The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch Paperback – September 29, 2014
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About the Author
- ASIN : 1502472392
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 29, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 204 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781502472397
- ISBN-13 : 978-1502472397
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.46 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #809,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I was reading Dan's blog posts and finding them to be tremendously insightful, valuable and BS-free. So I saw this book was on promo and downloaded it.
I read it over the course of a few nights and here's what really struck me about it: Dan chops up a lot of the black and white thinking that plagues the startup/online entrepreneur community. He makes useful distinctions regarding the validation concept that I'm already implementing in my business. I'm very much guilty of building a bunch of stuff before a single customer hands me money. After reading this it kind of dawned on me that these activities are a form of creative laziness and wishful thinking.
In addition to experience-based, no BS guidelines for launching an online business, Dan makes a compelling case for why recurring revenue businesses are superior to one-off sales models. This is also something I was able to implement right away to recraft an offer for a productized service I sell to include a recurring revenue component.
I also saw some parallels between Dan's thinking and Eben Pagan's approach. Specifically, when it comes to naming your business and setting up processes and systems so that the business can operate without you as an indispensable cog. Which also looks to the future because this makes a business easier to sell.
The book is pretty short but I wasn't disappointed by the length at all. It included some stories of actual entrepreneurs implementing these methods successfully and it wasn't full of opiate-like simplifications like the 4 hour workweek or endless theorization like the Lean Startup. Both good books but what I'm saying is Dan cuts through the BS and basically challenges the reader to ship a decent MVP and let the reaction drive next actions.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's a solid, quick and enjoyable read. And the advice is very practical.
Love this framework for shipping. It's funny because I've worked with founders who still call their "startup" a startup 2 years into their business. Once you make money & have a profit, you are a business... Faster you can do that, the faster you can scale & have more impact in the world. This is a simple, yet difficult thing for many business owners to understand, but if you take the principals of the 7 Day Startup, put them into practice & become intentional about shipping, there's no reason why you're business won't flourish long after those first 7 days.
Harness the power of Big MO' (momentum) & get rockin!
~Kyle, CEO (Chief Experiment Officer)
Dan lasers in on the things that DO matter: reaching out to your connections; knowing going in that what you think you're going to do will probably change and the only way to find out is to jump right in the deep end; measuring the right metrics (which, by the way, will change over time).
If you're starting a business, you need to start here with the MVP kit of launching. Graduate later to more complicated frameworks, but starting a business is difficult enough without adding unnecessary to-dos to your list. Focus now on what matters to get traction, and worry about the rest once you have the luxury of worrying about the rest--i.e. when you've got profit coming in.
My next business ideas I am going to experiment with the approaches specified in this book. The main point that is stressed in this book is – “You don’t learn until you launch.”
The author explains in detail his experiments in starting different business and the lessons in a succinct way.
His success in creating WP Curve (a wordpress support service) is explained in depth.
What is a startup ? - A startup has – a. High impact potential b. High levels of innovation c. High levels of uncertainty.
A startup has a high impact potential and high levels of innovation and has ability to change the world.
Idea, Execution and Hustle – The goal of this book is to get you from wantrepreneur (someone who wants to be an entrepreneur) to entrepreneur. Moving from just having an idea to a startup.
Idea – The book stresses on the importance of idea, but it is important to move from idea stage to execution.
Execution – Once there is a idea with good merit, it needs to be executed well.
Hustle – Hustle is relentlessly pursuing what needs to be done at the time. Hustle is about spending your time on the things that are most likely to bring you customers.
This book is all about helping you to launch your business in seven days.
Why 7 days ? - The ability to learn from real data is why the 7 day startup works. You remove all assumptions and focus on launching in 7 days.
It is important to avoid failed validation techniques. The book elaborates on the different failed validation techniques that you must avoid.
Another reason why it is 7 days, is that the working would be more efficient when we have a specific deadline to deliver.
Many people might wonder how it is possible to launch in 7 days. Launching in 7 days requires a mindset shift and you won’t build something that you don’t know what people want.
Once you aim for a weak, you will start to question every assumption and figure out a way to make it happen.
The steps or actions to be taken on each of the days to be performed is explained in depth. They are:
Day One – The 9 Elements of a great bootstrapped business idea. This section elaborates on the various techniques in choosing the right idea for execution. Your idea should have a scalable business model, enjoyable daily tasks, operates profitably, asset that can be sold, has market potential and ability to launch quickly.
Task – Brainstorm a bunch of ideas and evaluate them against the checklist.
Day Two – WTF is an MVP ? This section is about defining your Minimum Viable Product that is your product or service idea, that can be launched within one week. The author gives good examples of products and their MVP. Basically following are the various things to consider: a. How can you offer a product or service to real customers?; b. How will you get them to pay you after 7 days?; c. How close your MVP to the final product?;d. How can you make your offer as real as possible for real customer.
Day Three – Choose a Business Name – This section elaborates on choosing the right and appropriate business name.
Day Four – Build a Website in One Day for under $100. Now that we have an idea and business name, we need a website to put the message across to the world. Basically it is all about having a landing page and start communicating with your customers and see how they respond. This section elaborates on how to you Wordpress to achieve this.
Day Five – 10 ways to Market Your Business – How do you get in front of your customers? It is about marketing your product in front of qualified buyers. There are different techniques on marketing new products is explained in depth.
Day Six – Set Targets – The point of launching a business quickly is that you could get real data from real customers. The main suggestion is to focus on One Metric That Matters (OMTM) at different stages in your business.
Day Seven – Launch – Launch is the day you enter into period of real data collection and running a real business with paying customers. There are well defined steps to be performed on the launch day to make your product available to your customers. (Ex : Emailing people about your product, Updates in social networks etc)
Once you have done the launching in 7 days, then it is all about refining your business model. Now that you have launched, you need to hustle up to real paying customers and check whether they are paying and referring others. Then you need to grow your business that is fundamentally profitable.
Finally the book covers 14 important business rules to live by:
Test every assumption
Solve problems as they arise OR Don’t solve problems that is not there.
Do what you say You will do
Benchmark against the Best
Learn from others and yourself
Outlearn your competition
Always consider how your business looks without you
Look for source of Momentum
Cull Difficult Customers
Focus on Retention
Avoid short term thinking
Focus on product
Love your product
Overall I find this book to be a different perspective about startup. I planned to launch few of my ideas based on the approach explained in this book.
Final lesson is that we must listen to our customers, make a great product, do one thing well and learn to say “no”. Constantly innovate and improve the product. Move quicker and learn faster than your competition. Create something new, create something valuable and have fun.
Top reviews from other countries
There are far too many business books out there which teach abstract lessons, or try to justify their advice by pointing to big-name success stories, and conducting a post-hoc rationalisation of their success. This book is different.
Dan Norris doesn't just spout his opinions and hope to dazzle you into believing him. He has walked the walk, putting his own principles into practice, and shared the results publicly on the WPCurve blog. This book continues that, sharing results from his own (sometimes painful) experience, to vividly bring to life the reasoning behind the principles he puts forward.
The philosophy will be familiar to any "lean startup" fans - in fact, it's right there in the title: "You don't learn until you launch". But where many lean startup text fall short is on the practicalities. What does it actually mean to ship an MVP? How early is too early and exactly how do you figure out what the "minimal" in MVP means for your project?
This book is a vital next step in the lean startup literature. It picks apart some of the confusion, misunderstandings and pitfalls in the lean approach and replaces them with a pragmatic strategy which answers the vital questions a.s.a.p.
It has a catchy title, reminiscent of The 4-Hour Work Week. But don't let that fool you. This isn't a hype-y snakeoil promise-overnight-success kind of book. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Highly pragmatic, extremely honest, and as a result hugely useful.
The "14 Business Rules to Live By" section at the end is an excellent summary and something I know I'll be re-reading whenever I feel myself drifting off course.
Highly recommended for any entrepreneur (or wantrepreneur) who loves the idea of "lean startup" and MVP and is ready for an actionable, practical how-to manual to help put it all into practice and achieve success.
I would argue that it is actually more than that. It delivers basic principles that anyone in business should consider and offers proof of concepts during the read. It has a couple of minor flaws, but that would be expected in a book that tries to cover it all in just a short read.
If you are a serial procrsatinator and looking for evidence of life in business, then this is a good read. It will not solve your procrastination tendencies, but it may offer some insight into the world of possibility
The Not so Good:
In essence the argument that Dan presents can be a little flawed. For example due to his past failings, Dan had some contacts that I would guess were some of his initial clients on his actual launch week. For someone starting from a complete clean slate, this process for client acquisition may come a little slower. I am a firm believer in the principle of finding a problem and offering a solution, especially when its something that people in some form are already paying for, so that point is covered well.
Value for Money:
Simple answer for me is Yes, it is value for money. This is enforced by my comments below on Did I Learn Anything?
Did I learn Anything from my Read?
Actually yes. The learning points were more about validation and jolting nuggets that I had let slip over time. This for me qualifies as a good read.
Would I recommend to a Friend of Mine?
Yes, I would. Whilst it may not be a lightning bolt for all, it certainly would be a good book to go back to from time to time to remind you of where you should be and what finer points you should pay attention to.
Dan does a great job of getting across his reasons why you should focus on short and fast launches. He comes from a very personal angle of failures that led to a last chance attempt with only days to go before he had to go back to doing a regular job.
This pushed him into succeeding and learning as he went. His shift focused on the customer and not his own drivers. In his first attempt at business he spent over six months of invested time in creating a product he was certain would make him his first million dollars. The only issue was that he never launched it. Why? It was simple because at the time he was in his early 20's on a business degree and needed a project to get his marks up. He had written an awesome business plan but the marks on the paper did not require it to be actually launched, so he didn't.
The lesson he learned though was this: You don't learn until you launch
I love his process of providing motivation to the premise of how you really can launch in 7 days. He even outlines each day, telling you what needs to get done on that day. I was reading on a Kindle Reader on my iPad, and the detail did not start to actually pan out until page 69 of 204. This is when Dan begins to outline each day by breaking it down into what you need to do, so it is a short read, about 3 hours in my case, but it does pack punches with good overall information.
I therefore have no hesitation in recommending this book.
An enjoyable read with a powerful message.