Dan Martell discovered computers in rehab. After he overcame his problems with drugs, he taught himself to program. From there, he started building businesses. Eventually, he travelled to San Francisco to learn everything he could from the startup scene.
You might recognize his former product: Flowtown, and his current one: Clarity. In this episode Dan shares his story from the beginning, and how he overcame a difficult beginning to build his own products.
“I got the idea for Clarity because I had people emailing asking me to take me to coffee, needing help. I wanted to help them, but I couldn’t help them. I wished there was a way to get their information, and call them back when I was free. I built it on Twilio, which would proxy my number (so no one found my cell number)”
“It took me 2 days to build that first prototype that worked.”
“I tweeted out: ‘If you need advice on your startup, give me a call'”
“I felt like: this is what the internet is supposed to do!”
How did you know people would pay for it? “Once it was out there, I was getting too many calls. So I put up a paywall. It was crazy; people started paying [big numbers].”
“The world rewards courageous decisions; I honestly believe that.”
“What does a hit look like? Retention. When someone uses it, and keeps using it. Even better: if they also tell other people to use it.”
There’s always this confusion as to what would people would pay for.
“I didn’t want to admit I was building a two-sided marketplace.”
“I don’t need engineers to be more productive, I just need to stop asking them to build stupid stuff that nobody needs.”
“Nobody, listening to this podcast does more customer development than I do.”
“What’s the key to a good customer development interview? DON’T SELL.”
“Getting someone to pay is true customer validation.”
“Once you’ve created and keep a customer, you’ve got a real business.”
“I want to index people’s brains, like Google indexes text.”
“People are listening to this podcast because conversations carry a lot more context.”
“Find 10 people that will pay you money.”
“The question is not can you build it it’s should you build it__?”
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