How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend (Examples: AppSumo, Mint, Chihuahuas)

Noah Kagen in a green t-shirt, with folded arms and smiling.

Noah Kagan built three multi-million dollar online businesses before turning 28. He also looks great in green. (Photo: Brandon Wells)

I first met Noah Kagan over rain and strong espressos at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View, CA. It was 2007. We were both in hoodies, had a shared penchant for the F-bomb and burritos, all of which led to a caffeine-infused mindmeld.

It would be the first of many.

The matchmaker then introducing us was the prophetic and profane Dave McClure, General Partner of 500 Start-ups, which is now headquartered just down the street from Red Rock.

Mr. Noah has quite the start-up resume.

  • Founder of Sumo, free marketing tools that help websites get more traffic (500,000 users)
  • Founder of AppSumo, loved by entrepreneurs and moms everywhere (900,000 users)
  • Employee #30 at Facebook, where he lost $170 million
  • Employee #4 at Mint
  • Previously worked for Intel (where he frequently took naps under his desk)
  • Co-founder of Gambit, an online gaming payment platform and a multi-million dollar business

He also helped pour fire on both the 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Body launches.

The purpose of this post is simple: to teach you how to get a $1,000,000 business idea off the ground in one weekend, full of specific tools and tricks that Noah has used himself.

He will be your guide…

Enter Noah

For some reason, people love to make excuses about why they haven’t created their dream business or even gotten started.

This is the “wantrepreneur” epidemic, where people prevent themselves from ever actually doing the side-project they always talk about over beers.

The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time building the foundation for a successful business. In most cases, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple days.

Think I’m joking?

We made the original product for Gambit in a weekend.

“WTF?!” Yes, a weekend.

In just 48 hours, some friends and I created a simple product that grew to a $1,000,000+ business within a year.

Same deal for AppSumo. We were able to build the core product in one weekend, using an outsourced team in Pakistan, for a grand total of $60.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not opposed to you trying to build a world-changing product that requires months of fine-tuning. All I’m going to suggest is that you start with a much simpler essence of your product over the course of a weekend, rather than wasting time building something for weeks… only to discover no one wants it.

I know what you’re thinking: “Yes, Noah, you are SO amazing (and handsome), but what can I do this weekend to start my own success story?”

Here are the steps you can take right now to get started on your million dollar company:

Step 1: Find your (profitable) idea.

At this stage, you are simply looking for something that people are already willing to spend money on. So grab a seat and write down a list of ideas that you think might be profitable. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, try using the methods below to speed the research process along:

Review top sellers on Amazon. Find products that already have guaranteed customers, then build something complementary. A good example of this is Dodo making a gorgeous $60 case to buy for your iPad (which costs over $500, and over 5 million sold).

Think of all the things you do on a daily basis. Anything done more than once has potential for a product or service to improve the process. For me, one of those products was a mirror I could hang in the shower. It saves me tons of time while shaving, and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

Be cognizant of products you use and frequently complain about. Before Gambit, we were constantly asking our payment tool partners for certain features, yet our requests were always rejected. That was the impetus for us to create Gambit for our own games.

Check completed listings on eBay. This allows you to see how well certain products are selling. It’s also an easy way to measure sale prices of items and gauge the overall percentage of the market that’s receiving bids (i.e. in demand).

Look for frequent requests on Craigslist gigs. These listings are from people actively searching for someone to give their money to in exchange for particular services. Try searching for certain keywords (e.g. marketing, computers, health) and keep track of the total number of results displayed. Evaluate the most popular keywords and see if you can create a product or service around those requests.

Explore popular backed projects on on Kickstarter. People are already raising their hand for things they are interested in. What else could you do that’s similar?

See what people are wanting on Reddit. So many times in the DIY sub-redditI see people asking to buy what someone just made. There arehundreds of potential customers asking to give you money.

Listen here to help come up with more business ideas.

Step 2: Find $1,000,000 worth of customers.

Now that you’ve found an idea that people are willing to spend money on, it’s time to assess whether there’s a big enough pool of prospective buyers.

In this step, you’ll also want to ensure your market isn’t shrinking, and that it fares well compared to similar markets.

I use Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Facebook ads when I’m in this part of the process. They’re great tools that help me evaluate the growth potential of my target market.

For example, let’s say you decide to build information products for owners of Chihuahuas (remember “Yo quiero Taco Bell”?). Here’s how I would check to see if there are enough customers:

  1. Search Google Trends for the term “chihuahua” and other similar words (e.g. poodle, dogs) for comparison:

With Google Trends you are just looking for relative significance. If you are targeting dogs this will show you which type of dogs are the most popular. You can do this in other verticals like should you build for Android or iPhone or should you put your software on Shopify or BigCommerce.

  1. Check out the term “Chihuahua” on Google Keyword Planner:

3. Alternatively try out the keyword on SEMrush to see how the search volume looks.

4. Lastly, look at the total number of people available on Facebook for dogs:

59 million. Not bad, not bad.

And for Chihuahuas:

1.6 million people. Score.

Some other groups you can think of targeting:

  • Local cities (Austin, Boulder, San Jose)
  • Narrow interest groups (disc golf, fat tire mountain bike)
  • Demographics (Jewish people who live in South America, Indian people who live in Sydney)

You can also see if there is a large property that you can piggyback on, and funnel traffic from.

Paypal did this with eBay, AirBnb is doing it with Craigslist home listings, and AppSumo looks to the 100 million LinkedIn users. If you can find a comparable site with a large number of potential customers, you’ll be in good shape.

What helped me with finding $1,000,000 worth of customers for AppSumo was studying my successful competitors; specifically, Macheist. Their site did a Mac-only deal that generated more than $800,000.

Macheist shares their sales revenue publicly, but you can use your own business acumen on the CrunchBase or to see which business you want to replicate.

For instance, you might research, discover that they have a profitable and growing marketplace, then decide to create a similar service for RVs (like RVshare did).

I like to create a Google Spreadsheet of the key numbers for my competitors’ businesses. Below is an example of what that might look like for Macheist in their Mac bundles. [Warning to the haters: This may not be accurate, but I used these numbers just to get a rough idea of the business’ potential.]

Link to access the Google Spreadsheet for yourself

Step 3: Assess your customer’s value.

Once you’ve found your idea and a big pool of potential customers, you’ll need to calculate the value of those customers. For our example above, we’ll need to estimate how much a Chihuahua owner (i.e. our customer) is worth to us. This will help us determine the likelihood of them actually buying our product, and will also help with pricing. Here’s how we do that:

  1. Find out how much it costs, on average, to buy a Chihuahua (about $650). This is the base cost.
  2. See how much it costs to maintain a Chihuahua each year (i.e. recurring costs). Looks like it’s between $500-3,000. For this example, we’ll call it $1,000.
  3. Look up their life expectancy, which is roughly 15 years. This is the number of times they’ll have to pay those recurring costs.

Therefore, a Chihuahua’s average total cost of ownership is:

[$650 + ($1,000*15)] = $15,650

Damn… you could buy a lot of tacos with that kind of cash. Silly dog owners.

In any case, these owners are already committing to spend a LOT of money on their dogs (i.e. they are valuable). After putting down $650 on the dog itself and an average of $80/month on maintenance (a.k.a. food), spending $50 on an information product that could help them train their Chihuahua–or save money, or create a better relationship between them, etc.–does not seem unreasonable. Of course, the product doesn’t have to cost $50, but we now have some perspective for later deciding on a price.

Now we need to utilize the TAM formula (a.k.a. Total Available Market), which will help us see our product’s potential to generate a million dollars.

Here’s the TAM formula for estimating your idea’s potential:

(Number of available customers) x (Value of each customer) = TAM

If TAM > $1,000,000, then you can start your business.

Let’s plug in some basic numbers to see the TAM for our Chihuahua information product:

(80,000 available customers — 5% of Facebook #s) x ($50 information product) = $4,000,000

We have a winner!

Okay, obviously you are not going to reach 100% market penetration, but consider the following…

  1. This is only through Facebook traffic.
  2. This is only for one breed of dog. If you find success with Chihuahuas, you can easily repeat the process many times with other dog breeds.
  3. This is only for one product. It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire new ones, so once we’ve built up a decent customer base, we can make even more products to sell to them.

By all measures, it appears that we have a million dollar idea on our hands. Now we can move on to the final step!

Step 4: Validate your idea.

By now, you have successfully verified that your idea has that special million-dollar-potential. Feels good, right? Well, brace yourself — it’s time to test whether people will actually spend money on your product. In other words, is it truly commercially viable?

This step is critical. A lot of your ideas will seem great in theory, but you’ll never know if they’re going to work until you actually test your target market’s willingness to pay.

For instance, I believed AppSumo’s model would work just on gut-feeling alone, but I wasn’t 100% convinced people wanted to buy digital goods on a time-limited basis. I mean, how often do people find themselves needing a productivity tool (compared with, for instance, how often they need to eat)?

I decided to validate AppSumo’s model by finding a guaranteed product I could sell, one with its own traffic source (i.e. customers).

Because I’m a frequent Redditor and I knew they had an affordable advertising system (in addition to 100 million+ monthly users), I wanted to find a digital good that I could advertise on their site. I noticed was the most popular tool on Reddit for sharing images, and they offered a paid pro account option ($25/year). It was the perfect fit for my test run.

I cold-emailed the founder of Imgur, Alan Schaaf, and said that I wanted to bring him paying customers and would pay Imgur for each one. Alan is a great guy, and the idea of getting paid to receive more customers was not a tough sell? The stage was set!

Here’s one of the emails w/ Alan when we launched

Before we started the ad campaign, I set a personal validation goal for 100 sales, which would encourage me to keep going or figure out what was wrong with our model. I decided on “100” after looking at my time value of money. If I could arrange a deal in two hours (find, secure, and launch), I wanted to have a return of at least $300 for those two hours of work. 100 sales ($3 commission per sale) was that amount.

By the end of the campaign, we had sold more than 200 Imgur pro accounts. was born.

I share this story because it illustrates an important point:

You need to make small, calculated bets on your ideas in order to validate them.

Validation is absolutely essential for saving time and money, which will ultimately allow you to test as many of your ideas as possible.

There are two simple methods for rapidly validating whether people will buy your product or not:

Drive traffic to a basic sales page. This is the method Tim advocates in The 4-Hour Workweek. All you need to do is set up a sales page using Unbounce or WordPress, create a few ads to run on Google and/or Facebook, then evaluate your conversion rate for ad-clicks and collecting email addresses. This is how we launched (see one of our original sales pages here). You are not looking for people to buy; you are simply gauging interest and gathering data.

[Note: With Facebook advertising, $100 can get you roughly 100,000 people viewing your ad, and about 80 people visiting your site and potentially giving you their email addresses.]

Email 10 people you know who would want your pseudo-product, then ask them to send payment via Paypal. This might sound a bit crazy, but you’re doing it to see what the overall response is like. If a few of them send payment, great! You now have validation and can build the product (or you can refund your friends and buy them all tacos for playing along). If they don’t bite, figure out why they don’t want your product. Again, the goal is to get validation for your product, not to rip off your friends.

Of course, there are other techniques for validating your product (like Stephen Key leaving his guitar pick designs in a convenience store to see if people would try to buy them). However, I’ve found these two methods to be super efficient and effective for validating ideas online.

No need to get fancy if it does the trick. Here’s a few ideas below in case you are not a dog lover.

Bonus business ideas for you to do today

For the people that just NEVER have a great idea. Here are 5 ideas that you can do today. Don’t worry, every business has competition and has been done already. If you’ve never heard of the company already providing this specific service, it means you have an opportunity!

  • Virtual eBay merchant. Pick up stuff from your friends and neighbors houses. Sell it, then give them 50% of the profits (I really want this).
  • Reduce credit card transaction fees. These companies take 3% for doing very little. How can you fix that? What other companies are taking high margins that you can beat?
  • Tinder specialist. Many wealthy guys don’t want to spend the time creating a profile, texting and arranging dates. Do this for them.
  • Virtual Reality Realtor. Go sell to local realtors the ability to have 3D / VR tours for them to offer to their clients. On the flip side, you can charge the consumer to go and take tours of houses on their behalf.
  • Rich person apprentice. Rich people have more money than time. Go see what has been on their to-do list for longer than a week OR see if they have investments they are interested in and want someone to do the research.
  • Home Automation Expert. The number of “internet of things” devices is growing rapidly and more people want their houses totally connected. Own it.

Btw, if you are looking for additional resources and support in creating your own business, check out this course that’ll walk you through it..

The Final Frontier: Killing Your Inner Wantrepreneur

We made it! You officially have a $1,000,000 idea on your hands and you know for a fact that people are willing to pay for it. Now you can get started on actually building the product, creating your business, and freeing yourself from the rat race!

I can just see it… You’re all nodding and thinking, “Hey, this Noah guy is pretty snazzy!” (Sorry ladies, I’m single.)

So, what now?

– You are inspired. Check.

– You want to do something. Check.

– You get a link to a funny YouTube video, then you open up Facebook. Check.

– Suddenly, everything you thought you were going to do goes down the drain. Check.

– I softly weep. Check.

Don’t let this post become another feather in your Wantrepreneurship cap. Just follow the steps and start working towards your $1,000,000 business! Remember, you can start laying the foundation for your product without building anything.

All you need is one weekend.

P.S. Once your biz website is up and running, make sure to use Sumo to get more customers, make more $$$, and eat even more tacos.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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541 Replies to “How to Create a Million-Dollar Business This Weekend (Examples: AppSumo, Mint, Chihuahuas)”

    1. Completely agree with Anthony. This post is one that I find myself rereading often. I’ve read 4HWW and been browsing the web for advice on importing goods from China in order to make my own muse, but without a product idea in mind. I came across this post on assessing the reliability of a manufacturer in China:

      Also found 10 steps regarding importing here:

      And it got me thinking about THIS post again.

      Perhaps another way to determine what products are good business ideas is to see what categories or products are listed as best selling on sourcing websites like Alibaba? Similar to what this post says about checking Amazon and Google Searches for popular things.

  1. Incredible article! For some reason, this clicks with me. Okay, enough of the Wantrepreneur, let’s see what I can come up this weekend and have running by Monday. Thanks, guys!

    1. this here is talking about me

      – You are inspired. Check.

      – You want to do something. Check.

      – Suddenly, everything you thought you were going to do goes down the drain. Check.

      1. Actually “Wantrepreneur” is and always will be the main obstacle in this equation. Once you pass the “Wannabe” phase and become a “DOer” you will be on your way to your first $1,000,000

  2. This has to be one of the best articles I’ve read on taking an idea for and enterprise to making it actually happen. Theres a lot of sound advice and practical ‘how to’s that wouldn’t go amiss in any MBA reading list.

    Ive just set-up an App business in Ireland ( and I’ll be applying these principles today along with those I’ve learned in the 4HourWorkWeek.

    1. Agreed, unlike many other articles and posts on the subject, this post is a bit of an all-in-one (an equivalent of series of posts that take you through different tasks) and packed with practical advice that also come from someone as experienced as Noah.

  3. Noah,

    I’m blown away by the details here. I’m inspired to launch my products now and do some investigation on whether they are viable or not.

    Will see if I can enter the competition as well.

  4. That was a fantastic post! Within 30 seconds of reading I got thinking of what would get in my way of completing this challenge and within a minute I had my idea. Now to light it on fire!

  5. And I had to read this at 5:17AM on a Saturday morning…

    OK, I’m up for the challenge. I have the idea. Love what I see at Shopify, Unbounce.

    2 Questions to the community:

    Is there a forum/discussion group for others going through the process? Looking for feedback, resources.

    Any one know a Shopify-style ecommerce platform better suited for selling services? Looking for features like ability for provider/client to communicate and client feedback (rate your experience).

    Off to write down a plan and create a landing page….

    1. Thanks for the feedback, all! Agreed that Noah did a GREAT job.

      Brice, I’d encourage you to look for the Shopify forum for their build-a-business contest. I believe it’s open to the public, but if not, there’s no harm in signing up for the contest (you don’t pay for the platform for at least 14 days, unless I’m mistaken) just to get access.

      Hope that helps somehow,


      1. This part really caught my eye:

        “We were able to build the core product in one weekend, using an outsourced team in Pakistan, for a grand total of $60”

        I have seen this sort of thing come up all the time, but how does one get in contact with these sorts of programmers? I have a handful of ideas for phone apps and what not to try out, but how should I find the people in these countries that are capable of doing the work?

        Does anyone have any advice on this sort of thing? It’s frustrating because I KNOW there are plenty of people in the East who have amazing skill sets with things like programming and are DESPERATE for capital, yet I with capital simply don’t know how to get in contact with them.

        Tim or Noah, do you have any advice for this?

      2. vWorker programmers want $3,000 to start. Don’t know where this guy got his $60.00 number from…

      3. Hello Tim,

        Thank you for all great tools you have provided specially for promoting and testing ideas. My question to you is, how do we find number of searches on particular item or interest?

        For example how did you come up with the number of dog owners and chihuahua and poodles that ultimately used it in TAM formula? could you please instruct me in details how to find out number of searches using the tools you mentioned?

        Your response is greatly appreciated. I have both your wonderful books.

      4. following is the questions to the previous post I had. How did you find the following total searches? it would be great when you respond to my question with instruction

        3. Look at the total number of people available on Facebook for dogs:

        3.1 million. Not bad, not bad.

        And for Chihuahuas:

        84,260 people. Score.

      5. This post is ridiculous because key thing I believe most people were looking for was how Noah outsourced for only 60$, which is nowhere to be found.

      6. For some reason the google (insights) links appear to not work, or Google has changed their services. Any direction on where to find the content originally behind the links?

  6. I’m wandering how Noah has managed to get 100000 views from Facebook for $100

    I spent close to £300 and had 300 views when I ran my first test on Spine Candles… The test couldn’t even be validated because of the small size.

    The best value for money came from the feature option on Etsy where my candles are listed. They charge $7 per day per category and return a fair amount of traffic. I haven’t been able to quantify it properly because of the size of organic traffic that Etsy helps to build, but I know I get interest each time I take out that option.

    But FB is VERY expensive. Google ads too.

    1. First off, when referring to views he is referring to AD views and not webpage views.

      [Note: With Facebook advertising, $100 can get you roughly 100,000 people viewing your ad, and about 80 people visiting your site and potentially giving you their email addresses.]

      Notice he says viewing your AD. It sounds like you are not too familiar with cpc (cost per click) vs cpm (cost per impression) advertising. Both have their place. Let me give you an idea:

      I set up a simple ad with very generic targeting.

      This ad targets users:

      * who live in the United States

      * age 18 and older

      * who are not already connected to (my business facebook page)

      Now with CPC a lot of people MIGHT see it (depending on my bid) and I get charged each time they click on it. Recommended bid from facebook is $2.50-$4.00 per click. Now for 80 webpage views that would cost me $200-$320.

      Now let’s look at CPM. CPM I bid for 1000 people to see my ad. Facebook suggests that I bid $0.24-$0.43. So, for me to get 100,000 views, it would cost me $24-$43. Remember, you aren’t bidding per singlel impression but per 1000 impressions. Assuming you made a decent ad and have a decent website, a 0.08% conversion rate is not unreasonable.

      Of course this is very generic targeting and I would recommending targeting much more specific to keep your conversion/click through rates higher and your cost per sale lower. I would definitely research CPA marketing to get a better grasp of how this works and understand that you can get some very good information/money through this method.

    2. I think he’s talking about impressions, not clicks. 100,000 seeing your ad goes quick and if he’s paying $.10 per thousand impressions (CPM), he’s right at $100.

    3. I think that when he says 100,000 views on FB, he is referring to the number of impressions the ad is receiving on FB, not the number of clicks. My guess is that your 300 pounds purchased around 300 actual clicks on your link, and the number of impressions was actually much, much higher. This has been my experience in advertising our local brick & mortar business on FB.

    4. I will surely advice you to always consider facebook ads. As per Google adwords, what do you think when an 18 y/o types a search term and sees your ad and decides to check it out.

      Same thing could happen if a 50 y/o searches for same thing and sees your ads. But for facebook, its strictly your audience and the best advice after fb ads is to look into solo ads too or banner ads.


      1. “what do you think when an 18 y/o types a search term and sees your ad and decides to check it out”

        You make it sound like all the clicks on Google AdWords are low quality.

        Sure, not every click is a winning prospect, but I have generated Millions in revenue from Google AdWords from the relevant clicks I do get.

        If I would have taken your advice several years ago to be scared of AdWords I would still be in the rat race. Instead I enjoy a very healthy auto pilot income thanks to Google AdWords.

        Don’t be scared of “bad clicks”. If you build poor quality campaigns then you are going to have a bad time. If you take the time and put in the effort to master any marketing medium then you will have a great time once you find your groove.

      2. Vin, I am curious of how you’re doing 9 years or so later. Chronic wantrapreneur here.

  7. So I have my idea, I know there is a market for it, what I’m having trouble with is getting it designed & researching manufacturing. Tis a physical product, not a web app. I feel like I’m hitting a wall on this aspect.

    1. You should look into outsourcing. Ask for information on companies that manufacture products similar to yours. You can also ask who does market research for products like yours. Good puck, Will

    2. Evan Miller,

      I’m having the same trouble you are, got a great idea, great results, but I’m having trouble figuring out the manufacturing/shipping process.

      I try to scan through alibaba, etc…but just can’t get to the manufacturing process.

      Anyone have any ideas that can help?

      1. @JP Finding the right manufacturer/shipper depends a lot on your product type. If you have a food product, I might be able to help – john @ For other kinds of physical products, you can get designs done at, and for actual small scale start up product manufacturing, try searching “furniture manufacturing in Brooklyn”. You might be able to get started there. Sites like are also helpful, and it seems such providers are best for only large scale production runs. I hope that helps. Thanks John R.

    3. Evan,

      Tim’s previous post (and any other “muse case study” post) features business start-ups with physical products. Most of them mention Alibaba as their manufacturer. I am sure Alibaba assists somewhat in the design. Check those posts out if you haven’t already.

    4. Evan Miller and JP, I’m in the process now, feeling fairly comfortable with the design/manufacture process…Email me, maybe I can help.

      (btw, I am NOT selling any services!)

      I’m an illustration student in SF that loves creative problem solving!

    5. Try elance for a designer – search for {product} designer and you might get some great results. Typically if you hook up with a great designer, they’ll have connections for manufacturing as well. You could try doing the same search on LinkedIn too.

      1. Nice! The manufacturing tips here will help a lot of people, I’m sure.

        Great post Tim, and good to see you replying to comments again!


    6. Look at the different muses on this site. They are often asked who they used to manufacture their product.

      Also check Alibaba.

    7. I’ve been hearing great things about to find outsource manufacturers to help prototype or build physical products in Asia.

    8. I’ve found Alibaba can be tough to sort through and minimum order quantities can be tough to meet as well as the language barriers.

      If you’re still looking, check out MomCorp ( Great team over there.

      **I’m not affiliated with them, but used their services in the past for a product and was really happy with the quality of the end-product and how easy the process was.

  8. Amazing post, really valuable details!

    I’m writing from Project Getaway in Bali. We’re a bunch of entrepreneurs currently working on projects — I am going to refer the others to this as it could really help some of the new projects!


  9. Great post. I was wondering how you find out the number of people available on Facebook? Sounds like a great tool to use. Thanks.

    1. Hi Hal,

      try for statistics on FB

      But they are referring to the facebook advertising back end/cms system which tells you how many potential customers you will have when setting up an Ad.

      Simply go to setup an Ad in FB, enter your audience and demographic and they indicate the audience potential..voila.

  10. Brilliant post guys! Thanks for the great tools and the even better insight. The challenge should be fun 🙂

    Have lots of questions but I guess we’ll discuss it with Noah over tacos!!


  11. This is kind of convenient. We’re launching a webinar/video product next week. Basically it will go: shoot some video + powerpoint screencast -> existing newsletter list + affiliates (friends really) -> wordpress landing page on existing blog -> checkout -> wordpress plugin for membership sites. Probably two weeks of work for two people.

  12. This is why this website is so great – there is a generosity of spirit with regard to sharing ideas and strategy. It’s nice to see an abundance mentality. Great article with great practical advice. Thank you.

  13. Dude, I haven’t read this article yet, but I jumped onto your site after finishing “I hope they serve beer in hell” literally 60 seconds ago — you were in the movie as the officer haha! I love that you have the courage to pursue so many of your interests, you’re definitely a source of inspiration for me. Keep rocking Tim!

  14. Were In,

    So far we have an idea, just bought the domain and secured the Twitter/facebook names

    Photoshop on the screen and Graeme is ready to code…..

    Good luck people , let battle commence!

  15. Noah is the man. I have introduced Appsumo to my entrepreneurs discussion group here in Indiana and everyones loved it.

    This article will be extremely useful. Thanks guys

    1. The burritos in Austin aren’t as amazing as San Diego or SF but the tacos here are ridiculous. My favorite of all time are at Taco Deli, where I’ll be taking the winner 🙂

      1. Hey Noah,

        Great post and amazing website Tim!

        I’m an Austinite also. If Taco Deli is closed, try Torchy’s Tacos. But you probably know they’re delicious already. 🙂

  16. “Wantrepreneur” – love it

    I read Stephen Key’s book and have a huge list of ideas… now I just need to pick one and go with it!

  17. Holy crap that was great! I’ve been an AppSumo subscriber for a while and have even purchased from that list – I guess that makes me a young sumoling! Thanks again. Dave

  18. Great Article. It encouraged me to start a simple landing page, similar to the first Mint page. The universe works in mysterious ways, I was coming up with ideas but with no direction on how to obtain customers prior to any product. I look forward to seeing everyone in Texas…

  19. First, thank you so much for this fantastic post! I tend to think too much on the “services” side of business and those are hard to automate because they need me to work full time or more. I am amazed at some of the income people make in your 4HWW case studies. I’m also amazed at the ideas people have on the show Shark Tank and the millionaires and billionaires that pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for these simple ideas. It’s phenomenal! Definitely some GREAT ideas here.

    Second, under step 1 Noah mentions “On average, LinkedIn users are worth $134.” Is that a typo? Does he mean $134k? Or $134M? Just wanted to clarify. Thanks!

    1. Ha. Great catch, $134,000. I think having Zuck and Bill Gates on there skews the data a bit but the audience is highly valuable.

      1. Hi Noah¡

        Some other math-related question:

        You used the TAM fomruala with the example.

        (8,000 available customers — 5% of Facebook #s) x ($50 information product) = $4,000,000

        From that I get to questions:

        Firstly: where did those numbers come from? The 8000 available customers, didn’t that market have 1.6 million people?

        And secondly, there most something Im not getting since 8,000 * 50 =400,000. Not four millions. I might be wrong though.


      2. There is a typo.
        “8,000” customers should be 80,000 customers for the math to work.
        5% of Chihuahua audience of 1,600,000=80,000
        80,000 x $50 = 4,000,000

  20. Hi Tim and Noah,

    Do we definitely have to use Unbounce? Can we create landing pages and sales page using other methods like just using wordpress and some wordpress themes?

    Pls clarify on this, looking forward to start!


    1. It says in the article that you can use “Unbounce or WordPress above, or via the latest Shopify competition (not too late to sign up). If from Shopify, it will be your *increase* in profit over the next 14 days vs. the prior 14 days, not the *total* profit of 14 days.”

      Hope that helps, Henry.


  21. Tim, this is quite the challenge but thank you for the motivation! I do have one question, when dealing with a product that requires manufacturing (Alibaba) how to inquire if ‘they can build it’ without giving away your idea?

    Thanks! Looking forward to where this is headed.

    1. Peter, there is no guarantee that your idea will not be copied – some of these guys are willing to sign NDAs but I don’t that helps much. Try finding a firm that has a US presence too. Happy to point you in the right direction – reachout AT

  22. Tim… Just wanted to say this post is what makes your blog and posts stand above the rest. You are giving actionable steps and an outline plan based on real world examples and actual people not fake business school examples and quotes from Think and Grow Rich. Your book and recommendations have been my business school.


    PS. And for your expresso habit, next time your in the miami area get a cuban style expresso, preferably from a place that has sketchy characters and decor of a bodega.

    1. I agree, as coffee is concerned, Cuban coffees are outstanding. Would be “best” if you could id the place or places that stand out.

  23. Thanks Noah! You just motivated me to finish a product I’ve been putting off finishing. The term “wantpreneur” also reminded me of this quote from Eric Hoffer:

    “There are many who find a good alibi more attractive than an achievement, for an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything, we are ‘fixed,’ so to speak for life.

    Moreover, when we have an alibi for not writing a book and not painting a picture and so on, we have an alibi for not writing the greatest book and not painting the greatest picture. Small wonder that the effort expended and the punishment endured in obtaining a good alibi often exceed the effort and grief requisite for the attainment of a most marked achievement.”

    Anyway, you out-did yourself with this post!

  24. Fantastic post Tim and great words from Noah. I remember finding Noah’s blog like 5 years ago when he was running a thanksgiving day business idea contest. Been following him ever since.

    Being in the military, I’m searching for ways to tap into this open but highly regulated market. Maybe this weekend will be the big one!



  25. Tim and Noah,

    Thank you very much for this blog entry! I am definitely a wantrepreneur with, what I feel is, a great idea for a new product . I’d love to just jump into this competition (as well as the Shopify competition) and see what happens, but, as always, my biggest hang-up/fear is:

    Once my idea is “out there”, what prevents more experienced and wealthy entrepreneurs from jumping all over it? I’ve never developed an idea from concept to final product and I’m sure it would take me much longer to accomplish this than an experienced entrepreneur.

    Is some type of (provisional) patent my only protection? I understand the wording/description of a patent is critical and, therefore, hiring a patent attorney seem like it would be a good idea. Problem is, that’s a lot of money to spend on an idea that may never fly.

    Am I missing something very simple here? Any input from you guys or your readers would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again.


    1. Hey Chris! One of the comments above mentioned a book by Stephen Keys. I was intrigued and looked him up on Amazon, and turns out he wrote (what looks to be) a really great book called “One Simple Idea,” and in it he apparently does a great job discussing provisional patents. I haven’t picked up the book myself, but maybe that would be of interest to you!

      1. If you are thinking about “inventing” anything. Save yourself 10K and buy this book. Stephen and Tim are buddies. Enough said.

    2. Chris,

      If you really believe in your idea, just go for it in small iterative steps – prototype and keep building it. That way your investment is not wasted and you learn early. I’d rather spend that much of money in building something than paying patent attorneys!

      Good luck!

  26. All right Tim you got me. Nice article, and a very obvious truth, all this time, I’ve been a wantrepreneur . I’ll give it a shot…

  27. Reviewing the top sellers on Amazon, I found ‘Air Swimmer Remote Control Inflatable Floating Shark’. I was laughing so much, it took about an hour before continuing the article! 🙂

  28. Really amazing and inspiring post! Even though I’m just 19 years old I am looking for great ideas and ways to start a million-euro-business (yes, million-euro-business, I live in Holland :). I’m definitly up for the contest! The only problem is finding the right product to make/buy and (re)sell.

    Thanks and many regards,

    Wouter Sonepouse

  29. I just finished the 4HWW and set a 30 day goal. Might as well set 14 day goal as well! That was an amazing article and basically a step-by-step, “build your muse and be free,” diagram.

    Count me in.

    1. Hey,

      Tim that was an amazing article by Noah and certainly does deserve a round of applause. I’ve read the 4HWW and explored the blog and am really excited about creating the life style I deserve. I’ve actually been breaking the 10 commandments that you, Tim, list in the book and am very ashamed. I’ve been using money as the scapegoat 100% and is something I want to solve before the “money disease” spreads.

      One of the problems I realized were that I was literally skipping the first couple chapters and jumping to automation because that’s all I was infatuated about. Quickly correcting course I found it useful to take notes on elimination to get me to destination automation.

      No more being a “wantrepeneur!”

      -Great Article

  30. Hi Tim/all,

    Great post. I have a great idea for an iphone app/web site… Can anyone suggest some resources for websites or people that A. help aspiring entrepreneur’s with getting their ideas off the ground, be it guidance and/or capital. B. Suggestions for an app developer? I’m really intrigued by the “outsourced to Pakistan for $60” plan (more info on that please) After reading this post, it really made me want to jump start my idea, the problem is, at this point I have a pretty good idea/plan but need help implementing… Any help/suggestions would be fantastic. Thanks!

    1. Hey Tyler,

      I had my own iPhone app outsourced. I found them on but you could also use If you want to know who I used, contact me through my blog. Can help answer your questions via email.


  31. Awesome post – cuts to the chase, this post is the missing link in Eric Reis’ lean startup mantra (, Steve Blanks awesome blog ( and the excellent stuff Ash Maurya has going at Running Lean HQ (

    I highly recommend this excellent interview with Noah on Founders Talk:

    It would be great to see this talk turned into a course on Udemy (

    Thanks a ton – awesome post.

  32. What a great post you cover all the angles from coming up with the idea through pricing to final validation of the offer.

    Have tweeted this and if technology is behaving this should now be safely stored in my hootsuite library.

    speak soon, igor

  33. The Google Insights and Facebook Ad data is invaluable. Thanks. It’s very useful for me to know that “dating” is much more popular than “internet dating”.

    But what if your “business” IS funny YouTube videos? is a great resource so far. I’m looking to drive traffic specifically to my YouTube page and to gain subscribers.

    Do you know of any additional resources?

  34. Noah lost me on this statement

    “I cold-emailed the founder of Imgur, Alan Schaaf, and said that I wanted to bring him paying customers and would pay Imgur for each one. Alan is a great guy, and the idea of getting paid to receive more customers was not a tough sell”

    Did I miss something here? Was getting some additional payment besides the fee paid by new customers sent via Appsumo???

    1. PJ — Appsumo is like Groupon. Companies (in this example offer a discount through appsumo’s mailing list or website for a limited time. If enough people sign up for the discount, it’s on. So you have to get the company’s permission before advertising their discounts.

  35. Pure Gold, here guys. Thank you! This is like a master class in actionable brainstorming! What makes it great is how Noah details the steps *between* the successes. For example, the little mention Noah makes about phoning Alan AND telling us what offer was made to him, is *exactly* the type of thing often left out in most business articles. How that leap was made from idea to reality is the stuff of new businesses, I think. Thanks Tim and Noah for a great post!

  36. I’m having quite a bit of trouble turning adwords traffic into sales but other than that this has been a great experience. I know my online dating business can and will work but just needs more conversions.

  37. Noah mentions he built the core system of appsumo in a weekend with the help of a outsourcing team from Pakistan for $60. What were they paid to do? Build a basic prototype?



  38. Tim,

    I haven’t read this post yet but will get to it soon as I’m doing a sort of mind boot camp of your new version of 4HWW (which I got in a pdf, thank you for that by the way. I have this issue I can’t overcome. Hoping you and maybe some readers can help:

    Take this line for example:

    D: To be the boss instead of the employee; to be in charge.

    NR: To be neither the boss nor the employee, but the owner. To

    own the trains and have someone else ensure they run on time.

    Maybe this is because I’m a woman but, whenever I feel like “Yes, I can have employees and be the owner” I can’t help but think, “Well, why aren’t my employees doing the same?” or “Why am I not helping my employees do the same?” I just feel like sh*t about it. I suppose it’s a bit Kantian, but hoping you can help, because it seems to be the only thing holding me back subconsciously.

    Thanks for all the great work, and best of luck for your current book my friend.


    1. Tanya,

      1) If they are working for you and still can’t work it out…………

      2) Some people don’t want to take risks or generate ideas, they like to work and complete. These also tend to be the best employees.

      3) How is creating a business that employs people and helps feed, cloth and house a family something to be ashamed of?

      If you want to help just make sure you create a secure business model that will also provide them with security.

      Job done. Employing others is a big responsibility.


      1. Tanya,

        As a female business owner, I have struggled with this myself. I have great relationships with my employees, and I have their best interests at heart. My housekeeper for instance is trying to grow her housekeeping business which I am helping her with. My virtual assistant just had a baby, and she is able to stay at home with the baby while working for me. It really is a win, win for everyone I employ- even the people I hire for a quick freelance gig here and there. I’m loyal to the people that are good to me, and they are loyal to me too.

        You have to understand that there are a lot of people who are not cut out for small business ownership. It’s not all sunshine and roses all the time. It takes a lot of determination and dedication to make things happen, and there are plenty of folks that want to show up, earn a paycheck and go home. Small business ownership isn’t like that. It’s a different lifestyle. There are also lots of freelance companies/individuals that you can hire.

        It might help you to start out hiring an established company first before hiring an individual. That way it’s closer to buying a product than hiring an individual to work for you. Start small, figure out what you are getting yourself into, and make it work.

        It is incredibly liberating to have others do the work for you- you just have to let them. :o)


  39. I feel like this is essentially a services-only competition. There’s no way I could launch a goods product in 14 days without already having an established relationship with a manufacturer who already approved the design.

    Otherwise, great contest, I’m looking forward to the followup on the winners and what the losers learned in the process.

    1. no necessarily… you could take advance payments, and also DVD sales fulfilled by are an option.

      think outside the box!

    2. Hey Tyler,

      The idea wasn’t to actually build a product, but to gauge interest. You don’t have to build anything at all. If you get people paying you through Paypal, you can just issue them a refund, if you cannot build the product in time. But at least you’ll know you have interest in your idea that people are willing to pay for.

      Frank B.

      1. I’d make revenue, sure, but without having actually made the product, my figures on the costs to make the product would likely be unreliable.

  40. What incredible insights, and a million dollar blueprint revealed here… So a huge thanks for sharing!

    Looking forward to seeing the results of the competition & application of the strategies share in this article.

    Best wishes to all!

  41. Wow, this is one of the most timely and inspiring posts I’ve read in a long time. Bookmarked! Now, to stop reading and start working on my idea!

  42. Not to be a downer, but I found a bit of a flaw with the chihuahua example Noah used. Most of the trends are from the city of Chihuahua, not exactly related to the dog, the market for pet owners of may be much smaller than initially thought.

    Also, can anyone provide feedback on how they think this short treatise compares to something like Rob Walling’s Start Small, Stay Small? I thought Rob’s methods and examples sound more realistic than becoming instantly profitable and on track to a million dollars with 48 hours of work. It almost sounds too good to be true.

    Comments? Suggestions?

    1. The research methodology is still valid.

      The person doing the research has to validate the results. You figured it out quickly, however, someone else might have not been as sharp and only discovered this little fact later. If they followed all of the steps they still would have discovered what you found and, maybe, not moved forward.

    2. If you look at the long tail variations on the chihuahua keyword in the Google keyword tool, you’ll find that the overwhelming majority of them are dog related: e.g. teacup chihuahua, chihuahua breeder, chihuahua for sale, etc. The latter three, which I picked from the list at random, get 27,000, 480 and 5,400 monthly searches (exact match, which is much more conservative than the global match Noah used for the chihuahua root keyword); chihuahua mexico only gets 9,900 searches–much more than chihuahua breeder, but far less than chihuahua trainer, and in the same order of magnitude as chihuahua for sale. But the sheer number of dog related chihuahua keywords affirms that the market is pretty robust, especially considering that Noah’s TAM was four times his qualifying threshold.

  43. Tim & Noah, thank you for an awesome post!!

    My wheels are turning now. Looking forward to entering the contest!


    Frank B.

  44. Great Post Noah!

    I’m definitely following you on facebook.

    I’ve been a “Wantrepreneur” for quite a while and defintely want to step out of it.

    Hmm, off to the drawing board.

    Ideas.. Ideas..

  45. Awesome read! I love all your muse articles and feel extremely inspired everytime I read an article like that. I just picked up your book again. First bought it in 07 when it got published.

    Have there been any major changes to the book Tim? Or does anyone know? As I’m really inspired and motivated to start my own muse. Hoping that the 4HWW book from 07 is still relevant for my reading now.

  46. Hi Tim and all Wantrepreneurs.

    Great post from Noah, woke up again the 4HWW spirit.

    I have some analitical info for you guys, hope you find this useful.

    After reading 4HWW I have setup this page:

    I tried to do everything according to the book, step by step.

    I did the 3 pages myself, I outsourced the 3D visualisations on Elance.

    I think I can say that the total cost was 100$.

    So here are some statistics:

    7 months

    1st or 2nd page in google for term: “playing card case”

    No adwords, no advertising

    150 visits

    10 emails (wanting to order)

    The only WRONG thing I did was to assume that 5400 searches for my term (taken from google keyword tool) would be enough to make this profitable.

    My lesson for this: Aim at tens or hundreds of thousands not at thousands.

    I hope this will help you guys. Cause to be honest I would love to read more comments like the one I just wrote:)

    1. Hi Tony,

      Great site, great product but there is a typo under Tony, NY’s review. e.g companing. Thought i’d let you know.

      Best wishes,

      Austin A

      1. Thanks for the correction. I would love to say that it didn’t sell becasue of that:)

        Although research showed that adwords ads with a spelling mistake get more clicks than correct ones:)

    2. Dear Marcin!

      The card case concept you came up with is super cool. I’ve always wanted to do something similar. Could I ask something though, how did you source for a manufacturer for a product like that? I’ve tried looking for manufacturers but in my country (Singapore), manufacturing costs are high, and I don’t have enough capital to fly to a cheaper country (China for example) to source for manufacturers.

      Could you point me in the right direction?

      And also, did you launch the website before the final product was made? Or was your entire product line out before you launched the website?

      1. Daniel,

        I did not arrange the phisical product. If you read the book first you should test the idea, and thats what I did. And as you can see making real product would be a waste of resources and time. S. test first, themn manufacture.

    3. You have a different problem–you based your search traffic on the wrong match type. Right now the Google keyword tool only shows 3,600 local monthly searches and 4,400 global for *broad* match, not exact match. This means that every Google search containing the terms “playing,” “card” and “case” in it is counted. There are only 58 searches a month on exact match, so if you were getting ~20 search visits a month (assuming they’re actually search visits), you should check your analytics to see which keywords are making up your traffic. Since you would only get about 25 search visits for “playing card case” if you were #1 for it in Google (the top spot gets about 42% of all the search traffic), it’s a safe bet that there are other long tails involved–some people might have searched “plastic playing card cases,” for example.

      “Business card case,” on the other hand, gets 3,600 local searches on *exact match*. If you ranked #1 in Google for that keyword and sold a $37 product for it at a 2% conversion rate, you’d make ~$1100 a month. But getting to #1 in the serps would take a lot of link building, and PPC would probably wipe out your gross earnings.

      1. Yes, I know it now. But it was still great learning expierience. I have few more ideas lined up, will keep you posted with some more stats. Because statistics is what we all need to stop dreaming and start doing some work with the good ideas we all have in our heads.

    4. Marcin:

      First and foremost cool product. Have you put much thought into your price point?

      I like the idea, but at $37.00, I can buy several decks of playing cards. I’m just trying to think of the benefits at that price point. I wonder if there’s a market for cards people would want to protect, such as Pokeman style or whatever.

      1. I was lowering the price every month by 10 $. I stopped at 37 otherwise it wouldn’t make a profit.

        Targeting a niche might be a good idea, but if it didn’t work on a broad audience I cannot see it succeeding on smaller one.

        Maybe I’m wrong.

        Oh, and here is interesting statistic:

        Link in a comment on Tim’s blog brings 100 visits a day 🙂

    5. Marcin,

      I’m sorry to hear that the muse didn’t turn out to be profitable for you, but I have to say I love your site! I am currently working on a muse of my own and am getting a good amount of traffic and interest, but I think I’m being held back because of a cluttered/confusing landing page.

      If you don’t mind sharing, what tools did you use to build your site? The layout and checkout is really professional and confidence inspiring and I’d love to try and create a similar aesthetic on my site.

      Keep on keepin on


      1. Charlie,

        I’m fortunate enough to be webdesigner myself, so the pages you saw were designed and developed by myself.

        What kind of traffic/sales are you getting? If it’s high enough then definitely redesign will help a lot in conversions.

      2. Well then, fantastic job with the design! Do you have any other websites you designed I could take a look at?

        We’re getting approximately 60 visits a day and 15 of them proceed to our price page. When we originally tested the product, we had probably a third of that number due to low AdWords budget, but were still averaging a sale a day (as measured by inputs into the shipping info field on the price page) at 40 bucks – the same price we have now.

        Our hypothesis is that people prefer to pay on-site rather than through paypal’s portal. It seems like your multi-step checkout process would be great for customer trust. Is that a 3rd party checkout cart or something that you set up yourself?

    6. I love the product but my laptop, Ipad, tablet won’t fit into the case…. All my card games these days are either on the machines or online..

  47. Noah or Tim ~

    GREAT post! Mucho thanko!

    Specific question: In step 2, item 3, you say to “Look at the total number of people available on Facebook for Dogs.”

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to do that, but to no avail. Any tips?

    1. You can find this info by setting up a Facebook Ad campaign. Just go to your Facebook profile page, scroll tom the very bottom of the screen and click the link that says, “Advertising”.

      On the right side of the screen you will see a green button that says, “Create an Ad”.

      Go ahead and create an Ad. You don’t get charged until AFTER you set up everything. At that point you can either save the ad for later use or just delete it.

      Facebook collects all kinds of demographics, that Facebook users willingly provide, that you can explore. Just play around. It’s fun, inspiring, and educational.

  48. We just completed did this at a Wizard Academy event called “How to Make Awesome Sauce” See this article: Launching a new business: Going from concept to revenues in just 72 hours-

    We are working towards our $1MM business!

  49. I’ve got a question to all you techies out there!

    I’ve got an idea for a website that would have a similar format to, say, a dating website (users would create profiles, and other users could visit those profiles by searching for specific keywords or browsing). Someone mentioned using Elance and oDesk to find developers, which is a great idea, but here’s my question:

    What knowledge/expertise should I be looking for in a web developer? I know there’s a lot of different codes to build websites, but I don’t know what kind of code proficiencies I’m looking for in a developer. Does that make sense? (I’m so ignorant of all that stuff I’m not sure if I’m using correct terms, haha 🙂

    Great comments so far! Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Lindsey,

      With Elance I tend to find that it’s best to look through their portfolio to see if they have completed similar projects.

      Most of the sites I’ve built tend to be PHP and MySQL sites but if it doesn’t matter to you what they build it in then any web development language is fine. So long as they are proficient in one area thats the main thing. I think with a social networking site you want to look at the quality of design, style, graphics, so same as before, go to their portfolio, test out their sites for real. If you like the finished product it doesn’t matter what coding is behind the scenes.

      If you are creating a social network in the usual sense there are sites where you can pay per month and use their existing software and customise it for your own brand. It’s a lot cheaper than hiring a developer. Just do a search for Social Network Software (i.e SproutSocial, rSitez)

      Hope that helps.

      1. Helen,

        It sounds like you have done a couple of social networks. I am currently working on getting one built. I have a couple of questions about this as it is my first time building one. Could I pick your brain?

  50. Thanks for this really excellent interview. It is Brilliant!

    Now I have a question on the “Testing” part: in Step 4 Noah tested if his idea (AppSumo) works by putting up an ad for

    According to my understanding, AppSumo and are not the same thing. But Noah’s logic is that: if I can sell service as an affiliate and make 100 sales, I can sell AppSumo.

    But those two services are different! Why will he assume the result from as a success of AppSumo?

    This paragraph confused me a lot:

    “I cold-emailed the founder of Imgur, Alan Schaaf, and said that I wanted to bring him paying customers and would pay Imgur for each one. Alan is a great guy, and the idea of getting paid to receive more customers was not a tough sell 🙂 The stage was set!

    Before we started the ad campaign, I set a personal validation goal for 100 sales, which would encourage me to keep going or figure out what was wrong with our model. I decided on “100? after looking at my time value of money. If I could arrange a deal in two hours (find, secure, and launch), I wanted to have a return of at least $300 for those two hours of work. 100 sales ($3 commission per sale) was that amount.

    By the end of the campaign, we had sold more than 200 Imgur pro accounts. was born.”

    I am not trying to over-think this part, because I don’t understand what he mean!

    So Tim, would you mind please explain to us what Noah did here?

    Thank you.

    1. To Ellery:

      It took me a second to figure out what he was talking about, too. If I understand correctly, Noah asked permission to sell the pro membership’s for AppSumo is similar to groupon, they need a service to sell. Noah promised to pay him for sending him paying customers because people were going to pay upfront (like groupon) for discounted pro memberships. Noah just needed permission to do this.

      Hope that helps,


  51. Great article by Noah. Tim, obviously you are passionate about fitness and sports performance as am I. I have an idea that will make training using exercises such as Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats, Step ups, Box Squats, Dips, Push ups, and more, much easier to set up and more precise and effective for any individual.

  52. A very interesting article. Indeed.

    I would like to stress that, . I have been using Timothy Ferris’s book for over a year and a half, the four hour work week.

    Regardless what you want to do success is denoted by motivation. Simple as that. accepting the fact that you are going to fail, means that you are going to succeed. And of course if you increase your knowledge, experience, and read a lot. then your chances of succeeding quicker grow.

    Nevertheless, having motivation is by far key. Getting up and accepting the blows of life, . As well as being emotionally competent. And actually just getting a little bit angry with life and grabbing it by the collar, so you can achieve what you want.

  53. Great presentation from Noah Kagan! I am so intrigued by his wit and intelligence that I did a search on YouTube. Wow, what I found is going to bring me many hours’ fun watching. By the way, is this presentation video taped? I wish it was as I am a visual person I absorb better with help of pictures or videos. A suggestion, I m just saying.

    Thanks, Tim for bringing this material we can all learn from.

  54. This is a great article. Thanks to Noah for all the great info!

    My question to Noah is, if your goal was to sell 100 Pro accounts and you wanted to make $300 how much did you spend on advertising? I know that FB and reddit ads are ‘affordable’ but they still cost $$.

    On average a reddit add costs about $70/day. Did you run the add for more than 3 days?

    1. Yea I was thinking that too however I don’t think it matters if it costs him $300 to sell the first 100 units. I believe he was only validating the idea of users buying software on a time constraint, saving him future time and money on product development. Plus, LTV of each customer he acquires is probably more than $3 anyways (if he proceeds with the business model). For example, I heard Groupon was paying between $5-15 to affiliates per “opt-in only” when they first launched.

  55. Maybe I missed something, but I don’t get what Noah’s deal that was made with Alan, the owner of, was all about? Did he convince him to sell him the app at a discount if he found him customers (300) and thus made $3/customer = $300 by advertising his app? So he was basically just an affiliate? Is that it?

    I think I’m missing something here… seems to basic.

    1. As far as I am aware AppSumo sent Imgur something like $7 for every sale of Imgur pro they made.

      So like Groupon, AppSumo got the bulk of the profit & Imgur just got $7 per sale.

      What confuses me, is why Imgur would see this as a really good deal on their part. Surely it would be more worthwhile to do their own discount and keep a higher profit? I guess because it’s a digital product then maybe volume of sales counts more than overall price paid.

      It’s interesting when things like this come up. Good to see behind the scenes!

      1. This got me thinking too. I think the key here is the email list that appsumo/Noah had.

        He probably convinced imgur to be able to reach a wider audience and if he reached a certain number of sales imgur would offer a discount to his customers.

        The key here is the ability to negotiate with imgur a deal which similar digital services/product companies will be willing to enter later.

        This, then validates the idea.

        I am assuming the discussion must’ve been something like this, – If Noah can bring say 100 customers in the next 1 day then imgur would give the pro membership at say $7 instead of the usual $25 to the customers he brings.

        I am confused at the note that Noah paid $ to imgur for this.

        In which case it would negate the idea he is trying to validate.

  56. This is all fine and good for people trying to make a buck off the internet by riding coatttails, but its Greek to everyone else.

    True innovation often seems to get swamped by people who are so eager to jump at the the latest development for personal gain…

  57. What makes this post great is that it is actionable, which is quite hard to find. Thanks for providing useful content.

  58. Fantastic article guys – thanks for such actionable steps and a great competition.

    Everytime I see wantapreneur, I see wank-apreneur – which I guess amounts to the same thing right?

  59. Quick recap, I started a “muse” several years ago, I don’t even promote the product much anymore. But yesterday I had my best sales day since I opened up shop (not including day 1 because I had pre-sold).

    GF and I have another muse and we’re on track to trend this month.

    Several weeks ago, I got the random idea to put together an ebook to help noobs do what we were doing with the 2nd muse. Thanks for posting this blog, it was the kick in the rear I needed to get going. So in the past day, I’ve written the ebook, she’s proof-read it, and I need a couple more eyes to look it over because my writing is unbelievable.

    Using the step-by-step in the blogpost here, I’ve got my website up, needs a few tweaks, and tomorrow will set up the google and facebook campaigns. I’ve never done either campaigns, I’m a bit nervous and scared. We’ve decided on how much we’ll spend advertising, so we’ll see where it takes us.

    Here’s the website, looks amateur, but I hope people get the idea: we’re amateurs and we’re successful, so we want to help you too.

    Thanks Tim!

    Dr J

  60. Not bad, a few new methods to consider.

    The problem is, it could easily take more than a weekend to come up with the initial idea.

    That can be the most difficult part. The rest is all straightforward.

  61. This is a fantastic read. I wasn’t bored through it and it’s pretty much inspirational 🙂 The challenge is a nice call for wantrepreneurs. Go boys and girls! Let’s make millions!

  62. I agree, that is a great post. I have just tried a few ideas and put them into Google Trends and Google Inside for my two ‘cheap’ ideas but nothing came up as there was not enough activity, maybe my idea is not such a good idea after all……(input appreciated). Should I still try to sell my idea?

    I am attending the Canton Fair next month in China as I live in HK and hope to find an idea/s there too.

    Finding the initial idea is definitely the hardest part, I know once I have my muse everything else will fall into place.

  63. Hi Tim,

    I just wanted to let you know I freak’n did it man! As of Friday I got the go ahead to work remotely from Australia (dialling into the UK) and a pay rise to boot. I’m a new dad so ecstatic is an understatement 🙂

    All the best and thanks for the inspiration.


  64. Tim, I’m glad to see you’re posting fundamental business-related posts again. This is an exceptional post with concrete tips and steps for developing a muse.

    Did you coin “wantrepreneur?” Nice.

    Your best point in the post is that a new product need not be comprehensive, but instead start with the essence of the product and build from there. I’m all about starting with good enough and improving along the way. This mindset helps me take action.

  65. This may be the most valuable post EVER on this 4HWW blog!

    Noah, thanks for the awesome info; Tim, thanks for hooking it up 😀

  66. Great post guys,

    I am moving forward with my idea.


    I need an actual product manufactured and at some point shipped etc so any help for support on that end would be greatly appreciated.


  67. I’m in the race!!! I’m travelling in Vietnam currently using Tim’s strategies and have created a new ‘Muse’ – Virtual Assistants. I am training new VAs in Asia and for $4 an Hour I can set you up with your own personal virtual assistant.

    Anything’s possible, live universal.


  68. Great information, especially for someone just trying to figure out where to go once they have an idea – which has always been my problem! 🙁 Great comments too!

  69. Awesome blog post!

    Anyone want to team up on this and win the challenge???

    I’m really savvy with SEO, WordPress, Facebook ads, Google Analytics, conversions, etc.

  70. Hey guys… just wanted to show the proof that we have so far from creating & launching this product.

    So far we’ve made just over $23,000.00 in a week. Here are the income proof screenshots:

    We did this with launching a product on how to create sales funnels to people interested in internet marketing. The website for the product (which we’re closing tomorrow – it was a 7 day sale) is

    We’ll be continuing to promote the product through different mediums until the end of the competition & we’ll post updates then.

    Cheers & wish us luck!

    -Adam & Russ