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EXECUTION SaaSify

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by LeoistheSun, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Havent posted in awhile:

    Hit a brick wall. Low on funds, could really use a nice cash injection right about now!

    Anyway, the brick wall is getting in contact with people who have the issue I am trying to fix. I'd like to get more information on the problem and if what I am creating is in the right direction.

    I found a dev to make part of the software for free... just enough to hopefully test the concept.

    I've also got a list of everyone who could potentially have the issue, I'm just stuck figuring out how to go about finding people who I could get feedback from.

    Anyway, since most peeps are off this week (I cant seem to reach anyone), I am going to read as many GOLD posts as possible until X-mas.
     
  2. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Been awhile since I posted but, spoke with 2 vets today about their issues. Basically, I might pivot/change my idea to something else. Thankfully something like this has been developed so what I might do is have a Dev build a rough draft or working prototype that uses this API and then have the Vets test it to see if it solves the issue or reduces it.

    I've also been thinking about ways to diversify my offering vs competitors. One is to offer some freebies, since not having "said item" is a common objection. Surprisingly theres some pretty nice ones on Amazon for $30. So if I were to charge $50-100/mo for the SaaS I'd still make a profit.

    We

    Shall

    See


    -Leo
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  3. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Quick update:

    Talked with the owners of the API, unsure on the prices. They want me to sign a NDA. They also offer a software client of the solution. There's also a couple re-sellers that use the same product.

    Interestingly the competition I was thinking of earlier (that makes a similar product)- uses their product (software client). They are just a reseller.

    Main thing that comes to mind if I go down this route- is that I loose the Commandment of Control regardless if I make my own software solution.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  4. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Quick update.

    Signed the NDA waiting for tomorrow for the meeting on the pricing.

    I may have originally posted that the commandment of CONTROL was violated. Well only slightly. If I was to continue through this pivot or change in idea, I would need to use this API. Its pretty much the cornerstone of the product. Did I mention that this company also offers a product that does the same thing but you can be a "reseller"?

    (I would not be competing with them- since I would be using their product anyway)

    I'm not interested in doing that. Simply put, CONTROL would be fully violated. The company (since I'd be a reseller) would know who my customers are and then could hypothetically kick me off their service- while keeping my customers.

    However if I build my own program that uses the API, then they do not know who my customers are and stand to lose a lot more ($$$) should anything happen, I can also use this to my advantage. So CONTROL is only partially violated in this case- since they own the API but wouldn't know who my customer base is.

    At this moment thinking about that is a bit of "cart before the horse" in which case, I don't even know if the prices are reasonable or not. For instance, IBM's API would cost me ~$20 per month per client. So that could be anywhere from 20-40% of my total revenue!! However, I wonder if I could just deduct that cost from taxes...? Either way I'm thinking way ahead.

    Since I am waiting on hearing back, I'm going to fart around with what the UI could look like. I have some ideas.

    -Leo
     
  5. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Update:

    Got off the phone with the rep.- and MAN were they cheaper! -In a good way of-course!

    I also got some ins on what my competition might be charging. So I was reading UNSCRIPTED and re-read the VALUE SKEW part. I gotta look up my competition and see where I can skew value.

    Also a shout-out to @CareCPA for helping me out on a question! Basically I can deduct API expenses from my overall profits!
     
  6. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Update:

    Looked a bit closer at the pricing from the rep and realized I got understood it wrong. So realistically they are only a little bit cheaper.

    I've continued to look at ways to value skew. I thought I'd take a page out of TMF where MJ changes his pricing model for his website to something unique and crazy. You see... instead of doing $$ per month charge, I've decided to try charging based on usage.

    Other Value-Skews that I can take advantage of that my competition do not:
    • Compelling Story
    • Ease of Ordering
    • Associations & Affiliations
    • Guarantee
    • Refund Policy
    • Trial
    • Reviews
    • Security
    • Payment Options
    • Employee Photos
    • Added Value (Blog, etc.)
    • Bonuses (free stuff)
    • Social Media
    • Sales Copy
    (Yes! Apparently my competition lacks in all these areas...)

    Some of the pain points of customers (that I've seen from similar products on Amazon [software]) is that it's too expensive. So I want to try a "pay as you use" model. Something similar to DigitalOcean.

    Since half of the SaaS resolves around a 3rd party API (one that I pay for- based on usage), I decided to try forwarding that cost (and the pricing model) to the customer + 50% (profit).

    I've got some cool ideas that I want to try out too. But for now im focused on:

    - Creating a mockup
    - Customer Feedback
    - MVP built
    - MVP tested
    - More feedback
    - Presale
    - Build
    - Launch
     
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  7. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Amazing progress man!

    Did they say why they wanted you to sign an NDA? Seems fishy. The NDA seems left field from the direction you were headed.

    I just started my next project now after I left the partnership I was in.

    You'll need to sell after the MVP.

    I recommend the book "SPIN Selling" for selling the $600 packages you need for the MVP. SPIN Selling is the book closest to the approach I told you about that uses Cherry Picking and patterning.

    It's my method and Dan Maxwell's info on steroids and condensed down.

    It's also scientifically proven.

    Happy New Year!

    Last, I would suggest Keynotopia for your packet.

    I've heard good things about the NO B.S. series for marketing when you make it to that point.

    LeadGenius might also be worth it after a few pre-sells to get opt-ins on a cold email campaign for scaling.

    These are the tools and paths I'm taking after 7 or 8 failures and having now read close to 20 books on this stuff.
     
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  8. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks @EasternCrane! Yes, it did seem fishy. Maybe because they didn't want other competitors to know? They were only a little bit cheaper compared to the "market leader." TBH I think it would be too expensive (the cost after I factor in my own profit) to the customer so I'm looking into other avenues.

    I hate how long it takes though... :(

    Will look into the other stuff.

    I've heard of Keynotetopia.
     
  9. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Slight Detour...

    Super large obstacle in my way. However I'm going to keep trying to jump over!

    My quest has lead me to...

    Microsoft Azure & Machine Learning!

    -Leo
     
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  10. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Stop and focus for a second. Or better don't forget your focus.

    You need a customer not a tool.

    You're trying to get this off of your word. This stuff is probably coming from interviews with people. Right?

    You want to build a machine learning, cloud application, with computational abilities, and decked out on APIs you either need or want but don't fully control.

    That's not an insult.

    Why are you only trying to get $50 per month for this though?

    A machine learning consult for applications as a one off usage runs at least $3k to $25k, depending on complexity and the problem it solves as a standalone solution.

    That is with probably undercharging too as a consultant.

    This means your application should be solving a really important problem and be costing like $300+ per month, at least like $150 or more a month.

    If you are solving a $5k per month problem you should be charging like $650 a month or even possibly more. You aren't trying to capture 99% of the market like a startup are you?

    I know I couldn't imagine trying to run a webinar on how my $50 solution solves a $30k+ yearly problem. I couldn't imagine that people would stick around for anything but price either. The level of customer service would have to be low as well.

    I would suggest trying to sell before going deeper in the solution.

    Remember, a business is a solved problem and a customer.

    The customer comes first.

    Your MVP may not need an ML component right away. The point isn't to map out the whole solution. Your point/goal is to do enough to create a viable solution.

    Also, Fwiw, I haven't seen any ML solutions on the market going for like $50 a month. They may exist though. I would think the market would have to be super large and they would be raising money also.

    If you haven't listened to "The Automatic Customer" then you should because your solution needs to cost low enough to make sure it doesn't take 1 or 2 years for you to start making money.

    The overhead can get expensive so I would suggest trying to sell a customer on a fair price with the packet.

    Best of luck man.
     
  11. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Deleted. Wrote something too soon possibly lol
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  12. EasternCrane
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    EasternCrane Sit in the gap not the choice Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    If it's serious then upgrade and move your progress thread to the inside.

    You did give away some damning information for the curious.

    Long story short. You're said exactly why you should pre-sell right now. There are current buyers. They're aware of the solutions.

    You don't even need a packet. You just need unhappy customers.

    Raise prices. Pre-sell.

    Fwiw, I saw the early post.

    You can definitely create that better product. If there are white label resellers then the problem is big and deep.

    I.e. your $650 to $1300 per month is probably bare minimum.

    $7200 to $13000 yearly doesn't sound like ML.

    There is a thing known as Baumol's Cost Disease in Health Care, which predicts that due to reporting, administrative costs will rise forever like a black hole and cause general healthcare costs to rise forever.

    The ACA is an example of how this occurs. Also, Canada, Britain, and maybe France as well (for various types of demonstrations of the effect).

    So your problem is probably more expensive as the size of the organization increases.

    You have found an admin problem with a real exit potential.

    Healthcare companies get the most exits if I'm not mistaken.

    If you're making a quality solution that can be A) scalable
    B) compelling

    You need to charge more. This also means you can make cash faster as there will be affiliates and stuff. They'll like a higher priced custom quality offer.

    If your competition is super advanced then your solution will be cheap to build because it has been done a million times.

    Your incremental improvement will get somewhere faster and better if you just pre-sell.

    Selling now will help you create a godfather offer since the market is mature.

    Knowing why you aren't good enough shows how to create the irresistible offer. Selling actually helps nail down what's missing.

    If you do it the SPIN selling way.

    However, it does sound like you need to map out the solution better if you're adding a never done before component.

    Just my 0.02c.
     
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  13. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I would charge tons (a spin off idea possibly) but my current competition charges a one-time $1500 or $75 monthly.

    So I feel like I can't go much higher.

    I deleted my post since I was talking about how MS made it easy to do some things AI related... But one of their pricing points is totally bone-headed and makes no sense.

    Anyway I am trying to figure this out.
     
  14. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    @EasternCrane regarding my last post where I said "I deleted my post."

    I just wanted to say that Microsoft was offering some awesome machine-learning tools that I decided to take advantage of.

    I was able to talk to the head of Development with MS about their pricing- the product is still in "testing-mode" so anything can change. However the pricing will be changed (it wasn't that expensive- just super annoying how they do it currently).

    Anyway, this post is super lame- I'd like to say what I am doing (I'm not an INSIDER and I wonder if Insiders are truly safe from copy-cats).

    Found yet another market to potentially market to down the road. That now makes 2mil+ potential customers.

    Veterinarians
    Medical Professionals
    Law Enforcement
     
  15. EasternCrane
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    just do. Keep pushing. Keep going.

    There are multiple areas of innovation:

    Convenience, Price, Quality, Speed etc.

    Pick one and be great at it. Most of all, trust your gut. They're not all dependent on price. If everyone is doing the same thing. It's probably a clue to do the opposite.

    Edit: There's something for you on the inside that may help with your journey. MTF has a thread you should read. You'll see my post there on the inside as well asking about how to do this. Both threads are worth reading.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
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  16. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I cant get on the inside lol (not yet).

    Quick little update: Applied for a job to get some industry EXP. This company supports the products (aka the competitors products) but doesnt actually create anything as I'd like to do.
     
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  17. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    18 days since my last post.

    Just hired a freelancer on Upwork to build a test version of my idea. Its something that only I can use (clients cannot- it will need modifications to do so) and its super basic and rudimentary (made from .NET), and its being built to test my concept.

    Excited to see what is created.

    This is Phase 1.

    Phase 2 is to test the concept with people who have the issue and to solicit feeback and optimally, get payment or presales.

    Phase 3: Full deployment with the main feature + payment online. Basically step one of the SaaS. Also the app would be rebuilt in Java instead of .NET for compatibility.
     
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  18. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    The test app is 1/2 way done. It still has bugs that need to be worked out. Excited to test the concept first with myself and then with my clients.

    Also accepted a job working, it will help fund this operation too! As @MJ DeMarco says, a job can be fastlane (or on your way to it), if you use it to gain industry XP or fund an existing project.

    Thought, it would be hard to find a well-paying job after so long without work, but I have got multiple offers.
     
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  19. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Got the test app back a couple days ago. Now its just grinding! And testing the work. I'm guessing I'll be here for a month or more.
     
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Its been 3 months since I last posted an update.

    Since then I've:
    • Been working on a data base of terms to be used in the software (approx 25,000 completed of 65,000+)
    • Researching some other avenues in-case this one does not work out (basically writing down different potential pivots that solve the problem)
    I was going to take a break because the API that I want to use (3rd party) was not complete and it would have been too much of a hassle to use. Fortunately it looks like an update has been released that lowers the costs significantly (much more than I thought), that could allow me to either compete on a cost basis (and be the "low end" provider [cheaper and have less features]) or increase my profit margin by 2-3x by keeping the price in-line with competitors and offer more features/benefits.

    Either way, its been a bit of a roller-coaster; trying to figure out what to do next:
    • Build a "Coming Soon" page to test the concept (even though solutions already exist) or possibly pricing options (but I do not know how to test this).
    • Alternate avenues in-case my reliance on the API fails.
     
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  21. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Everything is a go. Just need to finish my database and either have a Vet test it or build the MVP and have them test it.

    With the API my profit margin would be around 50%-80% est.
     
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  22. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I am hiring a freelancer to get my database finished. I estimate 40hrs to completion. Then on to test phase after this.
     
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  23. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Starting to work on the 2nd version of the app. This will be the MVP I show to potential Vets.
     
  24. LeoistheSun
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    LeoistheSun Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Looking for a little advice, maybe @eliquid you can help? Small advice:

    I am trying to figure out what order I should be doing things.

    I've got software that doesnt quite live up to par with being an MVP. It will only test the database that I have created, and wont "satisfy" the problem directly.

    Therefore, I'd like to create a real MVP. But I am curious if first I should look for more people with this problem or build them MVP and then go find the people with the problem to show them the MVP?

    So what order should these be placed?
    - Build MVP
    - Find more people with this problem (I had 5 but probably down to 2), via landing page or explainer video with opt-in form.

    While it would seem obvious to first find more people with this problem to save myself from wasting money on an MVP, my idea is nothing new and other well-funded companies exist in this market (thus verifying the idea). I am just doing things differently.

    Thanks!
     
  25. eliquid
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    eliquid ( Jason Brown ) Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    My advice is going to sound harsh and maybe negative. Just be warned.

    The reason you are running around in all the circles and asking so many questions is, you didn't heed the advice I gave earlier.

    Are you a Vet? Do you work with a Vet? Do you own a business that interacts with Vets ( like a kennel )? I don't know, but it sounds like a NO to all the above.

    This is why you are having so many issues and questions and spending so much time trying to find a customer. You're not the industry ( or the authority ).

    You can make money not being in the industry ( or the authority ) but you are going to spend a lot of time and heartache in the process. Why take all these lumps on the head when you could have went straight to something else?

    It also seems you are ( I could be wrong ) going to the wrong end of the market. $50 price point?

    Ok, I have one of those with SERPWoo, but we also have a $5,000 per month plan too. Our market is not just struggling SEOs who never ranked a site, but also agencies and large Fortune 500 companies who need help with SEO. We can "level up" customers as they grow and get them to move up the ladder in our plans. Can you? I only see mention of this one price, as if your product is just the $50 plan.

    But your product isn't just a $50 offering, your product is a solution and you need be able to think about that as your customers move up. Right now you seem really focused on this one plan, but what's the real solution?

    Take a few steps back from ground zero and maybe get to a 10,000 ft view to see it.


    Don't ask customers what they want.

    Why do you think they know what they want in the first place? Most don't know.

    Those that think they do, don't know either.

    Henry Ford said if he would have asked his customers, they would have said "Faster horses". lol

    You should be the expert. Why? Cause you're the one building the app and selling them to your customers.

    You are suppose to be the one closing the gap, so quit asking your customers what the gap is.

    And when you are the authority, you know what the right gap is to close.

    Right now, you are asking people what it is and each person is going to tell you something different based on their idea, assumptions, needs, and experience. What Vet #3 wants is going to be different than Vet #8 and this is why you are having a hard time getting things to work.

    A fat person doesn't want a treadmill, so if you called 50 fat people today and asked them what they want, a lot of them would say different things like:

    1. Cheaper tummy tucks
    2. A pill they could take to melt the fat away
    3. A XYZ diet plan that fits their specific and unique dietary needs ( gluten, etc )
    4. etc
    5. What makes you think you would actually find the right fat person, that had the right gap to solve anyways? If you did find that person with phone calls, how would you even know it was the gap to close and not just another loose end to chase? Answer: You'd know if you were in the industry and an authority in it.

    But really what you need to do, is to sell them what you have dreamed up and built since you're the fitness expert ( Jillian Michaels ). You need to sell them the Peloton, the True treadmill, the NordicTrack.

    Did fat people say they wanted a treadmill, a Peloton, or a NordicTrack before it was thrown in their face via a infomercial? No. Do millions of them sell a year regardless, Yes.

    You need to be creating in your industry that you are an authority of.

    By doing this, you will know the gaps you need to be closing.

    By doing this you will always know if you should be building out more of the MVP, or getting more customers, or calling more people or chillax-ing at the pool.

    Stop with the explainer videos, blog posts, and other things.

    You need 100 customers. You can't get that with an explainer video and no finished MVP that charges dollars every month. But your MVP won't sell or get built if you're not in the industry and an authority because you wont genuinely understand what these people really want and desire/need.


    I'm not a woman, so I don't understand them ( can anyone? ).

    Therefor, I don't make handbags and sell them in malls like Kate Spade. Kate was in the industry, spotted the gap, knew it was the right gap, and made millions. The people that bought her company made billions. She made a bag for herself, because she was the audience, and that solved a lot of other people's need too.

    If I today, tried to make a handbag for women, I'd be in the exact spot you are in right now... asking all these questions and talking to women, instead of making the handbag. Once I made the handbag, I'd make the wrong one!


    I'm not a weight lifter, so I don't sell to them.

    I don't know the lingo, the passion behind it, the mental state it takes to get in the zone, etc. Others do though and can sell to them because they know all of this and get deep to the core of that audience. Take Force Factor, a supplement brand created by someone I somewhat knew back in the day from another forum. His background was in rowing at Harvard and with his own personal fitness.

    He was in the industry, knew the gap, and went for it. He made a product for himself, because he was the industry, and it solved a lot of problems other people had too. He still makes millions and is the #1 brand in stores like GNC, etc.

    If I tried to make a similar supplement today, I'd be exactly where you are asking questions, doing polls, and having a 50% finished MVP that probably would fail when finished and put in a bottle.


    People don't know what they want if you ask them.

    If so, we wouldn't have:
    • Mid-life crisis
    • Divorce rates so high
    • People going to college, only to work in a different field than they studied for
    • Insane amounts of personal debt
    • Life coaches, gurus and other BS artists
    But the one thing you can count on, is you and the experience you have in an industry so you can spot the gaps that no one else sees.

    Then you close that gap and sell it on the infomercial ( website, youtube, etc ) using everything you know about that industry to the people in it.

    If you weren't a Vet, or weren't an SEO person, and you tried to sell me a Vet/SEO product.. I would pick up on that fact in less than 3 seconds on the phone or your landing page if I was a Vet/SEO person. In that regard, you've already lost the sale.


    This is why I harp so much on this principle.

    In short, to answer your question specifically, focus on the MVP. But only after you are actually an authority in the industry and know the real gap and can speak their language and relate to them more.

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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018

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