TMBA 276: Building Startups When You've Got Little Time and No Money

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Do you think it is possible to launch a scale-able start-up in just one week’s time with no money invested? That might sound too good to be true, but Dan Norris has not only articulated an approach to this in his book, “The 7 Day Startup”, he has also used it to grow his own business, WPcurve to close to $25K in monthly recurring revenue it his first year, and over 50K in monthly recurring revenue now. On this week’s episode, I’ve invited him to share his unique insights about running low-risk startups.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why having a profitable idea isn’t enough.
  • Why founder / idea fit is so critical.
  • How to build momentum and how to know when you have it.
  • What Dan has learned about being a published author and selling books in general.
  • Why your business should look appealing to investors, even if you aren’t trying to attract them.
  • How our ideas differ about investing back into your business.

People on this episode:

Mentioned in the episode:

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.

Cheers,

Dan & Ian

Published on 01.08.15
  • Ben Gelsey

    Question for Dan (Norris): I was really surprised to hear that Zero to One was the first book you read in 3 years.

    Is it possible that this lack of reading long-form book content actually aided you in avoiding the “startup-world echo chamber”? And thus significantly contributed to you being able to put out something as original as the 7 Day Startup?

    P.S. — Now that you’re looking to build up a book list this gem may be of use: http://taylorpearson.me/books/

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    Hey Ben. I’m not really sure mate. I still consume a hell of a lot of content. I read all of my emails, read blog posts and listen to a lot of podcasts.

    I think the main impact of not being a book reader was putting my editor through hell cause the thing read like a bunch of blog posts cobbled together!

  • Jamie Fin

    Hey Dan,

    I really enjoyed your book and I’m desperate to take action on an idea, but the one stumbling block that keeps stopping me is deciding which industry to focus on when offering a service.

    Do you have an opinion about the best way to approach it?

    I’m thinking either going broad and trying to focus on any business in the beginning, or focusing on a particular industry and pivoting to a new one if I don’t get any traction after a certain length of time.

    Is there any right or wrong way to go about it?

  • http://taylorpearson.me/ Taylor Pearson

    @Dan Andrews – Interviews have been great recently. This one and Patio11 have had me smiling and laughing the whole way through. The narrative format is lovely and honestly in some ways more impactful than the 5 tips format.

    Might be my style, but I’m definitely a narrative-based decision maker.

    @Dan Norris – I’d love for you to reconsider writing that book on Momentum. I’ve talked to a few people about it. That book is definitely in the ether right now and I suspect someone is going to write it in the next couple of years.

    Even though it wouldn’t be “actionable” it would still be impactful. The War of Art isn’t actionable, but it’s tremendously impactful if that would help you rationalize it.

    If you didn’t want to write the book, would be cool to hear you flip on the mic with someone you’ve talked to about Momentum a lot and hear you riff on it.

    Also, product/founder fit and company/founder fit would be ideas I’d love to hear more from you about.

  • http://www.elisadoucette.com/ Elisa Doucette

    Meh, a good editor can help find the narrative in any jumble of words. Drinking helps… ;)

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    I think I would have to be a better writer to write a whole book on something that isn’t actionable. There are a few other books I think I’ll write first and try to learn more / get better etc.

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    I would probably have to know more specifics to really give you anything useful to that question. I think if you have good web skills (design, or dev, or marketing, content etc) and if you can apply those to an industry that is outside ours (i.e. not selling info products, or websites) then you will be at a big advantage. Particularly if you have some sort of credibility in that industry already.

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Thanks TPAIN!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    Blog us at minimum! :D

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    My sense is probably the opposite, Dan is so deep inside the start up culture in terms of exposure to it over the years that he was able to find an innovation / area that was missed and be able to recognize it as such… although ‘lean startup’ was a huge book, a lot of these ideas are still mostly in podcasts/blogs and haven’t made it to books yet, and the ones that are in books are mostly represented in those blogs/podcasts

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Dan and Dan I vibe with that idea of acting on inspirational ideas which sing to you.

    Some generate good ideas. A few more folks act on these good ideas. But unless the idea makes you feel alive you’ll struggle. You may grow a prospering business in the long run but if the inspiration doesn’t come from within it’s virtually impossible to generate the energy to do something epic. Or something which makes you happy, doing it.

    I’m huge on Divine Validation ;) I trust my intuitive nudges – some of the time at least – and run with them. So far so good.

    Loving this podcast guys thanks!

    Ryan

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    cheers Ryan thanks!!! I dig the divine validation, that could be another chapter!

  • http://wpcurve.com/ Dan Norris

    Ha thanks Ryan, glad you liked it. I think you just invented the next startup buzzword!

  • Jamie Fin

    Thank you!

    It’s basically just a copywriting service.

    I’ll just keep searching for something until I see an opportunity in a particular market.

    I used to be an electrician (but on airplanes), so I guess I could maybe target electricians/plumbers, etc.

  • https://en.mention.com/ Shannon Byrne

    Thanks so much for the Mention shoutout, Dan and Ian! Listening to this awesome now. Really like what you guys are doing!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com/ Dan Andrews

    thanks! :)

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  • Mike

    Poland has the best customer service folks in the world!

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