In this video, Eric Siu interviews world class entrepreneurs to learn their stories. We've compiled some of our favorite business origin stories in this video featuring Melody McClosksley, Ramit Sethi, Russ Perry, Aaron Epstein, David White and more! To help you figure out how to not just START your business, but to SUCCEED doing it.
These interviews are pulled from the growth everywhere podcast.
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Full Transcript of The Video
Ramit Sethi: I showed that chart and the math behind how to make a million dollars over five years. And we showed three simple examples; a $50 product, a $500 product and a $2000 product. I showed that for a couple of reasons. Number one, we have a phrase, it's not magic, it's just math. If you want to make a million dollars, that number can seem so large and it's like, that's impossible, right? I need to be some genius to do it. Actually, no here's the math behind it. It's not magic, it's just math. If you take something like a $50 product times three sales a day, times five years, that's $270000. You can also change those inputs. You can do a $50 product or $100 product. You can do three sales a day or one sale a day. You can play with it, that's up to you. You're the CEO of your business.
Russ Perry: First of all is hustle. I just hustled. I literally emailed every person, I exported my LinkedIn database, all the emails, emailed all those people. I coordinated a guest blogging strategy. That was the extent of my strategy for launch, was how many people could I get to commit to me writing a blog post for them and then quasi publishing all those blogs posts at the same time, offering a launch special. It worked. Dude, I was writing blog posts that I didn't know what I was writing. I was like, “You have a cupcake blog? Cool, I'll figure out a way to write about cupcakes. It doesn't matter.”
That was the launch strategy, but it gave us enough velocity to actually get some cash to ten start investing into more strategic things. The biggest thing we did right out of the gates in March 2015 was the Infusionsoft Trade Show in Arizona, the ICON 2015.
Melody M.: Honestly, in the beginning, it was like, it's overwhelming to think about how do I start a company? So, one of the things that I did that I thought was hopeful, is to say, "Okay, let me map out all the things that I need to do because they're just so many. Let me put it all in a piece of paper and just get it all out. Then let me put into pieces; phase one, phase two, phase three." And then, every day I would wake up and just attack one or two things from the phase that I was in. If it was like, I want to start a giant marketplace that powers the beauty industry, that's impossible and crazy for a French meter to say. But if I woke up and I said, "All right, I'm going to find an accountant today and, I'm going to find a lawyer. Or I'm going to incorporate, or I'm going to find an engineer or I'm going to find a designer." Whatever those little projects are, I think that made it more doable in the beginning stages when there was no traction.
Aaron Epstein: Before we ever launched the site, we launched at teaser page on creativemarket.com. Basically, what we did is, for anybody that signed up and gave their email address before we launched, we gave them a free $5 in credit to spend on content once we actually launched the marketplace. That was great, and so people came and they put in their email address. And then once they put in their email address and created an account, the next thing that they saw which was really the only thing you could do on the site at the time because it was just this teaser page was this viral refer program. It basically gave people that were coming in order to get the free $5 a way to spread the word with their friends, get them to sign up and they'd earn even more money to be able to spend.
Basically, gave them incentives to promote us and it also helped us to see the buyer side of the market place with all the people that we could come capture before we launched on day one.
David Darmanin: I'd say the real core of why we managed to succeed is that we are solving a problem many people have and we know how to quickly solve it. That has been a big advantage for us, but I'd say the key reason for success has been the fact that we approached it in a very very lean way. As of day one, we've been shipping codes pretty much every day if not to say hourly. We've put a lot of effort into making sure it's a lean organization, and we kicked off with a seven month beta program, which meant it was very easy for us to grow, spread the words, get people using it, give us feedback, make sure we build a kick ass product that people will spread.
Once we ended the beta, I think we were lucky enough to have so many users that were willing to pay to continue using it.
David White: We actually exited a previous company was in the similar space to start import.io. We had an idea of what the customers were, so weren't going into this without having done a reasonable amount of customer discovery up front. We've pretty much honed down to the fact that there are probably three primary personas, the two of which we already focused on were data analyst and data scientists. We decided that the best way to get some immediate attention from them was to go to one of these startup competitions, and it was actually run by Strata, who do a conference that basically is for big data guys, data scientists, et cetera. We entered the startup competition and won it, which was great. That really gave us the first market presence, which got a little bit of traction around the private beta.
Yahya M.: Firstly, we did a ton of research and talked to [inaudible 00:05:47] with a few companies who had successful products on launches to basically come up with a playbook for how to do it. Number one is the time you post. We did ours at 7:00 AM Pacific. That seems to have worked. I could go back I probably would have done it a little bit earlier, I probably should have aimed for 5:00 AM Pacific. Secondly, we looked at who we wanted to post for us. There are a few, what I would call primetime celebrities that when they post, that thing is guaranteed to go somewhere near the top. For us, we got in touch Heathan Shaw. He was nice enough to post it for us.
The other thing is we put a lot of thought into the images, both the product images as well as the headline image that would appear with it. Then we did what you would expect, which is when it went out ... Product Hunt does not like you to tell people to vote for it. In fact, they'll penalize you if they see you doing that, but you're definitely allowed to promote it. So we posted on our blog, all of us posted individually on our Facebooks on our Twitters, "Hey, check out Truebill on Product Hunt."
Then the other thing we did was we made sure we were hyper active on the actual thread. So, anytime someone commented with a question or comment, we merely jumped in and said, "Hey, I'm the founder, thanks so much for trying it out. To address your concern, let me respond to that."
Eric Siu: Hope you enjoyed the video. Thanks for leveling up, keep grinding, don't forget to subscribe and we'll see you tomorrow.
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