Progress Blueprint

Shortcuts For You To Build A Successful App Business

I have a serious question to ask you. If you knew exactly what to do to validate your idea before coding, would you start coding first? If you can judge whether an idea was worth pursuing before writing a line of code for your app, would you still code?

Let me fast forward time a little bit. Once you've built the app, you'd realize that the whole endeavor was more than just the app itself. It encompassed the following areas that you had to suddenly consider:

Usefulness - Does the product provide value for someone or solves a problem they have? Is it a necessity to use your product or is it just a nice to have? What can they do with your product that they cannot do if they're not using it? Do they learn a new skill? Do they accomplish their tasks faster?

Maintenance - The first version of the product will never be the perfect one. You will need to maintain the product after its release in order to make the user experience as best as possible. Customers will have complaints and suggestions. How will you fix the complaints? Do you roll the suggested features into your product? 

Marketing opportunities - Is there a lot to say about the product and the value it provides? Where can you promote the product? Who will you promote the product to? What types of medium can you promote the product?

Customer acquisition - How easy is it to acquire customer? Where can you find them? Where do they hang out? How do you tell the people who should be interested in your product? What kind of customers are you serving? Are they early adopters? Are they money-conscious? Are they the decision makers?

Development time - How long do you need to develop the first version of the product to get something into the customers' hands, or to judge the product's usefulness? If you spend all the time developing the product but you decided to drop it, can that time be redeemed in some way?

Customer support - How do you handle customer questions? Do you have an easy access resource for customers to find help? How long do you respond to customer questions? How will you educate your customer on using your product? Do you build the on-boarding process right into the product or do you provide a guide of some sort?

Distribution - Where and how are you going to distribute your product? In an online marketplace? In an app store? Your own website? Is there a location where your customer hangs out so you can talk to them about your product?

The coding part, or the thing that you and I like to do, is just a tiny piece of the pie - the development.

You probably went straight into code because it was what you know best. You felt more comfortable building something small to validate your idea.

You thought you'd only need 8 hours to build but it ended up taking 2 days. You also found an interesting problem along the way and had to scratch that itch to tackle it right away, which lead you to spend a total time of a week on the MVP. But then you discovered this wonderful feature that would make your app the clear winner. You were very sure it was that feature that people would pay for.

You battered yourself for not having thought of that idea in the beginning, because you felt like you wasted a bit of time coding something that wasn't as good. "But it was ok", you comforted yourself. Because without the action of even starting something, you wouldn't have come up with this grand idea, right? Now you'd have the brilliant new feature along with the original ones in a complete product. Who couldn't resist such a full package with everything well thought out?

So you convinced yourself that another week to work on it would be fine. Then it took another week. And another. And another. And you lost sight of what the original intention of your idea was. You began to question yourself if any of this effort was worth it. You lost the initial motivation. You lost momentum. You lost faith and interest in the product. You also found obstacles along the way but you didn't want to fix them because you were tired of spending anymore time on it.

"Will anyone use it?" you finally asked yourself. "Will anyone buy it?"

Finally, you gave up. You dropped the project and took a break from the dream of building an app to sell. And then continued to find a new idea to make.

As coders we like coding because we can create and control the result of our imagination. We are the engineers of our mind. We like to show people how things are done. We get fascinated when we spent a long time finally figuring out how a little algorithm works that does a bunch of complex stuff. But if you're selling an app for someone to buy, they really don't care.

Why is that? You made such a wonderful widget that can do this and that and all those cool stuff, but why aren't people buying it? Because they only care what they want. They don't care what you made. They don't care how you made it. The problem, however, is that you just haven't discovered what they wanted. It sure isn't the thing that you made.

You see, programming is easy. You just need to have certain intelligence to understand logic, know the syntaxes and you can make something amazing. There's no guesswork. It either works or it doesn't. You can just pick up a book and follow through.

But how come you can't just pick up a business book and follow through, and create a successful business like you would make an app? Because it doesn't exist. At least not for us. All those information out there are not created for you. The business methodologies are not written with the mind of a creator. They're made for managers. Hence, you don't read them.

I think it's about time we let coders in to the game of business.

What if the steps of building a business can also work like programming? What if there are exact step by step instructions for you to get your business up and running without spending a hefty amount of time building something you aren't sure if people wants? What if it's like an API documentation where you can pick and choose which part of the business to work on depending on what you want to achieve?

That's what I'm proposing with Progress Blueprint - Shortcuts for you to build a successful app business.

For example, it's not how to build a landing page, because you already know how to make one in a jiffy. It's what you should put in the landing page to maximize your message and hit the customers heart, while also showing you exactly where to promote your landing page to get traffic.

Here's an example of a blueprint right from the collection:

How to Find Products to Build for Businesses

Businesses are willing to pay for products because they're always striving to make their processes more efficient to increase their profit margins.

Here's a method to find businesses that you could help build products for:

  1. Find businesses who are hiring because they have money to spend on new employees. There are many job boards that you can search for, ranging from generic ones that cover all industries (Indeed.com, Monster.com) to specific ones dedicated to certain professionals like programmers and designers (Dribbble.com job board, StackOverflow.com job board).
  2. Pick 2-3 companies that are hiring in a market you're interested in, but must have some sort of an online presence.
  3. Find out how the companies do business. Look at their websites. How do they handle new customers? How do they handle customer support? How do they do marketing? What can you learn from their blogs and their social media marketing effort? What kind of Tweets do they write about? Do they utilize Facebook marketing? How about YouTube? Is there anything you could do to help with their processes?
  4. Find out if the employees working at the companies have online social presence. What do the employees write about? What are their job roles? Do they talk about what software they use? Are they decision makers at the companies? Can you engage with them in a way? Twitter? LinkedIn? Try to spot an opportunity for a tool that can help them reduce the process on what they're doing at work.
  5. A completely different approach (more useful for small to medium sized businesses). Is there some way you can help to replace that role that the company is hiring? Perhaps they need to hire a web designer. But can you help them out by giving them a website without the hassle and commitment of hiring an employee?

Immediately from the blueprint, you wouldn't choose up and coming indie hackers who were just starting out as the market because they would like to cut cost as much as possible in order to get their project going. Most importantly, indie hackers would probably build everything by themselves first before paying to have anything done.

You could, however, target indie hackers who were successful in making revenues of at least $2000 per month. How do you find them? The website Indiehackers.com is a great place to start. You can search through the business interviews, look at the cited open revenues, and filter those that aren't making $2000 / month. Read through the stories, take note of the founders, follow them on Twitter, find out what tools they use, engage with them and propose a solution for a problem they are facing.

In Progress Blueprint, there's also other blueprints with respect to different stages of the business, from initial validation to growing and automation.

Sign up now to get notified on when I'm launching and to reserve your spot with a special price of $39 $195, an 80% discount. You also get a private preview of the blueprints.

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Why isn't it free?

Let me be honest, the information in the blueprints is not groundbreaking. Any marketing professional could come up with them in a heartbeat. A business consultant could give you the same advice in a 5 min call. But marketers are expensive and business consultants charge a premium. For $39, it's the cost of an app development course. And you can access the blueprints forever in your own time at your convenience.

So what are you paying for?

I believe education and information should be accessible, so you're not really paying for the information - they are readily available if you know where to look at, who to look for, and what to ask.

You just have to spend the time digging through them and filtering the relevant information. It would take you a long time. It would bore you. It would take away your motivation to build an app business. But that's why I'm here.

You're paying me to have done all the work for you so that you can get to developing your business right away. Call it as a private consultant if you will. You're paying me to help you create and grow an app business. You just focus on what needs to get done, not how to do them.

Shall we start making progress together?

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