Le Wagon’s Product Pitch

I’ve been pretty busy recently with Le Wagon Mexico’s boot camp where you have 9 weeks to learn about product development from the ground up.

The 5th week is done and the course has been all that I expected and even more. The program is really well done, the culture is enlightening and the meta learning will be useful for the rest of my life.

It is now clear to me that the future of education is in these kinds of ‘trade’ schools where you take on a topic and learn all its intricacies and take them to the limit in the shortest amount of time possible.

I’ve had a lot of conversations with my fellow course buddies and teachers and each time we’ve come to the same conclusion: the future of education is already here and we are experiencing it at Le wagon.

The ultimate goal of the course is for everyone (no matter their background) to be able to build any digital product from the ground up.

The program walks you through From the back end to the front and teaches you the way everything glues up together and shows you the tools that real world tech businesses and startups are using today to build their game changing ideas.

In that way, the course is arranged so that the last weeks are for building your own projects after having a week of pitching, voting and team generation to build the most popular ideas of the batch.

Today was our first day of working on the pitches and I just finished mine:

TARGET or who’s your customer?

As creative entrepreneurs we are always trying to create things that we like and that’s not bad at all but if we want to actually experience the joy of people using the stuff that we build we must focus on making things people want.

So the first step would be to clearly define the pain point (problem) and then create a solution and not do like most times and create solutions in search of problems.

This could be very simple: If you build something that you yourself would use because you are ‘scratching your own itch’ you sure as hell will find more people that will pay you for the solution to the same problem.

In this example I’m trying to scratch my own itch:

I’m an avid reader and I’m always searching for the ‘next big book’ to read and enjoy in a wide range of topics: historical Japanese novels and authors, business books, great transcendental biographies filled with lessons, sci fi stories that get you hooked, etc.

The first thing that I do is search for the best places depending on the category: I go to Product Hunt’s top book list or one of my favorite tech startup founders personal blogs if I’m in search of a business book.

If on another category then I just browse r/books or pray for a good book recommendation while browsing twitter which has happened maybe once before so it’s not a really good way of doing it.

I then browse through the top new books from Amazon, NYT or mainstream blogs (not a smart choice I know) but in spite of having all these different places and options I end up being more confused than when I started my search.

How do I know that those places are actually being transparent and fair in their reviews? How do I know that the book is actually any good and that the amazon stars are not fake?

There should clearly be a better way of indexing all of the information that we have available to make a buying decision for x category of books no matter if they are new releases or the top books of all time.

Why can’t I just go to a filtered lists that combines what people are really saying about ‘x’ book + its mentions and display it in a clear simple understandable way for me?

A sourced list of the best books to read by category with a mention counter + sentiment analysis indicator to know what people are really saying about the book would help solve the issue of really knowing if the book is any good by the average sentiment of people reading it.

It would also show the real ‘popularity’ of the book and would be useful to make a buying decision. If things are taken further it could even start aggregating new book recommendations based on the things people are saying about it.

By combining a human chosen list of good places to source information and some API’s that help clarify what’s being said with affiliate links.

If the product is good enough the earnings could help fund the next phases of the project and keep iterating based on user feedback until the platform is advanced enough to add different categories of products that people could search for.

Think of it as a wire cutter with auto generated lists with up to date information.

That’s what I’m gonna pitch and work towards for the next weeks if the product is selected. Wish me luck ūüēä

Do it fucking now

Do it F***ing Now.

Don’t wait. Don’t procrastinate. The winners in this world are not the ones who find the greatest excuses to put off doing what they know will make them more money. The winners are the ones that prioritize and seize the day.

Create a list of action items to make sure your important tasks get accomplished. Every project you’re working on should be in action. If you’re not moving, you’re standing still. Your next step towards making money must not be “something I’ll take care of maybe sometime next week.” If it’s going to help make you money: Do it F***ing Now.

Some of you may think that you don’t need the “f***ing” in “do it f***ing now”. You do. You need that impact, that force, that call to action, that kick in the ass to get you moving. Otherwise, you’ll end up another loser that had a great idea a long time ago but never did anything about it. Dreamers don’t make money. Doers make money. And doers “Do it F***ing Now.”

As seen on an old BHW post that no longer exists

Your MVP might be someone else’s full business

red bikes

Before learning about the Lean Startup approach to building online products, the first ideas that came to mind were big dreams of complex apps that were obviously going to be the next big thing: Facebook but for rats, Uber for haircut services or a Tinder for dogs.

Whatever the idea was, I found myself overwhelmed by the theoretical difficulty of my projects before I thought about the really important stuff first: If I was actually solving a big problem for people and if they would actually pay for it.

So, apart ¬†from the logical fundamental steps of learning how to code while using services like Zapier to glue together some API’s¬†to launch a quick MVP¬†(will talk about this in another post). One of the skills I’m trying to develop is the Minimum Viable Product muscle.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

An MVP can come in many forms if you are creative enough. They can range from a google spreadsheet or a simple form asking for the user information. The most popular kind, however (and the least original) takes the form of  landing pages.

The entrepreneur builds a single page site with a clear description of the problem and how her product is solving it. Using a fake ¬†“Buy” button and some tracking analytics she tests if there’s enough demand for her product by studying how many people actually clicked “Buy”. ¬†Now that she knows that they are willing to pay she can now start building a solution. Here’s a cool recent example I found a week ago.

And like that example, there are much more. ¬†If you train your brain to spot MVP’s in the wild you improve your chances of coming up with good lean tests to see if your idea is really worth it. And that takes me to my next point:

Finding a cool little business in Cozumel

Cozumel

 

I recently decided to stay in Cozumel for a couple of weeks while working remotely and getting a scuba diving certification. I was in need of a service like Uber eats or Grub hub and since food delivery startups in M√©xico are really big (at least 500 million in sales a year big) ¬†I asked some friends ¬†if there was something like sindelantal.mx¬†here. They told me of something¬†called “Room Service” a nifty small business that delivers whatever you want right to your door.

  1. You can call them, use Whatsapp or FB chat.
  2. Tell them what do you want to order and from where.
  3. Give them your address
  4. Wait
  5. ¬†ūü§Ď

The thing with Room service is that it could be the perfect MVP:

  1. No code needed
  2. Uses existing services (Fb chat, Whatsapp, Calls)
  3. Almost no cost to test it ( spend on ads or market it through Facebook groups)
  4. You can test demand immediately

They don’t even have a website, just a¬†FB page and I’ve seen their bikes pretty frequently so I say they have a healthy amount of daily orders. Of course, there are other variables involved in this kind of businesses like the cost¬†of delivery or the covered area (it works really well in Cozumel since it is a small town and you don’t need to travel long distances).

The point of this is that if they have a working and growing business without complex tech. Then what is stopping you from testing that idea that you have?

Copy what works and iterate fast, let me know what you think about this in the comments or tweet me¬†your opinion¬†would love to talk¬†ūüėĄ

Photo credit: Alex Barlow