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EXECUTION Going for IKIGAI: Launching 1st January 2020

Sadik

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Jan 26, 2017
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Kolkata, India
I have been working online for 8 years full time and overall for 14 years. I started freelancing while still in college making websites for university departments. I found a well paying job but quit after 4 years even though they offered to double my salary. I launched a website that still makes about USD 300 / month passively. Had other failed websites as well. I launched a software product which had mediocre sales so closed it off. All throughout I have been freelancing with semi-regular clients.

BUT I realize I am NOT in the fastlane. And I have this uneasy feeling which keeps coming back that I am not doing enough. The problem isn't that I can't find software products to make but this very deep desire I have to be of service to people. I have dabbled with charities and social organizations in the past but I don't want to work for free either.

So in the beginning of 2019, I made a resolution to find a CENTS business I would commit to. But I didn't just want a CENTS business. I wanted Happy, Smart and Useful or IKIGAI

IKIGAI.png

Thanks @ChrisV for the concept.

So in June this year, I stumbled upon an idea which satisfies CENTS and is also very close to IKIGAI. The business grader gives it a C+ mainly because there are already similar players in the market and the barrier to entry is a combination of programming and creativity skills which I believe aren't rare.


So I registered a domain, got a logo made and started to code! :)

This is a B2C SaaS service, meaning I am directly targeting end users. This will be a subscription service and per user price point is low. The market leader offering this service runs a Freemium model and boasts of 2 million users. Their PRO plan is $20 / year. However there is another competitor whose service I like even better and they run it for FREE! Yes you read that right. FREE. It's owned by a programmer who does this as a passion project. A third competitor has a flat $5 / month plan after a free trial period. These three are the main players.

I have considered offering to buy the service from the free guy, but he has committed to keep the service FREE forever so I cannot break the trust with his existing users and start a paid service assuming he is even ready to sell. Also he is using a different technology I am not familiar with which would mean learning something fresh and having to maintain and develop someone else's code.

So long story short, I am building this service on my own with my own unique twist offering certain features not present in either of the three services at one place. I am using LAMP stack and building on top of Wordpress. This is because I am most familiar with these systems and I can quickly build and launch on these versus spending 6 months learning new systems.

However, I recently saw "The Undercover Billionaire" and as I stated on that thread, the show inspired me to actually find customers first and then build the product. So I am now shifting my focus to building a landing page and launching a Google PPC campaign to garner interest. With my current commitments, I cannot envisage launching a MVP before at least another two months. This service sees spike in interest at New Year's so I want to be able to launch by then.

I have very little PPC experience. I ran a few campaigns in the past but never had any good results probably because I wasn't doing it right. I found @Andy Black 's Adwords course and am planning to buy it this weekend. If you read this far, I am truly grateful and if you need help / suggestion from me on anything you are working on I will be happy to help.

To summarize, here's the plan

Initial Steps

  • Start a process / execution thread on TFF to keep myself accountable -> Doing it now
  • Setup the initial Development environment for the site and start coding -> In Process, partially done
  • Create Landing page for the service, link email list to a Free Mailchimp (or similar) account-> Pending
  • Take Andy's adwords course and learn PPC -> Starting this weekend
  • Start ads campaign -> Pending
While the presence of multiple such service offerings means the service is already validated, but it also begs the question of whether I can provide value to convince people to sign up with me instead. We will find out from the results of the Ad campaign and landing page.

IF the results are positive, I will triple down and code my way into launching this with at least a MVP no later than 1st Jan 2020. I could do it earlier if I could focus a 100% on this, but with 3 kids and my ongoing freelance commitments, I only have about 10 hours / week of deep work available.

Thanks for reading!
 

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