Before I announce the thing we've been working on, I need to explain it, and to do that, I gotta drop some deep history on 30x500:
Many many years ago — wayyy back in December 2009 — I hosted a little 3-hour teleconference talk about everything I'd learned so far building a product business. I charged $99, and a handful of people attended (8, I think?).
I had a blast. And so did my attendees, because the #1 piece of feedback was "MORE!"
Thus armed, I asked my buddy Alex to join me in mapping out a 12-week email course as a follow-up.
We called this course Year of Hustle. Why? Because that's what I'd been calling the push I'd just done:
To me, it encapsulated both what I was doing, and why: A short but laser-focused push to lay the groundwork for business for the rest of my life. Makes sense, right?
We later renamed the course to 30x500 in, I think, 2012 or so, with a new version of the course.
In 2016, because I try to never let a good domain name go to waste, I reused the Year of Hustle name for my most epic cheat sheet.
And thus we come to the present: 2023, if you can believe it.
It's true what they say, the past is a foreign country; "hustle" has taken on a very different flavor.
Yet, there it was, still one of the biggest onramps to our content "universe," still front & center in our branding: Year of Hustle Roadmap.
The fundamentals were still strong, and they still work. The fundamentals don't change. But everything else felt old & tired:
- The landing page was a rush job, and it looked like it.
- The Roadmap itself wasn't even printable.
- The email course was a bit of a chaotic mess…
Yet, it was our #1 piece of pillar content, the best at bringing new people into our list, and educating them into the 30x500 way. A lot of people loved it & used it to ship their first paying product.
We absolutely weren't willing to let it continue to languish, much less throw it away for something newer & shinier. It was worth fixing.
So we set out to update it without losing the things that made it great!
And here it is:
Our deliverables were as follows:
- New name (without "hustle" in it)
- Printable guide (not a monolithic cheat sheet image)
- Actionable email course
- Interactive workbooks
- Quality landing page
- Social incentives
We rewrote the email course to be clear, targeted, actionable — with wayfinding built in — with stories and lessons to help bring home the lessons. (The old one was pretty scattershot. I think I wrote it on the fly? It still helped people but it kinda sucked.)
I redesigned the formerly extra-long single "page" flow chart graphic to become a 15-page guide. Less aesthetic? Yes 🥲 I was sad to break up my beautifully connected lines. Vastly more usable? YES. 💪
Alex built out interactive workbooks for the most difficult steps of the process, to help our participants implement.
I worked long and hard on the new landing page; this was the stickiest part of the process. Copywriting got me stuck — there was so much to say — so I turned to the visual design, instead, to give myself a shape to put the words in…
After much struggle, I came up with some beautiful graphical elements to tell the story… which then didn't fit when I realized I needed to rewrite the copy I did have, almost in its entirely. Ha! 🤪
The name? Well… I already owned the domain name launchftw.com. 😅 I had intended it for something else but this was a perfect use for it. Truly, naming things doesn't have to be so hard.
That brings us to social incentives and "distribution" (marketing world-speak for dropping ebombs, or as I think of them, onramps).
This is the part that not only isn't done, but is, in fact, still in progress.
Right now, we ask for folks to tweet & share and to invite a friend to join them. But we don't offer anything as a reward to do so.
So that's our next step.
The old version kept the printable action calendar (a single page PDF) behind a tweet-to-unlock feature. That worked well! But now the entire guide, calendar included, is printable. I'm not going to take away value to drive shares.
Alex and I are currently working on options for providing value to encourage sharing, and ways to get the word out that don't involve ads or begging for shares. Expect more about that in this space soon.
Launching before everything is perfect is the key to launching at all!