Rewarded after six hours of work
The business of creating products is a tricky one. Launching a brand is even trickier. There are a number of decisions to be made, resources to be allocated and plans to be put in place. Every action needs to be scrutinised as if you’re thinking ten steps ahead. At least, that’s the narrative entrepreneurs have been fed for years. If we’re honest, it’s something at one stage even we started to believe too. Instead of helping create effective products and garnering a large support base, all it did instead was make us lose our focus and prevent us from reaching the success we know we could.
So when the opportunity arose to pivot to again creating MVPs, ‘Minimal Viable Products’, we took the chance. In recent months, we’ve launched a number of MVPs including Hustle Outbound and Website2App. One of our newer ventures in particular, SiteWatcher, is an interesting case. We discuss this in detail in the third episode of the ‘The Venture Beyond Podcast’. That through around six hours of work, we launched something into the market which had an identity. As well, it could stand on its two feet in terms of being a fully functioning platform. To us, this was incredibly exciting. The venture had a direction. Although no revenue could be credited to it yet, we were confident there would be customers in time as we had already generated leads from a small feature on the site. In the podcast, Anthony highlights that this initial success wasn’t the result of using the speed of the launch as a benchmark, rather it was due to smart thinking around the launch. “We could’ve got caught doing one-hundred hours of things that didn’t matter. Instead we did six hours of things that really did matter.”
Don’t overthink the brand and focus more on what will bring success
Another key part to our process of launching SiteWatcher was employing the help of freelancers. If there was something we needed created at an affordable rate and to a deadline, like the design of the platform, it was a no-brainer for us to outsource. The opportunity to outsource in today’s market is too widespread to ignore, and if it allows us to get back to the good stuff like focusing on coding SiteWatcher’s platform and sparking leads, then we do that. In essence, what we’d like people to take away from this and the podcast, is that we found a winning idea and did anything we could to start conversations with our suspected target audience. In the previous blog (link to the blog), we spoke about the importance of communicating to potential audiences as quickly as possible, to gain as much insight available about what they think is and isn’t working with the product. The benefit of starting with clear insights opposed to discovering them down the road, is so that when we do invest one-hundred hours into the projects, it’s done so under a narrow focus and in service of a growing customer base.
We mention in the podcast that Reddit was a great platform for us to get unfiltered feedback on SiteWatcher. James shared a post to one the site’s Entrepreneur threads, titled ‘The quickest side hustle launch’. In this, he broke down the exact time and cost involved with each step of the venture launch, with the hope it was helpful for other aspiring entrepreneurs/site developers. Conversely, which really aided us, it was a space where others could lend points of advice to help refine SiteWatcher. The volume and type of reactions we received on this post was incredible. As of early January, over forty-thousand people viewed the post, with sixty-four viewers deeming it worthy to share. In-turn, this affected the number of leads captured on the SiteWatcher site, which was close to two-hundred. The responses we received were a mix of skepticism/discrediting our process like “unfortunate reality but AI would’ve saved you $600. Glad you went the artist route though.” Or alternatively, we had comments that highlighted there was a genuine interest in these kinds of ventures, such as “inspiring! Can you keep us updated on the project?” We looked at each of these comments, sharing advice to those who asked and politely questioning those who shared a different perspective on the launch process or value that SiteWatcher provides. The ultimate result from this post, is that our venture is now truly out there for all to see. It’s being talked about, for better or worse, and it’s up to us now to catch that wave of enthusiasm and hone in on the audiences who want to hear more as fans and potentially become customers.