Startup Advice from Ryan Hoover and Justin Jackson

Sometimes informal conversations yield the best results. Justin Jackson and Ryan Hoover recorded a chat they had last week on building products. These are experienced gentlemen who have been making waves in the startup community over the last few months. They have created and cultivated audiences, launched products, become authorities and generated revenue. All whilst having a job – they have founded or co-founded businesses that bring in additional revenue.

Read the notes and watch the video to get their actionable insights in to how you can launch your own products.

Both Ryan and Justin have very kindly agreed to let me post my notes on the video but if you’d like to find out more about either of them, their details are below:

justin-jacksonJustin Jackson


Product People


ryan-hooverRyan Hoover

Startup Edition

Product Hunt

How to Validate an Idea?

  • Understand who are you targeting and who are you customers
  • It helps if you are passionate about the industry (it’s easier and better in the long run)
  • Breakdown this hypotheses around this ‘genius’ idea and identify the assumptions
  • Pick the lowest risk hypothesis and prove or disprove it
  • Validate or invalidate through hypothesis testing (e.g. landing page test)
  • Repeat the process for each of your hypotheses
  • Test quickly and cheaply (this often doesn’t require a line of code)
  • Do you have the right skill set and team to execute on this idea

How can you Find a Startup Co-Founder?

  • Be helpful
  • Be genuine e.g. tweet things of value and reference the author
  • Do it thousands of times to build a network
  • Find people that share your vision but have complementary skill sets

How do you Get to Version 1

  • Reduce scope as much as you can
  • You can often reduce something more than you think
  • Break it down to the bare minimum
  • You don’t need to do a full launch with version 1, you can release when you’re ready
  • Example: you can launch without pagination and then work on that during the first week of launch
  • Set aside some time, ‘a week of hustle’

How Do You Get Initial Traction

  • Email people individually
  • Do things that don’t scale
  • Reach out and create a dialog with your first few customers in a personal way
  • Use templates to make your outreach more efficient but personalise them and above all, be honest, genuine and individual
  • Keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t; this will let you create ‘hits’ more easily
  • Measure the validity of the customer response from easy to hard e.g. credit card > survey > email. i.e. actions speak louder than works

The Full Video

This is a recording of a live even for JFDI members. Find out more at JFDI