The following is an excerpt from a conversation between Justin Jackson and Amy Hoy. The two discuss building an audience and a product people actually want. You don’t have to bootstrap alone. Listen to the full conversation here.
You’re Not Important
I think everybody is every field thinks they are the ones who are critical to the success of the product. I’ve been a designer, writer, marketing type stuff - every single audience I’ve been in, has said we’re the ones who are so important.
Especially developers. Especially management. Especially marketers.
Every single area thinks they are the ones that are important. The fact is that it’s not true.
How Freckle targets its audience
We [Freckle] don’t try to convince people that don’t track their time to track their time.
We always look at people who already have good habits. Because if you try to persuade someone to track their time, chances are you are going to get someone who signs up for a trial and goes “fuck this, I’m not going to track my time.” And then quit.
[Justin] One of the favorite things you’ve told me - You can’t help people. You can only help people that helps themselves.
The Problem with Businesses
That’s the core of the problem with so many businesses. They are all based on what the person doing them wants.
Advice when starting out
Blog. Blog specifically about the same pains you see your audience has and help them right way. And then they’ll trust you when it comes time to sell them something.
Every Decision Does Not Have Equal Weight
Something I see in people that fail a lot is that they treat every decision as if it has equal weight.
Now could I make more money if I totally, totally figure this out? Possibly.
Could I make more money if I rewrite my sales page to be more effective? Definitely.
It’s really interesting when you start to look at the media and people around you - how identity focused everything is. All of startup media is about who are they casting as a hero or anti-hero. It’s almost never about the users or customers.
They are never mentioned in anything. Not landing pages, not puff pieces, not stories of this is why we shut down - it’s almost never, ever about the customer.
It’s kind of disgusting.
Picking an Audience
People think my advice is to serve people that are just like them. And that’s not it.
It’s to serve an audience that you belong too. Or have belonged too. Or sell too. Or people who want to be like you.
You can message it. You can aim it. You can study the pain of people who specifically do stuff already. Who are already in motion.
That’s a good sign. Doers are doers.
Yes. Yes, it is.