Dan Norris – The 7 Day Startup

Once you launch, you need to get more people paying you. You have to relentlessly pursue your best method of getting customers, and not the stuff you naturally gravitate to.

It’s worth thinking about what skills you have, what are you known for, and where you can provide the most value. If that doesn’t line up with your business idea, then it’s going to be a long, hard struggle.

Startup founders should have the ambition to grow their business into a larger company.

You need to be able to see a point where you can hire in staff or systems to replace you, and still continue to generate a profit. At that point it becomes a real business.

in. Some ideas—when worked on—will naturally result in the development of assets over time, and some won’t. If you work on this idea for five years, what will you have in the end?

stage, give some thought to whether you are building a business for a small group of people or whether it can grow into a large market.

your idea tap into a deep pain or pleasure point for them? Or is it just ‘a cool idea’?

you are going to generate leads for your business? What will make you, and your company, unique?

an idea that you can launch and modify quickly. Then when you start getting real data from paying customers, you can innovate and get the product just right.

For your first startup, there is a much easier way: Solve problems where people are already paying for solutions.

Day 1 Task – Brainstorm a bunch of ideas and evaluate them against the checklist. Choose the idea that stands out as being the best option for you.

Rather than spending six months creating a product or service, do only the smallest amount of work required to truly test it.

In short, they overemphasize the “minimum” and underemphasize the “viable.”

You need to think about how you can mimic the customer experience as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

Write down exactly what you will launch on Day 7. What will your customers get, what is included, and what is excluded? If necessary, write down what is automated and what will be done manually in the short term.

Every single one of the top 25 brands in the world are 12 characters or less.

Build a list of what marketing methods you are going to choose. Put together a rough plan for the first week or two of your launch.

Create a spreadsheet that covers the first few months in business, the number of signups, revenue, estimated costs, and monthly growth.

Having a simple product and a simple value proposition makes everything else easier.

Having a simple MRR model makes everything easier.

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” Eric Ries

You are better off launching quickly and paying attention to real data rather than making assumptions. This doesn’t just apply to launching; it’s a general business principle that you can apply for almost every decision.

There’s no reason to spend any time on problems you don’t have. Doing so will only cost you valuable time and money. It will take attention away from the work you should be doing. There’s a good chance that if you are a new business, you only have one problem: not enough customers. That’s where you should be spending your time.

Whether you are offering services or selling a product, make sure you always deliver on what you promise.

Any time you feel yourself wondering if what you are doing is good enough, compare it to the best:

Always take a step back and ask yourself if it’s feasible that someone else may have solved this problem before.

While your competitors are debating which assumption is better than the other, you can build a competitive advantage by gathering real information from your customers.

you always need to be conscious of how your business will operate and grow without you. You’ll naturally gravitate to things that you do well, but if your skills are hard to replace, you have to be careful.

Do more of what is working.

If you are struggling with motivation, join a forum, start a mastermind, find a co-founder, hire people to do the hard work, and get back to what you’re good at.

No amount of money is worth working with a difficult customer. Every difficult customer can be replaced by a better one, generally much quicker than you think.

You need to do everything to keep your customers and the data you get from churning customers is priceless.

Chasing short-term projects or launches is easy, but it doesn’t build an asset. Launching a whole bunch of related services will boost short-term revenue, but it will add complexity to your business that will hurt you in the long term.

If you are in doubt, come back to the product. Anything you can do that improves the product or improves the customer experience will be a sound investment.

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