Today we catch up with Rob to talk about what’s new with Drip, his main project. Drip is an email marketing SAAS product that is really revolutionizing how email marketing is being done. Rob talks about how Drip has recently experienced a strong growth trend, how the product is offering enough added value for him to consider a change in pricing strategy, and some of the considerations around a growing product.
Just under a month away is Microconf in Las Vegas, the highlight of the year for bootstrapped startup founders everywhere. Both Brian and Jordan will be giving attendee talks this year, which is always the highlight of the conference for everyone.
But Rob’s newest venture is the podcast he recently launched with his wife and clinical psychologist, Sherry Walling. The Zen Founder podcast touches on the softer side of the startup world, with a focus on the balance of family and work priorities. Take a listen, we think you’ll really enjoy it.
If you enjoyed the show today, please head over to iTunes and leave a review. We’d love to give you a shoutout on the air next week.
Ah yes, idea validation. The mythical ideal we all know that we should pursue before giving ourselves the green light on a new project. Today we talk about different methodologies to follow, and mix in our own experiences to provide you with a handy guide to keep close to your heart the next time a bright, shiny object passes into view.
Check it out:
Big Snow Tiny Conf.
Thinking about “what’s next”.
Last week we talked about Product vs Marketing and where to spend your time, but there’s another little wrinkle we didn’t mentioned – working on the Business – and that’s where a lot of my focus has been. I heart lawyers.
In This Episode…
Lean Startup – hypothesis then test MVP (Buffer)
30×500 – Sales Safari – easier to find people already experiencing a problem
Foundation – Idea extraction and pre-selling
The validation process:
Idea (starts internally) – 10% valid
Scratch your own itch – WPBids – 37signals (sell your byproducts)
See a problem / opportunity to solve it – Restaurant Engine
Seeing others succeed in solving a problem – dangerous!
Question: Is this the right idea for me to pursue right now?
Research – 20%
Research potential competitors
Early marketing / customer acquisition ideas
Question: Is this the right market for me to enter?
First conversations – 30% valid
Survey your audience
If no audience…
Cold email campaign
Landing page + PPC campaign
Question: Do others resonate with this problem/solution? If so, who?
Prototype – 40% valid
If possible, deliver manually
Or develop minimal / focused version 1
Based on the key need discussed in early conversations
Get it in the hands of early test users (free beta), monitor and get feedback.
Question: Do customers actually get value from the prototype?
Paying customers – 50% valid
See how many of your early test users are willing to become paying customers.
Start pitching the product to other first paying customers.
Use intelligence you’ve gathered in your early marketing/pitch
Question: Is anyone actually willing to pay for this?
Sustained value – 60% valid
Will customers stick around?
Is value consistently being delivered on an ongoing basis?
Are there any new objections?
Question: Will customers pay repeatedly (2+ months subscription), or will churn be a major issue?
Customer acquisition – 70% valid
Test repeatable customer acquisition channels
Question: Are you able to reach potential customers at scale?
Funnel optimization – 100% valid
Building predictable revenue streams.
Question: Now that it is validated, how do we grow?
 Product vs. Marketing. Which to Focus on Right Now?
There’s a never-ending battle between Product and Marketing. Where to focus your time and limited resources? There’s never a straightforward answer, but it’s an issue we all have to address on a daily basis.
This week we’re diving into the subject.
Check it out:
Continuing to focus on tweaking my sales funnel. Changed our “middle step” from consultation to register for a live demo (webinar).
Updating credit card info on everything.
I’m hacking the shit out of my outbound sales process. Very excited to let things run in February and measure along the way and then refine it moving forward.
In This Episode…
The balance between working on the product vs. working on marketing:
How do you know the product or the marketing is slipping and needs more attention?
How do you justify the investment into product when it doesn’t directly impact sales?
Is one more important than the other?
Focusing on your strengths vs. investing in weaknesses?
How do you cover product or marketing when you don’t have the resources (money, time, skills)?