Jim YuanEntrepreneur, Writer, Consultant, Digital Nomad

Entrepreneur, Freelance Management Consultant, Writer, Hacker. B2B Marketing. Commercial strategy. Sales and Marketing. Writing. 2 Sided Marketplaces. Bitcoin. Ethereum.

Recent Answers

Agree with earlier poster, a good way to do this is to crowd fund. You can describe the program you want to build and your goals, maybe make a video or two, including stories of some of the children you want to help. That should get the crowd funding interest started.

You need to work hard to get to the point where you can earn $100 everyday...it will not be like turning on a switch suddenly. After some initial set up, and some hard work, you may get up to the $100 per day mark. Some potential ways:
1) Get a large following on a blog site or on social media such as youtube. Work with retailers and affiliates to promotes products.
2) Develop a series of tutorial videos about a subject matter that you have expertise in which also happens to be in high demand. Sell for $25-$50 per lesson download/access on sites like Udemy.
3) Start an online e-commerce shop on Shopify, Amazon, eBay, or via your own commerce site. Find relatively high margin products to sell, and use drop shipping to avoid inventory.

A good question. The fact that you don't have revenue yet may be result of a number of factors. Without knowing more specific information about your product, key customer segments, your team, and other key data, it's not possible to give you a definite continue/or shut down recommendation.

That said, generally, I would recommend adding a third decision point - the pivot. Many businesses don't see the expected returns after initial launch or MVP testing, and decide to pivot to a different direction, ultimately finding success. The pivot can be a slightly different product (product-based pivot), a slightly different market segment (market-based pivot), or both.

Here are some recommended action items to help you uncover extra insight as you examine whether to continue, close down, or pivot:
1) How did you organize the initial customer's interviews? What kinds of questions did you ask them, and were any of them leading questions?

2) Review your core customer segment(s) at this point. How did you determine a product-solution fit to them? Are the customer segments clear and specific enough?

3) Did you run a MVP (minimum-viable product) to test potential product-market fit? Were any findings contrary to your initial assumptions?

4) Consider running another set of quick interviews. Determine any differences between the new interviews versus the initial customer interviews.

5) Make some hypotheses on the key assumption or factor that could have contributed to zero revenue. Run a basic test to confirm that hypothesis. If correct, you may be able to pivot by eliminating that factor or substituting with something else. For example, pretend that your core assumption is that young urbanite foodies will appreciate recommendations on best dishes. If that assumption turns out false, then you may need to consider pivoting to a different customer segment (professionals who don't have time to research the best dishes?)

6) Examine your pricing model. How did you determine it? What tests have you made? Try running a few simple tests with alternative pricing schemes, and see if anything changes.

7) What is your current monthly burn rate, and how long can you project to last at this rate?

For two sided marketplaces, I recommend having strategies for the following areas:
1) Strategies for solving the chicken-and-egg problem in the beginning, as many multi-sided marketplaces fail to gain traction due to this problem. Buyers need sellers in order to show interest; sellers need buyer in order to come. Some strategies to solve the chicken-and-egg problem:
a) Determine which side "makes or breaks" your business, and find key initial anchor tenants on that side. Usually, it's the buyers, as sellers will go where there's demand. Pay/give incentives to those initial anchor tenants if you have to.
b) Keep it to an initial segment or two in order to establish critical mass. Don't be all over the place. Establish a niche first where your buyers and sellers can meet.
c) Fake it till you make it. The founders can pretend to be buyer/or seller in the beginning. Also make some convincing "fake" profiles so that the marketplace does not look to empty.

2) Strategies that create and maintain high value-add interactions between all sides in the marketplace. The marketplace needs to help buyers and sellers capture consistent value effectively and efficiently. Once you solve the chicken-and-egg problem, you need your users to stick. Some strategies:
a) Create a reputation system to ensure quality buyer and seller interactions.
b) Give your sellers adequate tools for creating products and services.
c) Optimize how your buyers can best search and filter the products, services, and sellers they need.
d) Be very clear how buyers and sellers can transact for goods and services. Make the process simple and easy to follow.

Some suggestions on how to pitch to journalists:
1. Pitch with a very interesting sentence headline (the title and headline needs to capture the journalist's attention and interest)
2. Convey an interesting storyline or something that is impactful. Everyone likes a good story.
3. Be concise and use associations that journalists can relate to. E.g. maybe your startup is the Uber for X or Airbnb for Y.

Some suggestions on how to search for jouralists:
1. Search for big publication's twitter account and find associated journalists' twitter handles. Send a tweet to the journalist. Concisely summarize your pitch in 140 characters.
2. Search for big publication's LinkedIn account and find associated journalists' Linkedin profiles. Send an Inmail. Refer to previous section on best practices in pitching.

Some suggestions:
1) Create a Google Adwords campaign
2) Create a Facebook campaign. Facebook campaign setup page gives you a great hack to estimate the market size based on interests and demographics.
3) Apply SEO (search engine optimization) tactics, such as:
a) Highlighting key words on your site
b) Optimizing design and code in your site for easy search and access
c) Include a discussion forum and comments section on your site, in order to increase engagement level and produce more keywords from customers

Another way to find prospective clients is to go on housing forums and even Airbnb.com or HomeAway.com. Do what Airbnb did when they started to growth hack - namely, they posted on Craigslist and got a lot of customers that way. Do via Airbnb what Airbnb did via Craigslist.

By definition, the blockchain is itself an immutable, distributed, and decentralized global database. So the answer is yes. Each message or transaction can contain a data field that is passed through. That said, don't think of blockchain as a traditional database, and don't try to replicate traditional database functionality.

You can use a convenient online legal service site such as legal zoom. These online legal services will be able to help you register in any of the 50 states, and you will also be able to file taxes and annual reports through them. The services fees will vary by state.

If you are considering converting your LLC to a C-corporation or S-corporation, it is recommended that you consider Delaware. Else, if you just want an LLC, your home state is fine. You can also consider Texas, Wyoming, Nevada, Washington, and South Dakota, which have no state corporate income taxes.

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