The 3 Things This Week : 29th March, 2018

Hey,

Happy Thursday!

How are you doing this week?

Here are this week’s 3 things!

This week’s theme is about some of the hacks that will boost your mental power and productivity.

Thing # 1:  5-Hour Rule: Why You Should Spend Time Learning

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Why should we spend time on learning?  The answer is simple: learning is the single best investment of our time that we can make. Or as Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Read more about this 5-hour rule in this article and invest some free time weekly to learn about new things. It’s a good idea to explore different niches and pick some which have your interest.

Thing # 2:  Why the ‘5 Second Rule’ Will Destroy Your Procrastination, According to Science

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The rule is simple: The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must act on in it immediately (or within five seconds) — otherwise, your brain will start leaning towards procrastination. This technique lets your brain eliminate doubts, fears, and emotions that hinder you from performing. Once you start using the rule correctly, those five seconds can become 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, up until you finish your task.  Most tasks utilize rational parts of our brain. Unfortunately, these are the same parts of our minds that helped us avoid danger in primitive times. It’s a slow and inefficient process that causes procrastination, and stress only makes it worse. The key here is to end the indecision cycle by to activating the proper parts of your brain.

Thing # 3:  Make More Art: The Health Benefits of Creativity

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The impact of art, music, and writing can be seen in your physical body as well. In other words, the process of creating art doesn’t just make you feel better, it also creates real, physical changes inside your body.  Key is to create more than you consume. The moral of this story is that the process of making art — whether that be writing, painting, singing, dancing, or anything in between — is good for you. There are both physical and mental benefits from creating art, expressing yourself in a tangible way, and sharing something with the world.  Art offers an outlet and a release from all the incoming signals and creates an outgoing one instead. Produce something. Express yourself in some way. As long as you contribute rather than consume, anything you do can be a work of art.

 

I  would love to hear your feedback on 3 Things This Week.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the privilege of emailing you!

Wishing you lots of happy reading,

 

Shashank

 

 

 

P.S. –

 

1. The 3 Things This Week” is a free, short, curated list of useful articles, tools and other resources for building startup businesses. These 3 things would deal, in a random way, with different aspects of startup building – validation, traction, growth, funding, team, founders.

2. If you think of anyone who might enjoy this email, you can share this with a friend or co-worker.

 

Web – Climb Lean School of Starting Up

Facebook – Climb Lean Facebook page

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The 3 Things This Week : 22nd March, 2018

Hey,

Happy Thursday!

How are you doing this week?

Here are this week’s 3 things!

This week’s theme is about Facebook, most of us use it one way or other.

Thing # 1:  The Most Shared Facebook Content 2017. The Top Viral Posts, Videos and Articles

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What content do Facebook audiences love to share, like and comment on? This article is based on the review of two billion articles and Facebook posts that were published in past year. Check out the findings below, including the content (articles, videos, and blog posts) that were most shared on Facebook, the viral Facebook posts that gained the most engagement, expert reflections on the findings and the lessons for content marketers. We cannot expect to replicate their success. However, we can learn from them to gain deeper insights into the kinds of content that engage Facebook audiences.

Thing # 2:  How to Go From 0 to 5,000 members in 90 days- Facebook Groups are the Future of Community

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Facebook groups are the future of the community and a great tool in marketing. This video from Growth Marketing Conference is just about a conversation with Vin on how to go from 0 to 5,000 members in 90 days in your Facebook group.  The last few years Vin has breathed only one thing, growth. His edgy stage presence, wardrobe, and genius leadership skills make him a community rockstar. Come learn his secrets.

 

Thing # 3:   Is Facebook for old people? Over-55s flock in as the young leave

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It’s official: Facebook is for old(er) people. Teens and young adults are ditching Mark Zuckerberg’s social network as popularity among the over-55s surges, according to a report. In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer.  A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year. This is a significant trend to take a notice if your marketing is indeed driven by FB ads or social sharing.

 

I  would love to hear your feedback on 3 Things This Week.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the privilege of emailing you!

Wishing you lots of happy reading,

 

Shashank

 

 

 

P.S. –

 

1. The 3 Things This Week” is a free, short, curated list of useful articles, tools and other resources for building startup businesses. These 3 things would deal, in a random way, with different aspects of startup building – validation, traction, growth, funding, team, founders.

2. If you think of anyone who might enjoy this email, you can share this with a friend or co-worker.

 

Web – Climb Lean School of Starting Up

Facebook – Climb Lean Facebook page

The 3 Things This Week : 15th March, 2018

Hey,

Happy Thursday!

How are you doing this week?

Here are this week’s 3 things!

This week’s theme is the entrepreneurial mindset and some of the hacks that may be useful.

Thing # 1The One Key Trait that Einstein, da Vinci, and Steve Jobs Had in Common

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Entrepreneurs can’t have a  lodestar be return on investments, profits, and relative margins. A lodestar has to be, ‘Are we making a product people will always love?’” Bezos does that, Steve Jobs did it, Leonardo did it. So sometimes, let your imagination push you a little bit. Don’t be afraid of daydreaming, and then trying the impossible. We silo ourselves too much, we specialize too much. The biggest takeaway from this is to stay curious about everything, things you and I asked about when we were ten, but not in our later years.  

Thing # 2:  Intuition vs. Rationality: Where One Stops the Other Starts

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You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect. Rational thought is not an innate human characteristic, it is learned and it is the great achievement of Western civilization. It’s not really acceptable to admit but most of the time we make our decisions on intuition, rationalizing them after the fact by cherry picking.  The more we are within our circle of competence the more likely our intuition proves correct.  The point isn’t choosing between cold rationality and intuition but rather understanding that each serves a purpose.

Thing # 3:  How Your Beliefs Can Sabotage Your Behavior

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Your mind is a powerful thing. The stories you tell yourself and the things you believe about yourself can either prevent change from happening or allow new skills to blossom.

A skill is something you can cultivate, not merely something you’re born with. You can become more creative, more intelligent, more athletic, more artistic, and more successful by focusing on the process, not the outcome. Instead of worrying about winning the championship, commit to the process of training like a champion. The way to go for this is, instead of worrying about writing a bestselling book, commit to the process of publishing your ideas on a consistent basis.

 

I  would love to hear your feedback on 3 Things This Week.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the privilege of emailing you!

Wishing you lots of happy reading,

 

Shashank

 

 

 

P.S. –

 

1. The 3 Things This Week” is a free, short, curated list of useful articles, tools and other resources for building startup businesses. These 3 things would deal, in a random way, with different aspects of startup building – validation, traction, growth, funding, team, founders.

2. If you think of anyone who might enjoy this email, you can share this with a friend or co-worker.

 

Web – Climb Lean School of Starting Up

Facebook – Climb Lean Facebook page

Skin in the game

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Skin in the Game is Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s fifth book. His earlier books include – Fooled by Randomness (2001), The Black Swan (2007–2010), The Bed of Procrustes (2010), and Antifragile (2012). His second non-technical book, The Black Swan, about unpredictable events, was a big success and was credited with predicting the banking and economic crisis of 2008.

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The argument of the new book – Skin in the game  is immediately attractive: if you have no skin in the game, you shouldn’t be in the game.  If you give an opinion, and someone follows it, you are morally obligated to be, yourself, exposed to its consequences.

Blending his views on modern day investment risks with effective risk management techniques from earlier in history, author Nassim Taleb explains the value and moral purpose of requiring all investors to have “skin in the game.”

In his most provocative and practical book yet Taleb redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.

If you don’t have time to read the book fully, this podcast between Russell Roberts and Nassim is a good summary of many of the important topics in the book.

Did you know there are 11 types of users that you meet?

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When we launch a new product, people around us in our network – family members, friends, associates, and well-wishers may be among the first few users who come on board. There are two clear advantages of doing that – first, they are much more easily accessible than complete strangers and secondly, they all mean well for you.

But, they say, you should go beyond your immediate circle.

Not a problem! We run some Facebook ads or start pitching the product or the idea to everyone that you meet and see what they think!

The logic is solid here. If someone responds to the ad or to the your approaches, obviously this person would have a need (for the product that you are building). Of course, why else he or she would spend time and energy to talk to you? “This person obviously is from my target segment and possibly my early user,” is how we think.

There are, however, 11 types of users that you may encounter. Lets analyse these 11 different persons (Mr. or Ms) of the early user and how should you approach them in your strategy to woo them.

Mr. Who Cares:

Signature: These are the kind of people who don’t know if they have a problem. They don’t know it they need it or if it matters to them

Solution: Find something they care about, and show them how your solution will help them with the thing that they already care about. This helps them to understand the extra mileage that your solution can help them go.

Mr. Skeptic:

Signature: These are the kind of people who are always questioning and don’t trust you and your offering. They don’t believe you, your product or your claims.

Solution: You need to build credibility for you and your product to alleviate these fears. Address their doubts of credibility before they ask. Build trust through social proofs.

Mr Doubtful:

Signature: These are kind of people that worry about the cost or benefit for your solution. They seem to get it but they never seem to buy from you. Will always ask questions like — Doesn’t work for me? I cant afford this? Don’t have time to experiment

Solution: Try to lower the barrier to entry to try.

Mr. Procrastinator:

Signature: These are the kind of people who always delay and don’t have urgency to buy even if they know they will benefit from the solution.

Solution: They are not 100% sure of their decisions and base their decision by looking at something or someone. So create scarcity. Give them small wins. Eliminate fear of trying. Give them trailer of how it works and how can it help.

Mr. Toxic

Signature: These are the kind of people who are always the first ones to shoot down your ideas. They are complete pessimists and can suck away all of your excitement with a single derogatory comment.

Solution:   It is best to avoid talking to toxic persons. Find someone positive to talk to.

Mr. Genuine Fear

Signature: These are the kind of people who are genuinely fearful about change that a new product brings in. The fear could be about some specific factors related to your product or it could be just the fear of unknown.

Solution: If you can have some insights about the factors or sources of fear, you could possibly deal with them,

Mr. Nothing’ New

Signature:  These are the kind of people who consider anything that is not completely new and different, is not worth their time and always ask, “Has this been done before?”

Solution: Try to find out more about his existing alternatives and dis-satisfaction points vis a vis existing options to solve the pain.

Mr. Parent

Signature: These are the kind of people who have a strong urge to be “nice” and “helpful” to you.  And this urge may over dominate a “need” factor totally, even if it was there in the first place.

Solution: Its nice to have protecting people around, but its not going to take your business goals further if you have them. Be thankful to them and tell them to go for your product only if they have a pain point that gets addressed by your product. Otherwise, they can always give you some reference of some other people who they think may have the pain point.

Mr. More Info

Signature: These are the kind of people who will not be satisfied with what you present to them. They always look for more information and want to do more research about your product.

Solution: Feed to their need for information, have long healthy discussions, introduce them to some experts that you have been working on and these guys will be on your side.

Mr. Not Me

Signature: These are the kind of people who have the pain point, are aware of the fact that they have this pain point, but are just not willing to act on it and so, are putting up resistance to your product.

Solution:  Reassure them about the positive changes that your product offers to their life and find ways to help them break their old habbits.

Mr. Bring it On:

Signature: These are your ideal first clients. They are always excited to try everything that comes out.

Solution: Show them vision, breakthrough, innovation in your category to woo such customers

Summing up

When you are approaching people randomly, you encounter different types of early users and you need different ways to deal with them. There is however, an alternative approach – look for your early adopters. Early adopters are the people who have the pain point that you are trying to solve and who are actively looking for solution for it. There is an incredible match between the two of you and they are a much better option for you to begin conversation with.

This alternative may involve some hard  work, you may need to look for them individually and recruit them manually to begin with.

Approaching strangers randomly, being much of a passive work, is less effort.

But, trust me, you will find this little hard work to find early adopters much productive in the final analysis.

 

How do I measure the success of a newly launched product?

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I was talking to one of the mentees from earlier months, after a gap of about 6 – 7 months and my usual question to him was, how has been his startup business progressing.

And, his reply to that question was, “Well, on the customer front, there is no much change in the situation, but otherwise we are making progress. Our Facebook followers are growing at more than 25% every month.   We got more opportunities to showcase our offerings in many forums, we are getting recognized more widely, and we won a few startup competitions.”

This set me into thinking, does he even know how to measure the success of a newly launched product.

An increase in FB followers and/or likes is one nice metric to keep an eye on, but the power lies in the quality of those followers, their relevance to your market, and their willingness to engage with you. An increased number of opportunities to showcase your offerings and a number of startup competitions won are clearly not the way to measure your progress.

Lack of clarity on how to measure

What happens when you are not clear on how you want to measure progress?  If you are not clear about this, you are essentially not clear not about your goals.  If you are not clear about your goals, you cannot be committed to a decision about what you want in your life, and then you aren’t invested enough in your goals.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Lewis Carroll

Unfortunately, following this path of thinking is not too wise when you have limited resources in the early days of your startup business.

Why do you need to measure the progress?

More than 90% of all startups ultimately fail. At the end of the day, startups die because they are not built upon healthy business models that can be sustained over the long term.  How, though, can you ensure that your business model is sound, that it will allow your startup to expand over time and steadily improve profit margins?

This is where measurement comes into play.

What to measure?

In early days from the launch of your MVP or new product, what is more, important to measure is how many people are engaging with it and how well are they engaging with it and how is this number growing?  The top three metrics that are most important for early startups to track are active user numbers, 2nd-month retention, and engagement rates. But more importantly, you want to know if customers just open the product or do they actually use it?

There are 4 metrics that could be relevant for you to track in this phase.

Activation Rate

The activation rate measures how many visitors are engaging with your website or app. Activation can be defined several different ways depending on your business including the number of clicks, time on the website, pages viewed, downloads, email/blog subscription, or even a trial signup. The activation rate can be any action that will lead a visitor to a return visit (retention). This startup metric measures the first experience a visitor / potential customer has with your product/service/app.

Daily Active Users (DAU) to Monthly Active Users (MAU) Ratio

The Daily Active Users (DAU) to Monthly Active Users (MAU) Ratio measures the stickiness of your product – that is, how often people engage with your product. DAU is the number of unique users who engage with your product in a one day window. MAU is the number of unique users who engage with your product over a 30-day window (usually a rolling 30 days). The ratio of DAU to MAU is the proportion of monthly active users who engage with your product in a single day window. For startups that aren’t charging initially, this is a reasonable proxy for revenue growth because whenever the startup does start trying to make money, their revenues will probably be a constant multiple of active users.

Customer Shares

Are people happy enough with your service that they are telling their friends?  If you drive up the percentage of our customers that tell their friends about us, then we know they felt successful regardless of the conversion rate they saw. Seeing when they do this also helps tell us how many conversions most customers view as a successful number. You can measure Google Alerts to find when a customer blogs about us, and conduct Twitter searches to see when your brand is mentioned positively.

Sales metrics

When measuring sales, you should consider measuring revenue run rate. The run rate helps you to predict the future performance of your business sales. Sales measurements should also include ARPU; average revenue per user. If this trend is upwards, it’s a signal that you’re squeezing more from every customer.

Summing up

When you build and launch a new product, you also need to build a traction roadmap that you can use to effectively define, measure and communicate progress to yourself and external stakeholders.

Every business is based on a set of assumptions. We work constantly to test assumptions.

We focus on metrics in order to improve upon our success rate.  The name of the game is progressive, incremental improvements.

The 3 Things This Week: 8th March, 2018

Hey,

Happy Thursday!

How are you doing this week?

Here are this week’s 3 things!

This week’s theme is about some of the nuances in lean startup methodologies.

Thing # 1:  Find Better Problems Worth Solving with the Customer Forces Canvas

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Asking a prospect to describe his or her top pain points are subjective and more important, customers don’t often understand their own problems well enough to rank them in the first place. This is where Ash Maurya’s new customer forces canvas helps in framing around problems. During the problem interview, where discovery is the goal, a better framing is around triggers and desired outcomes. The customer forces canvas is the most useful tool to dig a problem that is worth engaging with. If you are in a phase of customer discovery, check this out and you get to download the canvas from there too.

 

Thing # 2:  Great Innovators Start with Customer Struggles (Not Customer Needs)

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If you were to build a product for my friends around their “vacation need”, you’d probably start developing ways to make that vacation happen. Your make-vacation-product could be fruitful, but you’d be missing out on innovation opportunities. Because a need is almost always framed in the world that exists today.
Our brains naturally go to what we’ve wanted and used in the past. If in the past I’ve used a vacation to deal with stress and burnout, my brain will go with what it knows.  This is why it’s better to think in terms of struggles, instead of the customer need. Instead of I need a vacation, base your innovation efforts on the struggle that caused someone to choose a vacation.  Read on to get interesting insights as to how it is easier to innovate from current perceived needs than from a foundation of struggles and how you can unleash your growth opportunities when you think in terms of struggles — and use models like the Opportunity Tree.

Thing # 3:  HOW TO CONDUCT GREAT CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS FOR YOUR APP IDEA

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Though this article is about APP, the content is equally true for any business idea.  Conducting effective customer interviews before you start building the product is vital. The article is a great resource for answers to questions like – who to talk to? what to ask? how to go about conducting customer interviews.

Conducting customer interviews are mandatory for fully understanding your users and refining your ideas during the early stages of your app startup. So get to researching, know what questions to ask.

I  would love to hear your feedback on 3 Things This Week.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for the privilege of emailing you!

Wishing you lots of happy reading,

 

Shashank

 

 

 

P.S. –

 

1. The 3 Things This Week” is a free, short, curated list of useful articles, tools and other resources for building startup businesses. These 3 things would deal, in a random way, with different aspects of startup building – validation, traction, growth, funding, team, founders.

2. If you think of anyone who might enjoy this email, you can share this with a friend or co-worker.

 

Web – Climb Lean School of Starting Up

Facebook – Climb Lean Facebook page

Will you jump in?

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The idea is the most critical and fundamental element of a new business and for many, the new business starts when there is some great idea to execute.

Many wait for good ideas to happen to them. Many ask around for suggestions on good ideas.

In many of such situations; it is not that they do not have any idea.

It is just that they are not happy with the ideas in hand and would rather wait for great ones.

In many other situations, some founders just get started with half-baked, crappy ideas. It almost like, we want to tell them not to hasten the decision.

What is worse?  Jumping in with a crappy idea or not jumping In while waiting for a great idea?

Jumping in with a crappy idea

Most companies are usually founded on half-baked, crappy ideas. People just don’t realize because all they hear about are the mega-success stories of Facebook and the likes, where some genius had a brilliant idea that took off incredibly fast.

It takes customer feedback, iteration, and grinding it out to figure out what you actually need to do as a company.

With a “hungry, but humble” approach, founders converge on sustainable business ideas, regardless of their starting point.

Customers and users will tell you what they want and will pay for, but it’s important to sift out false positives by listening to actions, not simple words.

You just need to be ready to work incredibly hard, work with humility, be sensitive to market feedback and push through all the times you want to throw in the towel.

Obviously, this won’t guarantee you not to fail, but it will increase your chances of success. So, what are you waiting for?

Not jumping in while waiting for a great idea

Even when you do come up with a great idea, there is no guarantee that it is going to work. Future is not guaranteed and all ideas get changed. Very rarely does a startup actually start with the idea that makes them the next big thing.

Stop waiting for the great idea. The great idea isn’t coming. You just have to pick a problem you are passionate about and start working on it. Over time, you will evolve your startup into the next big thing

Your idea isn’t the real value, it’s you. The greatness lies in your ability to learn from potential customers, iterate based on those learnings. Those iterations will determine whether or not your startup will be successful, not the initial idea

Get your prototype out there as soon as you can. Don’t spend months evaluating, contemplating on your idea. It’s going to fall flat. Instead, get a prototype into the hands of your potential customers as soon as you can. You need to learn as quickly as possible what’s wrong with the idea so you can fix it.

Your initial startup idea isn’t the great thing and that’s okay. Just get out there and start working on a big problem that you’re passionate about and you may eventually turn it into the great thing.

What’s your take on this?

What is worse?  Jumping in with a crappy idea or not jumping In while waiting for a great idea? Will you jump in?

Register Now: Founders Companion Program – Idea to MVP

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY _ PORTRAITS _ EVENTS

Hey,

There are many new developments happening at Climb Lean School of Starting Up and you should hear about a few new courses and a webinar that will be of some help to boost your work in building new business.

But, there is this one thing that I am quite excited to work on, and it is that thing that I wanted to get to you right away ..

Founders struggle to move from ideas to startups, at the right time. Sometimes ideas remain ideas for way too long. At other times they become startups prematurely, without validation. Running experiments is the missing step. It’s a distinct unit or phase of work. Running the right experiments is hard for many. In an environment where the problem is not known and its solution too is not known, product development is no simpler.  Lean startup process helps you in validating and invalidating your assumptions as quickly as possible through small, inexpensive experiments, to discover and deliver what people want. It favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development. Lean startup principles prescribe to build something just enough to test the critical assumption, run tests and gather data – through a learn-build-test loop.

So, my question is, how are you progressing on moving from idea to MVP and beyond?

If you have indeed progressed well or if you are happy with the progress you are making, you can safely ignore the rest of this email and delete it and forget about it forever.

But, if you are looking for better results, this email is for you.

We just got into an act of putting together a new Founders Companion Program – Idea to MVP …

The companion program will give you everything that it takes for you to take your journey from idea to MVP, and beyond.

What is happening currently is the content of the program is being fine-tuned, though the outline of this content based on the current thinking is out there. We will be happy to have your words on including any new topics or area that you don’t see.

In fact, the new companion program is launched and is open for a pre-launch registration.

You can register for the program here.

Register Now: Founder Companion Program – Idea to MVP

The current offer price offer is at a 50% discount to the price after the launch of the program.

If getting your idea into reality faster and efficient way is what you desire, explore the new companion.

So, click here and check it out.

Do write back if you have any questions in this regard.

To your success,

~Shashank