3rd April 2020 - 22:03:50 - 2789 characters

Notes from Patrick McKenzie's (Patio11) Leveling Up:

  • The flying geese paradigm is the idea that less advanced countries can catch up to more advanced countries by technologically upscaling themselves from textile to manufacturing to high industry thanks to the top nation outsourcing their production due to labour costs
  • The "Tutorial Mission" is to actually start your first business: Ship It Ship It Ship It, optimize for learning over perfection, start accumulating unfair advantages for later business, and cover your minimum viable financial goal
  • What's your advantage? It's whatever people tell you you're anomalously good at. Watch people in your community and note when you're doing particularly good on something useful. Use your growing understanding of your business to project what X would do in another larger business or a business with advantages you lack
  • The case against SaaS for business: huge barriers to shipping and keeping it in the marketplace, hard to sell and market without an existing foothold in the industry, and the long slow SaaS ramp (scale up) of death
  • The glide path to SaaS: plant a flag in the market with a {e-book, WordPress plugin, ...}, start collecting email addresses, launch a productized consulting business, gradually titrate up the amount of software offered
  • For a productized consulting base offering: $99 per month for an automated simple SaaS service, $500 per month for a small amount of mostly automated TLC (3 experiments per month implemented by our team, a PDF report to offer to the suits, ...), $2.5l to $10k per month for a Chief Scientist (owns your strategy and help physically manage it, implement much of your experimentation, perform all analysis / reporting for management)
  • Level up: the scale of the problem you're attacking, the engineering acumen brought to bear on the target, your sales/marketing techniques, and the sophistication of your business operation
  • Your business should: be helping you to achieve your goals, help you accumulate marginal advantages, and be an outlet for your passion
  • If you don't love your business and want to sell it / put it into maintenance mode: Goldilocks zone for revenue / price, low ongoing time involvement from the founder, low risk that present revenue evaporates, growth in market, technical risk mitigated
  • Early decisions that can help to sell a business or place it in maintenance mode: business opportunity (enduring and stable/increasing), technology stack (something simple and well understood), business model (fat margins, ideally recurring revenue), traffic sources (diversity and defensibility), founder involvement (variable if required)