am attracting more people, guys and women. My Mom feels especially sticky to me this period even when I want to execute. Ladies take more notice of me when I work in school and some even go out of their way to talk to me, which is definitely a new thing. There is something magical about a high-energy being that is aligned and acitvely moving towards his/ her goals.
 

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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

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An update after a couple of months...

I launched beta last month, which you can check out here (some bugs to fix, but just wanted to show proof of execution for this forum)
178.128.127.213

I'm still fixing some bugs and improving design on the app (decided to call it Bruce) and within the past month I have reached out to 100s of strangers and friends online, getting beta users and feedback.

So far I've around 40-50 solid beta users and a great collection of feedback, ranging from tech, product, marketing angle, customer experience, and even the branding.

I've had random strangers willing to spend 1.5 hours on Hangouts critiquing my site design and offering suggestions for improvement.

I've also had a small trace of people who seem genuinely excited on what I'm building and happy to support, with other people I've met in my travels to Abu Dhabi and Bali who have different expertise and willing to reach out.

So despite the tough moments fighting out with the code, there have been heartening moments that push me along.

I've thought a lot about the "an app a month" idea and while it seems like a very good idea, the reality is that I'm not at that technical pace nor business execution to launch and iterate at that speed.

That being said, I'm content with building the best version of my app and launching it, and getting happy users - I've decided that I'll be okay if this project does not monetize but at the minimum, I need to get traction/ happy testimonials as a testament to my goal of building out a product with the best value array I can create.

I'd rather be the person who takes longer but ships quality products than the quick hacker that ships fast but code breaks whenever a customer tests the product. It wasn't an easy decision to make considering time, resources and other pressures but I figured if I'm in it for the long game, I need to be good at execution anyway and build my skillsets to a point people will marvel at when they see how much I did with so little resources.

In terms of timeline, I'm poised to launch before May and just keep reaching out to people for feedback/ marketing partnerships and fix any tech issues along the way.

The good news is that within these 2 months, my web development skills have improved tremendously as I got to intern for an expert Vue.js developer for a month during this timeframe so it is a big confidence booster.

If anyone here wants to learn more about Bruce, check out the site and leave your email - I would most appreciate any feedback/ thoughts you have on the product!
 

richRich

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Jan 28, 2019
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Thanks for the update!

I've thought a lot about the "an app a month" idea and while it seems like a very good idea, the reality is that I'm not at that technical pace nor business execution to launch and iterate at that speed.
My learning here is, that if you start a challenge like this, you should have already built 2-3 apps in 2-3 months and 5-6 ideas for the next half a year. At least this is how I would approach such a challenge next time.

I'd rather be the person who takes longer but ships quality products than the quick hacker that ships fast but code breaks whenever a customer tests the product.
Being a Finisher is sometimes more important than jumping to the next thing. Keep at it and make it better as long as you learn from different disciplines.

I've decided that I'll be okay if this project does not monetize but at the minimum, I need to get traction/ happy testimonials as a testament to my goal of building out a product with the best value array I can create.
Even if you don't see too much monetization possibilities right now. Still, give it a chance to monetize, when you think it's ready (if you can speak of "ready" somehow for SaaS products ), like with donations and/or paid features. Maybe it could also become a funnel for something else that you will create in the future, which would be kind of indirect monetization.
By the way, I recently listened to an Indie Hackers podcast with the Vue.js creator. He didn't have much pressure of building a monetized product as well. Sometimes good decisions derive from such a situation in the end.



Telegram is my preferred way of communication and it was fun to use your app so far. Will keep you updated if the app motivates me to keep in touch with friends.

The landing page looks good quality at first glance, too! I'll send you a few minor bugs via PM.

Keep grinding!
 

Tanu1234

Contributor
Aug 4, 2018
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59
56
An update from me after a week...

I've started serious coding for the app, putting a consistent 4-5 quality hours a day into debugging and getting out a standard template I can easily plug and play for any future ideas (should this one not gain much traction).

I got stuck for 3-4 days on building login authentication but with some grit and preserverance, I've pulled through.

On the marketing side, I've reached out to over 15 people online seeking for beta testers/ people willing to give feedback and ~5 have replied positively.

That adds to my list of ~10 friends who have already told me they are happy to be my beta testers.

All-in-all, outside the work I'm focusing on keeping my energy state, motivation consistent and constantly reminding myself of the achievements I have done each day to end each day feeling a small sense of accomplishment.

My drug of choice is not alcohol, not weed but how I feel about myself when I am alone, so during much of these periods of alone time executing, I really feel the cycle of "busting my balls and leaving it all on the table" and then resting, rinse and repeat. It is a different kind of lifestyle from slowlane education so while it takes some getting used to, it is definitely a step closer to my ideal life and the cultivation of an extremely confident me. I feel happiness in shorter, more predictable cycles and this is what keeps me going.

Outside of business, I can feel the impact of being aligned (and actively executing) on my true, closest goals. I've noticed my inner confidence skyrocket and I feel I am attracting more people, guys and women. My Mom feels especially sticky to me this period even when I want to execute. Ladies take more notice of me when I work in school and some even go out of their way to talk to me, which is definitely a new thing. There is something magical about a high-energy being that is aligned and acitvely moving towards his/ her goals.
Nice[emoji3] best wishes for your journey[emoji1319][emoji1319]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

scottmsul

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I launched beta last month, which you can check out here (some bugs to fix, but just wanted to show proof of execution for this forum)
178.128.127.213
Get a domain name! Even if you're in beta, there's many reasons to get one. It gives you a brand/identity, adds an air of professionalism, and new users will think the app is more legitimate (even if the features are exactly the same).

Check godaddy.com for names that are still available. It's like $12 for an untaken domain, although you will have to be creative to find one.

Also check the this thread for some naming tips: Naming Your Startup or New Company: Practical Tips and Helpful Tools
 
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Tony Tong

Tony Tong

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 9, 2018
28
46
25
25
Singapore
Get a domain name! Even if you're in beta, there's many reasons to get one. It gives you a brand/identity, adds an air of professionalism, and new users will think the app is more legitimate (even if the features are exactly the same).

Check godaddy.com for names that are still available. It's like $12 for an untaken domain, although you will have to be creative to find one.

Also check the this thread for some naming tips: Naming Your Startup or New Company: Practical Tips and Helpful Tools
Thanks for this - I read through and got some good tips! :) Just bought a domain name!
 

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