The $100 Startup

In the $100 Startup, an amazing job that Chris does is explaining how we can transform our professional lives into the business of our dreams. This may sound like an exaggeration, but the secret lies in the book.


The subtitle mentioned in the book says, ‘Reinvent your ways of making a living. Do the things you love, and make a better future for yourself. ‘ And this phrase might just be the source of motivation you need.


Are you finding yourself stuck in a never-ending slump? Staring at the world outside aimlessly; knowing that life and work can be so much more than what you are currently stuck in?


if this is the case, then you must take action. Now is the time to climb over the wall of fears and build your startup. The $100 Startup contains numerous guidelines and tips to take the first step. Some of the precious tips shared by Chris are:


1.      Provide Them With the Fish

“Catch a fish for a man, and you can give it to him in exchange for money. Teach him how to fish– and you lose an opportunity to do business.” – Karl Marx.


Personally, this quote is my favorite. I had never come across it before, and it speaks volumes. This quote is not to be mixed with the concept of giving back or charity. This quote relates to business, specifically, a profitable business.


So, to put it simply, if someone wishes for a fish, instead of giving him one, sell it to him.

It is important to understand what is paining your client so that you can provide a cure, unlike any other in a way that is economically beneficial for you.


The author puts it as ‘The hardest path to take when starting a business is to trudge along, unsure whether or not customers will understand your innovative idea. However, the easiest way is to identify what people want, and then provide it to them. ‘

This makes you think, why do we make such an easy concept so difficult? Thanks for the insight, Chris.


2.      New Way of Defining Customers

What will benefit you, in the end, is if you stop viewing your clients as numbers instead of actual human beings. Where did this concept even originate? It probably has its roots embedded in the old concept of media mentality. Where we sat motionless in front of TV’s while commercials magically convinced us to give away our money.

But, the days of this mentality are long gone. What has replaced it? Exactly – the concept where you view and treat customers as actual people. Call this concept ‘persona’ or ‘profiling of customers’, whatever. The main idea behind it remains the same: giving your ideal customer a name and a face. Danny Ivy talks about this concept as finding that ONE customer. On the other hand, Steve Blank has mentioned this concept a lot in his book based on customer development.


While Chris puts it like this:


Old-age Demographics: The customer’s Age, Geographical Location, Sex or Gender, Ethnicity, How much they earn, etc.


New-age Demographics: Values, Hobbies, Likes Dislikes, etc.


It does not require any effort to notice the difference between the two. It all depends on identifying and understanding your customer on a much deeper level. The moment you truly know what kind of customer you want is the moment, it becomes easier to convince them to spend money on your business.


3.      Tweaking Your Way

What is the next step? What happens after you have successfully identified and solved your customer’s pain by framing your ONE customer and are still very far away from your revenue goals?


The solution: Tweak.


Chris mentions learning this gem from the founding father Copyblogger, Brian Clark. And I have to agree that tweaking has several advantages. Being able to tweak and measure things aka deciding which horse to ride is ingenious. This is also valuable when your customer increase.

Eric Ries mentions tweaking in the book, ‘the Lean Startup. ‘ Chris phrases this concept as ‘the very open secret to building a better income in your business is through tweaking i.e. small changes that have a huge impact. If you increase your traffic while also increasing your conversion rate a little along with increasing the averaging selling price… your business can grow a lot. ‘

So, dearest aspiring entrepreneur, what are you waiting for? There is no better time than right now to start building your business – that too on a $100 budget. Go get ’em!