The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch - by Dan Norris


Get it now on Amazon.

Very good book with a great story and actionable information.

Recommendation: 5/5

My Highlights

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Bill Gates

“Things may come to those who wait … but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Execution is your ability to present your idea just as well as the best ideas in the world.

Hustle is relentlessly pursuing what needs to be done at the time.

Hustle for an early stage startup is generally about spending your time on the things that are most likely to bring you customers.

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.

Your idea is not a solid startup idea if you don’t have the capacity to make use of a profitable, growing business model.

Operates profitably without the founder

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.

An asset you can sell

A list of customers that pay you every month is an asset. If you focus on short-term projects you’ll make more money initially. But if you turn down projects and focus on providing recurring value, you build a valuable asset.

Tap into pain or pleasure differentiators.

Everyone will tell you to have a “unique selling proposition” or a “differentiator.” What they don’t tell you is it’s not enough to just be different. All that matters is what your customers care about.

Choose 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.

Solve problems where people are already paying for solutions.

How can you perform a service or offer a product to real customers? How will you get them to pay you after seven days? How close will your MVP be to the final vision of your product? What can you do manually (hint: probably everything)? What can you do yourself...

The copy is extremely important and it can make or break your business. If you are just getting started with copywriting, you should use Dane Maxwell’s CopyWriting Checklist30 as a starting point.

1. Create in-depth content based around the customer problems that your business solves. 2. Make content as actionable and useful to your target audience as possible. 3. It can’t be boring. Don’t just create content around your area of expertise. Create anything that is interesting to your potential customers. 4. Optimize your site for email opt-ins so you can get people back to your site by sending emails. 5. Don’t worry about SEO. Focus predominantly on creating useful content. 6. Try a bunch of content mediums and look for where you get traction (on-site written content, infographics, videos, podcasts, ebooks or whitepapers, etc.).

In every industry there are a range of sites that list businesses in different ways.

Launch  “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Reid Hoffman

Launch day is like every other day. It is an important day, because you enter into the period of real data collection and running a real business with paying customers.

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

A simple MRR model has an inherent growth trait. The equation is simple: Have more customers signing up than leaving, and you will grow. Not every service suits a recurring model, so you could think about other ways to build predictable revenue. Seriously consider offering a recurring aspect to your business if you think there’s a chance you can make it work. It will often mean fewer customers, but if those customers are one-off sales that don’t contribute to long term growth, then you might be better off without them. If your testing shows it can’t work and you are leaving too much business on the table, then focus on making sure your revenue is predictable.        


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