1 day MVP 2.0 | Go from idea to MVP in just 1 day
4.4 (1,453 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
36,277 students enrolled

1 day MVP 2.0 | Go from idea to MVP in just 1 day

Go from idea to working prototype in 1 day. New business idea? New feature for your app? Create a Minimum Viable Product
4.4 (1,453 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
36,277 students enrolled
Created by Evan Kimbrell
Last updated 3/2019
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $144.99 Discount: 92% off
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This course includes
  • 13.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1.5 hours on-demand audio
  • 5 articles
  • 19 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Rapidly validate product and project ideas before spending money and resources on pursuing them
  • Understand how to run pitch experiments and lean models of idea validation

  • Gather and interpret offline feedback for ideas

  • Spy on potential competitors to assess their strengths / weaknesses / areas left open for opportunity
  • Drill down with advanced search to find adjacent and hidden competitors
  • Quickly setup basic pitch experiments with Launchrock landing pages
  • Create more complicated landing pages with Unbounce
  • Run basic A/B tests with your idea and landing page
  • Setup and interpret conversion goals for your page
  • Capture the right customers for your potential product with dynamic text
  • Add payment buttons to your page and email for the ultimate validation experiment
  • Setup basic ad campaigns with Google and Facebook
  • Interpret the results of your experiment to determine if your idea is killer
  • Understand the benefits and correct usages of prototypes
  • Understand the basic terminology used in web and design speak
  • Efficiently create and articulate a strategy for your product
  • Outline the scope and specifications of your potential product
  • Familiarity with the web is helpful.
  • Computer and internet access.
  • A minimum of a half day's time to invest in the course.

Learn how to take ideas, validate them, and prototype them in one day, without learning how to code. Become a better entrepreneur, product manager, marketer, manager, or small business owner. Learn how experienced entrepreneurs come up with killer ideas and launch them with minimum time invested and with $0 upfront.

Are you ready to take the plunge and finally pursue the business idea of your dreams? Are you sure you have the skills and the time to be successful? Have you heard of the Lean Startup, the product framework that is revolutionizing startups all over the world? This course will teach you the skills that are essential to being a successful entrepreneur.

About the instructor

  • Top-rated Udemy Instructor with over 630+ 5-star reviews.
  • Teaches 10 different courses on Entrepreneurship.
  • Startup founder for 5+ years, raised three rounds of capital worth several millions of dollars.
  • Worked as a VC and was in charge of deal flow in Silicon Valley. 
  • Oversaw investments in large companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tesla.
  • Owns Sprintkick, an agency that builds web & mobile apps for 20+ Fortune 500 companies. 
  • Created and launched over 100+ apps in the last four years.
Who this course is for:
  • Entrepreneurs who have ideas or are already in the middle of a project.
  • Project managers who want to learn more efficient ways of rolling out new products or internal features.
  • Anyone aspiring to be an entrepreneur.
  • Anyone trying to minimize the risk associated with their new venture.
  • Anyone looking for new skills in the realms of entrepreneurship, marketing, product management, and growth hacking.
  • Anyone interested in having a more in-depth understanding of the Lean Startup.
Course content
Expand all 142 lectures 21:31:28
+ Introduction - Getting lean (37 minutes)
10 lectures 34:57

Welcome to the course!

I created this course for a number of reasons:

#1: I'm constantly asked these same two questions: "How do I get started being an Entrepreneur?" and "How do I know if my idea is any good?" For years my response has been, "Have you built an MVP?" which has always been followed with some form of silence, glossy-eyed stare, or that noise you hear when the room is too quiet...

#2: When I first started business school (aka walked around in suits and pretended to be busy), I was only vaguely aware of what "The Lean Startup" was. It was being used and referenced by anyone with a mouth, but it was impossible to nail down exactly what it was and meant. Back then, there were no resources for how you would go out, be lean, and run a full "napkin idea to working MVP" experiment. And guess what? There still isn't.

Enter 1 Day MVP. You're going to learn the Lean Framework, how to design experiments, how to find customers, build test pages, and actually build a codeless MVP. This isn't BS, we are actually going to do all of these things.

What the course is like:

If you've taken any of my other courses, you know that I teach things a little differently. Sure, you'll get a healthy dose of theory, but I don't think anything is complete (or even valuable) without following along and doing what we just learned. You'll also find that there are activities to help you follow along either with an idea of your own or one you can borrow (just bring it back before midnight) . There is also plenty of advice from my personal experience being in the startup trenches sprinkled throughout the lectures.

"Do I have to do everything?"

I strongly suggest you start from the beginning, complete the activities, watch the follow along lectures, and try to apply these techniques yourself. 

Ready? Let's get started.

Preview 04:02
Join our community on Slack!
The Lean Mindset

Before we can continue, it’s vital that you understand exactly what an MVP is and what it is not. That’s what this lecture is about. We’ll start off by looking at some common misconceptions that people have about MVPs (there are a lot of those out there) and at what an MVP actually is.

You’d really be amazed at the amount of people talking about “The Lean Startup” without understanding its core concept. But knowing the definition isn’t enough. It has to be used properly. In this lecture we'll also take a quick first look at the “MVP Mountain” framework, which will follow us through the rest of the course (but more on that later).

At the end of this lecture you’ll fully understand the MVP and its place in the lean startup. You’ll also be familiar with the basic process that will lead you to a fully functioning MVP that you know will deliver.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Some common misconceptions
  • What IS an MVP, exactly?
  • What isn’t an MVP?
  • Practical applications and examples to help you better understand the concept
What is an MVP?

In this lecture we explore the process of building an MVP.

A great way to visualize and to map out this process is with the “MVP Mountain” which I mentioned in the previous lecture. It’s a framework that’ll help get you from an idea to a working MVP that people want and that people will actually want to buy.

Apart from being awesome, the MVP Mountain will be the structural layout of this whole course. This is definitely an important lecture.

After this lecture you’ll be familiar with the stages of the MVP building process (the Mountain) and you’ll know where the course will continue on from here.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The details of the MVP Mountain framework and how to apply them.
  • Why running an MVP experiment is like playing shoots & ladders.
  • Setting up a plan for idea validation.
  • The steps we’re going to follow in this course.
Climbing MVP mountain

This is the last lecture of the first section, congrats. This is just a real short video where I explain the exercise for the end of this section. I’ll also talk a little bit about the next section of this course and what to watch out for.

ACTIVITY: How would you MVP?
PRACTICE: How would you MVP?
4 pages
Section 1 Review Material
27 pages
QUIZ: Do you understand the basics of Lean?
6 questions
Review sheets, resources, activities - all in one PDF!
+ Getting even leaner (optional) (39 minutes)
6 lectures 38:56
Should I watch this section? *WATCH ME*
Fakin' it on the Serengeti

We’re still out in the wild, but this time we’re going to look at some bigger animals.

This lecture will cover MVPs that are moving away from fakin’ it and towards makin’ it. They’re a bit more complex and take a bit more effort to implement, but you’ll see why that might be necessary. Again we’ll throw in some real life examples, because seeing how they were applied by successful businesses will really illustrate the concepts.

At the end of this lecture you’ll have a good understanding of all 6 types of MVP's. You’ll know the benefits and drawbacks of the different types, and you’ll have a general idea of when to apply which ones.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The final 3 types of MVPs.
  • The pros and cons of “fancy” MVP types vs. the ones that “fake it."
  • Some more real life examples of the MVP's of successful companies.
Makin' it on the Serengeti

Just by looking at the name “The Lean Startup” you can already tell that lean-ness is kind of a big deal here.

Lean-ness and the “minimum” part of MVP go hand-in-hand, which is why we’re going to take a closer look at what it actually means. It’s a question that comes up again and again: how minimum can I go?

People keep asking about how minimal they can make their MVP without scaring away potential customers – in this lecture we’ll take a look at why you don’t really need to worry about that.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why (super) minimum is okay.
  • The Product-Innovation Curve.
  • Who we try to target with an MVP.
  • Why it’s okay that most people won’t like your MVP.
The "M" conundrum

How do MVPs fail? Why do they fail? How can we try to avoid it?

There are a few strategies you can use to improve the success rates of your MVP's and in this lecture you’ll learn what they are. Some ideas are inherently better suited for running an MVP experiment than others, and it’s vital that you know what they are so you don’t end up wasting your time.

In this lecture we’ll also go over some common mistakes that people make when trying to run an MVP experiment and how you can avoid them.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why do MVP's fail? The main problems that you’ll run into.
  • Two strategies to correctly run MVP experiments and how to know when to use them.
  • How (and why) you need to choose a target market.
  • The types of problems you need to solve.
Crucial strategy for MVPs
Section 2 Review Material
29 pages
Test your knowledge of MVPs and MVP strategies
6 questions
+ Setting up your experiment (70 minutes)
13 lectures 01:08:20

This is where it gets real! (Well, realer than it’s been so far.)

In this lecture we’ll introduce the two projects that we’ll use to follow along for the rest of the course.

There’s no better way to learn than by doing, but the second best way would definitely be by watching someone else “do." You’ll see everything we’re talking about getting applied to actual MVP experiments, and we’ll (hopefully) end up watching them succeed.

Intro to Airbasket and Docs to Go

This is the first step of climbing the MVP Mountain. I was going to say think about it like the Everest basecamp, but in reality, it’s more like the part where you check all your gear before heading out.

Ideas are a dime a dozen, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve got more than you could ever try testing. And that’s great – the more ideas you have the more likely it is that at least one of them could succeed. But the tricky bit is separating the good from the bad.

At the end of this lecture you’ll know what constitutes a “good” idea and how to pick the ones that are most likely to succeed. This will save you time, energy, and money.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why some ideas are inherently more likely to succeed than others.
  • What makes some ideas more suited for MVP testing?
  • A tried-and-tested framework to help you rank and choose ideas.
Smell test

Welcome to the first follow along lecture. We’re going to take what we've learned in the previous lecture and put it into action. We’ll figure out how Airbasket smells by using the 5-point smell test framework and we’ll see if this is an idea that that we should continue with.

(Spoiler: it smells good.)

It will give you a better idea of how to apply the framework to your own ideas so that you can get going.

FOLLOW ALONG: Smell test with Airbasket
PRACTICE: Sniff test your ideas
3 pages

Like any good experiment, you need a hypothesis.

Now, this isn’t a real science (I thought I was done with that in high school...), but the idea is very similar. Your hypothesis isn’t going to be set in stone, but it will guide you through the whole process and it will make sure your experiment stays focused.

However, the way we write a hypothesis for an MVP experiment is a bit different than what you learned in school and this video will show you why. Like I said, this isn’t physics or chemistry, but we are testing something so you can’t ignore this step.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to structure your MVP hypothesis.
  • Why your MVP experiment can’t do without one.
  • What defines a good hypothesis?
  • What you should avoid in your hypothesis.
Crafting your hypothesis

Now we’re going to try it out and write a hypothesis for Airbasket.

We’ve already talked about Airbasket; we know what it’s about, we know who we want to target, and we know why it’s a great idea. But that’s not a hypothesis that we can test.

In this lecture we’re going to put exactly what we expect to happen in writing, which will help us design a structured MVP experiment with a clear focus.

FOLLOW ALONG: Airbasket's hypothesis
PRACTICE: Craft hypotheses for real companies
4 pages

We all make assumptions, all the time, about everything and everyone. Even today I assumed that: 1) People would be really be excited about an idea I had. 2) My family is ignoring me because they don't respond to text messages.

It’s just a part of being human, but people blindly trusting their assumptions has sunk many MVP experiments over the years (and relationships, but that’s for another time).

At the end of this lecture you’ll be familiar with common types of assumptions and why it’s really important to keep them in mind. You’ll know how to identify them and your MVP will be made stronger because of it.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why it’s important to think about your assumptions.
  • Common types of assumptions you’ll probably make.
  • A handy template you can use to identify your MVP assumptions.
  • Why some assumptions are more dangerous than others.
Identifying your riskiest assumption

It’s follow along time again.

This time around we’ll use the technique from the last lecture and try to identify the assumptions that we’re bringing to Airbasket. First we identify all of them and then we try to figure out which assumptions are the riskiest.

FOLLOW ALONG: Riskiest assumption for Airbasket
PRACTICE: Can you pick the riskiest assumption?
4 pages

The success or failure of your MVP experiment can be surprisingly ambiguous.

100 people gave me their email address so… are we good now?

You need to define success (and failure) from the beginning. Since this isn’t a hard science, there’s no concrete answer as to what that is so it’s largely up to you.

At the end of this lecture you’ll be familiar with some tried-and-tested metrics for defining success and failure. We’ll also cover a few handy calculations and I’ll show you what I think the best solution for defining success is.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Different minimum criteria for success.
  • Two different ways to think about success (and failure).
  • How to calculate gross profit and the lifetime value of a customer.
  • How to use your minimum criteria for success to evaluate your experiment.
Setting your minimum criteria for success

If you found the calculations in the last lecture a bit confusing, this video is for you.

I’ll show you how to calculate the gross profit and the expected lifetime value of Airbasket’s customers and products. The result will show us exactly what the experiment needs to achieve in order for it to be a viable business idea.

FOLLOW ALONG: Minimum Criteria for success for Airbasket
Section 3 Review Material
24 pages
Assembling the perfect experiment
7 questions
+ Identifying your target market (63 minutes)
10 lectures 01:02:03

We’re done with the planning phase of our experiment (congrats). Now it’s time to get going (really). We need to find subjects who will be our guinea pigs.

In this step we try to think of any types of customer groups that may be interested in what we’re offering. This will be the first step of finding our target customers and building user personas (but more on that later).

At the end of this lecture you’ll be able to figure out which customer groups to look for and you’ll be acquainted with a nifty little system to help you out with that.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Problem vs. benefit business types.
  • How to use the Does-Solves-Who System to find customer groups.
  • Peripheral customers: who they are and why they’re important.
Drill down on potential customers

So who would be interested in Airbasket? Let’s find out.

Using the Does-Solves-Who system we’ll end up with a couple of customer groups who would potentially like the idea of ordering Airbnb gift baskets online. Hopefully everything will be clear at the end of this and you’ll get a better idea of how to find potential target groups for your own business idea.

FOLLOW ALONG: Drill down on potential customers for Airbasket

“If you focus on doing a hundred things at once, you’ll do all of them badly; if you focus on ten customer groups, you won’t satisfy any of them.” - A great quote, by… me

In the previous lecture we learned how to find all potentially interested groups of customers. Now the next step is choosing your target groups. 

Your MVP experiment needs to be focused. You don’t only want to measure reactions, you want to know exactly whose reactions you’re measuring.

In this lecture we’ll talk about cutting down your list of potential customer groups and why it will help you conduct your experiment.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why it’s beneficial to only focus on a few customer groups.
  • How “Tier 1 Problems” can help you choose a customer group.
  • Additional important criteria for picking your target groups.
Triage your list down to three

So what are the three most important customer groups for Airbasket? Let’s try to find out.

We’ll start with all of the customer groups we can think of and then we’ll cut it down to three. Those will be the targets of our MVP experiment. We’ll have a “first choice” target group and can always pivot to the others if need be.

FOLLOW ALONG: Triage a list of three for Airbasket

In this lecture we’ll learn how to analyze each of the three customer groups. It’s part of a process called customer segmentation. We’re going to try to figure out who they are, what they like, and what they do. This is really the core of our customer analysis and will provide the foundation for the final step in the next lecture - creating user personas.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why it’s really important to segment each of your target groups.
  • How to analyze customer groups on three distinct levels.
Customer segmentation

So how do we segment our potential Airbasket customers?

In this Follow Along video we’ll analyze the three customer groups we chose earlier: Airbnb hosts, homeaway/VRBO hosts, and traditional BnB owners.

FOLLOW ALONG: Customer segmentation for Airbasket

And now the fun part...

In the last few lectures we’ve spent a really long time looking at our customers. Here’s where it all comes together. Basically, we’re going to make up some imaginary people. That’s kind of fun, right? I think it’s fun.

In order to focus on what your customers truly value you need to know who they are. In this lecture I’ll teach you how to craft user personas. Always having a targeted user persona in your back pocket is an amazingly useful tool for MVP building.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Exactly what user personas are.
  • How to build useful user personas.
  • How user personas help your MVP experiment.
User personas

So, what type of person would pay for Airbasket?

Meet Barbara and John – two people who would absolutely love Airbasket (hopefully… and if not, that’s also okay).

FOLLOW ALONG: User personas for Airbasket
PRACTICE: Create some user personas
7 pages
Section 4 Review Material
21 pages
The basics of identifying your customers
5 questions
+ Competitive analysis (73 minutes)
13 lectures 01:14:47

Welcome to the next stage of the MVP Mountain.

Put on your hiking boots, we’re really climbing now – it’s time for the competitive analysis. This video is just a short little introduction on the topic and the rest of this section (but it’s still important).

Intro to competitive analysis

Time is money... does that mean money is time? Anyway, the point is that we probably don’t have enough of either so we’ve got to be frugal. The competitive analysis is the first part where we actually go out and actively look for information. This leads to a problem I’ve seen crop up again and again - MVP experiments are not just meant to be lean on costs, but also on time, and lots of people end up spending way longer on this than they need to.

At the end of this lecture we’ll cover three rules that will help you stay on track by doing your competitive analysis efficiently, but in a way that it still stays relevant and useful.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The three rules of competitive analysis.
Three rules of competitive analysis

So the first step in analyzing your competitors is figuring out who they are. This is one of our longest lectures because it’s actually a lot trickier than it sounds. Your whole competitive analysis depends on you being able to search for competitors and find the ones relevant to your MVP. Here you’ll learn how to efficiently and successfully conduct thorough competitor searches online.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Professional tips and tricks for competitor analysis.
  • The three types of competitors you should look at.
  • A systematic approach to competitor analysis.
  • How to get the most out of Google search.
Searching for competitors
Using Alerts to keep tabs on competitors

In this video we’re going to apply what we learned in the last lecture to Airbasket. How does the market look? Is there a lot of competition? Is someone out there doing the exact same thing? Let’s find out.

FOLLOW ALONG: Searching for Airbasket competitors

So you’ve done your research and ended up with a big list of competitors (or a small one, if you’re lucky) – what now? Well now you have to start with your analysis, but you can’t just dive into it without a plan of action.

In this lecture we’ll talk about the questions that you need to try to answer. You have to be very careful during this step: misjudging a competitor now could lead to a huge waste of time and energy later on.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to know if you should worry about competitors.
  • Qualitative and quantitative data and why you need both.
  • Seven criteria for judging your competitors.
The seven criteria for judgement

What are your competitors up to? Well, you could spend a few hours every day stalking them to try and figure that out, or you could use the helpful stalking tool that I’ll introduce in this video. A tool that stalks websites, just to be clear.

Say hello to SEMRush. It’s a great tool for collecting quantitative data on what your competitors are up to, and it helps you see how that’s working out for them.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why SEMRush is useful for analyzing competitors and how to use it.
  • The sort of information it’s good for.
  • What metrics and data you can ignore.
Stalking your competitors: Get data-y with SEMRush

There’s no doubt that SEMRush, introduced in the last lecture, is an awesomely useful tool. But it’s not the only tool you should be using for your competitive analysis.

In this lecture we’ll take a look at some additional competitive analysis tools that provide several different analytics and metrics. Sure, they’re all really cool and useful, but they complement each other and are best used together.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to use SpyFu in your competitive analysis.
  • What information you can find on Angelist.
  • Why (and when) using Wikipedia is okay.
Stalking your competitors: SpyFu, Angellist, Crunchbase, & more

So now we know a lot of stuff about our competitors – who they are, what marketing strategy they use, and if they’ve received funding. Is that enough? Nope – there’s still empty space in our spreadsheet.

A company could attract tons of visitors to their website, have a great looking marketing plan, and be backed by that sweet investor cash – but if everyone thinks they’re kind of crappy you still have a shot.

In this lecture we’ll learn how to figure out what their customers think about them. This is a lot more qualitative so you’ll have to use a fair amount of your own subjective judgement. This lecture will show you what to base that judgment on.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How (and why) to use Twitter’s advanced search.
  • How to explore customer sentiment on Google.
  • Rules of thumb for assessing professionalism and size of your competitors.
Stalking your competitors: Sentiment analysis and the fluffy stuff

Pat yourself on the back, the competitor research part is over. The next step is analyzing all this data we collected to build a narrative for each of the competitors. This video is a quick little wrap up of the research part and an intro for the final part of the competitive analysis.

Putting it all together and building a narrative
Red oceans and blue oceans
Approve/Deny - Competitive analysis
Section 5 Review Material
45 pages
The tenants of good competitor stalking
6 questions
+ Lean customer development (158 minutes)
18 lectures 02:37:29

Hi there, MVP Mountaineers. In this section we’re going to climb one step higher on our way to the top.

We’ve looked at our competitors, we’ve segmented the market, and we’ve chosen what groups to target. This section is all about researching our (potential) customers and hearing what they have to say.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What customer development interviews are.
  • An introduction to a simple three-step customer interview process.
What are customer interviews and why do we do them?

What’s the first step of running customer development interviews? You guessed it - finding people to interview. Piece of cake, right? Well... it will be after you watch this video.

At the end of this lecture you’ll know how to start preparing your customer development interviews. You’ll know where to look for interviewees and who to ask.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Different types of potential customers for interviewing.
  • How the Drill Down System can help you find leads and get them talking.
  • What to do if your product is B2B.
The drill down list

When looking for people to contact for interviews, having a pipeline (often used in sales) is really helpful. If you don’t really know what I mean by “pipeline" that’s what this video is for. And even if you do, you should still watch it. I know, I know – I always say that. But it’s still true. Watch it.

The main point of this lecture is to help you keep your customer interview process organized and focused. It will show you how to build and manage an efficient and simple process for running customer development interviews.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to prepare your interview process.
  • A general system to help you keep track of all your interview leads.
  • An introduction to Streak: using Gmail to build your hit list.
  • An alternative to using Gmail for your hit list.
Building a hit list

So now that we got organized we’re ready to get going. Our first target is right at the top of our hit list. (It sounds so sinister…) It’s the "same problem" people! Those people who are struggling with the same problem we’re trying to solve. 

But you probably still have some questions. Where can I find these people? What the hell do I do once I’ve found one of them? How does this work with my hit list from the last video?

This lecture is about finding "same problem" people and making a big list of leads to interview. It’ll answer all those questions, and more.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to search for, and find, "same problem" people.
  • Some other places to search than Google (yes, they exist).
  • What makes someone a viable lead?
  • How to input your leads to grow your hit list with Streak.
Finding people to interview - Same problem people

In this lecture we’re going to learn how to search for - and how to find - the second targets on our hit list: influencers and our competitors’ customers. It’s a bit more difficult than searching for "same problem" people, but if you know what to look for it’ll be a walk in the park.

At the end of this lecture you’ll know how to further grow your interview lead list. Size matters... But so does quality, so pay attention.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What defines an influencer and why their opinions matter.
  • The type of influencer we’re looking for.
  • Some niche websites to help your search for influencers and competitors’ customers.
Finding people to interview - Influencers, competitors

This is the final step for building our hit list. We’re now going to look for forums about our topic with the goal of interviewing the users. In addition, we’ll try to contact those people who comment on the bottom of relevant articles or blog posts. I know, I know – your average internet comment isn’t worth much (to put it lightly). But on the plus side, people who comment online just looove giving their opinion.

This lecture will teach you how to find the last batch of relevant people for your lead list. After this you’ll be ready to start interviewing.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The final step of compiling your hit list.
  • A selection of the best forum sites to use in your search.
  • What the point of contacting these people is.
Finding people to interview - Forums, commenters, everyone else

Did the last few videos in this section sound like a lot of effort? Would you rather just spend a few bucks to save some time? Maybe you’re just feeling lazy. This video is for you. Yes, I’m talking to the couch potatoes out there. You know who you are.

In this lecture I’ll show you cheap and efficient ways to advertise in order to attract people to interview. It has pro’s and con’s (like anything else) but might be what some of you are looking for.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Using Craigslist (or something similar) to attract leads.
  • Mechanical Turk – what it is and how you can use it.
  • When this approach is useful, and what the downsides are.
  • Hiding your phone number with Google Voice and Burner.
Finding interviewees for the lazy man

This video will show you how I went about getting interviews with people for Airbasket. I managed to find a handful of people willing to interview (I’ll post the interviews shortly). This video will show you where I looked, the messages I used to contact people, and what I offered them in return.

FOLLOW ALONG: Finding interviewees for Airbasket

So now you’re sitting there with your big list of leads. If you’re anything like I was in the beginning you’re probably wondering, “Why the hell would anyone respond to me, some random guy from the internet?”

That’s what this lecture will cover: getting responses to your messages and getting them to give up their valuable time to answer your questions. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s surprisingly simple. This lecture will show you how to successfully reach out to strangers and it will teach you various tips and tricks for increasing your success rate.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Three characteristics of an email that strangers will respond to.
  • A simple template you can use for writing cold emails.
  • How to get strangers to like you (by email).
How to get them to talk

In this lecture I’ll show you how to send mass emails using the Streak extension for Gmail. If you’re doing your customer interviews properly and have a large list of leads then emailing each of them separately would take forever. That’s why having a process to help you with this is a necessity. If you’re not using Gmail or Streak, feel free to skip this video.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • A technique for messaging all your leads at once, with Streak.
  • Streak’s Mass Mail Merge.
  • Message writing tips.
  • How to email people without having their email address. (Magic, I know.)
Mass emailing with Streak

Ten videos into this section and it’s finally time to talk about conducting customer interviews. (Hey, as my grandma always said, preparation is key the key to success.) Customer development interviews are going to be new ground for a lot of you, and it’s pretty easy to mess them up.

In this lecture we’ll take a look at some important guidelines for conducting these interviews and at some common mistakes that crop up again and again. I’ve uploaded a customer interview template you can use as well, but this video should give you a good idea of what it is that you’re trying to do here.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The difference in focusing on their needs vs. their wants.
  • The three big rules of customer development interviews.
  • Common mistakes and pitfalls.
How to run a customer interview correctly
My customer interview template

After conducting all those customer development interviews, you probably have a ton of information to sift through. (And if you don’t, get back out there.) Sure, you might have a general idea of how people feel, but it’s really important that you systematically analyze the notes (or recordings) you took.

This lecture will cover what to do after you’re finished with the customer interviews. It will show you ways to organize and analyze all that information you gathered in order to learn as much as you can from it.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • A proven system for organizing and analyzing your interviews.
  • Why post-it notes are great for this.
  • The types of answers you should focus on and what to watch out for.
  • Why to keep your target groups in mind.
Now what?

Hopefully your customer interviews answered a lot of your questions and maybe they gave you a few new ones to think about. Either way, you now have an important decision to make. Did you’re MVP pass the customer interviews? Or did it fail? Answering this can be pretty ambiguous. In this short video I’ll introduce the two indicators that I use to help me with this decision.

Approve/Deny - Customer interviews

In this Follow Along video I’ll analyze the first customer interview for Airbasket. Did it go perfectly? Nope. Was he the exact type of potential customer I was looking to interview? Nope. But did I still learn a lot? Definitely.

Let’s take a look at the key takeaways. He made some interesting points, and I think some of the issues he brought up could be pretty universal. This is also a great opportunity to look back and think about how you can improve your interviewing method for next time.

FOLLOW ALONG: Airbasket: Customer #1 interview
FOLLOW ALONG: Airbasket interview #2

Let’s take a look at our second customer interview for Airbasket. Yes, we built customer personas earlier, but the vast majority of people will not fit that description perfectly. Each interview (and each interviewee) comes with their own unique upsides and downsides, which makes it tricky to decide what information to focus on and to what degree it’s relevant.

FOLLOW ALONG: Airbasket interview discussion #2
Section 6 Review Material
59 pages
Can you run a Lean interview?
6 questions
+ Creating your pitch experiment (89 minutes)
12 lectures 01:26:53

We’ve done our research, and if your idea has made it this far, it’s finally time – time to prepare the pitch experiment. This video will refresh your mind on what a pitch experiment is and why they’re so damn useful. It also acts as a great intro for this whole section (if I may say so myself).

What's a pitch experiment?

Landing pages are at the core of pitch experiments. In order to successfully run an MVP experiment you need to have your landing pages down. They are the first thing potential customers get to see. Your product can be as good as gold, but if your landing page is bad, your experiment could still fail.

In this lecture we’ll cover all the basics of landing pages. You’ll know what they are, why they’re important, and how to successfully use one.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The difference between landing pages and squeeze pages (with examples).
  • What makes them so essential.
  • How to make an efficient landing page.
  • The three critical aspects of a landing page.
Landing page 101

Learn How to Write Amazing Headlines in Only 8 Minutes!

This lecture is all about preventing people who find your landing page from leaving straight away. You need to be able to write a headline with a captivating hook in order to grab their attention.

At the end of this video you’ll have a good understanding of how to do just that. Writing catchy headlines takes practice, but simply knowing the underlying mechanics and some key guidelines will already put you ahead of the pack.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to write eye-catching headlines and captivating hooks.
  • Real life examples from successful companies.
  • How to quantify success: bounce rates.
  • The psychology behind headlines.
Conceptualizing your hook

This short video introduces a (sort of) template for writing headlines, for those of you who are stuck. It might be a little generic, but it’s a fool-proof headline format that has been used successfully again and again and again.

Using a headline template

Let’s talk about the “call to action" - another key component of our landing page. You don’t just want people to look at your page, you want them to actually do something. The purpose is in the name: “call to action” - call your website visitors to an action - “Sign up here!”

In this lecture we’ll learn about “calls to action” and why your landing page needs a big freaking button. They’re one of the main ingredients to getting conversions, and you’d be surprised how often people manage to mess them up.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What “calls to action” are and how they’re used.
  • What defines a successful “call to action”?
  • Real life examples to illustrate the point.
  • The three most common mistakes people make.
Calls to action

We’ve covered headlines and we’ve covered “calls to action”. Now we’re going to cover the last aspect of landing pages: the description of your product’s key features and benefits. 

Your headline will get you a foot in the door, buying you a few more precious seconds of the reader’s time - at least it will if you paid attention to the lecture on hooks. The next step is actually persuading them, getting them to click on your expertly designed call to action.

At the end of this lecture you will know how to write about your features and benefits in a way that leads to conversions. You’ll know what to keep in mind and you’ll know what pitfalls to avoid.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The difference between features and benefits.
  • How to turn features and benefits into conversions.
  • My two main tips for writing successful descriptions.
Features and benefits

In this lecture we’re going to cover one of the most important questions of the MVP process (and of life, but that’s an entirely different course) – how to define success. There are three levels of validation that you should use for the simple MVP experiment. After this video, you’ll know what they are and what to aim for with your experiments.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Three levels of MVP experiment validation.
  • How to move from one level to the next.
  • How the experiments for each level differ.
Three levels of validation

We’re approaching the end of this section. We’ve got all the landing page theory down; now it’s time to get at the nitty-gritty details. This is a technical lecture. It will show you how to build a launch page using Launchrock, and at the end you’ll be able to actually build a simple (and nice) page.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What Launchrock is, and how it can help your MVP.
  • How to create a pitch experiment with Launchrock.
  • The benefits of “Coming Soon."
Getting setup in Launchrock

This lecture is for those of you who want to stick out from the crowd. It’s for the people who want to customize their Launchrock pages more. (If that’s not you, feel free to skip it. I’ll see you later.)

Canva is a graphic design tool that can help you make interesting and unique images for your launch page. Heck, it’s useful for more than just launch pages, so take a look.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What parts of your Launchrock page Canva can improve.
  • A quick feature guide to make the most out of Canva.
  • A few helpful tips and tricks.
OPTIONAL: Customizing your page with Canva

It's Follow Along time, watch this video if you want to see me create a Launchrock page for Airbasket. (I know you do!) I’ll apply what we learned in the last two lectures and we’ll go through all the steps of creating a Launchrock page one by one.

FOLLOW ALONG: How I set up my Launchrock for Airbasket
Subjective vs. objective and the importance of both
Section 7 Review Material
47 pages
Landing pages, copywriting, CSPs, and more
7 questions
+ Pitching to soft targets (49 minutes)
11 lectures 50:36

Duct tape marketing – sounds fancy, right? Nah, it doesn’t. But it’s a diamond in the rough and can be extremely useful. So what is it? Watch this video and find out.

What's duct tape marketing?

At some point, you’ll probably be tempted to message the people you know about your MVP idea. I know it may look convenient, but trust me, it’s a bad idea. There are many reasons for this, and here are the biggest ones.

Why we don't message our friends

The first half of the section (more or less) will cover how to get your 100. Since we can’t ask our friends, we need to look for different places where we can share our launch page link. This video works as a short introduction before we dive further into this topic.

The game plan

The first place we’ll look at for sharing your link is the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” – reddit. It’s a wondrous place. It’s a frightening place. It can also be a very strange place. But in all seriousness, reddit is amazingly useful, interesting, and it has a huge user base.

This lecture is for those of you who have never heard of it as well as those of you who are active users. We’ll cover how to reach the types of people that are relevant to you and your project, and how to avoid sarcastic replies (tricky, but doable).

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Why your user personas are still important.
  • Reddit: what it is, why it’s useful.
  • How to find and target specific groups on reddit.
  • Reddit users, and how to not annoy them.
Getting your 100: Reddit

Let’s continue on our quest to get our 100. Next up: Hacker News and Product Hunt. Now these are two really cool sites in my opinion. They have some similarities with reddit, but they differ on a few key points and cater to very unique demographics.

This lecture will show you what those differences are and how to make the most of them. If you do it right they can be great places for spreading your landing page.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What makes Hacker News and Product Hunt different?
  • How to make a popular post on these sites.
  • Their user bases.
  • Hacking Hacker News.
  • When to use Product Hunt.
Getting your 100: Hacker News, Product Hunt

Don’t have your 100 yet? Well role up your sleeves, it’s time to hit the blogs. This is a more manual way of spreading your link, and does take a bit of extra time. But if you keep at it you will definitely see some nice results. (No one said mountain climbing was easy)

In this video I will show you how to get feedback through blogs. It’s for those of you who haven’t been able to get your 100 yet, or for those who just like to be extra thorough.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The best way to search for relevant blogs.
  • Adding value with comments.
  • The trick to making this work.
Getting your 100: Blog attack

Welcome to our final lecture on methods for spreading your link. Maybe Reddit, Hacker News, Product Hunt, and the blogs just weren’t doing it for you. That’s okay, every MVP experiment is different.

There are loads of other options out there in the web, but here are some more that you might find useful: Meetup.com and any of the multitude of forums that probably exist on your topic. These methods are a bit more manual, but maybe they’re exactly what your experiment needs.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • How to use Meetup.com.
  • Looking for useful forums.
  • Providing value in order to get feedback.
Getting your 100: Honorable mentions

Feeling sneaky? This lecture is about astroturfing. It’s one of my absolute favorite techniques and also extremely useful. This lecture is about astroturfing and will cover some basic techniques and tricks. I, of course, don’t condone this behavior one little bit... but it’s always cool to simply learn about new things, right?

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What astroturfing is and the idea behind it.
  • How to avoid looking suspicious.

So now that you’ve gotten your 100 visitors it’s time to look at the results. And if not, get back at it. You know what to do.

We’re back on Launchrock – their analytics platform is pretty useful. Do you remember the minimum criteria for success lecture? Remember lifetime values? Those are coming back. 

This lecture will show you how to find and use the qualitative and quantitative data that you’ll have gained by now. The goal is to make a decision about what to do with your MVP experiment from here on out.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What we are looking for in the page visits.
  • What insights can we gain?
  • Positive indicators and negative indicators.
  • Deciding factors.
Going over Launchrock results
Approve/Deny - Simple pitch experiment
Section 8 Review Material
33 pages
Guerilla promotion
3 questions
+ Upgrading your pitch experiment (49 minutes)
7 lectures 48:28

Remember the MVP Mountain? Well it’s time to climb higher. We’re expanding our experiment, we’re adding complexity, and we’ll get even better feedback. This video is just a short little intro to this section – enjoy.

Upgrading our test and going for more

How will we expand our MVP experiment? We’re going to move from three testable points to seven testable points. If you remember the MVP Mountain (never forget the Mountain) then you know that we want to increase the complexity of our project step by step. This video covers the first step in getting more serious with our MVP experiment.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The four new additions to our MVP experiment.
  • The motivation behind each of these additions.
  • How to best utilize them in your experiments.
Four new bells and whistles

As we get higher up the MVP Mountain, our old hiking boots just aren’t going to cut it anymore. We need real mountain climbing gear now. Sorry Launchrock. 

This lecture will cover all of our software options for expanding our MVP experiments. There are several ways that you can go about this, and each comes with its own benefits and downsides.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • A little intro to our new software: Instapage.
  • The differences to Launchrock.
  • How our approach will differ.
  • What to pay attention to when choosing from other software options.
Pick your tool

This is another technical lecture. If you want to build your next landing page with Instapage, this is for you. It’s full of nitty-gritty – super exciting – details, so if you’re the type who likes learning these sort of things on your own then feel free to skip it. 

There really is a lot you can do with this site. You don’t need to know everything, but this video will teach you all that you do need to know in order to make a killer Instapage, page.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • The must know features of Instapage.
  • Using third-party Instapage templates.
  • Which type of Instapage page is best?
Getting set up with Instapage

Remember our four new testable points? I hope you do, because this lecture will show you how to add them into your new landing page. It’s really important because this is what your viewers actually see. We’re going for a pretty classic layout here (read: tried-and-tested), but you still have to make sure that your presentation is on point.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • Incorporating each of the four new points into your page.
  • Adding and modifying your page’s images.
  • How you can fake it if you have to.
Adding your new bells and whistles

Let’s talk about A/B testing. It’s not mandatory for success, but I highly recommend you take a look. (I know, I know – I always say that. But it’s always true.) A/B testing can really be a hugely powerful tool, and that’s why all the marketing pros use this method. This lecture will introduce you to the basics and will again show you how to implement it on Instapage.

In this lecture we’re going to cover:

  • What A/B testing is and why it’s useful.
  • The basics of A/B testing.
  • Setting up A/B tests on Instapage.
Introducing A/B testing
Section 9 Review Material
27 pages
Test your marketing skills
4 questions
+ Testing your idea against paid traffic (61 minutes)
8 lectures 01:00:28
Setting up Facebook ads
FOLLOW ALONG: Making the Airbasket FB strategy
Setting up Google ads
FOLLOW ALONG: Making the Airbasket Google ads strategy
Going over your results
FOLLOW ALONG: Assessing the Airbasket results
Approve/Deny - Complex pitch experiment
Section 10 Review Material
19 pages
Rapid advertising experiments
2 questions