Tim Ikels - Creator, Publisher, Marketer

Million Dollar Weekend By Noah Kagan

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These are my book notes Million Dollar Weekend by the authors Noah Kagan and Tahl Raz.

Noah Kagan is the founder and ceo of AppSumo. (software deals platform)

Tahl Raz is a business journalist and writer of non-fiction books.

Million Dollar Weekend - Noah Kagan And Tahl Raz

Fact Sheet


The book is devided into 3 parts and 9 chapters:

Start It - Rediscover Your Creator’s Courage

  1. Just Fu**ing Start - Begin Before You Are Ready
  2. The Unlimited Upside of Asking - Get a Gold Medal in Rejection

Buld It - Launch Your Business with the Million Dollar Weekend Process

  1. Finding Million-Dollar Ideas - Simple Exercises to Generate Profitable Business Ideas
  2. The One-Minute Business Model - Shape Your Idea into a Million-Dollar Opportunity
  3. The 48-Hour Money Challenge - Validate Your Business by Getting Paid

Grow It - Make Money While You Sleep

  1. Social Media Is for Growth - Build an Audience Who Will Support You for Life
  2. Email Is for Profit - Use Email to Make a F*&k-Ton of Money
  3. The Growth Machine - My Battle-Tested Growth Playbook
  4. 52 Chances This Year - Use Systems and Routines to Design the Business, and Life, You Want

Let’s take a look at a few key concepts and ideas:

Key Concepts And Ideas

The Million Dollar Weekend process in a nutshell:

  1. Find a problem people are having that you can solve.
  2. Craft an irresistible solution whose million-dollar-plus potential is backed by simple market research.
  3. Spend no money to quickly validate whether your idea is the real deal (or not) by preselling it before you build it.

When people who are new to entrepreneurship (aka “wantrepreneurs”) don’t make any progress, it’s almost never about a lack of skill, desire, or intelligence.

It’s usually because of two major fears:

  1. The fear of starting.

We learn that “entrepreneurship is risky”. Therefore, we believe that we need

But it’s exactly that inaction that breeds more doubt and fear.

The solution?

Small experiments that we repeat over time. Trying. Taking action. Getting up (again) after failing.

  1. The fear of asking.

After we embark on an entrepreneurial journey, the fear of rejection emerges.

We’ll never sell a thing if we can’t ask for what we want.

We have to be able to ask in order to get.

Most people: Overthink first, act later.

Every successful entrepreneur: Act first, figure it out later.

The three W’s of business:

Customer first. Always.

Additional Book Resources

14+ step-by-step templates, tools and spreadsheets:

(PDF) The Ultimate Million Dollar Weekend Resource Guide

Quotes (In No Order)

In actuality, the best way to learn what we need to know - and become who we want to be - is by just getting started.

(…) focus above all else on being a starter, an experimenter, a learner.

Small experiments, repeated over time, are the recipe for transformation in business, and life.

Don’t be afraid to act. Be afraid of living a life that seems more like a résumé than an adventure.

Business is just a never-ending cycle of starting and trying new things, asking whether people will pay for those things, and then trying it again based on what you’ve learned. If you’re afraid to start or ask, you can’t experiment. And if you can’t experiment, you can’t do business.

(…) the days when we weren’t afraid to leap into the mud and dirty up our hands were when we learned the fastest (and had the most fun!). Leaping is all that matters. The most courageous creators just leap more - in spite of their fear - and successful creation eventually follows.

Once you reframe rejection as something desirable, the act of asking becomes a power all its own.

Defining yourself by the things you do each day (the process) will get you to where you want to be quicker and more joyfully than measuring yourself against others.

That we eventually succeeded is a byproduct of the fact that we just try more things, period.

Your customers don’t want more software, they just want solutions. Focus on that.

Customers don’t care about your ideas; they care about whether you can solve their problems. And you should not build your idea into a business if you don’t know with 100 percent certainty that it’s a solution your customers will pay for.

Validation is finding three customers in forty-eight hours who will give you money for your idea.

(…) work fast and stay laser-focused on going from idea to first customer.

The hard part is not choosing which business idea. The hard part is getting customers. And that’s where you’ll focus first.

(…) when it comes to generating business ideas, customers come first. Before the product or service. Even before the idea. To build a business, you need someone to sell to.

What gets you to your first $1 will get you to your first $1,000.

The tests of your will and grit never stop. The doubts never quite disappear, no matter how much you achieve. A dying father might seem like a rare, dramatic example, but in moments large and small, your life is shaped by your willingness to face your fears. Remember, just keep going no matter what.

Achieving your dreams comes down to one question: How many times are you willing to get back up after falling down? Entrepreneurship is nothing more than the ability to come up with ideas and the courage to try them out. To experiment, experiment, experiment. To fail, fail, fail. Until you succeed. Just start. And then… start again.

Every day, I feel the sting of rejection. And because of that, I succeed.

One of my favorite ways to find ideas is by studying the marketplaces where people are trying to spend money. Your potential customers are everywhere already asking in public for solutions.

Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in a weekend by emailing friends to use it. Version 1 did well, validating it. And Microsoft started with Bill Gates building software for a guy in Albuquerque. He had a customer first.

Even if you’re a great surfer with an amazing board, you will still fail if you don’t have a good wave to ride. (wave = market)

(…) your job is not to create demand for something that seems exciting, it’s to find existing demand and satisfy it.

At AppSumo.com, almost 50 percent of our sales come from our follow-up emails. Think about that.

One of the largest drivers of AppSumo’s email list was giveaways. We realized this only after seeing a giveaway in a women’s fashion online site and trying it out ourselves.

A community who already knows you, who follows you, who is rooting for you is one of the most powerful forces in business, and it’s created through generosity.

People get hooked on characters. People do business with real people. Especially those who feel like a friend.

The first dollar is always the sweetest. It’s momentum. It’s possibility. It’s fear getting its ass kicked.

You own your email list. Forever. If AppSumo shuts down tomorrow, my insurance policy, my sweet sweet baby, my beloved, my email list comes with me and makes anything I do after so much easier. Because it’s mine. It also doesn’t cost you significant money to grow your list or to communicate with your list, whereas Facebook or Google ads consistently cost money.

The book also makes a reference to a quote by Steve Jobs:

Most people never pick up the phone, most people never ask. And that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You gotta act. And you gotta be willing to fail.

And one more by Zig Ziglar:

If you believe your product or service can fulfill a true need, it’s your moral obligation to sell it.

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