Tim Ferris, author of “The Four-Hour Workweek,” writes about the importance of developing a “minimum viable product.” Most people believe that when they start a business, it has to be perfect right away. They invest copious quantities of time and money building their business before they ever try to make a sale.
Tim Ferris sees things differently. He recommends that you create the absolute simplest way of getting a product to market and making sales. That way if your idea doesn’t work, or needs adjustment, you find that out before investing serious time and money.
Tim Ferris points to Mint App as the perfect case study. Mint App connects to your bank accounts, analyzes your spending, debt, and assets, and then gives you financial recommendations. It sold for $172,000,000 just two years after launch.
Even at launch time, the entrepreneurs behind Mint App knew that it would be very successful. They did a simple marketing experiment to verify the viability of their idea, before investing in app development. How? Noah Kagan put together a simple landing page presenting Mint App’s pitch. He sent traffic to the page. Tons of people subscribed. The fact that so many people subscribed verified the basic appeal of Mint’s marketing message. You can still see the landing page here.
Some of my clients want the “perfect” marketing materials before they ever start advertising. Incredible video, a three-month long autoresponder, tons of blog posts, a gorgeous website… the works!
I say, “hold your horses!” Before you spend three to six months, why not make some money first? Create your minimum viable ROI machine. Put together an offer that sells, find the Facebook Ads formula that sells it, survey your first customers to understand them better, then make all of those incredible materials.
In other words, make sure your idea is going to work before you invest $30,000 and months of development into it.
Of course, your marketing materials should look good and your product should be great. But they needn’t be perfect. You can create a perfectly respectable marketing funnel in two weeks two a month if you know what you’re doing.