How to Turn $6K Into $250M (Psst! It's Not What You Think)
June 13, 2018
Author: T&N Team
###Alright—you’ve got a cool 6 G’s in your bank account and you’re looking for something to do.
Have you thought about putting that cash toward shattering an industry and changing how business is done forever?
Stick around, you might change your mind by the end of this guide.
How to turn $6,000 into $250,000,000 in 4 simple steps:
1. Find something that sucks
This part is really the biggest factor, so listen up. The world doesn’t need another Nutella, they need something that saves them from a terrible experience. For this to really work, we recommend picking something that has personally offended you, in order to get the fire just right. Something that keeps you up at night, something that drives you absolutely f%&king crazy every time you’re confronted with this experience. Something that has deeply wronged you and every other consumer for decades.
We did mattresses, so you’ll have to find something else.
2. Make it better
We have an entire process for this, so we’ll try and boil it down to the basics. Here’s where that couple grand come in handy. You’re going to need prototypes, experiments, and data. But you’re also going to need to be scrappy. It will feel overwhelming, but it can be done. We promise.
Make a Hate List®. This part is fun—write down all of the things that sucked from your experience and leave nothing out. Include every detail that made your blood boil, everything that bounces around the inside of your skull at 2 AM as you madly scribble notes by the light of your phone.
Make some phone calls. You’ll need to become an expert in everything about this industry. Call manufacturers, call scientists, call labs. Keep calling until you know exactly how everything ticks. Become a Google Scholar in all things related, and secret shop every available option until you know what makes this industry tick. Be obsessive. Be relentless. Be the change, it’s what Gandhi would do. Listen when experts speak, and absorb all of their advice.
Make a thing. Once you’ve broken down every aspect of the thing you want to make better, take that hate list and start crossing things off. Repair what’s broken. Even if it isn’t perfect, it’s a start. Work with the people who know this thing best to make a better version. Get it in front of anyone, just get it out there.
Make adjustments. Make your friends and family a focus group, and inhale every piece of feedback they have. Make adjustments constantly—don’t fear being wrong. Keep moving until things start to click, and keep tweaking over and over and over again until you end up with exactly what you need, exactly what everyone needs. Hell, down the road you might even find that some of those things on your original Hate List? They weren’t the problem. Adjust. Be flexible. Be fast.
Make some money. Sell your stuff, but sell it fairly. Price it at exactly the right cost that will get the ship sailin’ and don’t take advantage of people. Make money because you’ll need it to change an industry, don’t make money just because you can. Spend it wisely, and admit when you don’t. Put cash where it will make the biggest impact, not just where it sounds fun (Although, fun can make an impact, too!) Pay people what they deserve, and use that money to make their lives better, to make your community better.
3. Find a family
Speaking of people…
We know we said that picking something to make not terrible was the biggest factor, but we just needed to get you focused. Finding the right people is actually the secret sauce here. You’re going to need more than just your siblings and a few buddies looking for something new and exciting—though their enthusiasm and passion certainly help in the recruiting process.
You can build the best product in the world, but if you don’t have a solid foundation to back it up, no one will care. Hire honest, smart, crazy ambitious people that are ready to put in some work. Hire people who also believe the thing you picked sucks. Hire people who wake up every morning ready to tell other people that there’s a better way. Hire people who are kind, but aggressive. Hire people who aren’t afraid of the old guard, and aren’t afraid to take on unfathomably big challenges. Hire people who care.
Hire people that want to make an impact, even if they never imagined working at a mattress, eerrr, whatever your company is.
Get out there and find a family, and treat them right, because your thing isn’t just fixing a bad product, it’s fixing bad business.
4. Speak the truth
You’re going to need some chutzpah for this one, we can admit that. The guys you’re standing up to? They aren’t going to like you. They are going to hate everything you say, because they never wanted their customers, or their employees, to hear it. They are going to rely on the billions they’ve banked from ripping people off to keep you quiet. They are going to try and out-advertise you, out-spend you, and out-smart you.
But here’s what they won’t do—change.
They’ll do a lot to compete, don’t get us wrong, and to the average consumer it might even appear that they shifted their entire business model because of you. In the long run, this is to your benefit. If they’re reacting, you’re on the right path. That $6,000 you started with is only going to keep pushing you forward, until you’re making enough to radically impact the world around you. At least, that’s what happened with us.
And what if everyone in the industry actually does meaningfully change and starts making killer products for a fair price and treating people right?
That’s amazing. It’s time to head back to step one.