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Selling Dead Startup Merch

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Live streamed on: 
April 29, 2020
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0:00 - Intro / Dead Startup Merch
2:01 - Which city is the "New Silicon Valley"
3:06 - How I built it on Webflow  
5:12 - Why use a Print On Demand Company, like Printify
6:14 - The Amazon Associates program
8:14 - Why it's a great idea to build small projects and companies in your free time, especially if you're a student.

Episode Rundown:

Evidently, it's not that hard to build an e-commerce website. It's even easier when you don't have to touch a single product, and all you've gotta do is add a few links to your site.

That's what I was able to prototype with Webflow and Printful. The idea is simple, and it was hardly original. I sell tee shirts with the well-known logos of dead startups on them. Someone did the exact same thing about 5 years ago, and apparently made a ton of money on it. I want to copy that, and see if I can see the same results.

But the actual build took me a weekend, and because Printful creates and ships all the merchandise FOR me, all I have to do is come up with a half-decent marketing strategy.

In this episode, we discuss using ProductHunt, how affiliate programs work, and how you can build something small like this in a weekend for fun. It's cheap, it's a great skill, and if you have a cool clothing idea in the future, being able to whip it up is powerful.

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What I learned this week:

I talked with a friend recently. First of all, they were blown away by how easy it is to find emails with hunter.io. (Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by them, but I wish I was. I’m currently trying to email them and ask if I can work with them in that way, but who knows.)

But anyway, my friend came to me with an idea. They had a connection in Japan who’s sourcing hospital protective equipment, and he has the opportunity to help connect that equipment with hospitals in the U.S.

He’s trying his best to take that opportunity and asked for my help. I know nothing about the space and have no connections to hospitals, but I taught him the process I use for every new venture I go into. I ask for help.

We used Hunter and LinkedIn to find a few emails of people in hospital supply chain management, edited the email script he was using a little, then asked for help. It’s the same general structure every time.

“Hey [NAME]
My name is Max, I’m starting a venture in the [INDUSTRY NAME] industry, and it’s obvious you have a ton of experience there. If you could spare 30 minutes, I would love to pick your brain and ask your advice on my project!
Let me know what times might work, and I understand if you’re too busy.
(Maybe add a Calendly link here for ease of scheduling)

[FYI: The entire strategy here is flattery. I tell them they’re knowledgeable, that I would love their advice, and then end it with “hoping they’re not too busy”. It makes anyone that receives the email feel important, and it’s increased my response rate wildly. You’ll need to add to it a little, but that script right there works wonders if you’re genuinely looking for advice on a new venture. And it’s not sleazy, whenever I send those emails I am genuinely interested in their advice - but it helps to make your recipient feel important.]

But then my friend said something interesting. He said he was worried about starting off wrong because he knows when you go into entrepreneurship, you’ve got to go “all-in.”

This is a myth, I hate it, it’s all over the internet, and it’s BS.

I half-ass everything. I half-assed freelance, I half-assed EntrepreNerd, and I half-assed my company Moss Generation when I first started them. NEVER go “all-in” on anything until you’re sure there’s traction there. I dove deep on LinkedIn content after a few of my posts went viral. Be patient with it. The myth of needing to quit your job or stop everything else to chase an opportunity is garbage.

Half-ass it first, take your time, see if there’s actual value there, then go all in when you start getting paid for it.

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