Day 28: Progress Is Progress Is Progress

It wasn’t until 5 AM of the first day of 2010 that it occurred to me to approach my journey in a slightly different way. See, the way I’d been looking at this whole process was I would simply think of an idea, turn it into a product, market that on the Internet and monetise it for all its worth either through advertising or a quick sell (or both).

This whole time I’ve invested my energy into thinking about the creation of the product but as of late, I’ve had an inkling in the back of my mind that I really need to work on the story behind the product first. I’ve read and listened to enough books to know that one surefire way to fail at an entrepreneurial venture is to create a product before knowing whether there is a market for it. The better approach would be to dry-market a product that I would intend create only if there was enough demand.

If we take for example, Alex Tew and his million-dollar homepage, his product was obviously a one-page site that used the concept of novelty to encourage companies to advertise on a one-of-a-kind website. History tells us that it was a great product which met the needs of its target market (the small-to-medium sized businesses that paid to advertise on it). The other component to it being so successful, of course, was the story (or promise) that introduced the product to the masses in the first place. The idea that a 21 year old could come up with a million-dollar idea within 20 minutes was too good a story for many to ignore. What’s more is that after the promise of seeing this one-of-a-kind website was made, the promise was kept when people went on to the site and saw what Alex was doing. Although I wish it was as simple as finding a market, creating a product to serve that market and then cashing cheques at the bank, I believe there is huge value in paying attention to the story that a product tells. Seth Godin, an American business author who wrote the book, All Marketers Are Liars, provides several case studies to support this.

With this in mind, I kept wondering who could help me with my product’s story. It wasn’t until later this afternoon when I was talking to my dad that he mentioned he was close friends with a gentleman who had run one of the largest advertising agencies within Australasia for the past many years. He also mentioned that he had another friend I could speak to, who’d amassed a small fortune (at least $1 million) through direct advertising and that I could meet with them at the end of next week if I wanted. Elated, I gladly accepted the invitation and he proceeded to put in the call to meet them within a week.

Surprised to see how easily my concerns were addressed and resolved, I decided to help myself to another piece of German chocolate cake and contemplate on the contrast of events that had transpired over the last 28 days. I find it ironic to think that such droughts in progress could be so quickly saturated with moments of torrential movement and spent the rest of the afternoon being grateful for the progress that was being made on what would undoubtedly have to be one of the single most difficult days to expect any progress to be gained.

Just goes to show that opportunity doesn’t take a public holiday even when it’s New Year’s Day. It also highlights that devoting so much time to reading material on Marketing, Sales and Personal Development was proving invaluable in correcting my course as I continue on my 80-Day Journey.

With that in mind, I’m already loving 2010.