All posts by Scott

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Make Your Own Damn Luck

Successful people are lucky. Some will tell you luck is where preparation meets opportunity, and they were prepared. Definitely true. But it’s more than that. Successful people write books and do interviews to tell us how they made it, and we try to replicate their success. This doesn’t work, because you won’t have the same

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Trying to Focus on the System, Not the Results

I recently heard Noah Kagan talk about his Proactive Dashboard. It’s basically a way to track metrics on what you are actively doing, not the results of those actions. For example, you track how many blog posts you write each week, instead of how much traffic you get. Or you track how much time you

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Delayed Gratification

Most of the things you do when working on products won’t have any immediate effect. This is good and bad, when money is coming in you can take the week off and it won’t have any significant effect on your paycheck. When money is not coming in, there’s almost nothing you can do to stimulate

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The Great Content Marketing Experiment

Since starting Holler Box, I’ve decided to make content marketing my #1 channel for customer acquisition. I’m considering it a big experiment, and a way to learn about content marketing. My goal is to build traffic to 5 figures per month in one year. It’s a lot of work for no money, and I don’t

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Feeling Down About a Lack of Success

When you work really hard on something and you don’t see success right away, it can leave you feeling down. Feeling like you’re not doing the right things. Like you’re not as smart as you thought you were. Like you’re never going to see the upside. It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re feeling this

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Interview with Danny Van Kooten of MailChimp for WordPress

I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Van Kooten, author of the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. With over 900,000 active installs, and almost 8 million downloads, it’s one of the most popular plugins of all time. Danny has built a very successful business selling a premium version of his free plugin, and I wanted to

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The 3 Most Important Questions: Why, Who, and How

Every product owner must be able to answer these 3 questions about their product: 1. Why does it exist? 2. Who is it for? 3. How are you going to reach them? These questions are critical to answer succinctly. Without a why, it’s difficult to tell people why they should buy your product. Without a

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Just Ship It

If you want to launch a product, build it quickly and ship it. Too often we get caught up in perfectionism and self-doubt, and end up over-engineering our MVP. Don’t spend months in a vacuum making something perfect that nobody wants. It would be much better to release something imperfect that has potential, and iterate

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Products Must Solve Problems

Products are a game of problem solving. Find a problem, then build a solution. Sometimes you just want to build a cool thing, but you don’t start with the problem. If you have a perfect solution to a problem nobody has, you lose. The sooner you lose the better, because then you can get to

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A Brief History of the WordPress Product Business

In January of 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a shiny piece of metal in his Sacramento lumber mill. He showed the metal to his boss John Sutter, and the two discovered that it was gold. Sutter tried to keep the discovery a secret in order to avoid endangering his agriculture business. He failed. In the

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