Monthly Archives: January 2012

Two Cool Things

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FIRST COOL THING:
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A guy named Ching originally bought the Behind The Scenes of a Muse course I made about how HouseOfRave works….then he also took the SumoBusinessBlueprint course….and he now had seen how easy some of this stuff was, and got started.

He immediately started writing down his ideas in a Google Doc, and came up with a “list of Muse businesses” to start:
See Ching’s Google Doc here.

I could tell he put some effort into this.  He listed all his ideas, determined if people were willing to pay for the product/service, then scouted out potential drop shippers.

He then built a ghetto site for $0.00 (exactly as we recommend), and showed it to potential drop shippers.  They liked it, so he then made a real store…which is an Australian Ukelele store!

Ching sent me a ukulele, check it out :-)

But more importantly Ching went from “Wantrepreneur” to “I own a business” very quickly.

Who knows if this will make Ching a bazillionaire (likely not on the first try)….but now he knows he CAN start a business, he knows HOW to start a business, and the next time (and next…and next….) he will get better and better.

Great job Ching :-)

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SECOND COOL THING:
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Samuel Pitcher sent this to me during Christmas as “A gift for the Sumo’s”.

I thought this was incredibly nice, and a GREAT way to get our attention!

For completely free, and without telling us, he took this static image and made it into an animation to use as video bumpers.

I thought this was DAMN cool…and I’m jealous I don’t have the skilzzz to do stuff like that!

ORIGINAL IMAGE:

AFTER IT WAS SAMUEL-IZED:

Pretty cool eh?  Definitely NOT a bad way to get someone’s attention!

Great job Samuel!

“Should I Make An iPhone App?”

“Should I make an iPhone app??”

….it’s a question I’ve heard quite often, and a question I’ve asked myself a few times.

Then I remembered I’m friends with the three guys that started Mutual Mobile, which is the largest (or one of the largest) iPhone app developers in the United States.  They’re now so big (250+ people) they focus on huge enterprise stuff, but they have a TON of experience with apps.

So John Arrow, a friend, and also the CEO of Mutual Mobile was speaking at The Internet Marketing Party here in Austin, and his speech directly answered my question of “SHOULD I BUILD AN IPHONE APP?”

You see, I build all these online courses, and they’re only on the web at the moment….no iPad or iPhone apps yet.  However developers who’ve taken the courses and liked them have offered to put them on the app store for me.

Just for fun I mocked up what it’d look like for the KopywritingKourse to be on an iPhone :-)

Anyhow….I’ve thought about this multiple times.  And it makes sense, “If this works well on the web, it will work well on the App Store! I’m a GEMIUS!!”

Well after listening to John Arrow speak at the Internet Marketing Party I have some more insight on this, and here it is:

He said this (and I’m paraphrasing):

Just because something on the web works, DOES NOT mean it will work well as an app.  Think about it like this:

What additional benefit does product solve if it’s on a phone?  Does it make your service/product more valuable…easier to use?

iPhone’s and iPad’s are portable…..would your service be better if it was more portable?  Would it give the users more features that could use their geographic location?

Here’s something we did: The company People Finder offers background checks.  Just releasing the app as “People Finder” didn’t offer the user anymore benefits than using the service from their mobile browser.  So we made an app called “Are They Single?” …and it did phenomenally well.

It was a simple app, that when you meet someone, you can type in their name and buy a quick background check which shows you if they’re married, single, have kids etc.

This was a huge success because it solved a problem involving geographic location.

No one cares about having a People Finder app on their phone.  They just wanted answers to a specific question.  The way we released that app, DID in fact help people more than the web service.

So if you’re just taking a product from web, and doing a simple port-over to an app….it’s very unlikely it will work unless you add more functionality that’s helpful from a phone.

So there was my answer to “Should I put some of my courses on the app store?”

Not the way I was gonna do it.

That explanation was really helpful, because now I can put that thought to rest….until I find a way that having an app would be MUCH more beneficial to the users.  For now they can always load and watch the courses on their phones with their browsers.

Think about this advice before spending time and money on building out an app.  John has seen tons of successes and failures in this space.  He even started out his speech by asking everyone in the crowd if they’ve built an iPhone app.  Very few people raised their hands.

He then said, “Now give yourselves a round of applause for NOT wasting your money!”

….which is a testament to how many failed attempts at simply porting over a website to an app he’s seen.

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Has anyone out there seen proof of a course in app form do well?

The course course course course thingy

The latest AppSumo course I released was thought of by vote.

We ghetto-tested which possible courses I should make…and let the audience vote.  The #1 result:

A Course ABOUT Building A Course!

Lol….I still think that’s hilarious :-)

Basically I open up my brain on everything I know about video-course making.  And since I get easily distracted, I took 30 minutes to illustrate what this would look like:

Here’s the sales video thingy we filmed for it.  We made it in a studio with a REAL camera so it look really sharp!

Making all these courses was just kind of a fun extension of all the “experiments” on my blog that I’ve done for years.  So far they’ve been….umm….very….profitable.

So this basically shows how all the courses are made.

Studio Time!

Soooooo the recent results of some ghetto test I’ve run at AppSumo show that the most requested course people want me to make…..is a:

Course ABOUT Building A Course.

HA!  I don’t know why that’s so hilarious to me.

Anyhow, I’m around half-way done with it…and it’s cool because we’ve been stepping the game up a bit and filming with higher quality cameras.

Normally I just use this Canon S95 camera to film,

but now I’ve started hiring someone who knows what they’re doing, and who has a Canon 7D (which is the same camera they film a lot of movies and TV shows with).  Look at the size difference :-)

It’s pretty neato to see the difference it makes.  The camera is one element of it….but me and Noah used a fancy camera to record THIS Sumo Dojo…and it looks almost the same as the previous ones:

The main difference is the lighting, and having someone around who knows what the hell their doing with the camera (aka NOT me).

So now some of the stuff we’re filming is coming out more like THIS (video screenshot):

So this Course About Building A Course launches on Jan. 26th and should turn out GREAT looking.

However as much as I’m impressed with fancy cameras and cool lighting….I really don’t give a SHIT about that stuff…..if it doesn’t teach people well.

I’ve seen a lot of videos that are filmed all fancy….but SUCK because the content isn’t strong.

This course will meld both those elements together (plus teach other people how to do it).

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is that not everyone wants to build a course to SELL IT…..but a lot of people wanna give them away for free.

I think one of the best uses for videos courses for startups is if you have a web app or software you’re trying to sell…giving away a free video course on how to use your service to it’s max is a GREAT way to get people to use your app more!

Here’s some random pics of recent filming stuff:

Why being UNhappy is one of the greatest things to ever happen to humans

NOTE: I wrote this essay for people I’ve seen throughout life who’ve tried to escape problems in any way (drugs, alcohol, partying, stupid relationships etc).

You can also listen to it in audio format here:
http://www.nevblog.com/audio/unhappiness.mp3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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WHY BEING UNHAPPY IS ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS TO EVER HAPPEN TO HUMANS.
by: Neville Medhora

Most people try to focus on their happiness…we all have.

However, identifying what makes you happy is very hard.  Here’s why:

Imagine you have no clue what you wanna do with your life.

So you get a job.

You like that job just enough not to quit….and justify to yourself that it’ll be “good experience for the future.”

Eventually the daily grind sets in, and you start looking for greener grass.  You get another job….and for a while it’s SOOO much better than your last job.

But once again….you start yearning for greener pastures.

At this pace, it’s EXTRAORDINARILY unlikely that you’re going to find an occupation that makes you very happy.  Every new job (or business) you try is just a crap-shoot with this method.  You never know….sometimes the right thing will come along.  But it’s MORE likely that you’ll go through many wasted years in this search….and might even turn up empty-handed.

Perhaps there might be a better way to find out what makes you happy.  And that’s by finding out what makes you UNHAPPY.

Let me explain this method, and how you can find out what needs to be improved in your life.  I’ll show you the simple method I use.

In fact, I personally use this method anytime I feel a bit unsatisfied.  Whenever something in my life doesn’t feel totally right. Whenever I ask myself, “If these were my last few days on Earth, is THIS what I’d be doing?” ….and the answer is a flat out no.


Well, here’s the method:

First let’s divide up our lives into three parts:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Love

That’s it.  Health, Wealth, and Love.

Health is well….our overall health.  How is it?  Is our body in an optimal state?  Are we feeding ourselves high quality fuel?  How do we feel about our physical state?  That is our health.  Rate the current state of your health from 1 to 10.

The next part is Wealth. How happy are you with your finances?  Are you very satisfied with your wealth? Satisfied with your income? Everyone always wants more….but how do you feel about the current level you’re at?  Rate the current state of your wealth from 1 to 10.

The next part is Love.  This refers to our relationships of all kind. With our family.  With our partners. With our spouses. With our friends. How happy are we with all these relationships?  Rate the current state of your love from 1 to 10.

So there we have it.  We broke up our entire lives into three separate areas:
Health, Wealth & Love.

We’ve also rated each one of those items on a scale of 1 to 10.

1 being completely and utterly dissatisfied.
10 being extremely satisfied and it needs virtually no improvement.

Well?  How did you do?

Almost always you’ll find at least one area that’s lower than you’d like it to be.

Now watch what happens here:
If there’s an area of your life that’s very high….such as a 9 on the scale….it seems you’re doing something very right.

Pretty much no action is needed in this case.  However in the parts of your life that are low and disappointing…..you need to take action.

You need to take action because of your UNHAPPINESS.  Not your HAPPINESS.

Did you see what we just did?  We now know what steps need to be taken…thanks to our UNHAPPINESS.

Okay…we’ve identified some problem areas in your life….Now onto solving those low areas of your life…..

To obtain any goal, you must overcome what preventing that goal.

For example:

  • To obtain peace, you must overcome violence.
  • To obtain wealth, you must overcome poverty.
  • To obtain winning, you must overcome losing.
  • To obtain happiness, you must overcome unhappiness.

So by first identifying what makes you un-happy…. It increases your odds of finding what DOES make you happy.

Being complacent never motivated anyone to do anything.  Being extremely unhappy however….has been the single greatest motivation for humans to take action EVER.

ALRIGHT…..

So you now have an exercise that can help you identify unhappy parts of your life.  But this principle of unhappiness can be applied to almost any part of your life.

Remember, by identifying what makes you UNhappy, you can see what DOES make you happy.

For example, let’s say you don’t really enjoy your job.  But you don’t know what else to do.

Well…let’s start at step 1 and find out what you DON’T enjoy about the job.

Perhaps you don’t enjoy that you’re always in one place and never get to travel.  This part of your job is a serious issue for you.

Immediately you can only start researching jobs that involve lots of travel.

Or perhaps you don’t enjoy sitting behind a desk and not interacting with people.  You’re a people person and you want to be in front of them all the time.

By seeing how this makes you unhappy, you can only search for jobs that involve lots of interaction and schmoozing.

Now it’s still up to you to develop the skills and talents needed to get a job of that type….but by paying attention to what makes you unhappy, you can at least guide yourself in the right direction.

So there it is.

An argument that identifying what you’re UNHAPPY about, can be more powerful than seeing what you ARE happy about.  We can always somehow justify how lucky and happy we are at all times.  And that positive outlook is great.

But I don’t see why identifying what’s making you unhappy has to be negative.  It’s simply a problem you’re having at the time.  And you’re in search of a solution.

Don’t identify what makes you unhappy just to complain about it…..identify what makes you unhappy and DO something about it.  Swirl ideas around your head that help you solve the problem.  Go seek out books and information that educate you more about the problem.

Is it a bad relationship that’s dragging the love part of your life down?

Seek out books about the problem you’re having to see what others have done.  Or perhaps it’s time to completely exit the relationship…this can apply to significant others, family, roommates, friends, co-workers…anyone.

Is your health suffering because you’re not taking care of your body?  Then take action by educating yourself about the subject, and implementing what you’ve learned.  Even better, hire an expert to help you work through the problem.  Use your extreme dissatisfaction with your health to take action.

Is your wealth not at a point you’d like it to be?

Then carefully analyze your situation to see why that may be.  Are you working at a job that doesn’t pay much?  Is there a small business you can start to make a little extra money on the side?

Use your dissatisfaction to research the hell out of the subject so you can get out of your low-income mindset and position in life.

Anyhow, let’s end this here……but I first want you to rate each part of your life again….to see where you could use the most improvement if any.

On a scale from 1 to 10, rate your Health, Wealth and Love.

Rate each one.

Write it down.  Right now.  It only takes a few seconds.

See which one you’re most dissatisfied with….and then you’ll know where to begin improving.

This is Neville Medhora.  Goodnight.

January 2012 Goals

Oops….posting this a bit late in the month.  But here are my goals for the month:

1.) Start posting Sumo Dojo videos every Friday.  These are videos me and Noah make for AppSumo.  There’s really no purpose for these other than they’re FUN TO MAKE and we get to answer everyone’s questions.

Soon we’ll have a page (like this I made 10 minutes ago) where people can view them on AppSumo.  For now you can see some previous Sumo Dojo videos here.

2.) The next course I’m making is almost hilarious to me….but everyone keeps asking me the same question: How to make a course.

I’ve made some online courses that have done pretty well…..because they’re so damn helpful to the people taking them (like these two).  So far three of my courses have done extraordinarily well, one was “alright”, and one totally flopped.

So the next one I make will actually be a course….ABOUT building a course! That sounds so cheesy….but now when someone keeps barraging me with questions about this, I can point them in one place.

3.) I’m learning to outsource stuff more often.  Not necessarily overseas, but to people that can do stuff better than I can.  For example, I did this today:

Instead of filming and editing an interview myself, I let a pro handle it.

He’s got amazing camera equipment and professional editing stuff.  Plus he’s faster.

In this case it makes more sense to let him handle the filming, and I can just worry about being a pretty (ugly) face on camera.

The studio we were filming in was a warehouse-style space….these pictures look like we’re filming some terrorist ransom note….but the actual video turned out great :-)

Well….those are my goals for the month of January 2012….do you have YOUR goals set yet??

Sumo Dojo – Answering Startup Questions

Noah and I answer some questions people have about Startup bid-naz’s.  Some of the questions:

  • “I’m trying to start a company….what are the TOOLS I need?”
  • “I work 18 hours a day on my startup, and I still haven’t made money.  Am I doing something wrong?”
  • “When should I QUIT a project I’m working on?”
  • “Do I need a webpage, a Facebook page AND a Twitter for my business??”
  • “What do you think of Startup Weekends (where everyone gets together and builds a business in a weekend)?”
  • “Where can you find ideas for businesses?”
Let us know if YOU have questions on anything, and we’ll answer them :-)
-Nev