“The most common unscalable thing
founders have to do at the start is to recruit users manually. Nearly all startups have to. You can't wait for users to come to you. You have to go out and get them.” Paul Graham
Startup activities Minuses Plusses Talking
to each prospect. Takes time. People love attention! Responding to every email. Doesn’t scale. Getting out of the oﬃce. Feels repetitive. People see you and start rooting for you. Iterating 469 times. Throwing out that amazing idea you had. Starting over and over. Isn’t directly building product. Isn’t impressive to outsiders. You learn what the real problems are. You learn what people will pay for. You are building your brand.
Takeaways: 1. Build your brand
in 1:1 relationships as you work toward your MVP. 2. The painful, manual steps of researching and hand-holding your ﬁrst customers is how you’ll also learn how to scale your business going forward. 3. Everyone you come into contact with is being branded. You are your brand.
Takeaways: 1. Minimum Viable Brand
is about owning a unique shape in the minds of customers that becomes memorable and elicits memories of real experiences. 2. Find a shape and be consistent with it. 3. When you reach MVP or are ready to invest in marketing, then invest in a professional logo using the same shape!
MVP? Pre MVP Goal: Repeatable
value Post MVP Growth Activities: Research Conceptual Design Prototyping Marketing Sales Scaling technology Branding: 1:1 relationships 1:many relationships
"Learning adds resolution to what
you oﬀer. And the change happens not within the product, but between the user's ears. The more you help your users learn and improve, the greater the chance that they'll become passionate." Kathy Sierra
Takeaways: 1. After MVP, strengthen
your brand with content and education. 2. You’ll ﬁnd your next set of passionate customers this way. 3. Learn the patterns in how they read your educational content to learn who to target and sell to.
Takeaways: 1. Branding is not
what you say to people, it’s what they actually experience and expect of you. 2. Pre-MVP, spend 99% of your time on making people successful. One by one. By hand if necessary. 3. Spend the other 1% of your time on an MVB, which means to own a shape in your customer’s minds. 4. Post-MVP, strengthen your brand and bring in leads with education. Level up your customers by increasing their resolution in the ﬁeld they want to learn in.