Quora but Good, Relationship Building, Working on Bad Ideas

Hey!

It's Jakob Greenfeld, the guy behind the project known under the names Opportunities.so, IndieOpportunities.com, and now *drumroll* FounderFlywheel.com.

Yep, I've changed the name, again.

Frankly, the name Indie Opportunities didn't really resonate with anyone - not even me. But I wanted to change to a .com domain and didn't have any better idea. I probably thought a bit too much about it.

Then of course, as soon as I completed the switch to the new domain and stopped thinking about the issue, I immediately found the perfect name.

I'm aware that changing the name again is confusing and will probably have some negative short-term effects. But I have no doubts that in the long term, it's the right decision.

Here's why.

The new name, Founder Flywheel, not only sounds much nicer but also, more importantly, perfectly captures the bigger vision I have for the project.

I'll write more about this in the future but here's a quick overview.

The Founder Flywheel is a pattern I've noticed in my studies of successful founders. This is what it looks like from a high-level perspective:

The way flywheels work in general is that if you feed any part of it, it will accelerate the loop.

And of course, they are well-studied models to understand companies. But I noticed that most successful founders also leverage some kind of flywheel at the personal level.

For example, the more ideas you write down, the easier it will become to come up with further ideas. This is the tiny loop at the top of the diagram.

Similarly, better ideas lead to better projects which, in turn, allow founders to discover better problems and hence to come up with even better ideas. That's the mini-flywheel in the upper-right corner.

Another thing that happens when you actually execute and launch your projects, is that it will boost your personal reputation. Interesting people and better opportunities will start knocking on your door. This leads to even better ideas and the flywheel accelerates.

Now obviously ideas play a key role here. So no worries, if you subscribed to this newsletter just for the ideas. I will continue to write about tactics and frameworks successful founders use to find winning ideas.

But I will also start exploring other parts of the flywheel and talk about specific Founder Flyhweel examples.

If you're a long-time reader, you'll notice in the following that I'm also testing a new email format.

Previously I published ideas, trend brainstorms, and framework reports separately. Now I'm including one ideaπŸ’‘, one trend πŸ“ˆ, Β one framework 🎯, and one resource πŸ“š in a single email.

Let me know what you think of the new name and format!

Now let's dive in.

πŸ’‘ Web3 Quora

  • Quora's traffic is still insane. According to SEMrush, the organic traffic alone is 236.6M/month.
  • But at the same time, Quora feels like a zombie company. Every page is filled with unrelated junk and the answers to most questions are self-promotional garbage.
  • Could Web3 technologies help build a better solution by offering aligned incentives?
  • Steemit (Web3 Reddit) is a first step in that direction.
  • One interesting approach could be to start with niche communities similar to what Stack Overflow is doing.
  • Trivia questions like "how many liters in a gallon", "what time does the super bowl start", and "how to fold wraps for burritos" seem to be responsible for a lot of Quora's traffic.

(h/t KP)

πŸ“ˆ Relationship Building

  • Most keywords related to interpersonal relationships see a clear upwards trend.
  • Lockdowns and the rise of remote work amplified the already existing loneliness epidemic.
  • But at the same time, many people still assume that relationships have to grow organically and everyone who's making a conscious effort to work on them is doing something kind of shady.
  • Case in point, just look at the comments to my recent viral essay on the system I built to keep in touch with people.
  • So if you're going to build anything in that space, be prepared for haters to show up.
  • It's no secret that cohort-based courses like the ones offered on Maven or On Deck are really all about relationship building since similar (or even better) content is easily available elsewhere.
  • Interesting related keywords: relationship building activities (880 searches/month), relationship building skills (480 searches/month), relationship building questions (380 searches/month), physical communities (100 searches/month but rapidly growing).
  • Full list of related keywords and questions here.

🎯 The best way to find the perfect idea is to start working on a less-than-perfect idea now

  • One of my favorite mental models is the creativity faucet.
  • The idea is that you first need to get all bad ideas out of your system to make room for all the good stuff.
  • Sometimes it's enough to simply write the bad ideas down. Most ideas only appear smart as long as they're vague constructs in your mind.
  • But some ideas keep lingering in your head and the only way to get rid of them once and for all is to start executing.
  • Just build an MVP and launch it, even if you're not convinced that the project really has legs.
  • Another big advantage is that you will be exposed to lots of interesting problems once you actually start building something.
  • It's very hard to dream up viable business ideas without real-world experience.
  • There are countless examples of founders who found their winning idea while working on a bad idea.
  • Pierre de Wulf was working on PricingBot, a price monitoring SaaS for SMB, when he had the idea for ScrapingBee ($1M ARR).
  • Shopify started as an online shop for snowboarding equipment.
  • Slack started as a browser-based nonviolent MMO.
  • Instagram started as a location check-in app.
  • Canva started as a tool for designing school yearbooks.
  • Once you start building something, you will realize how bad every existing tool is that you have to pay for to run that business. You will quickly notice dozens of things you feel you need to build yourself.
  • Takeaway: Don't stay too long in the ideation phase. Start a business, literally any business. Just build something and you'll be surprised how fast all kinds of great opportunities start coming your way.

πŸ“š Commonplace

  • My friend Cedric Chin's blog Commonplace should be mandatory reading for all founders. Β 
  • Not sure how to reach a specific goal? Read Cedric's post on how he applied Ray Dalio's 5 Step Framework for getting what you want out of life.
  • Want to learn how the best companies in the world validate business ideas? Read his incredible synthesis here.
  • Cedric also publishes some of the deepest book summaries I've ever seen. My favorites are his summary of Working Backwards and Obviously Awesome.

I hope you enjoyed these ideas. If you have a minute, please let me know what you think by replying to this email.

See you next week.

Talk Soon,

Jakob

Please do share with your friends. I spent 5+ hours on this so it would be nice if a few people read it.

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