Noah Kagan (founder of Appsumo.com) gave a 3 hour presentation (was meant to be 2 hours) at Majoran Distillery on Tuesday night that I attended. I didn’t make any detailed notes but just wanted to give some of my general thoughts and key takeaways from the event.
First of all, big props to James Martin (Insider Guides) for getting Noah to come out to Adelaide (he was originally going to just do the eastern states) and of course to the Majoran Distillery (Adelaide’s tech coworking space) for hosting the event.
- Validate, Validate, Validate – This was Noah’s key point I think (more thoughts on that below)
- Winners keep trying – I think this in combination with ‘validate’ above is a pretty good recipe for success
- Always define your goals – if you have clear goals in mind you can adapt your approach based on feedback and results rather than being ‘married’ to your approach
- Always define the problem you are solving for your customers
- Don’t worry about competition – every business idea has already been thought of and the existence of competitors helps to validate that there is money to be made in that market. Further, even if the perfect solution to a problem already exists out there, if your target customer doesn’t know about it yet you can present your solution and still get paid
Noah kept on coming back to the need to validate your business idea before you spend too much time and money on it. He also stressed that validation requires money actually changing hands rather than people just saying ‘I would be interested’ or ‘I would buy it’ because what people say and what people do, especially when it comes to money, can be very different.
His suggestion seemed to be that if you can’t validate your idea within 48 hours its not worth pursuing. I’m not sure if this was a gimmick to illustrate his point or he was actually serious. I think if everyone took this advice, many of the successful businesses around today wouldn’t exist. He also mentioned that he is personally risk averse so I think perhaps this is his preferred and recommended approach to minimise risk.
The presentation also included Noah giving feedback/workshopping three business ideas from people in the audience. His approach to this was extremely direct and in your face and I felt uncomfortable watching it so props to those who actually had to sit in the hot seat while he grilled them. I felt his method was a bit messy and probably could have been improved. On a few occasions I felt he went too far and made jokes that were a bit mean which was disappointing.
All in all it was a good night with a lot of great takeaways. If you missed it, I suggest you watch the video below and sign up to our mailing list so you don’t miss any Adelaide Business Events.