Ideation, motivation, and putting in the work.
I've been following Alex Lieberman for a couple of months now as he's been growing the Crazy One's podcast, growing a 60 second startup pitch concept, sharing a variety of startup ideas & advice, and developing a new backyard game called the Plunge (and these are just a few of the things he's involved in at the moment).
I have found him to be very open, honest, and real about the challenges most founders and early stage companies encounter and struggle with (at least almost all of them resonate with me and my personal experiences as well).
So I've been recommending a lot of his content and advice to a number of people I've been talking to lately (and of course I think you should totally be following him too)...but I've also been taking a lot of personal inspiration from his content as well...and so here's just one specific example of what I mean by that in action.
I took this Crazy Ones episode and because it was so in-line with a lot of what I’ve been obsessing about lately, I built a system to help simplify and automate the framework it outlines and then I also took inspiration from this tweet to help flesh out the high level biz plan for it too (shared below).
I share all of this with you now for two core reasons:
1. Now that I've built the core and the basics, I would love to get a few insiders like you to help me flesh out and test the fuzzypop service as a whole. What do you think of the idea? The communication around the idea? The value? What's a must have? What's missing? etc. etc. etc.
2. I wanted to show how I often use all of the random tidbits and content I come across to motivate and direct myself through various ideas, learnings, and practice. In this case, I really liked the core idea of a framework for launching a business (something I've been talking a lot about anyway) and a system for staying accountable through all the work that actually goes into launching anything.
You can find the prototype of the software at https://fuzzypop.com (still very much a work in progress so be careful where you click!) and the high level biz plan is what follows.
Hopefully you find it interesting and useful…but even more so, I hope it encourages you to put your own thoughts, ideas, and inspiration into action as well!
fuzzypop -- The Short Form Business Plan
A SaaS platform for early-stage founders that provides a framework for building and growing your company.
You answer specific questions about your business & goals, we check-in with you on specifics related to those answer as you make progress on each, and we simplify the process of communicating and evolving those goals as you grow your business.
Founders know the importance of goals and accountability, especially in the early days of building a company, but often struggle to stay on task, make significant progress, and operate efficiently.
Founders are pulled in many different directions from minute-to-minute, especially in the early days of building a company. They don't have enough resources or time to do all the things, and most don't have experience or a framework to draw from for help. Strategic planning, goal setting & tracking, and communication around the journey often drop to the bottom of the list or are slotted for 'at some point later'. The result of this is that they often lose focus on -- or flat out miss -- the most important and impactful things they should be doing to grow the business right now.
The opportunity? The value of a having a framework for building and growing a successful business is clear yet many founders struggle to put one in place and consistently stick to it.
1. Experience. First time founders just don't know what they don't know yet. They haven't built or adopted their own framework for success yet. The best ones rely heavily on mentors, advisors, and investors for advice but even this often comes in short conversations and only at moments of extreme stress. And many founders - especially bootstrap founders - don't yet have experienced mentors, advisors, or investors to lean on.
2. Time. Especially in the early days, it's hard for founders to find the time to work ON the business because they are so busy working FOR the business. As a result, strategic thinking, goal setting and stake-holder communications are often squeezed into last minute sprints or just pushed off until later.
3. Effort. Keeping track of your goals & progress currently requires some variety of email, google docs, spreadsheets, and keynote presentations. Plus, the commitment of a founder or two to maintain these things on a regular basis and then to take the time to roll up, summarize, and share the results to key stake holders once a month or quarter.
- What if you could give founders a simple framework - driven by software - to define and evolve their key metrics and tangible short-term goals. AND
- What if founders could report progress on each of those goals throughout the natural flow of their day just by replying to things like email or text messages. AND
- What if it was as easy as clicking a couple of buttons to summarize and share all of that progress with a founder's team, advisors, and investors whenever they wanted to.
A SaaS platform that provides a time-tested framework for building and growing a business. Designed from the ground up for simplicity and accountability.
Step 1: Identifying 2-3 alpha users. Early-stage founders willing to start a trial and trust the process as we work out the kinks.
Step 2: Monitor their engagement and usage through the first 45-60 days (including some direct conversations about what's working and what's not) to help refine the check-in detail and pacing as well as any required updates to the overall framework.
Step 3: Scale marketing efforts once value is proven to alpha users.
1. Check-in simplicity, detail, and pacing. Properly identifying when to guide a founder to check in and when to move on to the next goal (without overwhelming them with check-ins or questions).
2. Simplifying on-boarding and shortening the time-to-value. Initial set up requires a founder to answer a potentially long list of questions about their business. We may need to figure out a way to spread this task out of over time so founders can more quickly experience the value of the system.