This is a tagalong post, one of many tagalong posts that I'll write to share my tactics, expenses, lessons learned and how, why, and whats of my quest to create viable products.

If you want to succeed in creating a viable product, you’ll need to focus on the smallest viable product. The MVP. 

But when you want to get results in a short period, you’ll have to dig deeper than a Minimum Viable Product:

To get results fast, you need to choose the most minimal product with the least amount of friction and the biggest potential to become viable

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This also means that I need to choose where I’m going to spend my time on very wise. 

And by laser focussing on one thing per moment in time, the odds of getting the most value out of it increase significantly.

I want to focus on one project primarily right now, and I want it to be a project that will create revenue without me having to put a lot of time in it after it is released. Besides that, I’ll be using Shipharder.com and all the various online communities and social media to market my product.

This approach is not unknown. It is discussed by several known people, like Gary Vee talks about in his book “Crushing It!” and Tim Ferris discusses the validation and automation in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week“.

Time To Focus

I’m grinding on a daily basis. I’m putting every free moment into two things. Free moments are the time that’s left after subtracting time spent on my day job at a startup and my family. These things are:

  • creating content for Shipharder.com and getting it out there
  • hinking of the smallest viable product that I could set up using the least amount of time

It made me think about my priorities. About what I’m working on in the hours that I got for my own. And what it actually is that I could put out there as my first viable product.

Setting My Priorities Straight

But I needed to get more focus first. So I started by checking out all the side-projects that I’ve been working on the past two years. Then I started looking at any unnecessary costs that I’m making because of those. This led to the following choices:

  • I discontinued my “awesome products newsletter” project, called Stippee.com.
    • All accounts are going down within a couple of weeks
    • I’m going to discontinue the domain
    • It was fun but not viable and too much time went into setting up the content. R.I.P. Stippee ✌🏻
  • I’m minimalizing Getappvise.io and putting it in the fridge 🥶
    • Getappvise.io is created as a simple (human readable) test. It shows people what type of mobile implementation will suit their needs most.
    • This still has potential but I think the accompanying content site feels like pure overhead.
    • I’ve moved the package from the expensive .io domain to the .com domain
    • I will remove the WordPress frontend from it.
    • I’m parking this effort. But I will optimize this experience by recreating it and adding extra features someday. I got some nice feedback from Reddit (of all places) to consider.
    • For now, too many hours will go in so I’ll store it and keep it around for later.

So, what IS my focus?

I got this immense list of ideas – I know lots of developers have this – on my Trello board. But most of them involved semi-complex answers to solutions with many hours of coding.

I want to scratch an Itch of my own and build another mobile app. The simplest idea that I have? It involves something that will be a stand-alone utility. One that is useful for people who want to use pictures to capture things that are dear to them. But more on that later.

Because, my primair effort right now is something that doesn’t even involve coding… But it DOES involve a green screen.

It DOES involve a green screen

A Scalable Teaching Product

I’m working on a scalable idea: selling my knowledge. For my side-projects, and for my work at my day job (startup Proteges) I always applied my knowledge around content marketing. I found this way to work with free online tools to set up a relatively quick and easy way to create, curate and share content. It helped me to speed up content marketing.

I thought: why not start by selling what I know very well and use for myself each time.

The best format to do so is a video course. It is scalable and – since I got interested in vlogging as well, and have the necessary equipment to do so – I want to make it scalable, passive and record it.

I Need Scalability
This is something I can scale since I can record, edit and sell. I need to check a couple of times if the content is still up-to-date, and I’ll spend time supporting (potential) buyers. But beyond that, this is quite passive.

Starting Small
I’ll start small and keep it easy by first validating the idea. In order to keep the difficulty as low as possible, I decided to focus on Dutch people and use my mother language first.

When starting out, you’ll want to keep any source of friction as small as possible. So focussing on a market that you know well / can communicate better with definately helps.

Using Carrd.co, I created this landing page: https://leancontent.marketing

Validate ASAP

The next step will be creating #valuefirst, as I often preach here on Shipharder.com and the accompanying social media accounts.

I’ll be creating one or two useful videos and perhaps one sharable infographic with the intent to get at least thirty subscribers within two weeks after I send them out.

I decided to go really budget with the video recording but I needed a green screen to create a professional backdrop for my vids. I went to some local stores and bought me green fabric (1,5 x 3 meters) and some hooks and a pole to create my own. Cost: about $15 and it works nice. I’ll have to fiddle with the lighting but this will definitely work fine.

If that works out I’ll approach some of them to pay me out up front with a big discount. If that works out, I’ll go and record the course.

Things Will Be Interesting

I’ll share any insights that this will bring me, and share if this is something that I’ll keep spending time and effort on.

Wish me #viability 🙌🏻

Edwin Klesman

from 1981 | husband | father of 3 | former (cross-platform) mobile developer | turned Tech Lead at a startup focussing on people & health (www.proteges.eu) | hooked on entrepreneurship, startups, product development, apps, SaaS

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2 comments

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Bringing you mindshaping content that helps you to build viable products & documenting my journey as I use the approach on this website for myself to build viable products.

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About me

Edwin Klesman

from 1981 | husband | father of 3 | former (cross-platform) mobile developer | turned Tech Lead at a startup focussing on people & health (www.proteges.eu) | hooked on entrepreneurship, startups, product development, apps, SaaS

“Educate yourself while travelling” – Audible

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