A friend asked me a question that made me sit and write to think. Here's what I answered
Bruno Rigolino on
I was chatting with a friend on WhatsApp when he sent me this:
Hey Bruno, send me an audio message later sharing the main lessons you’ve learned from your entrepreneurial journey so far.
I replied to his other messages, but I sort of put off responding to this one for a bit. I had to take a moment to sit and write to think about what to say.
Here are four lessons that came to my mind.
#1 Selling the product was more difficult than creating the product
To sell online, you need to articulate copywriting with audience building. It helps if you adopt a strategy like building in public or if you create something for a niche that you can truly understand the pain points and desired benefits.
#2 Stick to the principles, not to the plan
We decided to focus on creating our own bootstrapped products. We pursued a 70/30 distribution between portfolio products and creating products for other businesses and entrepreneurs. We established some working principles inspired by the ideas from 37Signals and the Winning Without Pitching Manifesto. Rather than relying on a rigid business plan, we followed our principles, continuously strategized, and remained open to pivoting when necessary.
#3 Shipping fast, not perfect
You don't need to ship a perfect product first, but you need the first users for a work-in-progress product. You need to test it as soon as possible. Be transparent and cautious when the product is not completely ready, but seek feedback to make improvements. Building in public or in beta mode helps to deal with the challenge of selling the product or service.
#4 Help people.
Our most successful product is the one we created for other entrepreneurs. Yes, they paid us to build the product. But we actually started by helping them out.
We assisted them in understanding their situation and encouraged them to create smaller versions of the product first (even though it ended up making less money for us initially). Helping people is an effective way to build an audience and contribute to the community. It also helped us stay true to our values and remain open to possibilities, including potential changes in our plans.