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Idea to Execution – and Beyond

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February 01, 2018

Idea to Execution – and Beyond

Ashley Baxter gives us a high-level run through of what it takes to ship a product, touching on each stage from idea, through build, to launch, and what to expect post-launch.

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Frontend NE

February 01, 2018
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  1. Idea to Execution And beyond

  2. ➤ Solo founder ➤ Bootstrapped ➤ Company of one

  3. I mean business Some of this can apply to personal

    projects, but I’m talking about business
  4. Let’s talk about ideas

  5. What problem are you trying to solve?

  6. What problem are you trying to solve? ➤ Lack of

    trust. 73% of consumers don’t trust their insurance provider
  7. What problem are you trying to solve? ➤ Lack of

    trust. 73% of consumers don’t trust their insurance provider
  8. What problem are you trying to solve? ➤ Lack of

    trust. 73% of consumers don’t trust their insurance provider ➤ Insurers don’t invest money into their technology. 74% of insurers see technological innovation as a challenge
  9. Meh

  10. What problem are you trying to solve? ➤ Lack of

    trust. 73% of consumers don’t trust their insurance provider ➤ Insurers don’t invest money into their technology. 74% of insurers see technological innovation as a challenge ➤ 2 out of 3 customers are dissatisfied with their customer journey
  11. A digital insurance platform with great design and technology (And

    really good customer service)
  12. None
  13. The original post-it note when dreaming up With Jack December

    2013
  14. August, 2016 Launch to a mailing list of 120+ people

  15. Why?

  16. None
  17. Shiny object syndrome

  18. None
  19. None
  20. “ “After a while you realise how much your habit’s

    costing. You let a few go with pangs of regret and doubt but clutch on to others.” - Someone on Twitter
  21. “ “Only dulled when you realise 6 months later you’ve

    yet to do a thing with them.” - Someone on Twitter
  22. Ideas need commitment to become great projects

  23. Ruthless prioritisation is where the magic happens

  24. None
  25. Pick one idea. Commit to it, give it the resources

    it needs to become a great project. Cull the rest
  26. Idea validation

  27. What did With Jack’s validation look like ?

  28. None
  29. Will people pay you money for it?

  30. None
  31. What did my MVP look like? ➤ Signed up as

    an affiliate ➤ Didn’t need to convince insurers to give me their products to sell ➤ Didn’t need to become authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
  32. I had zero control over the design and technology

  33. I had no relationship with my customers

  34. What did validation look like? ➤ People still gave Insurance

    by Jack their money ➤ 55 paying customers ➤ £14,000
  35. Good job: The brand effectively communicated my vision

  36. None
  37. Idea validation ➤ Are people paying you money for it?

    ➤ Can you profitably acquire new customers every month?
  38. Build

  39. Forecast your misery

  40. The various stages of building something ➤ This is a

    good idea. I’m so going to do this
  41. The various stages of building something ➤ This is a

    good idea. I’m so going to do this ➤ Huh, this is kind of hard. I’m not so sure about this
  42. The various stages of building something ➤ This is a

    good idea. I’m so going to do this ➤ Huh, this is kind of hard. I’m not so sure about this ➤ This totally sucks
  43. The various stages of building something ➤ This is a

    good idea. I’m so going to do this ➤ Huh, this is kind of hard. I’m not so sure about this ➤ This totally sucks ➤ I suck
  44. None
  45. The final 20% of any project is the hardest to

    complete
  46. “ …It gets harder and less fun, until it hits

    a low point - really hard, really not fun.
  47. What did The Dip look like for With Jack?

  48. What did The Dip look like for With Jack ➤

    Regulation was a barrier to entry
  49. What did The Dip look like for With Jack ➤

    Regulation was a barrier to entry ➤ Insurers didn’t want to work with me
  50. It felt like I was putting in a ton of

    work in exchange for nothing
  51. The Dip is when successful people don’t quit

  52. Use The Dip to measure how serious you are

  53. Embracing transparency with the build process

  54. How did I do this?

  55. None
  56. Email. Is. Powerful.

  57. 120+ sign-ups

  58. Many beta tested With Jack

  59. None
  60. Benefit #1: It builds community

  61. Benefit #2: It’s how I got my first customer 3

    weeks before I launched
  62. Benefit #3: Get ideas from a range of people

  63. Launch

  64. None
  65. Expectations

  66. Expectations ➤ A suite of insurance products ➤ A dashboard

    to manage your insurance ➤ Instant quotes and cover ➤ Referral program ➤ Polished customer journey
  67. Reality

  68. Reality ➤ One product—professional indemnity ➤ Support for 4 professions

    ➤ Manual quotes ➤ No dashboard ➤ Unpolished customer journey
  69. None
  70. Reality ➤ One product—professional indemnity ➤ Support for 4 professions

    ➤ Manual quotes ➤ No dashboard ➤ Unpolished customer journey
  71. Why was my launch successful? ➤ Involved people in the

    build process ➤ Was transparent about the journey ➤ Focused on doing one thing well
  72. Shipping Anxiety

  73. None
  74. Shipping anxiety ➤ Avoid spending time and money on pixel

    perfect products that nobody will buy
  75. Shipping anxiety ➤ Avoid spending time and money on pixel

    perfect products that nobody will buy ➤ Launch with one, useful feature (do one thing well)
  76. Shipping anxiety ➤ Avoid spending time and money on pixel

    perfect products that nobody will buy ➤ Launch with one, useful feature (do one thing well) ➤ It doesn’t matter when you launch—it’s always going to feel incomplete
  77. Shipping anxiety ➤ Avoid spending time and money on pixel

    perfect products that nobody will buy ➤ Launch with one, useful feature (do one thing well) ➤ It doesn’t matter when you launch—it’s always going to feel incomplete ➤ Set an arbitrary date and ship it
  78. What happens after you ship?

  79. You’ll discover problems

  80. What problems did I discover?

  81. None
  82. What happens after you ship?

  83. None
  84. There is no overnight success

  85. ➤ Idea to $20,000 MRR in 5 months ➤ How

    we got 300,000 users in 24 hours ➤ How I made $70,000 in 48 hours from self-publishing my book
  86. ➤ Idea to $20,000 MRR in 5 months ➤ How

    we got 300,000 users in 24 hours ➤ How I made $70,000 in 48 hours from self-publishing my book
  87. AirBnb launched with 6 listings. Only 2 of them became

    bookings
  88. (And one of those bookings was from the co-founder)

  89. None
  90. Post-launch

  91. Everything is a hypothesis

  92. Get in the trenches with your customers

  93. August, 2016 With Jack launched with just one product—professional indemnity

    insurance
  94. February, 2017 Rolled out two new products—public liability and contents

    insurance
  95. April, 2017 Improved onboarding based on feedback. The biggest friction

    were the risk questions.
  96. June, 2017 Added support for more professions.

  97. Coming Soon Instant quotes and cover. Coming Soon Dashboard to

    manage your insurance.
  98. Have your customers tell you what they want

  99. Customer Development

  100. “ Customer development has been the most valuable thing we’ve

    done when it comes to moving our product and company forward, and I wish we would’ve done more of it in our early days. - Groove
  101. None
  102. The Mom Test How to talk to customers

  103. None
  104. My assumptions ➤ More people will buy insurance if we

    offer them rewards
  105. None
  106. “ It devalues the brand and cheapens the service. Also,

    the rewards don’t fit my business. - With Jack Customers
  107. My assumptions ➤ More people will buy insurance if we

    offer them rewards ➤ Freelancers buy insurance because it’s contractually required
  108. Job security

  109. Peace of mind

  110. Professional image

  111. My assumptions ➤ More people will buy insurance if we

    offer them rewards ➤ Freelancers buy insurance because it’s contractually required
  112. Know your customer

  113. None
  114. Your first 100 customers

  115. Your first 100 customers

  116. Your first 10 customers that aren’t your friends or family

  117. Where do your first customers come from when you have

    no money ➤ Email list. 120+ people ➤ Go to where your audience is (Twitter’s worked well for With Jack) ➤ Designer News and Product Hunt (made it to Top 5 on Product Hunt) ➤ Content marketing ➤ Useful tools
  118. None
  119. Pro tip: Your launch strategy shouldn’t live or die by

    Product Hunt
  120. Where do your first customers come from when you have

    no money ➤ Email list. 120+ people ➤ Go to where your audience is (Twitter’s worked well for With Jack) ➤ Designer News and Product Hunt (made it to Top 5 on Product Hunt) ➤ Content marketing ➤ Useful tools
  121. None
  122. Where do your first customers come from when you have

    no money ➤ Email list. 120+ people ➤ Go to where your audience is (Twitter’s worked well for With Jack) ➤ Designer News and Product Hunt (made it to Top 5 on Product Hunt) ➤ Content marketing ➤ Useful tools
  123. None
  124. None
  125. “ Real entrepreneurship is launching something that solves a problem

    for people, getting paid to do it again. - A podcast I listened to
  126. Incremental wins compound over time

  127. None
  128. Actual stuff for you to do

  129. Actual stuff for you to do ➤ Pick one idea

    and give it the resources it needs to become a great project ➤ Forecast your misery. Do you love what you’re building enough to get through The Dip? ➤ Focus on building one feature well, set a date and ship it ➤ Do your customer development. Sign up to IterateHQ.com and test your assumptions
  130. Thank You for listening! @iamashley