Product Ideas Newsletter #14

blunders, investing in nobodys, and mix-and-match product ideation

🚀Product of the Week

In Bed with Social. I have no idea how this newsletter can be free. Usually, there is a noticeable difference between free and premium newsletters simply because authors who get paid are able to spend more time and resources on their articles. But what Marie Dollé is producing is definitely premium quality, and she’s giving it away for free.

To get a sense of what I mean check out her in-depth Monetizing newsletters and Infobesity analysis. But really, all of her articles are great and I always end up with at least three new product ideas after reading one of them.

📈 Opportunity of the Week

Investing in Nobodys. Julian Shapiro deletes all of his tweets that don’t get 1000+ likes. (Something about keeping a high signal-to-noise ratio in your profile. Not a fan of that approach.)

And he deleted the tweet I wanted to quote here. But roughly it said

Don’t waste your time trying to get the attention of celebrities.

Instead, focus on befriending high-agency nobodys and lift each other up.

Now reaching out to celebrities can certainly work. A great example is how Andrey Azimov was able to lift himself up by befriending Pieter Levels.

But I just love the second approach. It’s something I’ve been doing for quite a while now. Instead of trying to get celebrity guests on my podcast, I’m inviting anyone with interesting ideas irregardless of their follower count.

For example, I recorded episodes with Brian Burrous and Aswin John. Not only did I learn a lot from these conversations but I also feel like I made new friends.

But of course, this newsletter is primarily about product ideas. So is there an opportunity here? I definitely think so.

Two weeks ago, I talked about how pay-to-win-access to influencers is a huge opportunity for anyone who’s able to provide the infrastructure. Now that we’ve established that connections between like-minded nobodys might be just as powerful, it seems obvious that there’s a similar opportunity here.

Two examples:

  • In episode 112 of the My first Million podcast (the relevant part starts at 37:00) Shaan shares the story of the “Runescape mafia”. Basically, it’s a group that found each other through the game Runescape many years ago and then each member created highly successful companies.

  • Similarly, numerous successful companies have been started by the 20 members of an IRC chat as outlined in this article.

The key question, how could we facilitate that this happens?

The wrong approach is to create a Slack channel or Circle community, hoping that the magic will just happen. The lifting each other up approach only works if there’s a small group with strong bonds between its members.

So maybe a simple matchmaking service over common interests like a podcast or book might be a great place to start.

💭 Thought of the Week

“Excuse me, sir,” said the shy assistant, not quite sure how to tell the great man about his blunder. “Yes?” said Einstein. “Um, eh, it’s about the test you just handed out.” Einstein waited patiently. “I’m not sure if you realize it, but this is the same test you gave out last year. In fact, it’s identical.” Einstein paused to think for a moment, then said, “Yes, it is the same test but the answers have changed.” - story told in The 1-Page Marketing Plan by Allan Dib

🤔 Prompt of the Week

  • Think of groups of people you might want to serve (Twitter users, social media mangers, soccer fans, …)

  • Make a list of possible business models (SaaS, info product, productized service, community, marketplace,…)

  • Make a list of possible price points ($1, $10, $100, $1000, …)

  • Now mix and match the groups, price points and business models and think about what you could offer to make it work.

If you want to try this method, you can use a little tool I just created. By clicking on customize in the upper-right corner, you can enter your own groups, business models, and price points.

(All credit to Andrew Kamphey who told me about this method.)

👋 End Notes

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