By success, I mean I made money to support one person (myself). Most entrepreneurs do not even get this far. And what I do is no secret. For every new product I launch, I have to figure out how to get to the first $1000. And if I am unable to figure that out, it is not worth doing. For Sapiengraph, it is to get to the first 10000 SGD in monthly revenue. I 10x-ed the target because I have a larger team.
I hate it when people tell me "oh just go do that thing."
Because if I knew how to accomplish that objective, I would not be reading this article. So I will elaborate on how you can get to your first $1000 or $10,000.
First, you need to offer something that your target audience will find it stupid to refuse.
- For Sapiengraph, it is a CCTV camera that will cost $50, with no installation fee.
- For Gom VPN, it is a free VPN that let you watch porn in one-click
- For Kloudsec, it was a single DNS change to speed up your website and get an HTTPS SSL cert, for which your SEO results will improve
- For Javelin Browser, it was a browser on Android that blocked all ads without any plugins
Noticed something? Everything that I offered was one-step away.
- Sapiengraph CCTV is a small $50 payment by credit card
- Gom VPN installs in Chrome in one-click
- Kloudsec can be added to your website with one DNS update
- Javelin Browser is one app that removed all website ads without rooting your phone
Because it is so easy, it became "why the hell not"?
- Why the hell not will I not want a CCTV?
- Why the hell not will I not want a VPN?
- Why the hell would I not want to rank higher in Google?
- Why the hell would I not want an ad-free experience on Android?
If you are like me, and you are only interested in hyper-scale business models. Then figure out the market opportunity first before considering the trojan horse strategy to gain market share. These were my mistakes:
- I have a few million users in Gom VPN -- but a larger VPN business was not a hyper-scale market opportunity.
- I had a million users who downloaded Javelin Browser -- but how do you make money with browsers without doing anything unethical?
Then, learn how to pick a market opportunity for which you see the first dollar right with the first user.
- I built Kloudsec to build the operating system on the cloud. For example, imagine that you can add Zendesk widget on your website without any programming. Just inject it from Kloudsec.
- And I succeeded in growing that to 1400+ websites.
- But I failed with getting most of them to pay (the same problem that Cloudflare has).
Specifications for the trojan horse
To get a trojan horse that will have you penetrate the market, you will need:
- a product that has an obvious benefit to an obvious problem
- takes no more than one step to adopt your product/solution
- make money right from the first user
I noticed that NuMoney ticked a lot of the right checkboxes here. I believe it is why it took off. With Sapiengraph, I am looking forward to seeing how our CCTV strategy will play out.