Launch MBA is a paid invite-only community of motivated makers learning to create profitable online businesses by launching multiple products.

Launch MBA

Portrait of the maker

Kieran Ball

Maker

Maker

I started out by validating the idea with a landing page. I mentioned that it would be a paid community and had the pricing on the page. Even so, people still signed up to the waitlist. I also had a couple of people explicitly tell me they would pay to join. Knowing people would actually pay for it gave me a huge amount of motivation to deliver the project. I will definitely be taking the same route for future projects.

Expert level
100
hours to build

Build a no-code app in Bubble and Circle for the community

What is it:

Launch MBA is a paid invite-only community of motivated makers learning to create profitable online businesses by launching multiple products. Over a 12-month period each member aims to launch 12 products, ranging from simple quick wins to more complex apps. The aim is to overcome technical knowledge gaps and mental barriers such as procrastination and fear of failure, while building a solid network of likeminded makers.

Maker Insight:

I started out by validating the idea with a landing page. I mentioned that it would be a paid community and had the pricing on the page. Even so, people still signed up to the waitlist. I also had a couple of people explicitly tell me they would pay to join. Knowing people would actually pay for it gave me a huge amount of motivation to deliver the project. I will definitely be taking the same route for future projects.

What did I learn:

1. Simplify creating by using a single page website like Carrd for your landing page. Kieran is an expert at making and launching no-code projects. A key insight gave about the stack used in his product: "Landing page is Carrd (too hard to make such a long page in Bubble). "

How does he accomplish this? Kieran uses the main domain url with carrd: launchmba.co. He then uses a subdomain with Bubble: app.launchmba.co. This allows him to use two different services with "the same" domain.

So much about making with no-code involves saving time and using the tools that have the least amount of learning curve. The advantage of no-code is using each tool for its strength and then linking them together in a a cohesive experience much like a conductor of a symphony. The hard part about this is that it requires learned knowledge about the no-code tools. That is why I break them down for you here.

2. The main experience. Kieran shares: "The main portal is built in Bubble - this has the onboarding process and checklist, subscription payments, a leaderboard, launch planner, user profiles e.g. http://app.launchmba.co/u/kieran and various other features such as accountability buddy matching and events."

There is so much you can do in Bubble, where is there a good place to start. There are a couple product takeaways that I want you to have.
1. Leverage other no-code tools to connect the entire experience. I talk about this more in #3 thing I learned. But Kieren creates the core experience with his app built in Bubble, and then essentially outsources the other parts of his product that don't need to be uniquely built. Community is a moat to a product, but community apps like Circle and Slack are a dime a dozen. There are tons of options to use that are complex to build but cheap to use. Don't spend your time creating a community app. Instead what Kieran has done is built a ton of value into creating in Bubble the core differentiators of his product which gives his product an advantage over other solutions. This is really smart no-code product management.
2. The other tools in Kieran's stack can be segmented into different categories that he connects with. Payment - Stripe, Paypal messaging - Telegram, Community - Slack and Circle. Forms and database storage of user information in Airtable forms and Airtable.

3. Community
Kieran shares: "So users join via the Bubble site and it then guides them through joining Slack and Circle. The community forum is on Circle and more day-to-day interactions on Slack."

Circle is the most popular and recommended tool I see Makers using. There is usually lots of positive feedback regarding this tool. Slack is also a go to for community messaging. Although I think bregrudingly because it can be hard to keep up with and is really designed to be used for business corp messaging.

An advantage to use when building a course is to use community. It's a valuable moat. I believe that community should be the first thing you build or the last around your project. If it's essential to your initial core product offering, like mentorship, instruction then its a core part that you should build out first with the rest of your product. If it is not, I would advise to use a different approach. Community is hard to monetize, unless you have sufficient scale or you are at the offering a good ratio of instructor to student relationship.

I think Kieran provides a great example of it being executed well for his core value prop.

Most communities are notoriously hard to manage, time consuming and it is not necessarily valuable to the first members. If this is not part of your core product offering and you're launching this as a side project you won't have time for anything else to build. And the problem is you'll be stuck getting out of this trap. So I recommend adding community at the end of your roadmap after you have built out the core product offering. Adding community on top of what you're offering is a great up-sell incentive to offer to your fans and customers.

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