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Antonio Neto

Antonio Neto

6 months ago

Should you skip the minimum viable product?

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Greg Lim

Greg Lim

7 months ago

How I made $160,000 from non-fiction books

I've sold over 40,000 non-fiction books on Amazon and made over $160,000 in six years while writing on the side.

I have a full-time job and three young sons; I can't spend 40 hours a week writing. This article describes my journey.

I write mainly tech books:

Thanks to my readers, many wrote positive evaluations. Several are bestsellers.

A few have been adopted by universities as textbooks:

My books' passive income allows me more time with my family.

Knowing I could quit my job and write full time gave me more confidence. And I find purpose in my work (i am in christian ministry).

I'm always eager to write. When work is a dread or something bad happens, writing gives me energy. Writing isn't scary. In fact, I can’t stop myself from writing!

Writing has also established my tech authority. Universities use my books, as I've said. Traditional publishers have asked me to write books.

These mindsets helped me become a successful nonfiction author:

1. You don’t have to be an Authority

Yes, I have computer science experience. But I'm no expert on my topics. Before authoring "Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB," my most profitable book, I had no experience with those topics. Node was a new server-side technology for me. Would that stop me from writing a book? It can. I liked learning a new technology. So I read the top three Node books, took the top online courses, and put them into my own book (which makes me know more than 90 percent of people already).

I didn't have to worry about using too much jargon because I was learning as I wrote. An expert forgets a beginner's hardship.

"The fellow learner can aid more than the master since he knows less," says C.S. Lewis. The problem he must explain is recent. The expert has forgotten.”

2. Solve a micro-problem (Niching down)

I didn't set out to write a definitive handbook. I found a market with several challenges and wrote one book. Ex:

3. Piggy Backing Trends

The above topics may still be a competitive market. E.g.  Angular, React.   To stand out, include the latest technologies or trends in your book. Learn iOS 15 instead of iOS programming. Instead of personal finance, what about personal finance with NFTs.

Even though you're a newbie author, your topic is well-known.

4. Publish short books

My books are known for being direct. Many people like this:

Your reader will appreciate you cutting out the fluff and getting to the good stuff. A reader can finish and review your book.

Second, short books are easier to write. Instead of creating a 500-page book for $50 (which few will buy), write a 100-page book that answers a subset of the problem and sell it for less. (You make less, but that's another subject). At least it got published instead of languishing. Less time spent creating a book means less time wasted if it fails. Write a small-bets book portfolio like Daniel Vassallo!

Third, it's $2.99-$9.99 on Amazon (gets 70 percent royalties for ebooks). Anything less receives 35% royalties. $9.99 books have 20,000–30,000 words. If you write more and charge more over $9.99, you get 35% royalties. Why not make it a $9.99 book?

(This is the ebook version.) Paperbacks cost more. Higher royalties allow for higher prices.

5. Validate book idea

Amazon will tell you if your book concept, title, and related phrases are popular. See? Check its best-sellers list.

150,000 is preferable. It sells 2–3 copies daily. Consider your rivals. Profitable niches have high demand and low competition.

Don't be afraid of competitive niches. First, it shows high demand. Secondly, what are the ways you can undercut the completion? Better book? Or cheaper option? There was lots of competition in my NodeJS book's area. None received 4.5 stars or more. I wrote a NodeJS book. Today, it's a best-selling Node book.

What’s Next

So long. Part II follows. Meanwhile, I will continue to write more books!

Follow my journey on Twitter.


This post is a summary. Read full article here

Woo

Woo

2 months ago

How To Launch A Business Without Any Risk

> Say Hello To The Lean-Hedge Model

People think starting a business requires significant debt and investment. Like Shark Tank, you need a world-changing idea. I'm not saying to avoid investors or brilliant ideas.

Investing is essential to build a genuinely profitable company. Think Apple or Starbucks.

Entrepreneurship is risky because many people go bankrupt from debt. As starters, we shouldn't do it. Instead, use lean-hedge.

Simply defined, you construct a cash-flow business to hedge against long-term investment-heavy business expenses.

What the “fx!$rench-toast” is the lean-hedge model?

When you start a business, your money should move down, down, down, then up when it becomes profitable.

Example: Starbucks

Many people don't survive the business's initial losses and debt. What if, we created a cash-flow business BEFORE we started our Starbucks to hedge against its initial expenses?

Cash Flow business hedges against

Lean-hedge has two sections. Start a cash-flow business. A cash-flow business takes minimal investment and usually involves sweat and time.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

A Translation company

Personal portfolio website (you make a site then you do cold e-mail marketing)

FREELANCE (UpWork, Fiverr).

Educational business.

Infomarketing. (You design a knowledge-based product. You sell the info).

Online fitness/diet/health coaching ($50-$300/month, calls, training plan)

Amazon e-book publishing. (Medium writers do this)

YouTube, cash-flow channel

A web development agency (I'm a dev, but if you're not, a graphic design agency, etc.) (Sell your time.)

Digital Marketing

Online paralegal (A million lawyers work in the U.S).

Some dropshipping (Organic Tik Tok dropshipping, where you create content to drive traffic to your shopify store instead of spend money on ads).

(Disclaimer: My first two cash-flow enterprises, which were language teaching, failed terribly. My translation firm is now booming because B2B e-mail marketing is easy.)

Crossover occurs. Your long-term business starts earning more money than your cash flow business.

My cash-flow business (freelancing, translation) makes $7k+/month.

I’ve decided to start a slightly more investment-heavy digital marketing agency

Here are the anticipated business's time- and money-intensive investments:

  1. ($$$) Top Front-End designer's Figma/UI-UX design (in negotiation)

  2. (Time): A little copywriting (I will do this myself)

  3. ($$) Creating an animated webpage with HTML (in negotiation)

  4. Backend Development (Duration) (I'll carry out this myself using Laravel.)

  5. Logo Design ($$)

  6. Logo Intro Video for $

  7. Video Intro (I’ll edit this myself with Premiere Pro)

etc.

Then evaluate product, place, price, and promotion. Consider promotion and pricing.

The lean-hedge model's point is:

Don't gamble. Avoid debt. First create a cash-flow project, then grow it steadily.

Check read my previous posts on “Nightmare Mode” (which teaches you how to make work as interesting as video games) and Why most people can't escape a 9-5 to learn how to develop a cash-flow business.

Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

4 months ago

SaaS payback period data

It's ok and even desired to be unprofitable if you're gaining revenue at a reasonable cost and have 100%+ net dollar retention, meaning you never lose customers and expand them. To estimate the acceptable cost of new SaaS revenue, we compare new revenue to operating loss and payback period. If you pay back the customer acquisition cost in 1.5 years and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're doing well.

To evaluate payback period, we compared new revenue to net operating loss for the last 73 SaaS companies to IPO since October 2017. (55 out of 73). Here's the data. 1/(new revenue/operating loss) equals payback period. New revenue/operating loss equals cost of new revenue.

Payback averages a year. 55 SaaS companies that weren't profitable at IPO got a 1-year payback. Outstanding. If you pay for a customer in a year and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're establishing a valuable business. The average was 1.3 years, which is within the 1.5-year range.

New revenue costs $0.96 on average. These SaaS companies lost $0.96 every $1 of new revenue last year. Again, impressive. Average new revenue per operating loss was $1.59.

Loss-in-operations definition. Operating loss revenue COGS S&M R&D G&A (technical point: be sure to use the absolute value of operating loss). It's wrong to only consider S&M costs and ignore other business costs. Operating loss and new revenue are measured over one year to eliminate seasonality.

Operating losses are desirable if you never lose a customer and have a quick payback period, especially when SaaS enterprises are valued on ARR. The payback period should be under 1.5 years, the cost of new income < $1, and net dollar retention 100%.

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Michelle Teheux

Michelle Teheux

1 month ago

Get Real, All You Grateful Laid-Off LinkedIn Users

WTF is wrong with you people?

She looks so happy. She was probably just fired. Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash

When I was laid off as editor of my town's daily newspaper, I went silent on social media. I knew it was coming and had been quietly removing personal items each day, but the pain was intense.

I posted a day later. I didn't bad-mouth GateHouse Media but expressed my sadness at leaving the newspaper industry, pride in my accomplishments, and hope for success in another industry.

Normal job-loss response.

What do you recognize as abnormal?

The bullshit I’ve been reading from laid-off folks on LinkedIn.

If you're there, you know. Many Twitter or Facebook/Meta employees recently lost their jobs.

Well, many of them did not “lose their job,” actually. They were “impacted by the layoffs” at their former employer. I keep seeing that phrase.

Why don’t they want to actually say it? Why the euphemism?

Many are excited about the opportunities ahead. The jobless deny being sad.

They're ecstatic! They have big plans.

Hope so. Sincerely! Being laid off stinks, especially if, like me, your skills are obsolete. It's worse if, like me, you're too old to start a new career. Ageism exists despite denials.

Nowadays, professionalism seems to demand psychotic levels of fake optimism.

Why? Life is unpredictable. That's indisputable. You shouldn't constantly complain or cry in public, but you also shouldn't pretend everything's great.

It makes you look psychotic, not positive. It's like saying at work:

“I was impacted by the death of my spouse of 20 years this week, and many of you have reached out to me, expressing your sympathy. However, I’m choosing to remember the amazing things we shared. I feel confident that there is another marriage out there for me, and after taking a quiet weekend trip to reset myself, I’ll be out there looking for the next great marital adventure! #staypositive #available #opentolove

Also:

“Now looking for our next #dreamhome after our entire neighborhood was demolished by a wildfire last night. We feel so lucky to have lived near so many amazing and inspirational neighbors, all of whom we will miss as we go on our next housing adventure. The best house for us is yet to come! If you have a great neighborhood you’d recommend, please feel free to reach out and touch base with us! #newhouse #newneighborhood #newlife

Admit it. That’s creepy.

The constant optimism makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Viscerally.

I hate fakes.

Imagine a fake wood grain desk. Wouldn't it be better if the designer accepted that it's plastic and went with that?

Real is better but not always nice. When something isn't nice, you don't have to go into detail, but you also shouldn't pretend it's great.

How to announce your job loss to the world.

Do not pretend to be happy, but don't cry and drink vodka all afternoon.

Say you loved your job, and that you're looking for new opportunities.

Yes, if you'll miss your coworkers. Otherwise, don't badmouth. No bridge-burning!

Please specify the job you want. You may want to pivot.

Alternatively, try this.

You could always flame out.

If you've pushed yourself too far into toxic positivity, you may be ready to burn it all down. If so, make it worthwhile by writing something like this:

Well, I was shitcanned by the losers at #Acme today. That bitch Linda in HR threw me under the bus just because she saw that one of my “friends” tagged me in some beach pics on social media after I called in sick with Covid. The good thing is I will no longer have to watch my ass around that #asspincher Ron in accounting, but I’m sad that I will no longer have a cushy job with high pay or access to the primo office supplies I’ve been sneaking home for the last five years. (Those gel pens were the best!) I am going to be taking some time off to enjoy my unemployment and hammer down shots of Jägermeister but in about five months I’ll be looking for anything easy with high pay and great benefits. Reach out if you can help! #officesupplies #unemploymentrocks #drinkinglikeagirlboss #acmesucks

It beats the fake positivity.

Francesca Furchtgott

Francesca Furchtgott

5 months ago

Giving customers what they want or betraying the values of the brand?

A J.Crew collaboration for fashion label Eveliina Vintage is not a paradox; it is a solution.

From J.Crew’s Eveliina Vintage capsule collection page

Eveliina Vintage's capsule collection debuted yesterday at J.Crew. This J.Crew partnership stopped me in my tracks.

Eveliina Vintage sells vintage goods. Eeva Musacchia founded the shop in Finland in the 1970s. It's recognized for its one-of-a-kind slip dresses from the 1930s and 1940s.

I wondered why a vintage brand would partner with a mass shop. Fast fashion against vintage shopping? Will Eveliina Vintages customers be turned off?

But Eveliina Vintages customers don't care about sustainability. They want Eveliina's Instagram look. Eveliina Vintage collaborated with J.Crew to give customers what they wanted: more Eveliina at a lower price.

Vintage: A Fashion Option That Is Eco-Conscious

Secondhand shopping is a trendy response to quick fashion. J.Crew releases hundreds of styles annually. Waste and environmental damage have been criticized. A pair of jeans requires 1,800 gallons of water. J.Crew's limited-time deals promote more purchases. J.Crew items are likely among those Americans wear 7 times before discarding.

Consumers and designers have emphasized sustainability in recent years. Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher are popular eco-friendly brands. They've also flocked to ThredUp and similar sites.

Gap, Levis, and Allbirds have listened to consumer requests. They promote recycling, ethical sourcing, and secondhand shopping.

Secondhand shoppers feel good about reusing and recycling clothing that might have ended up in a landfill.

Eco-conscious fashionistas shop vintage. These shoppers enjoy the thrill of the hunt (that limited-edition Chanel bag!) and showing off a unique piece (nobody will have my look!). They also reduce their environmental impact.

Is Eveliina Vintage capitalizing on an aesthetic or is it a sustainable brand?

Eveliina Vintage emphasizes environmental responsibility. Vogue's Amanda Musacchia emphasized sustainability. Amanda, founder Eeva's daughter, is a company leader.

But Eveliina's press message doesn't address sustainability, unlike Instagram. Scarcity and fame rule.

Eveliina Vintages Instagram has see-through dresses and lace-trimmed slip dresses. Celebrities and influencers are often photographed in Eveliina's apparel, which has 53,000+ followers. Vogue appreciates Eveliina's style. Multiple publications discuss Alexa Chung's Eveliina dress.

Eveliina Vintage markets its one-of-a-kind goods. It teases future content, encouraging visitors to return. Scarcity drives demand and raises clothing prices. One dress is $1,600+, but most are $500-$1,000.

The catch: Eveliina can't monetize its expanding popularity due to exorbitant prices and limited quantity. Why?

  1. Most people struggle to pay for their clothing. But Eveliina Vintage lacks those more affordable entry-level products, in contrast to other luxury labels that sell accessories or perfume.

  2. Many people have trouble fitting into their clothing. The bodies of most women in the past were different from those for which vintage clothing was designed. Each Eveliina dress's specific measurements are mentioned alongside it. Be careful, you can fall in love with an ill-fitting dress.

  3. No matter how many people can afford it and fit into it, there is only one item to sell. To get the item before someone else does, those people must be on the Eveliina Vintage website as soon as it becomes available.

A Way for Eveliina Vintage to Make Money (and Expand) with J.Crew Its following

Eveliina Vintages' cooperation with J.Crew makes commercial sense.

This partnership spreads Eveliina's style. Slightly better pricing The $390 outfits have multicolored slips and gauzy cotton gowns. Sizes range from 00 to 24, which is wider than vintage racks.

Eveliina Vintage customers like the combination. Excited comments flood the brand's Instagram launch post. Nobody is mocking the 50-year-old vintage brand's fast-fashion partnership.

Vintage may be a sustainable fashion trend, but that's not why Eveliina's clients love the brand. They only care about the old look.

And that is a tale as old as fashion.

Florian Wahl

Florian Wahl

2 months ago

An Approach to Product Strategy

I've been pondering product strategy and how to articulate it. Frameworks helped guide our thinking.

If your teams aren't working together or there's no clear path to victory, your product strategy may not be well-articulated or communicated (if you have one).

Before diving into a product strategy's details, it's important to understand its role in the bigger picture — the pieces that move your organization forward.

the overall picture

A product strategy is crucial, in my opinion. It's part of a successful product or business. It's the showpiece.

The Big Picture: Vision, Product Strategy, Goals, Roadmap

To simplify, we'll discuss four main components:

  1. Vision

  2. Product Management

  3. Goals

  4. Roadmap

Vision

Your company's mission? Your company/product in 35 years? Which headlines?

The vision defines everything your organization will do in the long term. It shows how your company impacted the world. It's your organization's rallying cry.

An ambitious but realistic vision is needed.

Without a clear vision, your product strategy may be inconsistent.

Product Management

Our main subject. Product strategy connects everything. It fulfills the vision.

In Part 2, we'll discuss product strategy.

Goals

This component can be goals, objectives, key results, targets, milestones, or whatever goal-tracking framework works best for your organization.

These product strategy metrics will help your team prioritize strategies and roadmaps.

Your company's goals should be unified. This fuels success.

Roadmap

The roadmap is your product strategy's timeline. It provides a prioritized view of your team's upcoming deliverables.

A roadmap is time-bound and includes measurable goals for your company. Your team's steps and capabilities for executing product strategy.

If your team has trouble prioritizing or defining a roadmap, your product strategy or vision is likely unclear.

Formulation of a Product Strategy

Now that we've discussed where your product strategy fits in the big picture, let's look at a framework.

Product Strategy Framework: Challenges, Decided Approach, Actions

A product strategy should include challenges, an approach, and actions.

Challenges

First, analyze the problems/situations you're solving. It can be customer- or company-focused.

The analysis should explain the problems and why they're important. Try to simplify the situation and identify critical aspects.

Some questions:

  • What issues are we attempting to resolve?

  • What obstacles—internal or otherwise—are we attempting to overcome?

  • What is the opportunity, and why should we pursue it, in your opinion?

Decided Method

Second, describe your approach. This can be a set of company policies for handling the challenge. It's the overall approach to the first part's analysis.

The approach can be your company's bets, the solutions you've found, or how you'll solve the problems you've identified.

Again, these questions can help:

  • What is the value that we hope to offer to our clients?

  • Which market are we focusing on first?

  • What makes us stand out? Our benefit over rivals?

Actions

Third, identify actions that result from your approach. Second-part actions should be these.

Coordinate these actions. You may need to add products or features to your roadmap, acquire new capabilities through partnerships, or launch new marketing campaigns. Whatever fits your challenges and strategy.

Final questions:

  • What skills do we need to develop or obtain?

  • What is the chosen remedy? What are the main outputs?

  • What else ought to be added to our road map?

Put everything together

… and iterate!

Strategy isn't one-and-done. Changes occur. Economies change. Competitors emerge. Customer expectations change.

One unexpected event can make strategies obsolete quickly. Muscle it. Review, evaluate, and course-correct your strategies with your teams. Quarterly works. In a new or unstable industry, more often.