Be Open-Minded Yet Skeptical, Product Launch, I Angel Invested

Sunday Beam #


March 21, 2021

Good Sunday 🌞!

Quick update #1: just reached 2k followers on @MeetKevon after 4.5 months 🥂 Yup, I know it is artificial, but I still want to give myself a pat on the shoulder to keep me going.

Quick update #2: I set up an indie community gathering in the last-min and 9 people showed up. We did 3 rounds of 1:1 10-min video calls, and everyone was saying how awesome it is to meet some of our Twitter friends! I just love connecting people to one another 🤩

Indie community gathering
It's nice to finally put some faces on names.

This week let's talk about:

  1. We let Avery use a pacifier and what that means
  2. I sucked at launching products, but I finally learned
  3. I angel-invested in this company!

👶 Letting Avery use a pacifier

My wife, Lydia, and I were determined to not let Avery use a pacifier. Why? If there isn’t a strong need or clear benefit of using one, why use one? But our doctor strongly recommended us to use it and stated that there is no clear damage to the infant. We still didn’t take the advice.

But last week Avery wasn’t very well emotionally. She was fussy for a few days and we decided to give in and bought her a pacifier. It is now doing the job of soothing her.

We had our own take but we weren’t stubborn. We're willing to adapt. This reminds me of how things work on the Internet.

There are always so many best practices out there for everything: how to write better, how to build a large audience, how to make more money …. I love best practices because they clearly work in someone else’s scenario. But does that mean we can take their advice without processing them?

I’m against reading too much into best practices. I see that everyone has a different environment, possesses different skills, and has varying motivations. I prefer to have my own take but always keep an open mind for people’s advice. I'd stay skeptical and trust my own observation and analysis more.

But if I’m incorrect, I’m willing to admit I’m wrong and take their advice.

For you, what are some best practices that you’re following because they say so? Time to review.

🚀 I finally learned how to launch products

When I was running a venture-backed startup, we built and then launched our product, hoping it’d make a blast and many people would sign up.

The reality? Only a few people did.

It was a disaster. I raised funding and built a team, yet I didn’t know how to properly launch a tech product.

Now that I’m on my indie journey, I build smaller products, like my Building in Public guide and a free email course called Making Twitter Friends (Hey, I haven’t officially launched it, but as subscribers, you get to be one of the early learners).

I picked up a few key things that were part of the launch plan to make the launch a successful one. And I was only able to learn them because I was making smaller products and moving slowly.

👉👉👉 Read: Behind A Successful Product Launch.

🙆‍♂️ I’m an investor of Gumroad!

Last week, Gumroad opened a round of investment to the public. And I invested 1,000USD, the maximum amount they allowed.

Why did I do it?

I first got to know Sahil Lavingia, founder of Gumroad, through his article where he shared how he failed to build Gumroad into a billion-dollar business and scaled back.

He was honest and transparent about the process, which got my attention to follow him.

I then later saw that he uploaded his board meeting to YouTube and I thought “This guy is really taking Building in Public to the next level!”

I never met him but from his sharing, I developed a level of trust in Sahil. It was enough for me to not think about the 1,000USD and put my money on him despite knowing how risky it is to angel invest.

I’ve done it in the past and the founder didn’t provide me with regular updates at all. So be super careful.

I’m sharing this story because this is the power of transparency and the power of #BuildingInPublic. When you consistently and openly share, you build up credibility that can help you in so many ways.

💡 Inspirations

Power of SEO. My true story

One day when I looked into Ahrefs, I saw that I was ranked for these keywords. Hilarious!

My article was about how to fight decision fatigue and save time, but Google ranked me for how to waste time.

What can we learn from this?

SEO is powerful. When you write an article for certain keywords, you’re also opening up the possibility of ranking for other keywords in the article. This is another example of serendipity at play. The more you put it out there, the more things will happen to you.

Use “But & Therefore” to spice up your writing

I’ve been talking a lot about storytelling. Because facts tell, but stories sell!

David Perell has a quick tip on how to best present a story that’s not boring, but thrilling. Check out his article.

Quick Twitter hack to get ideas

Twitter search is an underused feature. You can actually use it to find interesting ideas.

Put this in your search: min_faves:200 building in public

And replace “building in public” with whatever keywords you want.

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