Yaw Aning (Malomo): Productizing Services
Blake: You ran an agency for seven plus years that built websites and apps for many types of clients, including aspiring entrepreneurs and founders. And obviously many agencies aspire themselves to become product companies and you eventually saw the opportunity to build your own SaaS product and business and launched Malomo out of the agency. So if you were advising somebody who is running an agency, a consultancy, a freelance operation today, what advice do you have for them on knowing which idea to go after and to build yourself?
Yaw: Yeah. So one of the, me and my co- founder loved about consulting was like, you got to see the insides of so many different industries, problems, companies, there's literally no shortage of ideas or things to pursue. So, it's a lot of fun spending like 3, 6, 12 months learning about something new. A lot of people that go into the agency world, they like that thrill of like working on new and new things. And so it's really easy to like fall in love with lots of different things. When you're launching a new product, you are committing to it. You are getting married to this business. And you have to not love the solution, you have to love the problem. You have to salivate over solving this problem in the world that you see because like startups are insanely hard. I don't know who said this and I love this quote, it's terrible quote, but it's like chewing glass, like starting a company is like chewing glass. It is all pain all the time. So if you're not 150, 200% committed to attacking the problem for the next decade, then in my opinion, it's not the right business to launch. Even though there might be an opportunity there or like you're serving a lot of customers in that space. So that would be my advice is like, as you're evaluating all these different ideas and opportunities, don't think about that. Think about what the problem is and are you willing to commit to solving that problem? Because when things get really hard and tough, you can't really leave at that point. You're kind of in it. I think it's really important about finding like, hey, what are you really good at intersecting with what you really love, and whether you want to spend 10 years figuring out the mission around that thing and really finding founder market fit in the process.
Services-based startups are often dismissed as unscalable “body shops.” But agencies and consultancies are often where product ideas hatch. Yaw reveals his pro tips for how to identify *which* product ideas are worth building as an agency.
[0:08] Advice for an agency, consultancy, or freelance operation on knowing which idea to go after and build
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