The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

EXECUTION Starting an eCommerce Competitive Intelligence Site

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.

openwater

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 30, 2020
22
31
20
USA
I just finished the Survivorship Bias piece in Unscripted. It got me thinking about how many graveyards full of failed business ideas there must be that we simply don't ever hear about. It bothers me that all the hard-fought lessons learned by founders never reach the next guy/girl to help them on their journey.

My motivation in starting this thread is that at least if my execution fades into oblivion, some future soul will see where I wandered into the woods and not follow the same path. It's one way I see of providing value to this great community.

With that said, my idea is well-documented in this Ideas thread. Feedback there was positive enough for me to continue on to execution (big thank you to folks who commented/voted there).

TL;DR: The plan is to build a competitive intelligence service for eCommerce entrepreneurs/businesses, with actionable insight on creating new/improving existing products.

In the past week since posting this idea, I've finished the official Django tutorial (a Python web development library) and am ready to start building an MVP. It will be a long process because I've never built a (non-WP) website before. I do have good experience with Python which helps.

My goals:
  • Create a barebones MVP without getting sucked into the web development rabbit hole and losing motivation. I want to build this site with Django primarily, with some borrowed HTML from wherever I can find it. If I can get traction, I think I will shift to reinvesting earnings into outsourced web development to improve the site (unless I'm knowledgeable enough to make the changes myself).
  • Long-term (next three years) the goal is to replace my income from my current Slowlane job. I want to be cognizant of whether or not I am on the right "road" and pivot early on if needed. My first major milestone is MRR of $1000, at which point I would not be replacing my income, but I would feel ready to quit and go all-in on the business.

My whys:
  • My major WHY is to free my time to help my parents when they become frail. I don't want to have to choose between keeping my Slowlane job and caring for/spending time with my parents in their final years. I'm sure most of us have some experience with this type of dilemma and the slow-burn regret it causes that never quite goes away.
  • I have a selfish WHY involving a sibling rivalry ;)
  • Finally, I need to free myself and my significant other from our life-draining job commitments.

My next steps:
  • In contrast to what I wrote in the above thread, I've realized that learning React (front-end language) would be action-faking and probably a waste of time. Armed with Django and some HTML I should be able to create an MVP. With that said, I now need to:
    1. Create my back-end with Django
    2. Collect/scrape the necessary data from the web
    3. Analyze and transform this data into digestible content
    4. Set up a pipe to feed this content through to my Django backend
    5. Figure out how to visualize this content on the front-end without inducing nausea for users
    6. At some point during the above steps, create a landing page (thank you @Vadim26 for this advice in the above thread) to generate a first-access user list and get ideas on what customers ultimately want
I anticipate that progress on here will be slow for a while as I smash my head into brick wall after brick wall figuring out how to build this MVP. From there it will pick up, and perhaps a year from now I can tell you about hitting my first MRR milestone :smile:

Thank you for reading. Happy to answer any questions or discuss feedback. In the meantime, back to work! :bicep:
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
openwater

openwater

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 30, 2020
22
31
20
USA
So I came head-to-head with my first major roadblock and was close to giving up...

Long story short, my original method of gathering data is not possible (the gatekeeping on it is much stricter than I originally thought). I'm grateful to have run into this issue sooner than later.

There is an alternative method of gathering data (web scraping), but to keep this idea exactly the same, this would be building the company on too shaky a foundation. I'm trying my best to take the Commandment of Control as an absolute MUST HAVE.

One interesting question for the forum may be - does a business predicated on serving web scraped data violate the Commandment of Control?

I've personally made up my mind that this does violate Control. The legality of web scraping is squishy. I would most likely be violating at least one website"Terms of Service". If Control is the foundation for the house, I don't want to be building on sand where one cease and desist letter can end me.

Interesting read for anyone considering this question that helped me make up my mind: Web Scraping and Crawling Are Perfectly Legal, Right?

Instead of giving up I'm pivoting instead. The net of it is I can't report data as granularly as I would like to, so takeaways and insights will be higher-level. This will shift the target audience dramatically.

I need to think on:
  • Who exactly seeks product insights at a higher level (ex. VPs instead of solo entrepreneurs)?
  • How does this pivot change the MVP I need to deliver?
  • Execution of the new methodology for collecting intelligence.
Ultimately, a definite lesson learned today - when it's tough, find a way to keep going forward.
 
OP
OP
openwater

openwater

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 30, 2020
22
31
20
USA
Hi folks,

I've been spending time on data analysis and mockups for the MVP. I'll spend another week or two creating barebones data visualizations that communicate the distilled value add of this product.

Also decided on a website name (with the help of a few friends). This was a crucial step to set up a landing page in the near future to gauge interest. The landing page will leverage some screenshots of the visuals from the barebones data visualizations from above.

The plan is for the brand to be light and personable (avoiding taking itself too seriously) while analytical and data-driven. Kind of like that charismatic guy you know who's also a geek at heart!

Good progress so far. One thing I've been putting off but know I need to do is creating an LLC (or similar).

The mountain still looks unscalable from here but taking this one step at a time!
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox's Web Design Guide: Earn $100K this year (Yes, 2020!) and Go Fastlane
How do I sell to a different country with an accent? And a foreign number. Cold e-mails don't...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Kill Bigger Incubator
Hey @Cruiser I just shot you a reply! Amazing product BTW!
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
Well, we made it halfway through the year. Don't know what the rest'll bring, but it's gonna be...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
Not really a teaser but it does employ a fictional story, so that is similiar. This upcoming...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Dropping a quick note in here to say... if you are on TFL, you are part of an elite group of...



Forum Sponsor

sponsor

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom