Book Notes

Choose Your First Product by Leon Bambrick

πŸš€ The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. A simple 4-step process, TOAD (Target-Obstacle-Answer-Demand) can be used to generate and validate business ideas.
  2. Validation is everything – use it generously to filter through potential business ideas and solutions to find real problems worth your time and effort.
  3. Do the least amount of work possible in the shortest time to prove that you can solve your chosen problem.

πŸ€” Impressions

If you are looking for a no-nonsense primer on product development before you start your first entrepreneurial journey, this is it.

I absolutely love how approachable and minimalistic the framework and techniques discussed in the book are! Really appreciate the fact that it is so hyper-focused on the first two steps of product development (the most daunting for wantrepreneurs like me) – finding and validating ideas/problems.

Being a developer myself, I’m used to the building side of business. While things can go wrong while building, most businesses fail because they’ve built something successfully – which no one wanted! This book can help you avoid that by putting the problem and people first before the product.

Having an easy-to-follow and repeatable framework for product development is a superpower! It gives you the requisite confidence moving through your journey and takes the stress out of entrepreneurship. Isn’t life stressful as it is?

The cute artwork, illustrations, diagrams and well-placed and tasteful humour make the book a joy to read. Check out his simple business process diagram from the book below!

The book aside, the author Leon Bambrick is just a fun, hilarious guy – give him a follow on Twitter!

Who should read it?

This should be super obvious from the book’s title – anyone looking to find and validate an idea for their first product!

More specifically, I would recommend this book to an aspiring solopreneur/bootstrapper/entrepreneur looking to start an online, product-based business, but is having a tough time coming up with great business ideas.

Even if you have plenty of potential business ideas, I’d still give this a read. It’ll give you a simple, and effective method framework to validate your ideas and give you the confidence you need before you start developing your product.

πŸŒ„ How the Book Changed Me

  1. Since I never could come up with too many original ideas, I thought I wasn’t suited for business. The framework recommended in the book changed this limiting belief – I know have a simple, repeatable process to come up with business ideas.
  2. I no longer automatically disqualify markets which seems crowded. This opens up more avenues for potential ideas for me in pre-validated markets.
  3. Instead of looking outwards for potential business ideas, I look inwards. What kind of groups am I a member of? What kind of problems do I face day-to-day? Who would I like to serve?
  4. I can now identify online avenues where I can find my potential customers, interact with them and understand their problems.
  5. I had the belief that to solve a potential problem, your solution had to do a lot more than it actually needs to. Now I would timebox myself from three days to a month. (depending on the complexity of the problem)
  6. I now know that even negative feedback on your proposed solution is better than silence, and it can be leveraged to tweak your product to success.

✍🏻 My Top 3 Quotes

  1. “Finding 10 real customers who demand the product, is a way to ground the idea in reality, right now, rather than three years down the track after you’ve exhausted yourself.”
  2. “Listen to your customer’s problems, don’t listen to your customer’s solutions.”
  3. “Don’t be scared off by a seemingly crowded market. Wherever there is demand there is likely to be existing supply of some sort.”

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