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Saint's Execution Thread

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Second Saint

Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 3, 2014
Hi everyone,

I first read TMF when I was in college, joined the forums shortly after, and then became a career forum lurker. Now, about 3 1/2 years after graduating, I'm still a software developer working 9-5 with no other source of income.

I found this nugget in my profile page. It's my answer from the account creation form all those years ago:
What is your REASON for joining the Fastlane Forum?
I have no intention of spending my precious time slaving away for someone else daily 8-5. The only person who deserves that time investment from me is myself.


Since joining I've read countless books, paid $4K for coaching from an old member of this forum, purchased two INSIDERS memberships, and more. I've done everything except take that first real step towards selling something other than "my precious time". So this is me finally taking that first step.

I have a list of business ideas that have developed from the problems I experienced over these past 3 years while working towards some of my other goals. What gives me confidence in these ideas is that I would definitely have purchased some service offering these solutions if I could. And to be completely honest, I would prefer to purchase them even now to make my life easier. I have my wallet out, but nobody to give the money to.

The only reason these items are still on my list is because they either
a) Exist in some form but have not directly addressed my specific needs
b) Fully exist but have noticeably subpar execution or product offerings

I am starting with my software ideas because I already have some skills in this area, and it harmonizes with some of my other life goals. Even if they don't do well, I will have something that makes my own life easier. Please be aware -- I do not code for fun. To me, it has always been about having a decent paying and somewhat stable job. If I didn't have to work another day in my life I would gladly walk away from programming.

Unfortunately, our industry is filled with software that is new for the sake of being new and software that is very meta in nature and only exists to solve other software "problems".

I strongly believe in software that solves real world problems, and I'm not a fan of the fluff. Not every app needs "social" features and other ways to hook users into yet another platform. We don't really need another way to create lightweight blogs. I want to focus on software that people can open up, use, and put away while still feeling they are getting value for the money. I'm focused on building the bridge between technology and real-world problems so people can get where they need to go without the BS.

In this progress thread I will outline the actions I take and successes and failures I have. I will try to be as open as possible, but will avoid over-sharing if it will hurt me or reveal too much information about myself.

Hopefully I can contribute something of value to this forum since I've taken so much up to this point.

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Second Saint

Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Jul 3, 2014
I will go ahead and tell you the product I am developing because it's certainly nothing new and plenty of well known solutions already exist.

I'm tackling the fitness industry, and the product is a meal planner + calorie counter.

Right now, I don't want to discuss the details that make my implementation different. To me, this is my competitive advantage in a marketplace that is loaded with products.

But I will say this. This industry is so bullshit at times it makes me want to cry. The fundamental information is all out there and is very straightforward. And it is drowned by a whole bunch of people trying to sell a whole bunch of stuff. This makes parsing the information very confusing and it can be extremely disempowering when trying to keep track of your well-being. So what ends up happening is that a lot of people (myself included) outsource the thinking to those who supposedly know the answer.

Well, they don't know the answer. And how can they? Outside of knowing the fundamentals of good nutrition, the only person who can truly know is you. Only you know what foods are available to you where you live, what you can afford to buy, what your body responds well to and what it doesn't, and so on. What happens when you go on a vacation or move to a significantly different location? How do you adapt your decision making? What if you're diabetic? These are just a few of many highly personal details that are impossible to cover with a one-size-fits all solution.

The apps that are currently available are certainly useful and lots of people find great value in paying for them. But personally I've found that they fall along the same flawed philosophical lines. They want to do too much for the user in the way they see it, but do not enable the user to do much in the way the user might need to use it. Or they provide an overwhelming amount of functionality to attempt to cover all possible scenarios but render the app painful to use.

So I want to build something that is simple and flexible to use, but very practical as well. Cut out the nonsense and help users help themselves. If someone uses my app for a year and then realizes they have internalized what they need and no longer need to use my app then I count that as much a success as someone who wants lifetime access.

Problem to be solved: Help people get healthier, feel better about themselves, and build the bodies they want -- all while spending less time and money and learning to make better decisions for themselves, thus growing their confidence.

Target audience: "Normal" people looking to plan their meals, track various nutrients, and manage caloric intake.
Though I can see multiple types of people using an app like this, my initial audience is the everyday person involved in the "fitness" and "bodybuilding" communities. So I'm targeting people who not only participate in this lifestyle, but also have real lives outside of it. They need to be able to make proper decisions for themselves without overwhelming their minds and consuming their days with this stuff.

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