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The Failure Plan — First Product Series #4 (FS038)

The whole month of January we’ve put together a series of podcasts to help you think through making your first product. Omitting one important question from the myriad stories, best practices and advice…


Like Jenny Blake mentioned in her awesome story: it takes so much bravery to put a page up and ask people you don’t know to pay you money for something you’ve made.

So let’s talk about why that takes guts, why it’s a vulnerable to do this stuff… because failure is possible.

In this final episode of the First Product Series we want to walk through the idea of failure with you… help you navigate it. It’s not as scary as you may think.

What would make your product a failure?

What will you do if it fails?

If you sell exactly $0 on launch day, but make 30 sales over the next year is it still a failure?

The answers to these questions will help you make better decisions NOW… before the launch of your thing.

This is the fourth and final installment in the First Product Series. Throughout this series we’ve brought on successful business builders to share stories about making their first product.

It’s our hope that hearing these folks share their stories will help you realize an idea and a plan for your very own “shitty first draft” of a product to grow and improve over time.

(Find the other parts of the series right here: part 1, part 2, part 3)

I’ll ask you the same question I asked Corbett and Caleb: if you had these on CDs in your car, who’s interview do you think would listen to the most?

Guests on todays show:

Tara Gentiles — Business strategist and creator of the Customer Perspective Process for building truly social business models.

Brett Kelly — Founder and creator of Evernote Essentials. He literally wrote the book on Evernote (and it was so good Evernote hired him).

Listen to the episode:

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“I’m working to set my expectations up front and define failure on my own terms”

More From The First Product Story Series

  1. Finding The Idea for Your First Product
  2. Pricing Hangups
  3. Conversion Essentials
  4. The Failure Plan (this one)
  5. 13 Successful Founders Share First Product Stories

Show Notes

Writing Wednesdays: Sticking Points“Have you ever hit the wall? I have. Over and over. On any project–I don’t care how dazzlingly it starts out–inevitably the truck runs into a lake of goo.”

Know When to Quit, Pivot or Persevere (FS017)“We all face what Eric Ries calls the hardest part of any startup: deciding whether to quit, pivot or persevere. Why is it the hardest part?”

What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Business (FS016)“Some of our favorite indie entrepreneurs share their most important mistakes and lessons learned.” Our most popular episode of the show thus far.

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