Episode 6 Transcript

You're listening to the Business in Morocco Podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco. My name
is Ryan Maimone, I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experiences you in order
to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com
alright let's get started with today's episode
it's going to be a
lovely day
welcome to episode 6 of the business in
Morocco podcast what's going on Ryan
well this has been an exciting week for
me I just signed a contract with a major
company to do some team-building
training over the next 12 months that's
really exciting I'm noticing that things
are starting to pick up March and the
end of April it's gonna be a busy busy
time what about you how are things going
we've talked recently in the last few
episodes about deep work, opportunities
challenges, here in Morocco time
management, long term thinking, and as we talk about these subjects it is causing
me to change the way I do things a
little bit for example we just started
this podcast a few weeks ago and the
process of building the website creating
a brand putting resources on the website
just trying to figure out what the
customer wants it's been an exercise in
deep work it's also been an exercise in
long term thinking in these first few
weeks of the podcast we don't have a lot
of listeners right it's hard to get
feedback when you don't have a lot of
listeners send us some love people let
us know how we're doing so I've really
been focusing on long term thinking we
both know that this podcast is not
likely to give us immediate results this
is not an exercise in immediate
gratification we're thinking long-term
we're thinking evergreen content content
that can help people for years to come
so it takes a lot of discipline to do
all of this work knowing that we may not
see any results for months or years yeah
but we also want to begin well we want
to have our podcasts edited and
presented well we want to have the
transcripts available for people we want
to offer valuable resources we want to
help people learn English setting up our
digital footprint to have a good-looking
brand and name and content it takes time
and effort and it's been tiring as we
talked about but I think we're in this
for the long haul again like Ryan said we appreciate
your feedback tell us what you think
about the website about the podcasts if
you have comments send us an email at
I love what you're saying about
producing evergreen content and thinking
long-term you recently put me on to a
podcast and I went right back to the
start and I'm listening to episodes that
they recorded back in 2016 and so
there's a thought that that could be
happening here as as there's a trend of
increasing amounts of businesses coming
to Morocco increasing entrepreneurship
and definitely an increased level of
English speakers interested in doing
business here this podcast could really
gain traction over time and so there
could be people listening to this
episode in 2021 2022 who scroll back and
are starting at the beginning of our
feed even though we might be a hundred
plus episodes deep and so that's very
wise long term thinking not only that
we'll be benefitting or gaining rewards
from the work that we're putting in but
also that we want to set patterns we
want to build a brand that's consistent
starting from day one so love what
you're saying there yeah I do that with
a few of the podcasts I listen to
usually I'm introduced to a new podcast
in a different podcast for example the
Tropical MBA podcast will have a guest
and I believe that's where I found these
Seeking Wisdom podcast hosts of the
Seeking Wisdom podcast were on the
Tropical MBA podcast and that's how i
heard about them yeah and so I did the
same thing I went back to the very first
episode of Seeking Wisdom and started
from scratch yeah and I think that is a
fairly normal way of consuming podcast
content especially content that is
somewhat timeless now there are some
podcasts that get very technical so if
you're listening to as we talked about a
few weeks ago a marketing podcast from
2012 it may not all be relevant in 2019
so you may just need to skip that a few
of those podcasts but yeah yeah Snapchat
didn't exist there wasn't possible to
advertise on Instagram I mean it's been
seven years but
it's a different world in the marketing
this sort of leads into our topic for
today how to test an idea
we know that podcasts are increasingly
popular around the world for a variety
of reasons you can listen to things
while you are doing other tasks like
commuting doing chores around the house
doing mindless tasks you can listen to
podcasts and learn this idea has already
been tested for us we know that podcasts
the question that we need to answer is a
podcast in English in Morocco is that
going to be popular is it going to be
desired by an audience will there be a
demand for it? One of the ways we're
testing our market is by doing a lean
startup we're not investing thousands of
dollars in this podcast we have borrowed
a microphone from our friend we have
very minimal expenses for storing our
data I am using a free audio editing
software to do this podcast we bought
the domain name which was nine dollars
nine US dollars so in every sense this
podcast is a lean startup right we are
testing the market we're going to get
feedback and we're not investing a lot
of money or a lot of resources in this
podcast until we can get an idea of
whether or not people will like it and
subscribe to it and listen to it and
we're not fresh off the plane I mean we
didn't just arrive in Morocco yesterday
so there's some history there where I do
a lot of corporate training in the
business world in Morocco in English so
I meet a lot of english-speaking
professionals here and I also teach at
universities in English so I'm meeting a
lot of young people that are interested
in entrepreneurship and startup culture
and they're in Morocco and they speak
English we know that there is a market
might be small might be niche but it's
growing and that's the trend we want to
be on we definitely know that English is
a growing trend in Morocco so we have
that established we also know that
Moroccans have smartphones mm-hmm that
has been established we also know that
they have earbuds all of the mechanics
place yeah the foundation of a podcast
is in place
what are Moroccans is listening to mostly
music but it was the same way in the
United States with mp3 players the iPod
it was all music right and it wasn't
until 2008 2009 that iTunes really even
started promoting podcasts and and
podcasts became a popular thing and it's
still to this day is gaining traction
but it's taking over listening time for
a large portion of the population so
it's only a matter of time before people
realize that spending all day listening
to music is sort of a waste of time
there's a time and place for listening to
music but there's also a time and place
for listening to educational content the
informative content entertaining content
yeah I think it's the same for
audiobooks I started listening to books
in 2014 and even at that point it was just
five years ago it was only the most
popular books that had been put into
audio format there was books I wanted to
digest that I had to buy in the printed
form because it wasn't even available in
an audio format and that's really
shifted now it's almost a given that a
major published book is also gonna be
available on audible or another
listening app I remember that as well
you would have the first version of a
book come out in hardcover a year later
would come out in paperback and maybe
they were being updated a few years later
but today you're exactly right usually
it comes out in paperback and Kindle
yeah and audio yeah all at the beginning
so that's definitely a trend that's that
we can ride with this podcast so today's
topic is how to test an idea before you
spend a lot of time money and effort on
it one of the things I think is most
important to think about is what problem
are you solving if you start with the
problem in mind and then you work
towards a solution in the form of a
product or service you will be leaps and
bounds ahead in your process it's very
common for companies for individuals to
come up with an idea for a product or
service and develop that product or
service and then go in search of a
customer and that is the backwards way
to do it you want to start with the
you want to start with a customer's
problem customers often know their
problem very well the solution is not
quite as apparent to them as the problem
if it was they would have already solved
it so your job is to understand the
problem come up with the solution by
continuing to stay in contact with your
customer and asking questions. Ryan you
have a great example of staying in
contact with customers and asking
questions tell us about it yeah one
company that stands out as an example in
capitalizing on customer feedback is
Lego you know they've been wildly
successful for decades but they're
continually releasing new products and
releasing products that their customers
want and the reason is because they stay
in close contact and they gather
feedback so Lego when they first opened
their online shopping platform it was
possible to purchase complete sets of
Lego on their website great business
idea they were recognizing the value of
e-commerce and they were early adaptors
however they didn't sell individual
pieces and actually some very motivated
LEGO fans hacked into the Lego website
in order to change the option so they
could order just individual pieces to
build their sets or to replace pieces
that they had lost Lego obviously wasn't
happy about their site being hacked and
they're a company with very deep pockets
so they tracked down the perpetrators
those guilty of this but then rather
than press charges they had the
foresight or the the wisdom to recognize
wait a minute these are customers that
are so committed to our products that
they are doing something illegal they
are risking spending jail time in order
to give us money for our products we
need to recognize this as an opportunity
to hear from them and so they worked
with the hackers to determine what is it
that you're after how can we better
serve you and they completely overhauled
their site to meet that customer demand
this is a perfect example of the ability
to be flexible with your solution with
your product or service
because oftentimes the product or the
service that you create is going to be
used by your customers in ways that you
don't expect and one of the great
examples of that is twitch for those of
you who don't know Twitch is an online
platform that allows you to watch other
people play video games now this company
Twitch actually started as a reality TV
show it was a reality TV show streaming
online you could watch this guy who
walked around and you could just follow
his life online that was sort of popular
but not really popular and then it
became a platform for for other people
to create their own reality shows and
that was sort of popular but it wasn't
really popular and so then the creators
of Twitch looked at their customers and
they were trying to figure out who were
their really passionate customers and
they realized that the people using
their platform the most or the people
who were streaming themselves playing
video games and they had very passionate
followers because if you've ever played
video games you know that at some point
you just get stuck and you can't go any
farther and you'd love to be able to
watch somebody else beat that part of
the game that you're stuck on long story
short they sold their company for a
reported 1 billion dollars to Amazon Wow
don't get too stuck on your solution
stay close to the customer investigate
you lose using your product or service
and refine it to get the best value
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now back to the show
all right
let's get more specific about how to
test an idea some of the examples that
are out there involve creating a minimal
Viable Product so if you have an idea
for a software product or a service or
or some sort of hard product what you
want to do is create you want to create
a prototype and you want to get that
prototype in the hands of people so
instead of going to a factory and having
them create a mold and spending hundreds
of thousands of dollars on a product
create a prototype it doesn't have to
be perfect get into the hands of your
customers and see what they they think
about it it's one of the things that I'm
doing right now my long-term vision for
my business is to have an Android app
that helps small business owners create
and manage a digital presence online and
the way that I'm testing this idea is by
engaging small business owners and doing
all the work manually so instead of
spending tens or hundreds of thousands
of dollars developing an app that I
don't know will be useful or demanded by
clients who are willing to pay I'm
engaging customers one on one I'm doing
the work for them figuring out what they
like and what they'll pay for and then
I'm gonna create an app that will do all
of those things without a person having
to do them individually yeah
so that's one of the ways that you could
test an idea before spending a lot of
time and money and effort on it another
great example that I have is there was a
company that moved into Israel they were
looking for opportunities to invest and
they saw there were camels everywhere
they thought to themselves well hey we
got these herds of camels why don't we
use the camel's milk to create some
products so they built a factory that
brought herds of camels and they started
to create camel's milk ice cream well
they finally got the camel's milk ice
cream onto shelves of stores in Israel
and no one bought it and they started
asking themselves why isn't anyone
buying this camel's milk ice cream well
it turns out that camels are unclean
animals in the Jewish faith so no one in
Israel no Israeli citizen no Jew is
going to buy camel's milk ice cream
because it's unclean and the idea about
testing an idea before you invest all
this money in it is they could have
bought some regular ice cream or even
made some camel's milk ice cream in a
very small batch put it on a roadside
stand and start selling it in local
markets farmers markets or on the side
of the road or offering it to retail
establishments they could have spent one
weekend doing that spending maybe $100
and they would have figured out very
quickly that there is no demand for
camel's milk ice cream or other camel
milk products right when you're thinking
about testing idea think about the least
amount of work and money and effort that
you can put in just to test the idea if
you get positive feedback you could
expand your efforts you can invest more
money yeah
yeah one personal example for me is I
want to create a video course that
someone can can go to my website and pay
money and access this course but that's
going to take a tremendous amount of
money and a tremendous amount of work to
create it so before I put in all that
effort and all that work I want to make
sure that the content that I'm producing
is relevant to the customers and that
there's a need for it and that there's
demand to go backwards from that
I'm gonna do live courses with people
face-to-face rather than just videoing
and you watching it at home you have to
come and be with me in the same room now
this allows me to to test all the the
content to see people's reactions to
gather feedback to be
in the room with my customers face to
face and then I can tweak and refine
that idea but then even to go back from
there before I run this course I've done
some things where I've mentioned it on
my website mention it in YouTube videos
and said if you're interested register
here with your email address your phone
number then I have called these people
and talked with them on the phone and
asked them questions like what is it
that you feel like this course will do
for you what are the problems you are
facing that you're hoping this course
will address even before I've run the
first one I've already been talking with
them and gathering this feedback so that
right from the get-go I'm testing this
idea and validating it because of course
I think the course is great I've
benefited from all this information I
think the content is useful but I'm not
my customers I'm coming from a different
place I'm maybe from a different
generation or a different background or
a different education different culture
so I need to hear from them I need to
make sure I don't fall into that idea
bias thinking it's great because I
created it but not everybody appreciates
our own creations now when it comes to
validating ideas there can be some
issues with business ethics and it can
be a bit of a gray area so one example
that's mentioned in the book the Hundred
Dollar Startup by Chris Guillebeau, there's
a guy who thought about writing this
high-end car guide that was going to
cost $900 but he knew it would take him
at least a month to produce it and he
wanted to make sure that it was
something that people thought was
valuable and would be willing to pay for
so he spent about two or three hundred
dollars to place an ad in a high-end
luxury car magazine and he sold two so he
contacted those customers and said I'm
releasing a new version at the end of
the month you know car guide 2.0 it'll
have some important updates and new
features no extra charge
but it's going to be delayed is that
okay and they both said sure so then
knowing he'd made these two sales and
knowing he had already about $1,500
profit he spent the time and wrote the
guide now what are your thoughts on that
Ry is that ethical so I don't think I
would feel a hundred percent comfortable
with telling people I had something for
sale when I didn't I know that this is
fairly common especially in the software
community for validating ideas they will
allow people to put deposits down or to
actually buy it online and then though
later tell them hey I actually don't
have it yet but it will be coming out
and that's one way of doing it I'd like
to be a little bit more transparent I
think it's perfectly okay to say this is
what I'm thinking this is what I'm going
to develop here's the value of it here's
the methodology here's the cost here's
the timeline for delivery will you put
down a deposit yeah and it's one of the
best ways to validate your idea because
many people can like a photo on
Instagram they can share a post on
Facebook they can give you their email
they can even tell you they like your
idea but that is nothing compared to
someone who actually hands over money
the ultimate validator of your idea is
whether someone and not just one person
many people are willing to pay for it
and this kind of transitions us into the
next topic which is the lifecycle of a
product let's listen to this audio clip
about how innovative products work
themselves into the marketplace
"in 1962 Everett Rogers a professor of rural
psychology developed a theory called the

diffusion of innovations to explain this
phenomenon Rogers found that individuals

within any society fall into one of five
different adopter groups based on how

early or how quickly they adopt an
innovation Rogers theory tells us that

if you want to promote the widespread
adoption of a new behavior like these

you need to market to each adopter group
differently using distinct communication

channels and messages"
alright so you
just heard that clip about the diffusion
of innovation basically we have five
types of people when it comes to the
adoption of technology we have our tech
enthusiasts or innovators we have
visionaries or early adopters we have
or early majority we have conservatives
or the late majority and we have our
skeptics who are also known as laggards.
when you create a product or service the
people who want your product or service
in the early days are probably tech
enthusiasts they're innovators they're
people who like to buy all new kinds of
technology they like to be on the
leading edge they like to try new things
they like to tell all their friends and
family about the new gadget or the new
service that they're trying out they
have no fear of technology and they're
probably expecting your product to not
be a hundred percent meaning they're
expecting some flaws
they're expecting some glitches but
that's also something they love to do is
give feedback they want to be involved
in the development process so when
you're talking about testing idea you
need to remember that the people who are
showing interest in your idea in the
beginning that's not the majority of the
public and as your product or service
evolves over time you're gonna have to
change your messaging you're gonna have
to change your marketing you may even
have to change the product or the
service to appeal to the majority of the
population whether it's early adopters
or the early majority those two groups
they follow the innovators but they like
to see the product or service
established in the marketplace they like
to see the benefits in place they're not
as much of risk takers as the innovators
yeah so that's something to think about
when you're creating your product your
service yeah so the question to ask is
how do you get the average Mohamed on
the street you know have the average
Fatima to give you a review because when
it comes to technology as you mentioned
those early adopters they might have a
far deeper knowledge and thirst for tech
features that the average population
just isn't interested in or finds
overwhelming when you think about
something like like fashion you know
some of those early adopters that are
going to
take on something there they'll wear
things that the majority would never
wear and the majority is going to be
years behind and wants to keep it pretty
simple and so you have to be careful
that the customers that you're speaking
to are the majority yeah a perfect
example that we can give for this
product lifecycle is the cell phone
initially in the 1980s there were these
big clunky cell phones that were very
expensive and the service wasn't great
but there were people who loved them and
would pay thousands of dollars for them
and then the phones got smaller and
smaller in the early 2000s the big trend
was having the smallest phone possible
and then as we got into the 2000s it was
I want the biggest phone possible when
Apple came out with the iPhone in the
touchscreen since then phones have
gotten bigger and bigger and bigger in
the screens and the cameras have gotten
bigger and bigger yeah but with each of
these innovations we still have the
innovators the early adopters the early
majority late majority and the laggards
to this day we have people it's not a
lot of them who don't want anything to
do with any kind of cell phone all right
they would probably be considered the
skeptics or the laggards the late
majority today they probably have flip
phones right Motorola RAZR yeah they
have flip phones and the the late
majority and the early majority they're
probably in the smartphone but it's not
the newest smartphone that's not the
most expensive smartphone it's not the
best smartphone they may use it for
email or watching video or texting but
they're not using all the features right
you're you're tech enthusiast you're
innovators they're the ones standing in
line at the cell phone store when the
new version of the Samsung or the Hauwei
or the iPhone comes out yeah because
they want to see what new features are
there are and they want to tweet about
it they want to post on social media
about the new phone and tell or their
friends yeah with every product there is
this distribution this diffusion of the
evasion that occurs throughout society
so where do you fit when it comes to
tech and new gadgets I'm usually in the
late majority yeah I wait until I can
see absolute benefit in things before I
adopt them I don't have a lot of
patience for technical flaws or for
products or services not working the way
that they're supposed to
so I usually wait until a second or
third generation of a phone and they've
gotten all the bugs out before I will go
and buy it
all right that's all for
episode number six if you'd like more on
this topic of validating an idea go to
Moroccopodcast.com episode six we've
got some great resources in the show
notes so there's some books we recommend
on this topic the Lean Startup the
Hundred Dollar Startup and one I've
recently finished called Will It Fly by
Pat Flynn also recommend another link
that'll be there Noah Kagan
is a great entrepreneur and he's an
expert in validating ideas he has a
great story of how he validated the idea
of a coffee flavored gum and how he
collected money before he made the
product and I'll let you go to the link
to see how the story ends at moroccopodcast.com
you've been listening to the
Business in Morocco Podcast my name is
Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
Maimone if you enjoyed this episode be
sure to subscribe and leave us a five
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podcasts download our entire library of
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fill out the form on Moroccopodcast.com
or email us at Ryan@moroccopodcast.com
and we'll give you a shout
out on the show our theme music is
Lovely Day by Bill Withers
used under creative commons and we hope
you'll have a lovely day doing business
in Morocco
we'll see you next time

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