Are you looking to make and launch your product idea?
Here are the top four things you can learn to boost your chance of success from Felix Wong:
1. Framework used for where to start, make and launch for building his next thing
2. The perfect starter stack of tools to create an info product
3. How can you 🚀 sales with no marketing dollars
4. How do you decide when to automate?
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your story.
Hey everyone. This is Felix! I work for a venture builder by day. Running side projects in my free time. I really enjoy the process of coming up with any ideas, testing any marketing framework and measuring success in any way I want to. You will hear more about my no-code journey from build to scale. Read on.
2. Can you tell us how you got started with VentureList and VirtualMojito and why did you choose no-code?
VenturesList started at the height of the global pandemic. I have encountered many startups that are forced to maintain their businesses through layoffs, cost reductions, and even bridge financing. I think this is a good idea to open source my investors network and investment knowledge to startups that need support in fundraising.
Virtual Mojito is derived from my Top X alternative to Zoom article. Many individuals and communities are demanding a unique solution to facilitate communities, remote workers and virtual events. I have collected and categorized 70 tools in a few days, so I think having an online directory will be more useful than an article. Now the directory has close to 200 products.
I like no-code because those tools allow me to quickly convert ideas into viable products immediately. I like the idea of fast execution, no-code is in the right place.
3. Can you give any insights to your framework for building your next thing?
I make use of a 6-stage process: Ideation, Validation, User Empathy, UI/UX, Prototype, Launch
Depending on my understanding of the problem and the user, it usually takes up to 2 weeks. I tend to start by reading the content available in places like Indie Hackers, wild search on Google, etc. Then, I will classify the findings and cross-check whether any relevant patterns with my assumptions.
The validation and user empathy phases are pretty standard, but I think this is the hardest part of the framework. I find that communicating with potential users is the most useful validation step. Through user empathy, I mean to map out their pain points, needs, desired gains, etc. All these results will contribute to the feature set of my product.
I usually combine UI/UX and prototyping. Before starting to gather traction, I often spend extra time to make sure everything works and looks good. In fact, I have dedicated myself to self-learning UI/UX design for nearly 3 years, so I like to see products that look good.
Launch? Distribute to the appropriate channel as much as possible. You should know how the potential users hangout according to the validation phase. Do not spam irrelevant channels. In addition, create easy-to-digest marketing materials and show your uniqueness through attractive calls to action.
4. What is your stack to create VentureList?
- Email Octopus
5. Did you start off with this stack or did it change while making it. If yes, please give insights into what you discovered?
I usually start with some core no-code tools. Carrd, Zapier, Gumroad and ImprovMX are my top choices. Why? Because it covers the front end of your website, your automated operations, payment, and customize email addresses. Basically all the basic resources of all businesses.
It really depends on the use case. I use Airtable for various reasons. Sometimes it is part of a product (i.e. information product), form or semi-automatic database, which can help me manage certain databases and information.
I am very satisfied with the simplicity of Email Octopus. I have tried many email service providers, but this is the easiest tool to set up for any newsletter, drip campaign flow and performance analysis.
6.Can you share your experience using this stack; any insights, advantages and disadvantages, things that surprised you, disappointed you for each tool:
I like this stack because you can start building things quickly without a subscription. Secondly, these tools come with a large number of best practices, templates and case studies where you can easily find and learn online.
If you have frequent data flows and operations, automation can be expensive. When I want to automate an operation, I will first get used to it manually, measure how much time it takes, and estimate the impact of automation. If the difference is large, I will automate it to free up my time.
So far, I have not been disappointed. This stack is great. I am very grateful for their support and continue to introduce new features to make the no-code process more comprehensive.
7. How do you handle your purchase flow and handle giving authorized access to membership pages? Does Gumroad sync with Airtable and you provide the link to access the full Airtable base?
Honor system. There is actually no complicated paywall. When people buy the pro version, they will have access to the link to view only Airtable. My job is to maintain content quality and update the catalog every month.
I have a simple workflow from purchases to email notifications to the list of users eligible to view monthly updates. Currently I don’t have a direct integration between Airtable and Gumroad. Byt the whole process can be configured between Gumroad, Zapier and Email Octopus.
Would you consider creating this product behind a membership paywall stack like Webflow/Memberstack/Airtable? Or when Softr.io and Pory.io come out with membership sites?
I don’t have any plans now. Because I think info products should be simple, I will keep the cost as low as possible in order to future proof the price for users and bring reasonable income for myself.
I really like making products through Webflow, Memberstack, etc. However, I will only do that if my product provides more unique value propositions, not just an info product. I chose to apply a simple tech stack because I wanted to manage fewer things in order to really focus on marketing and growth.
8. Where do you see Makers/Startups/Businesses missing opportunity?
I think the no-code scene is getting more mature. Now, we have solved the “product maker” issue. I think the community needs more knowledge exchange in actual business operations. All ways from idea validation, business operation, market expansion, etc.
I hope to see more think tanks from this perspective. I think that pioneers of no-code should lead more such dialogues in addition to finding the right tools and making the best stacks.
9. Can you share about what are key things you did in this project to generate sales with $0 in marketing?
Could you talk about using the strategy of creating multiple small projects and the compounding effect of doing that. For example how you launched Virtualmojito.com first. Was that to help build an audience around your niche?
I followed a similar startup process for all projects. I usually first map the audience by understanding their needs. According to certain parameters, I will proceed to the next step, channel discovery. Thanks to many communities and forums that allow makers and users to interact easily.
I tend to identify 10-15 channels during the launch, which usually lasts a week. I will ensure that each channel has its own custom content so that I can avoid SEO losses and provide people with new perspectives based on the nature of the channel.
For example, if I were to publish product A on Facebook Group and Hacker News, you would see a completely different perspective on how I describe my product and how it can help you. This is an obvious common sense. There is no one size for everyone. Always customize your content.
After that, I will return to my usual practice and systematically conduct all marketing tasks. For example, I would tweet 10 times on Monday, write a short article on Wednesday, and analyze it on Friday. I believe that small habits will lead to sustainable success. This is how my system works.
I have never spent a dollar on a marketing budget, but will spend money on marketing software to improve productivity and performance. Not because I don’t want to grow faster, but because I tend to put more pressure on myself to test my organic marketing skills.
10. When building anything there is always something unexpected that occured. What parts did you get stuck and learn most from?
I have never been a good writer. But the no-code mindset encourages me to spend more time expressing my product making journey. I was inspired by many makers who shared their progress from ideation to build to marketing.
The more I read, the more I realize that this is not scary. I started writing more small tweets to start the momentum. I have been working on it once a week. Feedback from the community is the secret motivation. Since then, I am more comfortable to share my journey.
11. What are you excited about that is to come with VentureList and or have more projects in the works for 2021 around your niche?
I am about to release a Notion version. My potential users have been asking for it for a while. Now, I am testing different database views to ensure that my users can make the most of Notion. Some new features will be added soon, such as a curated list of series A stories, investors in other regions (ie MENA in Europe).
12. Please provide what links to your project website, your twitter, where can people return the love? Where they can check out about you and your latest product launch:
Hi👋🏼, I'm Michael.
The maker of this site