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BOOK Will it fly, by Pat Flynn: how to validate an idea

monfii

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Hello, it's me, monfii!

I read the book "will it fly" by Pat Flynn. It's about validating your idea and I recommend it. In fact, MJ went on the author's podcast some years ago apparently.

Since many people on the forum are asking if their ideas are good or not, I briefly summarized below the main ideas.

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How to validate your business idea:

Step 1: imagine the life you want to have in five years. Does your idea support your lifestyle? If yes, cool. If not, then find something else.

Step 2: make a mind map around your idea. Take a bunch of post-its, and write all of your ideas on them, then stick them to the wall. Now take a step back. Group your ideas together. Then take off the bad ones.

Ok, so now that what you want to do is more specific, go into the world and tell everyone about it, to gather feedback.

Step 3: now we will take care of your audience. "The riches are in the niches". Don't change the world. Change one person's life. Find a niche, then create a market map.

A market map is made out of 3 Ps:

- People
- Places
- Product

Create a Google sheet for each of them with three columns for name, notes, and website. Then start mapping your market.

Collect on your google sheet all of the people, places and product related to your business idea.

Now you can build your customer PLANE. It is the avatar of your target customer. Create another spreadsheet. The columns are:

Problem: write the problems you found out about while doing your market map.
Language: write the specific words people use for their problem
Anecdotes: write about the stories people tell related to your idea (I think this is a bit weird, but whatever)
Need: self-explanatory
Elixir: the elixir is the solution to the problem and the need.

Choose ONE idea to focus on solving ONE problem. Just one.

Step 4: sell

Ok, so by now, you probably became an expert in your niche and know your customer, and your idea, because you have identified problems people need solving. Whether that idea is your initial idea or not does not matter. What matters is an idea other people want to see being sold, not one you want to sell.

You still need to test your idea. Don't ask people if they like it, because yes, that t-shirt idea is excellent, but excellent ≠ sales. To prove the viability of your product, you need sales.

You have two options: go talk to your potential customers directly and sell them your idea. You will be able to build the product with the money.
Second option: build a landing page and sell your idea with targeting google ads or facebook ads.

If your idea doesn't sell, tweak it until you find a formula that makes $$$$.

Voila. If someone buys from you, go ahead and build. If they don't, go back to your spreadsheets to find other problems to solve.

The book is MUCH MORE specific than this executive summary. If you are afraid of failing, then I recommend you buy the book and go do each step as instructed. It's really about how to build a business and succeed at the first trial.

Honestly if you build a CENTS business whose idea is validated by the framework from this book, you significantly decrease your chances to fail.

Best,


Monfii
 

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MJ DeMarco

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The book is a bit older (like TMF ) has it withstood the test of time? Have you applied it?
 

monfii

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This message is a mistake. See below.
 
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monfii

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The book is a bit older (like TMF ) has it withstood the test of time? Have you applied it?
Yes. I thought it gave excellent market research tips. At minima, you can use the book to learn how to become a market researcher and get paid to do that. It's also great for people that don't have any business ideas since it teaches you how to look for problems to solve.

Now, for big innovators, the book may not be suitable because it tells you specifically NOT to follow your idea if customers aren't ready to pay for it. However, some companies come up with good services, they're just too early (Coinbase in 2012, Palm, which could have become the iPhone, etc).

I think the book is great for a lifestyle business or a company solving a problem people have right now (thinking of Johnnyboy and his lawn mowing company). But it may not be suitable for a startup.

I used the book to decide to quit on an app my friend and I were building for one year. Now we're doing something else. However, had we started with market research, we wouldn't have wasted that time....

It takes less than 100 USD to set up a landing page and sell whatever you make with Facebook ads. It's stupidly easy to do and yet, it can avoid you a lot of problems, waste of time, and disappointments in the future.

The ultimate lesson the book taught me is how little time product building takes in the whole process. Market research, marketing, customer service and getting customer feedback to implement in the product development cycle are as important as building the product itself.

I am reading "Traction" now, and they have the same speech: most companies fail because they don't have customers. So you should focus on getting customers as much as you should focus on building the product.

Peter Thiel says the same thing in Zero to One.
 

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