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Old 01-07-2014, 12:09 AM   #501
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So the user interface design is ready for testing. I'm going to where my target audience is most likely to be tomorrow to ask them go through it with me.

I'm thinking of grabbing some small incentives I can get for free and give them out free and in return they can give me a little feedback on my sites user interface. Once I get enough input to see the patterns I'll tweak it and begin on the rest of the site.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:07 AM   #502
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As for the incentives:

Good idea to show appreciation AFTER the test.

Also don't let them know beforehand.

Why not? Because it skews the results, making people happy and govong you grade A when it is an F.

What we did in market research in Germany was to give people a free choice of some products on a shelf afterwards.

Some nice chocolates, body lotions, whathaveyou.

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Old 01-07-2014, 11:38 AM   #503
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Thanks Emp. That's a good point!
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:04 AM   #504
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So I called up some venues where my target market goes to see if I could swing by to chat about the app I'm making, and surprisingly, they were very open and easy going about it. So I found out the best time I go and I showed up the next chance I had time. I met the PERFECT person on my arrival who didn't even look at my app... he just asked me what it does.

Soon after describing it to him he immediately pointed out the benefit it would have to him. That's exactly what I was looking for... for anyone I speak to to point out what's important to *them* and keep solving any frustrations or bottlenecks in the process of whatever they do..

anyways, he was so in to what I described he's setting up a time for me to meet with him and about a dozen of her co-workers to give them a presentation of the app..

Now, I have 1 concern right now, and it's that the app isn't an app at all right now. It's just an HTML mock up of what the site will look like. I'm hoping to illicit more needs and suggestions of what they'll need and expect so I can weave all that in before actually spending another massive chunk of my time developing the site. That way I starting from what I know is an immediate benefit to my audience and I'll be able to write effective copy with that knowledge.

I'm super excited about the meetup and I'll write about it here.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:31 AM   #505
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Was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk today and he said two things that I wanted to record here..

There are 2 big picture commitments that align everything he does:
1. The first thing that he focuses on maximizing his happiness. Doing what he loves and leveraging that into his business as much as possible.

2. Focusing on building brand equity on a global scale through social media like vlogs and twitter and even email.

He says those focuses allowed him to spend the 20+ years of his life since his early 20's building his wine business into a $50M/year business.
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #506
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good luck man.
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:32 PM   #507
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I felt like updating this blog since it's I've been updating it for so long already. Anyone following it might find some value in what I'm doing today.

I'm still not a millionaire. But everyday I'm still that possibility and everything I do is geared for one goal.

I'm still working on my application. I know it's dumb that I've not launched it after like 2 years, although the first application I built was so shitty I would have had a nightmare getting it to work. I've spoken with a handful of people in my target demo and they are willing to test the app out, some people still are asking me where to sign up..etc

My friend has been helping me along the way build it up the right way so I run into less severe issues in the future.

I'm 23 now, turning 24 this year. I religiously spend at least 1.5 hours on the app every day each morning.

I decided that building websites as a freelancer with no job to sustain me was seriously screwing with my psych and peace of mind, as well as limiting my experience, so I got a job with an internet marketing agency and they've been training me in SEO, landing page optimization, and PPC for clients with budgets upwards of 2.2 million dollars.

I've got 7 classes left in my college career and I'm entering summer time right next week where I'll be taking 1 class and working on freelance work as well as my job and my app.

The biggest reason I am able to handle this workload and stay effective is because of these Landmark courses I've been taking. I'd have buckled under the pressure. I'm becoming a different person, a more powerful person, with each distinction I learn and apply from those classes. I nearly destroyed my relationship with my mother a few weeks ago and I was able to heal what I'd done within 1 hours by using what I learned. My clients are sending me ever more work, and my new boss is delighted to be working with me.

The biggest take away from these courses that I can share, although this share would never do it justice, is this: There are 3 parts of leading a powerful effective life. Choosing to be responsible for anything that isn't working, Living your word and planning your work, and communicating whatever it is you are creating such that people are inspired by what you're saying.

Anyways, I know that all this learning and training and effort will pay off. As Steve Jobs says that it's hard to know how life will turn out looking forward ( all the while having a goal ) but it's in retrospect that we can see how all the dots will connect. I can't wait to see my dots connecting!

So that's my little update. I know this is an internet marketing forum, and not so much a "business start up" forum, either way I know these posts are providing value to some.

I think I'll end up sharing with each milestone I reach because that's when the shares count. That's when they have value and something people can take away for themselves.

To recap for myself and my followers on this thread, my goal is to make $300,000/mo before I'm 30 years old. Ideally, before 28.

Well.. I have to get back to work now. Till next time.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #508
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I just wrote this big ass entry and it got wiped out.

Basically my app is almost ready. Learned to configure Redis to make autocomplete wicked fast. I was able to launch the app with ubuntu manually, and now I'm making some fine tuning adjustments to really tighten up both security and usability.

I'm extremely excited and scared at the same time. My motivation has been something like obsession/desperation, because I'm tried of driving a car with no AC in the summer in FL. I don't want to spend the $ to fix it because I want that $ for my expenses that might arise in fixing my app or whatever else. There's more to it than that, but that's the gist of it.

I think I'll post here again once I've gotten my first PAYING customer I've gotta get Stripe installed, so that will be soon hopefully.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:48 PM   #509
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Haven't read this thread until now, but it sounds like you're on, especially if you're at the Stripe state. Keep on!

Would love to try your app, by the way, assuming you make it open here, either in the forum or through PM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:56 PM   #510
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Hey thanks for the encouragement!

I may post it later on when I'm confident it's secure and I've achieved first movers advantage in this niche.
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Old 08-24-2014, 06:21 AM   #511
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Cool.

Do you have a back-end for the app to increase revenue?
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:43 AM   #512
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Right now the revenue stream is subscription based. On the back-end I'm not sure what to offer yet.

I have a few ideas floating around. Like upgrades for more advanced features. Once I know what other needs my demographic would want solved I can then build it. Another idea would be to include a store to cater to them. I'd move from only an SaaS to somewhat an online retail store. Another idea I have is to organize the data I collect on the choices my users make and sell it to manufacturers or marketing companies. My least favorite idea is placing ads on the site to a paid service. Another idea is to contact manufacturers who are trying to market to my demo and offer them a higher ranking in the search results of my autocomplete feature in exchange for a monthly $.

What I should put more focus on though after getting the SaaS part going is the virality of the product. Me having to manually recruit customers will take making a fortune infinitely longer. At first it wouldn't be so bad because I can improve the site through direct observation. But simultaneously I think the app would need to have some kind of viral aspect to it. To get the "engine of growth" going as Erick Reis puts it.
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:18 PM   #513
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I think if you put a bit of time into making sure you get emails from these people and build an autoresponder sequence, you won't have to manually recruit people and can put a lot of stuff on autopilot. You can outsource a lot of this, at least in terms of content, and wind up creating lots of goodwill with your customer base if you do it right.

True, this is an extra step, but I think it will be critical to keep your SaaS subscribers over the long haul because you've really got to remind people what they've invested in.

Speaking of which, I just signed up for Grammarly for my writing needs. It looks like it's going to be cool. Let's see what kind of autoresponder sequence they've squeezed me into ...
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:27 PM   #514
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Yeah I totally agree.

Actually the book "Getting Real" by 37signals talks about that. They go the extra mile to actually start a blog, build up an email list, build up anticipation before launch, and then unleash the list into their new app to get it traction much faster.
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:37 AM   #515
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Thanks for mentioning this book. I looked into it and got Reworked instead because reviews said it's more streamlined and modernized and not so oriented on specific softwares that may or not work any more. Look forward to reading it.

Have you read:

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products: Nir Eyal, Ryan Hoover: 9780615978628: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:55 AM   #516
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whoa that book hooked looks awesome. Just got it!

There's also a really good book by Seth Godin called "Unleashing the idea virus". It's all about virality and making things go viral.

I think these ideas all go hand in hand so at some point I have to start thinking about forming and executing a viral strategy.
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:04 AM   #517
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Yep.

If I can help with the viral push in any way, let me know.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:30 AM   #518
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Thanks for the offer!
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:04 AM   #519
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Also, thanks for sharing that book "ReWorked" with me. I was getting a little discouraged with my app and then that book got me pumped up again.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:56 PM   #520
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My pleasure. It is a good book.

I never mentioned it, but I'm working on two apps myself. But these are entirely outsourced. One guy is doing it pro bono just because he likes my books. Cool, but makes for many a frustration because I don't know how to tweak things to my pleasing.

The other is a game. Much less frustrating because I have a partner to help with communicating with the coder.

The important part, even if it is cliche to say so, is the journey.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:12 AM   #521
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I finished reading it the other day. I think both books are good together because the 2nd one leaves out some details I think were really great.

That's awesome that you have these projects going on. Not being the engineer gives you the ability to do more than one project, so that's great!
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:15 AM   #522
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probably not the advice you want to hear, but I agree with the majority here. You just got to take the plunge and try things out.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:22 AM   #523
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I'm very receptive to advice. What are you speaking in relation to? I've been building a website application for about 8 months now, so I'm assuming your responding to an earlier post?
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:41 PM   #524
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I finally finish my degree in 4 months... Gonna go HAM during my December break before classes start again in January. Thankfully I'll only have 3 classes.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:06 PM   #525
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Finally graduated college. Got my BA in Marketing. Now I'm working full time for a friend and focusing on my web app. Learning a shit ton. This is the only long term journal on the interwebz. I guess the initial enthusiasm and support really inspired me and I appreciated it a lot.

Anyway, it's a milestone for me having graduated. What's next is making that first $100,000, then the $1M, and beyond.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:14 AM   #526
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My app's status..

I'm rebuilding it. Yes, again. The other ones were nightmares, at least according to my friend/dev-biz-mentor.

So right now I'm at the sketch pad, paper stage again. Except this time I think the design makes 100xs more sense, and I'll be able to use some newer technologies like Angular to really bring it to life. Also, now that I understand how to use Varnish I don't have to worry as much about getting killed with server costs in the beginning - in theory. I really don't know what to expect as far as that goes but I'll find out.

Anyway, I'm on to getting these sketches finished. I created weekly deadlines for each phase of the app. It's the best way to keep a consistent pace. And it's familiar to college, where there's a quiz due for 4 chapters.. keeps the adrenal glands firing and on my toes. It's too easy to slip in to "Oh, I'll just take a 2 hour lunch today, or take a stroll through the mall..."
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Old 02-13-2017, 09:57 PM   #527
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Wow, I can't believe how awesome the support is on this forum. I've been around the web and it's been nothing like this anywhere else. To everyone who has supported me through this thread with your advice and encouragement, I give you my warmest thank you.

An update on my app. I've deployed it and I'm working on targeting ads to it. I have some new users already and I've started a reddit group where people have offered their feedback. After finally putting it in front of the market and seeing their reaction, it's interesting to see how they compare it to the other similar apps in the space.

I'm really trying to target a subset of the bigger market. The best comparison I have is that I'm trying to be the Gold's Gym of gyms. Not Planet Fitness or 24 Hour Fitness. They're similar because their features are the same in many ways, but the experience of each gym is different. The arrangement of the gym, the people who go there...etc

So currently I'm at a point where I'm testing out different ways to present this to my market, and also improve the features so that they're really fine tuned to keep the users coming back and also sharing it with their friends.

Now, after so long thinking like a web developer.. it's refreshing and exciting to push the marketing side of things again.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:00 PM   #528
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Here's what has happened with the app....

I published this thing, targeted ads to it, shared it on reddit, shared it on competitors facebook groups even.. and people are hardly batting an eye at it. I feel the concept is there but the execution just isn't up to par on something - I don't know what it is. I mean I have an idea, and I'm redesigning based on those ideas.

Anyway, I don't know if it's ok to share the link here so I'll share it with anyone who'd like to see it for themselves. (Not trying to promote it, it appears to be failed idea or execution such idea, not in a hurry to get people signed up anymore).

People signed up but never return again.

Surely, there are things I could do better, like make it mobile friendly, but if the concept doesn't get people jazzed up then why bother? I want to drop a link somewhere and have people saying "Wow, this is super great!" and like and share it, like they do for other things that make them say wow!

Anyhow, I've started a re-design that I think will be much better and might gather a strong reaction from people. It'll take me probably 1/100th of the time to re-make it now that I have hella skills in this dept.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:23 PM   #529
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Thanks, for suggesting this awesome plan.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:14 AM   #530
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huh?
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