A fresh perspective on the stages of building a SaaS business

May 26, 2021

EP14: Nate the drop shipper!??

This week we learn about Nate’s new idea and the steps he’s taking to validate it. We’ll go through the one page validation strategy and what he’s working on now.
Searching For SaaS
Searching For SaaS
EP14: Nate the drop shipper!??



Nate: [00:00:30] Hey Josh.
Josh: [00:00:31] Hey Nate,
Nate: [00:00:33] How’s it going?
Josh: [00:00:34] it’s gone pretty well. It’s going pretty
Nate: [00:00:38] Life is just sailing along.
Josh: [00:00:40] Yeah, I got my I got my second shot last week,
Nate: [00:00:44] Ooh, nice
face. So you’re like fully protected and like didn’t I hear you’re allowed to be masculine now.
Josh: [00:00:50] I, that did come out by the CDC yesterday, I believe. It’s well actually I think I, I need another
week to be fully like you have the.
Nate: [00:00:59] Yeah. The delay.
Josh: [00:01:01] effort, what I got, which was the Pfizer
is another, it’s like a two week delay between that, so,
Nate: [00:01:09] Well, you guys are miles ahead of us up here in Canada. I, I think they’re still vaccinating 50 plus. And I think that even if you get all your doses, you still have to wear a mask. So
Josh: [00:01:21] right, right.
Nate: [00:01:22] a
ways to go.
Josh: [00:01:23] Yep. Yep. Yeah. It’s interesting where.
You know, we have kids and they’re going to be unvaccinated. I know they’re approving the 12 and up and whatnot, but for us, we’re just at best, you know, people ask like, what are you going to do different? I was like, we haven’t even really thought about it yet.
It was just like, I don’t want to even, I know what we’re doing is fine. It’s like kind of an estrogen, a hole. And it’s like, well, I know all these changes are happening and I’d rather, instead of trying to read the news every day or every week is like, okay, once we’re in the clear, now we’re going to go and.
Bubble our heads up. So,
you know, it’s on the up and up. So I’ve, I feel like, you know, things are starting to we’ll have some semblance of normal for, for the, for the whole family over here.
Nate: [00:02:09] that’s awesome. Moving in the right direction.
So it was good.
Josh: [00:02:12] Yup. So last episode, we talked a bit about building in public. We
talked about. Nate is going to share every dirty detail of every aspect of his life.
It’s a stream of consciousness, just like here’s Nate eating. What was it you had for lunch celery and a cookie
Nate: [00:02:30] yup. Celery. No, it was a cucumber
to cookie. Very healthy, very healthy.
Josh: [00:02:35] My bad, my bad. So cucumber and a cookie, which is, you know, the, the lunch of, of Canadian champions, which helps you grow. How tall are you again?
Nate: [00:02:46] I like six foot seven.
Josh: [00:02:48] Yeah. So that’s what you need, kids.
Nate: [00:02:50] Yeah. That, and you gotta top it off with a beaver tail. If you’re up in
Josh: [00:02:54] There you go. All right. Cool. So now that we’re sharing everything, I know, you know, past episodes again, I know I recap a lot five ideas we shot through that gap. We kind of evaluate a lot of those. It was a market based approach. And now you have been chewing on something. so AF after we had those ideas, I know it kind of gave you a little bit of like what you wanted to do next. I don’t know if you actually did any of those, but I know you’ve been kind of a circling the drain on an idea or something. Do you want to tell me kinda, how did that happen from the five idea
sprint into kind of where, where,
you got to next.
Nate: [00:03:38] Yeah. So I did the five idea and that really that really set me up well, to be practiced at evaluating ideas. And so I just carried all my normal life and I was looking for more ideas because I was like, ah, those five, they didn’t really seem that great. None of them really jumped out and were that exciting, you know, there’s one or two then
that maybe I could develop a little further, but they weren’t super
So I
Josh: [00:03:59] like I’m a pro. Now I got
this new, new process in my tool set. Now, now. Now let’s go see what else out in the world I can, I can hunt down in and be more excited about
Nate: [00:04:10] yeah, well, definitely
not feeling completely like a pro more like I’ve got this tool. Let’s
see what I can do. You know, I’ve got a hammer, everything’s a nail
Josh: [00:04:17] all right.
Nate: [00:04:19] So so I just, you know, kept cruising around on blogs and such, and I ran across. This idea that someone was doing with ad spying and I thought, oh, that’s pretty neat.
And so I started looking deeper and deeper and I kind of got into my old habits of like, well,
just, you know, I’ll just look at this idea. Hm. That looks kind of neat. Okay.
Yep. That looks
Josh: [00:04:38] I’ll start building it. I’ll build a landing page.
I’ll do
Nate: [00:04:41] Yeah. Yeah. Like let’s, let’s start right as the application code here. No, I didn’t go that far. I kind of started into that thought process and it’s like, no, wait, I have this hammer.
I’m going to use
it. And. So immediately I, I went through the process and did my write-up and I was like, Hm, that’s pretty neat. I actually think that’s pretty compelling. So I shared it with a bunch of friends and I was like, Hey, am I crazy? ’cause I think that’s a really good if I learned anything from the five ideas was that you might you might, you might think the idea is okay, and then someone else will come along and be like, no, you really didn’t think about this.
Like, let’s, let’s dig a little deeper here. And so I got confirmation from a couple of my friends who are, I think, pretty smart.
And so I started going further along
Josh: [00:05:23] oh, wait. So let’s back up. So you mentioned ad spy, and let’s talk a little bit about, do you want to talking about it in the, in the, in the framework we talked about? So, which I think. I think we start with market, then we get into some of the competition and some of like search traffic and what is going to be your product differentiation and methods of distribution. So just to give our audience some context, we probably won’t do it as maybe in as great detail potentially.
We also learned how to go through them a little faster. I think we covered at least three in an episode. But yeah. do you want to go
through those to, to give the audience some context?
Nate: [00:06:06] Yeah. So actually I’m going from memory. Cause I didn’t pull this up beforehand.
Josh: [00:06:09] Gotcha. On the spot
Nate: [00:06:10] but actually it’s good to do it that way because then it I’ll only, hopefully I’ll only give the important information. So ads by software is basically this stuff where you can see what your competitors are putting up on Facebook or Instagram or Google, and you can see what kind of ad people are spending.
On ads and it’s estimate it’s a rough rough guess. But it’s pretty neat. You can see what your competitors are putting money into.
Josh: [00:06:36] Okay.
Nate: [00:06:37] So that’s the, that’s what ads buy is. And there’s probably three or four competitors in that space. There’s kind of the gorilla
that has like a decent chunk of market
Josh: [00:06:48] Who’s that? Are they called the gorilla?
Nate: [00:06:52] No, I forget exactly what they’re called.
I think it’s just like ad spy, I think is what their name is. And they, they’re pretty big. I think they’re
at like double digit millions, I think like 13 million or something like that a year.
Josh: [00:07:03] Sizable.
Nate: [00:07:04] Yep. So, you know, there’s obviously something there they’re making money somehow. And so I looked kind of delve into what their positioning is and they’re kind of the yeah, just traditional ads by, and the way that I described it.
And then there’s kind of like two or two incumbents. One is a like a, a fancy search engine, I guess that searches all these ad like ad spy stuff. And they were at I think 500,000 or 1 million or something like that. And then there was a one that was further down the line, which was just very new, just getting started.
And that’s kind of the one that I came across and I was like, Hm, that’s kind of interesting.
Josh: [00:07:37] so that’s the one you stumbled upon, which made you
go. Hm. Is there a cheese down this tunnel? Let me start. Let me start the process of looking at this whole market, gaging some of the competition, looking up search terms, things like that
is that
Nate: [00:07:52] Yeah. Yeah. And it really would have happened without that first,
that first one that I saw is I mostly was like, this is
cool. And I think that I
could probably do it better. It wasn’t like. There’s it seems like there’s a lot of money in here. What didn’t seem like there was like a lot of customers necessarily.
It was just like, this is cool. I think this is neat. And
I think that I could do this better.
Josh: [00:08:12] Okay. All right. So then that takes us through competition. And then I don’t think we talked too much about positioning. I mean, other than
you just mentioned cool and better. I don’t know if
that would really resonate well on a line of copy and like, we’re like, we’re like ads by, but we’re cool and better.
Nate: [00:08:31] Yeah. Yeah. So I guess the, the kind of the position that I came up with it, it was a lot of
these tools were trying to be a big search engine
and they were trying to be generic for everyone. And I thought to myself, well, if I could, if I could narrow it down for a niche, if I could offer this as a, a larger thing for a niche You know, maybe a big add spy, a small part, or a, even a bigger part of some sort of software that just makes Nisha’s business process better.

Josh: [00:08:59] So even looking at that, you know what you were calling a gorilla 13 million, whatever, double digit millions, and just being like, there’s gotta be, at least, even if it was a. 20% of their customers are probably not the ideal fit. What, what, what, what could you look at and shave off as this? So you’re like, I can, I can niche this somewhere in here and provide potentially a better experience for that segment of, of that market.
And also knowing that you could also, as you start to foot hole yourself into a segment, you could grow into another market or maybe that area of the market or that. Niche is growing faster or eventually you could come and have a and feel comfortable having a compelling offering versus versus ad spy or something like that.
Nate: [00:09:49] Yeah, and I didn’t even part of that upside too, is I also thought
of like, if I outgrew the niche I feel like I could come up with a more comprehensive
solution to the ad spy problem. That has a couple other features that I think would really make it that much better. Where you’re, you’re partnering ads by with a couple other features that really make it a comprehensive solution, as opposed to just like here’s a hammer.
like, no, we got the whole tool belt.
Here you go.
Josh: [00:10:16] cool. I like that. It sounds like, a sweet spot. It actually sounds a lot. Like if I was to describe referral rock at the beginning, not to say it, it will end up the same could be better. It could be worse. Who knows, but in terms of like, it’s a good size it’s it’s. Doesn’t seem like it’s a cyber product that is, you know, requires a ton of engineering resources, a ton of you know, ad dollars.
Like it’s specific enough that people are looking for it. So there will be some sort of traffic. But yet is big enough that there’s probably niches within there to start to get a. Like a foot planted and I liked that you have a different vision. I mean, that’s something I have with the referral rock, as well as like, you know, we’re in the referral marketing space, refer a friend, we now do affiliate programs and things like that.
But I I see it. I have a vision of a bigger, a bigger thing and that, so it does have a legs.
It’s not just like boxed in where I think a lot of niches you end up and boxing is okay too. It could be this, it just might have some limitations, but it’s okay. Ideally, it’s nice to have a little
bowl, I would say, or at least
Nate: [00:11:25] Yeah, I think the upside is really attractive because I always liked that forward thinking that that’s
strategic. Like how can we get to, you know, that, that thing.
Josh: [00:11:33] nice. Okay. So distribution,
Nate: [00:11:36] So distribution, I looked through the The SEO difficulty and it wasn’t too difficult depending on which niche I chose to go for.
And it also looked like a lot of these other competitors were, were doing SEO to gain their traffic. And so it wasn’t just a, it wasn’t just someone with a ton of page, you know, going
for it that way.
Josh: [00:11:53] right. Cool. Okay. So went through that. That was cool. And then you said you shared it with some friends. Said, you know,
other asked other people to weigh in a bit. And then you’ve mentioned you’ve taken it a step further. So for Nate, does that mean full on code? You’d have a prototype, all of that stuff.
Nate: [00:12:12] Yeah. Yeah. So actually I have a small confession to make, I did make a landing page for it. did buy a domain and I did put some ad copy on it. And most of it was, it was just like
this. I don’t know what you say. Like, it was just, this feeling came over me one day and I was like, okay, I just have to do this.
I know it’s only going to
cost me like $10. Let’s just do it and get it out of your
system. And
Josh: [00:12:34] fine. I’m not,
Nate: [00:12:35] can sit there.
Josh: [00:12:36] no
judgment, no
Nate: [00:12:38] yeah, yeah. you know, they’re there?
Josh: [00:12:40] break out the IDE. You did not start
like tearing through their API as you didn’t start going. You might’ve maybe read some API APIs. I
Nate: [00:12:47] I
did read some documentation. I was tempted. I
was tempted. But at this point it’s something that’s really changed this time, around that I’ve noticed is that,
It’s really at this stage, like my engineering mind is constantly like all the engineering problems are so fun. Let’s go do it, let’s go do it.
But it’s like, what does the customer, how does the customer see value here? And how can we prove that they actually care about this before we get into that? Or at least come up with a reasonable expectation. And so I’ve done a lot of work on that already, and it’s been. Challenging to kind of stay on that path.
But at the same time, I can see the benefits. As I seen the idea, it kind of take shape and inform a
Josh: [00:13:25] cool. We’re making progress. I like it. Cause Yeah, W one of the things I feel like we’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth bringing up is I w I have a question for you is like, if let’s say right now, How many,
how many hours do you think you’ve put into this?
Nate: [00:13:43] I dunno, maybe 10.
Josh: [00:13:44] Oh, that’s it. Okay. All right.
Nate: [00:13:46] Yeah, I dunno, It’s it’s all based
out. So it’s hard to tell.
Josh: [00:13:50] Well, let’s, let’s
Nate: [00:13:51] actually, no, no, no, no. The other day I woke up at three 30 in the morning and I couldn’t sleep until like
seven o’clock. So those hours I
spent thinking about
it, that’s
Josh: [00:14:00] okay. Okay. Well let’s, let’s just say, all
right. Well, here’s the question. If the same amount of time you’ve invested into this at the, the old Nate would have started coding a lot earlier probably wouldn’t have built a landing page yet. Probably might’ve bought a domain, I would say that’s okay.
I mean that that’s in the path of, I feel like. ideation of okay. Among my swath ideas, I at least. Have now started to think of what this would be called. Like, what am I naming this? And Ooh, is that domain available? And it kinda, you know, like, let me, let me buy one. I mean, we all have our domain graveyards or maybe we’ll call them just inspiration pieces for later.
But if you invested this much time and coding, and
basically it went nowhere, how would you, how would you feel right now?
Nate: [00:14:52] Yeah, I think you bring up a really good point. Cause I would feel like. Oh, that was kind of a fun problem,
but like she spent, I spent a lot of time on that and like, nobody cared
like, man, I’m stupid. Like, what am I doing?
Josh: [00:15:03] right.
Nate: [00:15:04] Whereas now I feel a lot better. I feel, I feel energized in fact, because it feels like every time I kind of veer off in the wrong direction with my, what would a customer care about?
I kind of bounce off a wall of information and be like, oh,
okay. And auto-correct, you know, it’s and it feels like it’s, it’s getting closer
Josh: [00:15:21] you’re learning something.
Nate: [00:15:23] Yeah, I’m learning something and I’m connecting with people,
which, you know, that’s pretty fun.
Josh: [00:15:29] That’s interesting. Yeah.
I mean, I was hoping it would go that direction because I feel like the loss of version someone would have when they actually sat there and like saying I S I sat and coded for 20 hours on something and you’re. Attachment to that. And, and almost willingness to throw that away as harder.
And there’s like a bigger loss feeling of loss. If it’s like, that’s like 20 hours of like coding and maybe it’s because you could have coded something else or you could have done, I don’t know what else would that time and you’re thinking about it, but then 20 hours of discovery and validation and talking about it and thinking about it and, and.
Throwing that away to me, it doesn’t feel like that’s as big a deal.
Nate: [00:16:15] Yeah. Yeah.
Josh: [00:16:17] I’m sure some would think some would think different. I think this is just probably definitely a personal, like how how you feel lost or how you feel like wasted time, because there’s tons of you see tons of other entrepreneurs out there that are like doing these, you know, I do a start-up a week, or I do a, you know, out there there’s challenges it’s like, or do 12 and M a year or something like that.
Nate: [00:16:41] they do
Josh: [00:16:42] I do think I do want to talk about that.
one. At some point, we’ve talked about the building and public thing, and we talked about how people do these startup challenges, where they, I don’t understand that, but I wouldn’t mind reading more into that and leaning into it just to T to learn about
why, you know, maybe it’s just.
That’s not who you and me are. And, and why that, that process of ideation doesn’t doesn’t resonate because I just don’t like throwing that stuff away. I don’t
Nate: [00:17:10] Yeah, but I will say though, like the. Going through the validation stuff. It, wasn’t always easy to stick
to it because like with coding
it’s, for me, it’s so logical, like coding is like, I do this, this is the next step. This is the next step. And it’s like a logic puzzle. And it’s so easy just to, I’ve done it enough times now that it’s like, even if it’s like a concept, I don’t really understand.
I can go figure it out. And I kinda know it’s like duty, duty, duty done. Where’s this, like, you’re staring at a blank page if you’re like and then you write a word and you’re like, no, no delete. And it’s just, it’s hard sometimes to sit there and do that part of it. It’s rewarding
once you get it, but it’s different.
Josh: [00:17:52] Hmm. So you’re saying like, it’s harder,
It’s harder to go.
And S is it to stop yourself from coding or just sometimes it’s harder because you’re
staring at a blank
page and you’re just less comfortable
there. Like it’s just
Nate: [00:18:04] less
Josh: [00:18:05] more. Okay.
Nate: [00:18:06] less comfort. It’s like, I would, I feel like I should give up now on this thing, because I feel like I am not able to make progress and just staring at a blank screen. Whereas with coding, it’s like, yeah, I’m going a little bit slower
right now. But like, this is a process. I’ll get to
Josh: [00:18:21] interesting. Yeah, I guess it’s because you’re, you’re more of a experienced senior developers. Like you’ve seen these things before, like you, you have a level of confidence and you know what to do next and you know where to go. Like you’ve, you know, you’re, you haven’t been trapped. You’ve. Gone from level zero to level 10 or whatever we want to call it.
But what did this year like? Okay. I’m not sure. I’m not sure what I’m doing. I have less confidence and, or go also, I’m just like, so I’m like just moving at a different pace, more tentatively. Like, I don’t know if there’s a pothole over
that I’ve never been here before. Is this right? Am I going in the right direction?
I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna text message Josh at three 30 in the morning. Thank you very much.
Nate: [00:19:03] Don’t worry that didn’t cross my mind.
Josh: [00:19:05] That’s all right. I probably would have been
up. Cool. So,
What, so what else have you done there? So
you’ve you bought a domain
Nate: [00:19:13] I built the landing
Josh: [00:19:14] you built a landing page. What is
this domain? Ad spy, but cool.
Nate: [00:19:19] Had spoke about cool. Darker. No, it’s not. I will share that at some point, but at this point I’d rather not go into that just because I think
that that will kind of deviate from the path that I would like other people
to take.
Josh: [00:19:29] All right, that’s fine. that’s fine. it. will be determined. This is not,
A hiding of building in
public. This is very much a, like, I want to, there’s a certain pathway. I want people to go. Is that
Nate: [00:19:42] Yes, that’s exactly it.
Josh: [00:19:43] All right.
Nate: [00:19:44] the next the next part of the, the next stage that I kind of went down, which was the
next helpful stage I went down was to kind of check for side
tunnels. If you picture this as a tunnel, we’re going down the ad spy tunnel, and let’s see which niches are available. So left right center,
Josh: [00:20:01] splitting And. segmenting this as we’re.
Nate: [00:20:03] Yeah. And so I kind of, I think this was actually your advice at one point. And basically what I was going to do for each of these is look at that niche
and think of a couple of things. Like how, how accessible are those people to be able to learn about them? How targetable are they if I want to market to them how willing
to spend like all those kinds of things.
Josh: [00:20:24] Okay. Okay. So splitting this niche, like you were talking about, most of the competition has very broad, like, Hey, it’s a search engine. Hey, it’s just all this other things.
So I’m trying to find like a persona based niche, like based off of baby, what type of business they, they care about seeing. So it may not be, you know, A SAS business, an e-commerce business, a brick and mortar retail, like consumer, it could be all kinds of different ones.
It could
be a big B2B SAS, like a segment or a Twilio, or who knows, like what do they want to know by other, by other people? So okay. What did you, what did you find down some of those.
Nate: [00:21:07] So I came across I had a really hard time lumping some of
these together. And the one was just like marketing people in general. Like,
it just felt like there’s like, like anybody who sells. Okay. So more specific, anybody who sells products online, I felt like this would be helpful for, and so that’s the, that’s the broadest you can.
And, and I figured, well, on the one hand, there’s the, there’s the very generic person of the, the person who does the marketing at a company. They would be the one who cares about this information, so, okay. Let’s go a little deeper into that. And so one was like, well, just e-commerce people, people doing e-commerce and marketing.
And I found like I couldn’t find a really good niche in e-commerce or just like marketing in general. That was specific enough that I could be like, yes, this large, this group of people is like big enough that I could target. Well. I had a really hard time with that and I ended up. Finding as one of those was dropshippers and I’ve,
I found that kind of by looking at how the competitors were
Josh: [00:22:10] So why don’t you, why don’t you explain, drop shipping a little
bit if people aren’t familiar. So this is under e-commerce.
Nate: [00:22:16] So under e-commerce people who do drop shipping are people who basically do econ, like have an e-commerce
store, but don’t keep any inventory the way they do that is they have this automated system that hooks up to a supplier. And orders the goods from the supplier and the supplier ships directly to the customer.
And so you, you, their job is basically just to do find products and
market them and get them sold for a higher profit, like a higher dollar value than whatever the shipping and the other stuff costs.
Josh: [00:22:48] Okay.
Nate: [00:22:50] And so to me that that felt like a really distinct group of people. Whereas I was having a hard
time with outside of that.
I couldn’t find a really distinct group of people that I could target well. And so I kind of chose to go down the dropshipping
Josh: [00:23:04] Okay. Did you find any, do you know anyone that does drop shipping? Have you looked into those in terms of interviews or is that the stage you’re at is like now that you’ve picked one that you feel like is
distinct enough and is small
enough for something that for you to maybe test and validate and see if you can eventually build an MVP for Yeah. So did you get to talking to anyone yet?
Nate: [00:23:31] Yeah. So kind of the next stage was like, where do these people hang out online and what do they care about?
And so rather than trying to reach out to an individual and be like, Hey, I’m, you
know, I’m thinking of building some software, you know, can I talk to you? Instead what I did is I watched a whole lot of YouTube videos on people who do drop shipping and I joined a couple of communities on Facebook and on a
couple of people on Twitter.
And I just
sat in those
things and just listened
Josh: [00:23:57] immerse yourself into, into the world of drop shipping.
Nate: [00:24:01] Yeah. So I’m like, what do you guys care about? What, like, if I were to start a drop shipping company, what would I do? And just trying to figure all of that out, because I figured that all of these people are already talking online, like there’s forums and stuff that are quite active. And I can just sit in and be a fly on the wall to see, like, what are the, you know, what are the top five problems that these people care about?
And I found out that. One of the top five problems for them is related to finding products and marketing them and knowing what their competitors are up to. And that’s things that they, that they’ve articulated several times. And so I’ve, I find that really really,
promising there.
Josh: [00:24:36] Yeah. Now that you. Now that you talk about it, it does seem to fit that profile again. If, if they are all they are, are essentially storefronts that are trying to all pull from the same probably set of suppliers. And, and like, you talked about their, how their businesses is on those margins of like selling a microphone.
And I might write, I, might have a Shopify store that is all about, we focus on like, Podcasting equipment and podcasting equipment for starting a company or starting podcasts like early people. And I just, you know, I curate And pick a bunch of the products that I think are good. Hopefully I’ve tried them.
Hopefully it’s actually good recommendations. And then I put them out there. But I’m also pulling from the same supplier that everyone else is because I’m in the drop shipping world and I would need to make that easy. I’m not actually gonna take, you know, buy in bulk or do any of these things. Right.
Nate: [00:25:32] Yup. Yup.
Josh: [00:25:34] my biggest competition is everyone else selling the same exact thing
Nate: [00:25:38] Yup.
Josh: [00:25:39] taking my $10 profit margin and
saying, ah, I’ll do it for. I’ll do it for nine and someone else I’ll do it
for eight. And now it’s like right. Or how are they describing this? Or maybe so, does that sum it up?
Nate: [00:25:51] Yeah. So that, that was pretty much what I, what I went into. And I think one thing that I’d really point out here is that
this was an iterative thing. So what I would do is I would go there and I would listen to people and then I would go back and I would say, okay, Based on what I know about dropshippers right now, what what’s the what lemonade would I sell them?
Right. Like, like what, what do you think would, would benefit them and what I would do to kind of help myself think of whether this makes sense or not is I would I would write a little story about each of the positions that I thought that I could come at and the story went, something like dropshipper a is having a wonderful life.
They came across this problem. Their life is horrible, you know along comes Nate with his software. He says, do this and this and this. And then your life will be good. And then I would read that story to myself and I’d be like, Hmm, does that sound reasonable or not? And oddly enough, framing it that way was really quick to show me like, This idea that I thought was awesome.
It would be like, no, that makes no sense. Nobody would ever write a story like that or tell me something like that. And so I did that several times, so I would, I would go and sit in these chat rooms. I would listen. And then I would come up with this, this story and then I would do it again and I would do it again.
And I can’t emphasize enough that if I had just done that for one session and went off with it, I would have
the completely wrong product going
into depth as.
Josh: [00:27:19] So like it helped you iterate
faster. It helped you. Kind of at least give you a gut check,
By, by putting it in this in this framework, in this storytelling framework, is that something you
found or it came up with yourself? Is this a, is this a trademark, a
Nate thing or.
Nate: [00:27:37] no. So this is actually I borrowed this from StoryBrand. There’s a book called StoryBrand. I think that’s the full title. You can find on Amazon a great book. And basically they go through an extensive
framework to do that.

Josh: [00:27:48] I think I’ve heard about that. Some, I think it’s been mentioned in
a few startups circles and communities And things like that. I haven’t read it, so I don’t, I can’t weigh in. Exactly. I think I might’ve read like the.
TLDR version of just like what is the basic thing around, you know, I know the big thing is making like the customer, the hero, I think is like
Nate: [00:28:10] That’s okay. Hmm. Yeah. And so like going through this process was really like getting, getting into their head and making
sure that I actually was in their head. I was really understanding the influences that they were
feeling. And so to try and to try and become myself almost a drop shipper so that I, I knew what their instincts would be.
I knew what their thoughts would be. And I’m still working on that. I, I, I feel like that’s
going to be a forever kind of thing of learning that.
But so.
Josh: [00:28:39] one question I have for you real quick. You don’t mind my interrupting
is, do they, have you asked anyone if they’re like what they do today about their worry about competition? Because one of the things I always think about with any of these problems and an idea is as someone’s already doing some sort of solution.
You know themselves, I mean, maybe they’re using your competitors, like you’ve talked about. But, but in general, I feel like most of the future that people think is the future is all happening right
now. Just someone’s doing it in a, the pain is big enough that they’re just doing it in a manual way, or they’re doing it in a, in a way that is not ideal, but at least works for them is good enough.
Nate: [00:29:25] Yeah. And so I did think about that as well. And when I did to counteract
that is. On some of the forums that I came across, there was a
recent posts, like in the last three months of people recommending my competitors. So they’re, they are buying my competitors. And there was in just general learning about the customer.
I looked at what are people doing now as opposed to like, you know, videos from 2012 or something like
Josh: [00:29:48] right, right.
Nate: [00:29:50] And I even noticed actually, because some of the tools that they mentioned are free I went to investigate some of these tools and I noticed that the tools even haven’t been updated a little bit since some of the videos that I saw.
So that was interesting.
Josh: [00:30:01] Okay. Cool.
Nate: [00:30:03] And then kind of where I’m at now. So I’ve done that a lot of that learning and the framework and that sort of thing. And I’m going to continue iterating on that. The next part is kind of like I’ve started to do wireframes where it’s like, I’m going to come up. The, the idea here is I’m going to come up with some pictures.
So that way I have something to talk about with people. And I’m, I’m kind of working on building those out. So working out, like if I was a drop-shipper, you know, and I, I like was going to start tomorrow, what software would I want that will help me crush everybody else? And kind of coming up
with that.
Josh: [00:30:37] okay. Cool. That’s interesting. I wonder, I mean, I don’t know enough about the, like customer interview process to say like where, you know, I do know it’s you want to obviously let them speak a bit and kind of have a, hopefully a brain dump. Hopefully you can kind of understand or tickle some problems where they could just get them talking.
Right. And another one, my only concern is like, is. are, having frames going to lead them like too much. Right. In terms of like, are you checking your idea? And they’re just kind of almost
like, if it gets too tangible, then they’re just locking into that. And we’re like, well, I don’t want to like that. So I don’t like that.
And, And, that’s just my first gut kind of question. Would that.
Nate: [00:31:27] but I guess the, the thing that I have is there are, there are people already spending quite a bit of money on ads by software. And my take on it is. Different enough that I think it’s harder to articulate without pictures. And I think that if you just gave them a, a rough concept, they’d be like, eh, I’ll just stick with my thing.
Cause like it’s not really that, that different writing. I can’t understand it or something
like that.
Josh: [00:31:54] I’d be interested to see if you could find people in this niche drop shippers that are already using ads by. And just talking to them. And my gut is just being like, what is wrong with ads by that is not ideal for you? Like, what is like, anything is the interface wrong? Is it like, well, I have to do these five steps And it seems stupid.
Or I have to do this other thing, or I always have to go do this and uncheck. These things cause they’re not relevant. And then I, and then I export the data and then I
put it into Excel and then I run a formula. It’s like Ooh, wait, wait, wait, whoa, what’s all that What are you, what are you doing? Like that’s the, that’s the meat I
feel like is like the people that are using it, but
Nate: [00:32:34] Yeah. And so I kind of have come across, I feel like I’ve come across that because some of the people that I’ve watched on YouTube that are explaining how they do it, their process has a lot of manual steps to it. And I feel like I can automate those steps or make them a lot easier for them. And it
wasn’t just like, it was several people saying similar
Josh: [00:32:56] Okay. I get it. So, so the videos you were watching were like people using this for dropshippers and kind of giving each other tips and things
Like that. So
Nate: [00:33:05] Yup.
Josh: [00:33:05] a lot of insight in
those already. Okay. I, I wasn’t, I wasn’t clear what you meant earlier when you
said just like I was watching videos, so.
Nate: [00:33:15] Yeah. Yeah. Like educational videos, like, like basically the way I’m approaching this, this customer understanding. Process is I want to become a drop
shipper. Let’s say,
Josh: [00:33:26] Yeah. Yeah,
Nate: [00:33:27] know, like I’m going to invest in this. Like, this is serious. Like I’m not just playing around. Like let’s, let’s sort this
Josh: [00:33:33] all right. Make a dropship store.
Nate: [00:33:35] make a
drop ship store. That was actually what,
Josh: [00:33:37] be more successful than your, your SAS.
Nate: [00:33:40] that was actually a suggestion. That one person said to me when I was talking about shopping around my idea, they’re like, you know, To do this, you should set up your, own dropship store to prove that
you know,
it’s good.
Josh: [00:33:52] Yeah, no, I mean, yeah, there’s not, there’s not that’s not, that’s not untrue. And then you can actually speak to that in terms of customers and knowing. Yeah, There’s that’s I think that’s, that’s pretty good advice. And the worst thing that happens is you actually start to make a little bit of money drop shipping.
Nate: [00:34:08] Yeah, exactly.
Josh: [00:34:10] Cool. so
what else do you have on next steps? How you have built a landing page. Are you planning
on like driving some traffic to it? Are you planning on what’s the what’s what’s what’s your next steps outside rhino wireframes. But
Nate: [00:34:26] so wire frames get feedback on the wire frames and kind of parallel to that
is to I want to set up a basic landing page,
so I don’t look like a nobody. And.
Basically, I’m like, I’m going to get Google crawling this page already now, because I know it takes six months for Google to even decide that they
care about
Josh: [00:34:43] I think you could do it faster than that, but we’ll, we’ll talk more about SEO another time,
Nate: [00:34:47] sure. Yeah.
Josh: [00:34:48] But yeah, get it out there. Get the domain out there and get, get some crawling on there. And is that also the reason you don’t want to share it yet to anyone just you’re still writing the copy and having the idea and.
This, this little, not about you not sharing it, but it’s more of like, let me at least get it in its
form where I’m, I’d be not embarrassed for people to see my domain with my basic, you know, bootstrap CSS thing with like three words on there.
Nate: [00:35:17] yeah, exactly. Kinda. I kinda want to get the copy and
stuff on there yet until, until yesterday, I believe it said, you know, hello, welcome to
WordPress or something,
whatever the.
Josh: [00:35:27] Excellent. Excellent. Cool. All right. I think that’s a good place to stop. I think there’s, it’ll be interesting to hear how you progress down this wireframe path a bit. I’m interested to see a little more, I know we’ve talked a little bit about the.
idea and dropshippers and
maybe, yeah, maybe let’s, let’s see. if you’re drop shipping
Can take off and maybe you’ll just abandon sass and this’ll be, become searching for drop shipping.
Nate: [00:35:54] I like software
too much. We’ll see.
Josh: [00:35:56] All right. Cool. Well, thanks a lot, Nate. See you next week. Bye.