Bonjour! Good to have you back. Have you ever forgotten to click the “record” button when you and your friends get together to record a podcast? Don’t worry; James hasn’t, either.
Jeremy introduces this episode’s topic, “How do you test and measure new business ideas or products?” He opens the discussion by stating that he’s fired some people in the last forty-eight hours. Maybe some of you took him up on the offer to hire him as a freelance executioner? If you haven’t, he seems willing and ready to fire people for you; you should get in touch.
The group talks about various ways to test and experiment with business ideas. Kevin and James shared about a new product experiment that’s currently in development. Of course, they didn’t give any details, which made it a bit boring, to be honest. If you’re absolutely looking for some nuggets out of that part of the conversation, James suggests that one way of testing ideas is to see if your current user base has a problem that the idea solves. Jeremy also observes that one method of deciding is a simple risk versus reward examination.
Rob tells a story, surprise, about someone who is really smart giving him a packet of documents explaining where The Alderman Group should go in the future. This isn’t the first time he’s mentioned this mysterious figure, and he was a bit dodgy when asked if it may have been a future version of himself, al a Back To The Future II. This mentor explained that a good way to think about expanding your business is asking: “What are we paying for that we could do better?” If you know your industry, chances are you know enough to be dangerous in adjacent or ancillary industries that support yours as well. This shadowy “maybe future Rob” mentor seems really smart. On second thought, maybe it wasn’t future Rob…
Somehow, Rob gets to the topic of playing ice hockey; apparently it’s really important to skate “where the puck is going rather than to where it is.” Eventually he relates that he spent an hour or two a day for the past several months considering where his business should go and arrived at his infamous “pivot.” What is this “pivot” you ask? Well, stop asking, because Rob ain’t telling. There are secrets all over this podcast. I feel like I’m listening to a much less interesting version of Serial.
Jeremy tries to save us from the hockey analogy by interrupting Rob and asking about when it’s better to stay focused on what you’re doing well, rather than branching off into a new business venture. Jeremy introduced the topic and then most of the way through the discussion decides to play devil’s advocate and suggest that maybe you shouldn’t branch out into anything new after all.
Kevin talks way too much in this episode, perhaps compensating for the fact that he was basically dead when the previous episode was recorded. I don’t think he’s been able to find a real balance yet. Hopefully he will soon, for all our sakes.
Rob relates a heartfelt apology and gives us all a well-deserved lesson in being humble. To be honest, it makes all the other hosts’ recommendations seem a bit shallow in comparison. I decided to take some time to reflect upon how I can become more humble and less self-serving. I’m just kidding, you can find my rebuttal here:
Jeremy phones in his recommendation this week with a shameless plug for a Wal-Mart plug for his phone. He must have been a Boy Scout because he takes the motto very seriously. Or at least he thinks that you should. To be fair, Jeremy is a very busy man and rolled up late to the recording, so perhaps his lack of preparedness should be expected.
James recommends a blog on leadership by Chris Lema. I don’t have anything bad to say about Chris; he’s pretty awesome. He’s the kind of boss you really want: insightful, intelligent, good-looking, you get the picture. If you see an ad for “AIB show notes writer” on indeed.com, then you know where I went.
Kevin suggests using a program for Mac called Moom that allows you to automate window arranging. If you struggle with getting all your program windows ordered, Moom may solve your problem. But, let’s face it, if you have that many windows open at once, you’re probably just goofing off anyway. Also, his recommendation is only for Mac OSX. Talk about lazy; he couldn’t even be bothered to research a Windows alternative? Typical.