I don't feel so good...

Ben Lindsay
December 24, 2020

I ended last week on a high, with a real sense of direction in what I'm doing.....today less so. I feel like this is recurring. In fact, at the start of last week I felt the same. This seems to be a cycle I fall into.

Find a process → do lots of work → find something exciting → stumble across a competitor or barrier → spiral into worry.

Last week I started looking at an idea that I thought had real legs; a marketplace for no-code templates. It was perfect. I love building with no code tools, I didn't know of any universal marketplaces, and people make buckets online selling templates for things. There have even been a flurry of makers launching paid notion templates on product hunt recently.

This week I feel much less confident about that idea. It seems some other bright individuals have also had this idea. They're also a good way along in turning their platforms into a reality. This doesn't write it off for sure, but to say I'm having second thoughts about attaching so much of my heart to it would be an understatement.

I feel a bit like I'm back at square one with ideas, but really, I probably never visited square two. I just got a bit carried away in my head with what this idea could grow into without properly evaluating it as a route forward.

I was thinking of ditching my 'build a lot of landing pages and test them' idea because I was feeling like it was too far to spread myself. I now think the real problem was that I was building pages out of process. I came up with 38 ideas so I should make pages for some of them right? Wrong.

This is a school boy error, and I mean that in the most literal sense. I'll save my thoughts on traditional education for another rant but we're basically trained to game systems to our own detriment. What I should really be doing is ranking whether something is worth working on based off by my own standard, rather than picking the best of a bad bunch.

Building and testing 6 landing pages is still probably too much work for me if I'm being realistic. But two? three? I can probably do that if I really like them.

I also need to get out of my own head and talk to people. Coming up with ideas and comparing them to criteria is all well and good but really, talking to people that might want those ideas is going to be far more useful. This week I want to talk to at least 20 people about ideas. Someone hold me to that please.

One thing I did take out of last week is that I really want (and probably need) some exposure to some high class individuals. People who have been there and worn the t-shirt with respect to building the type of business that I want to. I have dubbed this group, the 'big bwois'.

Rahul from superhuman is someone I'd really love to talk to, he's a big bwoi for sure. Superhuman as a company actually really baffles me. They've been able to raise millions of dollars, build a cult following, and paint themselves as an authority on how to build a sucessful startup, all with the outward image of just a landing page. THEY DO EMAIL. How do you build up so much interest around something that so many perceive to be boring or a chore.

Rahul is a hypebeast, I want to steal his knowledge, but so does everyone else. How do you get a conversation with the guy that everyone is trying to talk to? I'm a big fan of unique intros. The world can be terribly boring, and with a 5 step blog post on everything from putting on your socks to email outreach, people tend to fall into patterns. If I were Rahul I'd probably be sick of conversation suitors, nevermind those using the same tired tricks and copy.

If I want to chat to him, I'm going to have to pull off something out of the ordinary. I've been toying with the idea of building a copy of the superhuman homepage but rebranded to superhu-ben. Whether this is actually a good idea or just a little funny idea I had I'm not sure. Does it matter if it's entertaining? Not sure.

In an ideal world, someone like Rahul would give me a job for a few days a week. I'm sure I could learn a lot from the marketing team at superhuman. Bit of a pipe dream but maybe not too far fetched.

Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt, is another interesting person. I've known about Ryan for some time, but he particularly peaked my interest after I read a post from First 1000 about how Ryan got hist first 2000 users. I was drawing so many parallels between the way he built his community and how I could build a marketplace for no code templates. But not only that, he started so lean, with just a mailing list. I always really struggle to strip things back so for me this is amazing.

Interestingly, talking to Ryan seems easier than I thought. At least at first glance. Someone recently introduced me to Clarity, which is a really weird platform that you can pay for people's time on. Paying for time in itself isn't weird. What's weird is the calibre of people on the site and how much they charge PER MINUTE.

Ryan is on clarity, and you can buy a minute of his time for $5. That's quite a lot of money, but in all honestly, at $75 for 15 minutes, I think it's a steal. People exposure has had such a huge effect on how I think about fundamentals. It's priceless.

Whether it will be as straightforward as this or not is yet to be seen. I imagine I'm not the only person that has found Ryan on Clarity. So there's still going to have to be a strong enough pull for him to want to talk to me, but we'll see!

I'm waiting for now though. If I do get to talk to Ryan, I want to make sure I can extract as much value as possible from him, so I'd like to be actively working on something.

Of course, these are all just thoughts right now. Looking back on my other posts so far, I'm reluctant to write about my specific processes or plans. Those things change so often and are so variable that they're almost applicable to nothing else. Don't hold me to it, but I can see my writing moving much more in the direction of thoughts and ideas over steps. So buckle up, because we might get a little deep.

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