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Just Fucking Ship by Amy Hoy

08/05/2020

A scene from last week

Loved the comparison with the Thanksgiving. There are set of tools to make a product for the audience.

In other words, it’s not a big fucking deal.

Always consider you guest

Things we consume are personal. So when you are thinking of making something don't forget to ask.

– What do these people like?
– What do they need?

Respect your customers time by making the product less time consuming (e.g, tightly focused book).

Learn what they need & want. Learn what they hate, what makes them sick, what they never value enough to pay for. Learn what they do buy. Apply it to your paid products and your free stuff, too — from blog posts to apps to books to conferences. That’s how you craft a menu (and a product) that will appeal.

Set a deadline… and mean it

Product launches require anticipation, and anticipation requires a date & time. And you can’t launch what you haven’t fi nished. So pick a deadline. And mean it.

Don't think of the deadline as a deadline, more like a challenge.

Finding that no matter how many deadlines you set, you never meet any of them? Refer back to that “Do you really want it?” sidebar in the introduction.

Work Backwards

Make a plan, or in other words, draw a map, in reverse.

These questions are the place to start: – What’s the end result look like, exactly? – How many chapters/videos/features? – What is absolutely required, what’s nice to have? – How perfect does it have to be? – How long will each of these take? – What has to come fi rst? – What do I need to prepare? – How long will that take? – What do I need to fi nd out? – How long will that take? – How much, or how little, def i nes success? And who controls that?

Get Crispy

You need to get specific

Even given the most modest and boring topic in the world, you could go on for hundreds and hundreds… and hundreds… and hundreds… of pages. Charles Darwin wrote a 673-page book on barnacles. And that was just volume 1!

Start Small

Start small. Start with a single, perfect dish. You can always go bigger. You don't lose a thing.

One thing I keep noticing with myself at least is that I love examples. I think this is true for other people. It is so much more easier to learn by example, when you can see how one applies a method that is being taught.

Start with the tiny little things you can finish, and especially those you can use to make bigger things, and make you feel good about making actual forward motion.

Sometimes when I finish something I don't even take time to celebrate, I just move onto the next thing, forgetting that the previous was done. Again that's me, but it might be a recurring thing with entrepreneurs. Chasing the next thing.

Remember, always consider your guest. They don’t care if you used a pre-built library instead of writing all of your code from scratch. They don’t care if your Wordpress theme is 100% original.

This is soooo crucial to learn, but hard to implement.

Track your progress

There’s nothing as gratifiyng as watching your work shape up before your very eyes.

With software, writing, design, teaching — the process is far less tangible, less final. It takes a lot longer. It’s easier to get dispirited. It can feel like you’ve spent a lot of time doing nothing, and yet you’re still not done.

Use kanban to drag things along. Track your time.

Shop the shelf

Remember — your job isn’t to just “make a thing the bestest” — it’s to just fucking ship, because the goal is to get your project or product into the hands of someone who will use it.

Don't reinvent the wheels.

DON’T invent membership systems, billing systems, ecommerce delivery platforms, from-scratch Wordpress themes, marketing tools — use what’s already out there. DO shop around and use an off-the-shelf component. The riskiest part of your project is before you ship. That’s where most failure happens, before there’s even a chance to succeed.

The problem with this is that you have to pay for the things that are out there. If I buy all the things off the shelf, I might end up loosing more. I guess that means I'm more about limiting my downside, rather than increase upside.

Good products grow over time

Freckle is still getting better all the time. IndyHall started as a group of friends working together in someone’s restaurant, for free; 7 years later, they’ve got over 300 members and a permanent 10,000 square foot off i ce. Getting Things Done, the productivity book juggernaut, started as little live workshops. So did Dale Carnegie’s perennial smash hit How to Win Friends and Inf l uence People; Dale started teaching at the YMCA, because nobody else would hire him. Countless great books have started as single essays, and many great paintings started as sketches. And remember that fi rst iPod? It was a huge clunker, with so many problems. But that’s what made the Apple that we know today. If there’d been no iPod, there’d be no iPhone, no iPad… no Apple.

Great things often start small, really small.

Choose your difficulty setting

Before you start on your project, look out for:

– moving parts
– dependencies
– crazy big ambitions
– complexity
– gatekeepers, whose approval you “require” – for people who might let you down (on purpose or otherwise)
– for reinventing the wheel

Take on that extra risk intentionally or not at all. And def i ne a reasonable success metric. Then aim all your effort towards achieving it. Choose your diff i culty setting carefully.

Mise en place

Eliminating in-the-moment decisions is one of the most powerful techniques in your arsenal. The fewer times you must pause to think, the more you can do.

Planning !

Cut without remorse

A non-product, hidden away from the world, waiting in stasis for some seemingly mandatory frills? Virtually worthless.

So, now that you know what’s necessary vs what’s simply nice, get ready to cut. Life will interfere with your plans. You will have to choose. You will have to cut. Do it. Get on with it. Don’t look back. And remember: that’s what separates a product from merely a fun idea.

Its not nearly that big of a deal

Maybe you feel like you don’t know where to start, probably because it feels like you could be doing a million different things, and/or you can’t picture the outcome.

Maybe this, maybe that. I can go around trying to explain my inactivity, or I could just go and do stuff.

Everybody starts off sucking and must work to get better.

Firm up your worst case scenario

Less rarely, something terrible happens that is entirely out of your control. An act of god, in the legal terminology. An earthquake wipes out your data center. An invasion destroys the government and thus the economic base. An entire industry explodes overnight.

there are a handful of worst case scenarios that will happen no matter what you do, so you can either do nothing 83 for the rest of your life, or simply get on with it. You can’t control the universe.

Exploit the Pauli Principle

You can’t reap the gains of shipping early and the gains of waiting to ship til perfection. You can’t both ship and unship. Every time we ship and make money, there are things we could have done to make more money than we did. But which is better: – a good amount of real, quantif i able money now – more theoretical money, potentially in the future No contest, my friends.

Your next launch

Here’s how I (almost) always launch: 1. 2-3 blog posts 2-4 weeks before, to build up my list 2. and 3-5 emails starting 2 weeks or so before, to build anticipation, each one leading to the other
3. announcing the launch date & time 2-3 days ahead
4. reminding the list about the launch a few hours ahead…
5. emailing once more when the lanuch begins

All that changed was my launch content: I followed my own recipe to build awareness and desire, and anticipation for the specif i c date and time.

Novelty is just one way to get somebody’s attention. It’s not the only way.

You don't have to relaunch only when you have something new to show. You can do this anytime to want.

After all, launch content — writing, video, emails, samples — are just mini products that you make & ship and for free. The launch itself is a component, made of other components, made of atoms.

This is a great way of looking at launches. Instead of just posting on Hackernews and Producthunt, your produce a bunch of smaller products/pieces of content for free.

This is clearly true and is very useful for launches, but people can feel very tired after producing the original product. Now they have to do more work. Although, that is just a thought. Writing this down I understand that it sounds pretty silly.

For best results, apply all the JFS principles to your next launch:

  • Break it down into component parts
  • Start Small
  • Shop the Shelf
  • Work Backwards
  • Make every version better
  • Choose your difficulty setting

Creating good habits

  1. Keep good habits top of mind Think and write that bad habits that stop you from JFSing. Write habits you want to achieve (and why).

  2. Use mindfulness to spot automatic behaviors

Mindfulness practice is the best way to spy on your brain so you can be sure it’s doing the right thing.

  1. Build new habits.

Appendix

Shipping is great therapy.

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