General Badassery Episode 26

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Further notes on complexity...

A lot of things that seem complicated are not, because if you have a problem, chances are someone else has had that same problem and solved it.

It doesn't matter how hard it is to write an email autoresponder and run a server to host it, because dozens of people will do that for you at $20 a month.

Even if you want to run your own server for some reason, you can buy software to do it for a couple hundred bucks. (Sendy is $60. I'm not sure how good it is though.) So the complexity is still reduced.

A lot of people get "not invented here"(NIH) syndrome for no good reason. They want the reputation of doing everything themselves from scratch because...

Um...

Because they're dumb, I guess?

Don Lapre - the "tiny classified ads" guy - taught me a tremendously important lesson in that course.

Never do anything yourself when someone else will do it for five bucks an hour. 

That extends to all kinds of other things: why would I invest a year and a half of my life building membership software, when I can just go buy that software from someone who already wrote it?

I can understand that if it's not what i need. I find that a lot - I want a given feature, but nothing has it. But it's much easier to build that functionality as a plugin than it is to construct the whole thing from scratch.

So when you're putting stuff together to run your business, look to what other people have done and how they did it before you start from scratch. It saves a lot of time and money.

 

General Badassery Episode 25

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So here's a little more of me musing about value.

There's a subtle connection between value - as in what a thing is worth - and values, as in what is important to you.

People say frequently that they would never pay more than $10 for an e-book, when they're thinking about a Kindle version of the latest pop fiction. But then they'll go out and buy a $50 information product without a second thought.

When you ask them why, they'll say "well, that's different, because it's an investment in my business." What they're actually saying is that their values place business above entertainment - they won't spend $50 to be entertained, but they'll spend it to improve their business, and the fact that it's an e-book doesn't matter.

What dictates the value isn't the format of the information, but the moral values of the customer. Ask someone whether they'd spend $300 on a CD, they'll say no. But billions of people buy $300 software... if not more... on a CD.

Perception is reality.

Similarly, plenty of people just pirate music and movies and software and games, because their values tell them something along the lines of "it's digital, it should be free."

Their value perception is driven not by the difficulty of producing the content, but the difficulty of acquiring it.

All you have to do is copy a file! That takes like, thirty seconds! So if that file costs $50, that's... $6,000 an hour! Nobody deserves that! And besides, making $6,000 an hour surely means you can afford to give a few away for free.

There are three values involved which can line up well... or badly. There's the perceived value of you producing the information, the perceived value of having the information delivered, and the perceived value of getting the results it provides.

Match these values up, and your price point can be easily justified. And the key to increasing them is to engage the specific emotional values the customer puts on them - producing that response at each step, to reinforce it.

Needlessly Different Title for Episode 20

Episode 20, in which I discuss Marketing Mayhem Live and why you should be going to events.

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