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The Angel Philosopher - a compilation of Naval's wisdom, knowledge and thoughts.
1. Product Strategy: Value creation and value capture. I review a lot of products that ship successfully. I also see and talk with many Makers who are working on putting together their first product.
I am able to see an interesting perspective of what is working and where many Makers get stuck at.
One big thing trend that I see is for a project that is missing a clear value creation and value capture within their project.
Not having a clear value creation and capture is a confusing product that will not convert well. To prevent this and increase your odds of success, I would recommend the following:
I have struggled with this too. In my experience the root cause that I see this comes back to do main culprits:
1. Trying to do too much in your initial product
2. Not clearly defining what it is your product does, by not getting feedback from users
In the book Zero to One, Peter Thiel states "Creating value is not enough- you also need to capture some of the value you create."
In simpler terms, what are you giving and what are you requesting in return?
What is value creation: What do you do that helps someone be a better version of themselves.
Specifically what is it that you are doing that helps save time, save money, learn something new, organizes in a way that bring clarity.
What is value capture: How do you retain something in return for exchange of that value that you have created. Charge money, ask for an email address etc.
In this example by Sharath, his value creation and value capture is clear. You can see this in all his products that he does. He has great clarity in product thinking. This product in particular he organizes all of Nava's wisdom into one place. This is a great value because it took hours of Sharath's time to put it all together in one place. Sharath created value by giving a convenience to people to learn something new and become better versions of themselves. Aspiration is the chief value created here for that user.
His value capture in return is subscribing by email to get more updates. Promoting FOMO so that you don't miss out.
I don't know how well this converts for Sharath. But as a Maker when you create a product you have to evaluate if you are getting enough value capture from it, enough email signups. Otherwise, if you don't you will burn out and be unmotivated to continue your project. Unless you get an incredible amount of joy of organizing this for your own benefit.
If I were Sharath, and I launched this and I felt like it was not converting well, I would alter the value creation. I would post much less quotes and reduce the amount that he is giving away for free. I would also present a different offer like get access to the growing database of wisdom so that you can filter through all of it like in an Airtable base. As a product maker you have to discover what is the conversion point that the user experiences enough value that they convert for you to capture some value in return.
2. Product strategy: Typeform is used here by Sharath as a way to request an investment from the users by submitting more content. As a product maker you have to launch experiments and then learn from the results by measuring the behavior of your users. If Sharath is satisfied with people adding content, then he should keep the form here.
If he is not, he may need to rethink positioning it on the page and changing his strategy. Because every button, every text everything on the page is competing for your users attention. The more you put on the page, the harder it is for your user, the more obstacles in their path to experiencing CLEAR 10x value. And they must experience this value at a crazy high level, or they won't spread your product by word of mouth with is key for making a side project.
So then what do you do in this situation to help grow your content? My recommendation would be to remove it if it is not converting well, then I would create a new distribution path for users to find this and then ask them if they would like to contribute. For instance, why not tweet out some inspiration on a daily basis based on the content you have. Then at the end of the tweet thread, ask for them to submit their favorite. You could link to the Typeform or you could simply ask them to reply with a link to the tweet. Getting someone to fill out a form is hard. How can you make it easy for them to contribute if they want to help your project?
Executing on this does two things:
1. Distribution strategy - makes people aware, you can share about your website by linking to it so they can get more, you can talk indirectly about what you are doing why helping others
2. Now you have also added the ask in a different place that reduces extra asks in your website. Further driving the chances that your users experience more value.
3. No-code product feature: Table2site is not a project that appears to be continued. In order to create a website quickly like this I would recommend using a tool like Pory.io or Softr.io as they both use Airtable as a backend database or CMS for all the information that you want to display in the front end.
Pory.io comes as a highly recommended tool and is currently the number 1 tool recommended in Get Stackd for Makers looking to create informational or directory style products.
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