June 28, 2024


The Morning After

Hosted by

Jordan Gal Brian Casel
The Morning After
Bootstrapped Web
The Morning After

Jun 28 2024 | 00:42:26


Show Notes

US Presidential debate analysis.  America.  Launch week.  First customers.  Perfect storm for a new product idea.  Questioning assumptions.  Seeking feedback.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Speaker A: All right, it's boostrap web. We're back today, it's Friday, June 28, and it's the morning after the presidential debate last night with Trump and Biden. I. [00:00:28] Speaker B: Too entertaining. [00:00:29] Speaker A: Should we even. [00:00:30] Speaker B: Not to talk about. [00:00:31] Speaker A: Too entertaining not to touch it. Yes. Just for a minute. Just for a minute. We'll see. [00:00:35] Speaker B: Just for a minute. I tweeted out last night at some point, the laugh or cry, take your pick. But it was both brutal, man. Oof. [00:00:43] Speaker A: I mean, and especially the fact that it's, you know, so it was brutal for Biden just within the first ten minutes, and then it sort of just got worse. [00:00:52] Speaker B: I thought the first ten minutes, the only thing I could think was, there's 80 minutes left. How are we gonna stand this level of pain? [00:01:01] Speaker A: And if you know anything about presidential debates, the first 510 minutes are everything. Nobody watches except for the hardcore. You know, like, it's, the first five minutes are everything. And then, and then it's like, the clips and the. And the headline. And the headline today, you could talk all you want about all the lies and nonsense coming from Trump, but the headline today is Biden did not show up and couldn't, and in many cases was pretty incoherent. [00:01:28] Speaker B: Yeah, it was. It was pretty painful to watch. You know what? You know what I mean? I never watch cable news stuff. [00:01:35] Speaker A: Yeah, neither do. [00:01:36] Speaker B: But last night, I put it on. I mean, it was very straightforward and very universal. The reaction. [00:01:43] Speaker A: Yeah, I noticed that, too. I was watching it and. Yeah, yeah. So I was watching the stream, and it. I was actually struck, like, at the end of the debate, I had it on the tv, but I actually muted, like, the second hour. I was like, I've seen enough. I'm gonna like, wait. [00:02:00] Speaker B: It was so entertaining. Oh, my God. I. [00:02:06] Speaker A: Was watching it on tv. I was like, I wonder what the actual immediate reaction, like, on CNN is gonna be right after it's over. Are they gonna try to be, like, balanced and everything? But it was like, right from the get go, it's like, wow. Like, Biden, quote unquote, lost that debate. [00:02:21] Speaker B: Right? [00:02:21] Speaker A: There was no question about it. And there's, like, panic in the Democratic Party and all that. [00:02:25] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. And now, you know, there's conversation about replacing him, but it's not so simple. The overwhelming feeling I had, you know, I'm very political. I keep it out of the show. [00:02:37] Speaker A: Same here. Same here. [00:02:38] Speaker B: I spent a lot of my time thinking about it and reading it and everything else. It's my other hobby. [00:02:44] Speaker A: Same. Yeah, me too. [00:02:47] Speaker B: You know, obviously, October 7 kind of reignited my interest in politics. I was very into it. My first startup was a political website, so I have been into it for a very long time. And I almost got too into it. And at some point, it wasn't healthy. And so I backed out. And I just focused on work, I focused on family, and I ignored politics for years. October 7 pulled me back in in a very dramatic way. And there's always an element to being an advocate for Israel the way I am, where there's an enormous amount of frustration around truth and what a lot of people on the Israel side of the debate say, look, it's tough, but the truth will win eventually. And last night was the truth catching up to all of the politics. And it was really, really painful to see because up until last night, there was a lot of what politics is, which is exaggeration, lying, misdirection, communication, just a whole bunch of stuff, because that, that's what politics is from both sides. Neither side is innocent. But last night was just, boom. It hit very, very hard and became undeniable. [00:04:07] Speaker A: Yeah, I thought it was interesting. And I had this hunch before the debate that. So for those who don't follow it closely, like, this debate is a lot earlier than it normally is. It's not even like, it's just a CNN debate. It's not even like the official. [00:04:23] Speaker B: Right. It's usually after the convention, after the. [00:04:25] Speaker A: Person'S choice, usually not until, like, October. Right. So they did it early this time. I forgot who actually initially prompted it. But ultimately, the Biden campaign agreed or reverse. [00:04:36] Speaker B: They offered and Trump agreed, I believe. [00:04:38] Speaker A: Okay. So I think that this play by the Biden campaign to get it in early was like a two sided play. One is like, you gotta put to bed the concerns over his age, and he's gotta show up and perform early so that we can put that to bed early. Right? [00:04:55] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:04:55] Speaker A: Or he's not gonna perform. And it. And it's still, it's super late, but maybe it's still just barely early enough to swap someone else in if that first debate goes badly. And clearly it went badly. So that's the conversation. I mean, it sounds insane to try to replace the nominee at this stage. [00:05:18] Speaker B: After all the primaries. [00:05:19] Speaker A: After all the primaries. Oh, my God. But at the same time, I can't help but think that today feels like a basketball game where there's a few seconds left on the clock, your team is down by a few points, and you have no other choice but to intentionally foul and give and let the other team score some baskets because the only alternative is lose. And that's where I feel like the Democrats are right now. It's like you're in a bad spot. I mean, I just don't see him pulling it out if he stays in and if, and if he pulls out, that's insanely hard, too. [00:05:57] Speaker B: But it's like, who's going to want to walk in? I mean, I guess there are people who are ambitious enough and want to be president. [00:06:05] Speaker A: Oh, there are. And then there's a huge question of, like, I don't know if there's anyone else who could even win. [00:06:11] Speaker B: Well, normally speaking, the vice president would step up. [00:06:14] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:06:15] Speaker B: And it is a, again, a very painful truth that she was chosen for a bad set of reasons and now. [00:06:26] Speaker A: She can, and she's just not popular. [00:06:28] Speaker B: I mean, look, she's not popular because she's not competent and now she can't be. So you've removed that option by using a bad set of reasons to choose her to begin with. So let me just say, your explanation there in terms of making the debate early is, one, plausible and two, like, too clever by half, I think. Right. Cause I think the same way that that is plausible, but it's also like, would you really put yourselves in that position? No one would wanna put themselves in the position that they're in. [00:07:02] Speaker A: I think that they're, I do think that. I think you're right, that maybe it's, it wasn't, but I think that there could be some, like, campaign operatives or democratic operatives in there who have a real fear. I think a lot of people have a real fear of Trump winning again. And they know that Biden is not willing to step down until he really is forced, not technically forced, but this. [00:07:33] Speaker B: Is as close to being forced as possible. [00:07:34] Speaker A: I think today we're as close to that. Becoming a real loud sounding alarm for him to step out. [00:07:43] Speaker B: Yeah, it's tough. [00:07:44] Speaker A: This could be a way for some people to, like, force the issue early enough. [00:07:48] Speaker B: I don't know. But the, it's tough to be happy because then you look at the other side and you're like, we're going to put our faith in Trump. That's where our faith in the country is going to go. You know, that's not very appealing. [00:08:01] Speaker A: Yeah. And I guess, just to be clear, at least for me personally, I've just, you know, we don't normally talk our political views on this show, but I'll just be open about it since today we are, I have always been just like, my fundamental bottom line is I'm anti Trump now. I think that's fair. I think that the January 6 and not accepting the results of the election, to me, that is game over, deal breaker. I don't care what your politics are. I don't care what you care about policies or anything else. Like, if you can't accept the basic premise of how the american system works, you cannot win. And that's just my view. So all that to say is like, yeah, if Biden at his age and everything stays in the race, like, I am still going to vote for him because I'm going to vote for not Trump no matter what, that's where I end up. [00:09:02] Speaker B: I think that's fair and I think a lot of people are there. I, I think people have certain topics around that, whether it's January 6 or abortion or character, we'll use that as an umbrella term. And I think that's fair. American politics forces you to swallow some bad with the things that you want, right? There's no, we got two parties, and each party has these things that you like and don't like. And a lot of it is projection of your personal priorities. So you're not accepting all the bad, you're just deprioritizing those. [00:09:44] Speaker A: And, look, I don't even consider myself. I'm technically not a Democrat. I'm independent and I'm furthest from the democratic party as I've ever been in my life. I'm as central as they come. Yeah. [00:09:58] Speaker B: Tough to be a centrist in the democratic party these days. [00:10:01] Speaker A: Exactly. Yeah. And what really actually scares me the most is anything left and far left getting close to being a nominee for something. Like, I'm not on board for that. And especially what the Israel stuff is like a big, it's a tough. Swallow a big nail in the coffin or big confirmation. For me, that's like, the far left has gone way, way off course now. I was already off course with them, but the Israel stuff really, really put. [00:10:31] Speaker B: It over the edge for campus things. And, yeah, I'm with you. I guess my set of priorities pushes me to the other party, and I have to accept Trump as the person to vote for. Last election, I couldn't do it. I couldn't vote for him. I voted for neither because, and this year I feel like I have to do it because of where the country is. [00:10:52] Speaker A: Ever since the 2016 campaign with Hillary Clinton, like, ever since that campaign and onward, I always thought, thought of myself as like a legitimately convincible voter. Like, I like there could be a world where I actually. Yeah. Like, where I vote the republican ticket for maybe for the first time in my adult life, Trump is out of the question. But, like, you know, like a guy like Kasich or, you know, someone who's. [00:11:21] Speaker B: Like, really closer to the center all day right now. [00:11:25] Speaker A: Yeah, I would take that. But anyway, we're getting too deep into our politics. [00:11:31] Speaker B: No, it's okay. I think the bigger set of topics, like the politics of the country and the parties and voting, pulls you in because it matters and it's entertaining and all this other stuff. The bigger things are, like, where are we right now in the world? There are a few months left in this presidency, and my overwhelming concern is, do our enemies see this as an opportunity to make their moves over the next six months, or they do. Do they start making the opposite calculation and saying, so Trump is likely to be the next one? And maybe we don't want to be in a war in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel when Trump comes in, because that's probably not going to work out for us as well as we thought it would if Biden was still there. [00:12:21] Speaker A: On the world stage. I tend to think that obviously, different presidents and different parties will have different politics and directions and stuff, but I tend to just end up in a place where I don't think America's leadership is really as questioned as politicians will make us think that the. The leadership, from a cultural standpoint, from the military standpoint, the economic standpoint, like, there are so many metrics where America is still. I mean, I'm no expert here, but, like, we're still, like, untouched. [00:13:02] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:13:04] Speaker A: Kind of. Kind of like, no, and even, like, no matter who's in the office, like, the military is the military. It's got. It's gonna. I don't know, there's. Yeah, that is where I'm much more worried about the domestic side of things, in general. [00:13:20] Speaker B: Yeah, I think maybe because I'm an immigrant or I'm israeli or whatever else, combination of things, I end up being more worried about international. I mean, domestic makes a bigger difference on your day to day life and internationally. I just want us to project strength. I think that works out for us and the rest of the world. [00:13:42] Speaker A: You know? And my wife came here as an immigrant, and she often talks about, like, the world still reveres America as a whole in general. Like, and, like, a lot of people these days, like, hate, like to laugh at our. At how crazy our circus of the politics is. [00:14:01] Speaker B: But, like, everyone at the end of. [00:14:03] Speaker A: The day, like, people still want to come here every single day. [00:14:06] Speaker B: That's like, what's it called? A revealed preference. There's a lot of talk, where do you want to move your family? Everyone knows where you want to move your family. And that's important that we keep it that way. And God bless America. We're going to figure this thing out one way or another. One way or another. [00:14:24] Speaker A: Let's do the most american thing we can do and talk some business. [00:14:27] Speaker B: Yes, that's right. I often get lost in finding meaning and interest in this. And the conclusion I always get to is, you know what the best thing is that I can do? Be as successful as possible. Donate money, take care of my family, raise good kids, contribute to the community. That's still. So this is, it's not that it's just entertaining, but the most important thing you can do is kick some butt in business, be successful, raise your family the right way. That's the right thing. [00:14:57] Speaker A: You said it, man. Oh, what do we got going on? [00:15:01] Speaker B: All right, I'll do my quick catch up. We have a date in mind that we're going to launch the app. A few weeks ago, we launched the name, the marketing page, the concept. We don't have any accounts yet. The app isn't ready. But now we have a date mind, and now we're starting to work backwards from there. So there's like, I'm looking at it as these, like, two week sprints. So between now it's about two weeks until we launch the app for first accounts, maybe a little bit more. [00:15:34] Speaker A: Oh, that close? Okay. [00:15:35] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, pretty soon. [00:15:37] Speaker A: So. Okay, so by launching it, you mean like, literally like, okay, the product is ready for you customer to come sign up and start using it in some way. [00:15:46] Speaker B: We have people on the newsletter that sign up on the website. I'm very happy we added that little email field at the bottom of the footer because we have a good amount of people there. And then we have the people that we've been talking to both end potential customers and partners. Partners has been a very interesting channel so far. And all of them, it's pretty similar to a customer where you're saying, in a few weeks, I'll get in touch with you, we'll get you an account, we'll get it tested, and then we would love if you could bring two or three of your customers on board and get the feedback before making an introduction to the rest of your customer base. [00:16:24] Speaker A: Right. [00:16:24] Speaker B: So it's like two weeks sprint to get to the app, then it's a two week sprint with those early customers, then two weeks of outbound email, and then two weeks later, the social network advertising hits. [00:16:39] Speaker A: Oh, okay. [00:16:40] Speaker B: So that's like the next six or eight weeks for us. It's like work on the product, keep having conversations. Early customers, outbound begins, advertising begins. [00:16:51] Speaker A: Yeah, there you go. And you're off to the races. [00:16:54] Speaker B: And that kind of brings us right around to the middle of August. [00:16:58] Speaker A: It's always interesting to get to open the doors to first customers and work out the adoption stuff. [00:17:05] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. I think we're not going to have anything worked out and it's going to be really messy, and I still think we should just push it anyway and not. So I've like, signed agreements with outbound service and with ads that has a set date of starting. And I almost refuse to move those. I'm just gonna. Whatever condition we're in at that time. [00:17:25] Speaker A: Yeah. Even those are gonna need lead time, not just to ramp up the things, but to like, you know, whatever demos come of that come from that are still, are gonna have weeks of their own sales process to get, to get those customers ultimately on the product. Like, yes, the sooner the better. And I think the other thing for you is that like these earliest, earliest customers on your current list, my understanding is they came from your announcements that you've done so far. So there's going to be an evolution of just people from your orbits and networks transitioning to actual business owners that have never heard of Jordan Gallon. [00:18:04] Speaker B: Yes. And that has been difficult to decipher. If the person I'm talking to right now is representative of who will come in the future and who, and if that's who we want, patterns start to emerge pretty early. But it's so anecdotal. Right. If you talk to ten people, and three of them are from property management companies, you can convince yourself that property management companies are a great fit for you. Not necessarily true. So we're trying to stay open minded and pricing keeps coming up as a recurring conversation. I'm trying to keep that conversation tight in the company so people don't think I'm crazy because I changed my mind every two days. I think that's normal. [00:18:43] Speaker A: You mean a conversation from the people that you're talking to? [00:18:48] Speaker B: No. When we launch the app, I want to have pricing set. [00:18:53] Speaker A: So we have like published or. [00:18:55] Speaker B: Yeah, published right now. We don't publish in pricing, so I'm just saying it out loud to people and we're taking that feedback and we're also doing our analysis. We're looking at our competitors and we're looking at the market. I have two forces that I have not been able to ignore. Number one is to go wider on the industries, and number two is to go lower on the pricing. And I'm trying to figure out how much to push back on those two pressures. The overwhelming pressure is to go wide because the people we've talked to are. They're all over the place. It's the same problem in slightly different ways. Yeah, and that's really tricky given your. [00:19:37] Speaker A: Business model and firepower that you have and also just the AI product that you're doing. I think going horizontal does not. Seems like a, seems fine to me. I would normally default to the more you can niche down, the better. I think in your case, a horizontal play might work just fine. And on the pricing, my thought on it would be like, what are you pricing against? And I don't know that you're necessarily pricing against your direct AI tool competitors. You're really pricing against the cost of hiring people to man the phones. [00:20:18] Speaker B: Okay, so I'm definitely falling into that trap, right. Because I am looking at competitors and thinking through it, because you could be. [00:20:26] Speaker A: The same or even above your competitors and still be so far below what your. I guess the question to help decide on the pricing question is when you're talking to potential customers, are they considering switching to you from an AI tool or switching to you from paying a salary to a person on the phone? [00:20:48] Speaker B: They're not considering switching. So maybe they have looked at others or tried others, but that's the same reason they're on a call with me. Cause they're early adopters. So they like doing that. [00:21:01] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:21:01] Speaker B: So that's not the general. [00:21:03] Speaker A: I feel like they're not. They're not gonna make a decision based on price unless you're like wildly above. [00:21:10] Speaker B: And that's actually my fears being too far above. That's my fear. [00:21:15] Speaker A: Yeah. To me, I would just be like, in the same ballpark. You don't have to be the lowest. [00:21:20] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, you're. You're on my starting same ballpark, but a little more premium. Because that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to leapfrog and our admin and everything. It just looks a lot better, you know, more interesting feature. I just think we have it. [00:21:37] Speaker A: That seems funny. Yeah. Like, I actually, I like that idea of, like, ballpark plus a little bit higher. Like, not. Not the lowest in the ballpark. Essentially, yes. You know, and I like that because it's like, it's like you're a legit player in this space. And by being a bit above, you're going to attract the more serious of the early adopters. [00:21:57] Speaker B: Yes. You're not going to make. If you are making your decision on the difference between 20 or $40 a month, it's probably not the right type. But what's been messing with me is Tam. That is what is messing with me. If I look into the future and I always, it's really tough. I'm trying to remember what we're trying to accomplish, what the goal of the company to accomplish is very big, very fast. That's why we raise money and that's why we have access to more money. So it is not the same goal as I would have if I was running it on my own. And if you look at the market and you say to yourself, okay, how many small businesses are there in the country that deal with a lot of phone calls? It's millions and millions. Okay? So now if you start to shrink that down into, like, what your actual tam would be, it's still a very, very large number. Call it a million businesses in the US. So if a million businesses in the US over the next three or four years will be using a solution like this, the winner, the top one or two, maybe three companies are going to have 100,000 plus customers. And if I look at that, I put my VC hat on. That's what we should. We should be shooting for top number one or two. [00:23:16] Speaker A: Yeah. I feel like you're a little. Few steps ahead than where you're at. [00:23:20] Speaker B: Okay. Right. [00:23:22] Speaker A: So that is clearly, I remember you said a few weeks back, the goal of even choosing to do this product in this space was like, what's the fastest way to get the first, like, hundred or so first customers? And now we have our foot in the door on some industry and now we can grow and figure things out from there. [00:23:40] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:23:41] Speaker A: I would just be focused on, like, what does it take to get 100, 200 paying customers? [00:23:45] Speaker B: I guess. Okay, so that is the way. A few weeks ago, I wasn't lying. That's how I was thinking. And when I looked at, like, a medium price, right, call it two, $300 a month, I looked at something like that and thought, that's the way to get to a million ARR fast. And then you're on stable ground and you have a product, you have revenue, and you have access to more capital and you're cutting into your burn and all this other stuff. What started messing with me over the last few weeks is looking at the Tam, looking at the longer term goal, and then starting to work my way back to reality, back to now in the short term. And I did want to start factoring in what we do now and how we go out and how the first six months look with that in mind. So what you'll see from us when we launch is a basic plan. We were looking at, like, let's go higher up and name these features that we know are very valuable, even if they're not totally done. And now I'm backtracking a little bit to, you know what? Let's just launch with the features that we're gonna have and just make that the basic plan and move over those more valuable features. Right. Multi location instead of one. [00:25:02] Speaker A: Right. [00:25:03] Speaker B: This analytic voice cloning versus not voice cloning. Like, these features that make sense for larger businesses, let's leave those off because they're not ready, and let's move them to a higher tier so that we do have an entry point that's lower. That's my current. [00:25:18] Speaker A: That sounds right. I just think you're. Yeah, like, there's so much to learn over the next couple of weeks as it gets into the hands of customers. [00:25:25] Speaker B: Like, yeah, it's the danger in pre launch. You get ahead of yourself. You're thinking about things that aren't in front of you. [00:25:30] Speaker A: Yeah, I do it all, all the time. I'm literally doing it today. We were talking about it before this podcast. [00:25:35] Speaker B: All right, well, let's transition. What do you got going on? [00:25:37] Speaker A: All right, well, I know we don't have much time today, but this, we're okay. [00:25:42] Speaker B: I don't have the hard stop in ten minutes anymore. [00:25:44] Speaker A: Okay. So this week, just like most weeks these days, I'm split focused, and I'm spending a little bit more time thinking through the consulting business and exploring some interesting partnership business models there. I don't know if I'm going to get into that here. That's just something that I spent some time on this weekend. I also spent a bunch of time working on clarity flow. We shipped some onboarding updates. We're working on a big new feature that's coming along. Some SEO changes helped, but where my head is at today is a new product idea. And unfortunately, it's too fresh, too raw to really talk about what it is just yet. And I don't know, I'm not totally convinced that I'm going to do it yet or not. But I've showed it to you. I've showed it to a couple of other people. I'm being very selective about who I show new business ideas to because I'm trying to just be strategic about how I get feedback from people that's actually useful and helpful, especially people who know where I'm coming from. [00:26:58] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:27:01] Speaker A: Just like you were talking about. It's easy for things to get into your head and influence you in really weird ways. And that's happened to me a lot. And one thing that one of the benefits of having this podcast, frankly, is the people who really listen to us week to week, I think, tend to have some of the most tuned in vantage points of our businesses than like anyone else, even like close friends who don't happen to listen to our podcast. Because I've gotten some really, really helpful feedback and outreach from listeners of this podcast that's actually been some of the most useful and helpful feedback. So those of you know who you are, I really appreciate it. [00:27:46] Speaker B: Pent up feedback, right? You're like listening to the podcast, you're thinking you want to give the feedback and every once in a while you can. And it's valuable. [00:27:54] Speaker A: Yeah. And I guess that's to say, like, I'm learning to really trust you. Always give grain of salt in different ways and know where the person giving the feedback is coming from and their biases and things like that. But anyway, all that's to say, like, I am, there is a product idea that I've become pretty excited about because I went a few weeks there for the last, if you listen back, like maybe four or five, six episodes ago, there was another product. There was a couple product areas I was exploring back then. And then I kind of hit the pause button and I noticed since I'm kind of in like the hurricane of a new idea right now, I started to do some meta observations on what it's like to look for new business or assess new business ideas for me right now in 2024. One thing that I noticed was that a few weeks ago, I think I was taking a very opportunistic approach to looking for new business opportunities. I made the decision a couple of weeks ago. I think I need to get into a new business and a new product. So now I'm going to go on the hunt for a new product idea. [00:29:10] Speaker B: Yeah, that's right. [00:29:11] Speaker A: And so I was intentionally just like trying to be opportunistic. Where's the easiest, best opportunity to start a product? Nothing is hitting me across the head. So let me just do a systematic approach to looking at all the different categories and different markets and SEO keyword opportunities and this and that. For me, that approach just doesn't really work so well. I just kept hitting dead ends, whether it's like, oh, there's an opportunity here, but it's way too competitive or there's too many of my criteria that this idea doesn't fit, or, yeah, there might be an opportunity there, but it's an industry or something that is just a snooze fest for me. I'm not going to have the personal energy to get into it. So that's why just being opportunistic just didn't work for me. And so I sort of paused that whole effort. I found myself spinning my wheels too much and I just focused on just doing good work, expanding out the consulting offerings, which has been paying off pretty well with the launch of tailor made Ui. So I've been focusing on that. But then this week, the perfect storm sort of happened for me. [00:30:28] Speaker B: I love how it happened, which is. [00:30:30] Speaker A: Yeah, you actually saw how it happened. I don't want to get into all the details of it, but, like, the perfect storm to me is when there's a pain point that I personally experience deeply, and I start to notice others expressing the pain, a similar pain pretty deeply. So I'm seeing, like, trends with other people. I'm really feeling it deeply myself, and it might even be like two or three different pain points that sort of converge into one, like, problem space. So there's that part of the storm and then noticing there's not really a good solution and actually questioning why is there not a good solution for this? And why are people not really creating what seems to me to be sort of like an obvious solution to this, which could be a red flag, sure. But there's a reason why there's not one. Right? So, you know, like, but I think for me personally, the best businesses, and I think there's some truth to this that, like, you do need, like, that founder spark like, the fire to be like, man, I really, really care about this. I want to solve it problem that I really think needs to be solved. And I really believe that there's a business here if. If this problem can be unlocked. And some dots started to connect for me this week in that area. [00:32:02] Speaker B: I just like how it was the opposite of cynical. It was like you came into a group chat and were like, what about this problem? How do I solve this problem? You have this problem also. How are we solving this problem? [00:32:14] Speaker A: And. [00:32:16] Speaker B: Hold on a sec. [00:32:17] Speaker A: That day, I was not even remotely thinking about product ideas. That day I was literally, like, yo, what do you guys do about this problem? It's a problem that really pisses me off. [00:32:27] Speaker B: Yeah. But I don't think, for me, the magic is just existing in your current work environment and your flow and the things you're interested in, and then these things come together from these different parts. Right? [00:32:42] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:32:43] Speaker B: There's a little bit of a project that you worked on, a little bit of some person that, you know, a little bit of your own problem and that. [00:32:50] Speaker A: And it's a space that I'm like, we don't exist yet. It's a space that I'm heavily involved in already. It's. I have a lot of contacts who are well connected in this particular space. There's a lot of, like, little point data points that converge. Like, wait a minute, there might be something here, right? [00:33:06] Speaker B: And that is, like, a valid reason why it doesn't exist yet is because a person like you, with your experiences, hasn't seen it in the same way yet. [00:33:16] Speaker A: So there's also a couple. [00:33:17] Speaker B: Exciting. [00:33:18] Speaker A: It's so exciting on that point. Like, why doesn't it exist yet? The other thing that I started to notice, somebody put out a tweet, and it just caught my attention. It was like, great business ideas start by going after something that is, like, exceptionally hard, because what that if you go after something that is, like, unusually difficult in some way, that is going to filter out and scare off most founders and sort of clear the way, clear the path. If you're willing to take on something that's unusually difficult, like, me too. There's a lot of business ideas that I'm just like, I can't do that. I'm not touching that in a way. But sometimes there's an aspect of it that's like, all right, I know that's really difficult, but what if it doesn't have to be that difficult? Or what can I try to figure out to simplify it in some way? Or, you know, like. And even if I just think back to some of my experience, like, going all the way back to audience apps at the time, this was, like, 2015 era, it was a real pain for most companies to hire writers. Like, it was not as easy and prevalent as it is today. And that's something that I noticed. And I even found it difficult to. And I was like, there's no way I'm going to start writing articles as a service for clients. Like, I'm not going to do that. But if I could figure out a way to hire writers and a system in process to be able to deliver hundreds of articles per week across clients. Like, this could be a great business and nobody else is willing to do that because that is a big hairy problem to try to solve. [00:34:57] Speaker B: It's almost like the ideal is that it's seemingly very hard to do, but because of your unique perspective, you can see a way that it can be solved. [00:35:06] Speaker A: Yeah. And then when I started zipmessage, which became clarity flow, it was video. And that even scared me off at first. I was like, there's an interesting thing here, but you have to build software around video, and that's technically challenging browser stuff and dealing with video and the risk of people losing their videos and like. And so that technical challenge probably scares off most startups. But then I did a little bit of technical research and prototyping, and I was like, oh, this sort of works. I mean, it did turn out to be a huge technical challenge. We've spent years refining and fixing and improving our video capabilities, and it's still not even great. But the. Yeah, but that's what I mean is like, so this particular idea does have an element of like, man, this is much more ambitious or bigger than anything I would normally consider. You know, it has a few elements of like, that's, I don't know about that. That seems tough in some, in a few different ways. And I'm trying to think through, like, how, how can this be simpler? How can it be more bootstrapper friendly, you know, I love it. [00:36:23] Speaker B: I think just keep going at the problem from different angles and then use your perspective on it. This reminds me of card hook. The checkout would never have existed without my very specific set of experiences. When I started my own e commerce company, I was the one responsible for optimizing the checkout. Then we wanted to create a separate checkout, but I couldn't have. Then we got into Shopify. Then I met someone who told us about the checkout API. Like all these things. If you didn't have all of those things strung together, you were very likely to look at the problem and say, not solvable, can't solve it. Why would I build something for it? [00:37:00] Speaker A: Yeah. And then the other thing, the last thing that I'm noticing here is that I've had so many business ideas. Some of them I actually did, and a lot of them I didn't end up doing. And we've talked about a lot on this podcast. The different criteria that we look for that like to check the boxes of things that we like in a business idea. And through years of that, there's also been a negative checklist, like the list of things that I will never touch. Right. [00:37:29] Speaker B: Consumer hardware. [00:37:30] Speaker A: Yeah, things like that. Consumer hardware marketplaces. There's probably a whole bunch of stuff in there that's like, I would never touch that. Right. Or, you know, but I think the, the idea that came to me this week started to quit. It started to remind me like, hey, sometimes it might be worth revisiting and questioning why some of those negative items exist. Maybe we can break my own rules here and there if I can find an interesting angle on it. [00:38:06] Speaker B: Under what circumstances? [00:38:07] Speaker A: Yeah, under what circumstances? [00:38:09] Speaker B: You know, well, what we know is that most business ideas that all of us have should not actually be pursued. And. [00:38:18] Speaker A: Yeah. It's a process of, like, validating and like. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:38:23] Speaker B: So we'll, so we'll, you know, we'll, we'll catch up with you in a week or two weeks and kind of see, does it stay intact? Does it disappear? Does it morph into something slightly different than what you think it is right now? But I, for one, think it's very interesting and there's some version of the solution out there that would help a lot of people. [00:38:45] Speaker A: Yeah. And. Yeah. Like, right now, where I sit today is I'm about two days into, like, furiously writing notes and positioning and laying out what the problem is, who it's for, how it can go to market and how it can function, and start to do some market research. So I'm in that hurricane of research on this thing, but I'm also pretty conflicted. I don't know yet if I'm ready to actually do any new product or this new product. And does it fit into my current state of working? I'm going to continue bootstrapping. I'm going to continue work maintaining clarity, flow, and doing the consulting stuff. Can I make this work? Is it the type of product that I can work into my schedule? Yes, but I'm like, balancing that with, there's a fire over here that I'm like, there's something interesting. [00:39:46] Speaker B: That's motivation. You need to just take on something where all of your time is already accounted for. I think about this stuff from the competitor point of view. Sometimes I will come across like, our main competitor, and then I'll do some research on the founder. I'm like, why does this person exist? Yeah, why does this one person who had this one set of weird experiences that's now running my damn competitor? Like, how much easier would life be if this one person didn't have these crazy set experiences and now it's in the market just like me. God damn it. Of course, that's. You know, that's. That's not how it works. [00:40:17] Speaker A: But. [00:40:17] Speaker B: But these things are. They are coincidental. If you're not copycatting, which is nothing wrong with, and you're coming up with new stuff, then it does feel crazy. Like, how come no one else has done this? Am I the idiot because I'm the first, or are they all dead because it didn't work out? [00:40:33] Speaker A: Yeah. And, I mean, I do have my week structured in a way where, you know, I'm making a comfortable living by doing a little bit of consulting, like, two, three days a week, and kind of watering that plant, like, I like to say, on clarity flow, a couple days a week, and I've got a good team who makes progress daily over there. And that does actually leave me with, like, roughly two days a week to hack on new stuff. And it usually progresses, like, usually, like, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday is like, get my business taken care of, and then as I get to Thursday Friday, we're doing this podcast. But, like, Thursday Friday is, like, my time. That's when I start to hack on new ideas. [00:41:15] Speaker B: I like the idea of you using that time to hack on something that you, you know, are really into. I like. [00:41:21] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. And, like, you know, and it's also, like, I'm taking this, like, no pressure approach that, like, even if whatever this thing I'm thinking about, if it doesn't go anywhere, I, you know, I could work on it for a couple weeks, and if it's not going anywhere, I can just pause it and move on to something else, you know? [00:41:39] Speaker B: That's right. [00:41:40] Speaker A: Not the end of the world. [00:41:42] Speaker B: Cool. We look forward to hearing more about it. Either way, thanks, everyone, for listening and bearing with us through some politics, maybe. [00:41:49] Speaker A: People, no hate mail on the politics, please. [00:41:53] Speaker B: I will not be around next week. I'm in Mexico City with my wife on vacation while our kids are at camp. Things are good. [00:42:01] Speaker A: Beautiful. [00:42:02] Speaker B: I'll miss July 4. Love this country. Go, America. [00:42:07] Speaker A: Yes. [00:42:07] Speaker B: Thanks for listening, everyone. [00:42:09] Speaker A: Later, folks.

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