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The Productoons Newsletter

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Now, I may be dyslexic…

…but 'cant' is still an expletive to me.

We’re exposed to this dirty word all the time:

  • You thinking you 'cant' achieve great things (you can).
  • Influencers who 'cant' keep their word in private (they could).
  • Customers saying they 'cant' afford your product (they can).
  • Twitter saying you 'cant' once rate-limited (Zuck entered the chat).

The natural response is to engage 'cant'. To research more. To accept you suck. To accept everyone else sucks. To lower your prices. To give up.

Screw that.

The more we as creators, indie hackers, builders and solopreneurs engage 'cant', the more we believe we 'cant' build and do wonderful things.

  • Every fun thing has a hard bit.
  • Every good idea has seeds of doubt.
  • Every great speaker goes in scared.
  • Every creator has nights where they fear everything.

Anyone who disagrees is lying to you, further embedding your 'can't'.

Don’t be such a 'cant'.

We both know you wrestle with this…

…So we’re going to do something about it right now:

Challenge for the week: Count the number of times you say 'cant' each day over the next 7 days.

Reply with: How many times you said it today, the first day of the challenge.

We’re becoming 'can' people, my friend. Let’s. Go.

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If your content is boring…

How do you make it not boring?

One option is to add "power words" and spice it up with nonsense:

  • "8 websites that should be illegal, a thread."
  • "If you don’t drinking tumeric with ChatGPT sprinkles, you’re falling behind."
  • "How I wrote a thread that made me a bazillion dollars in MRR, a thread."

I know. It makes you want to vomit in your own face.

The other option is to just not be boring.

Your content’s not boring when you’re brave enough to be the real you:

  • Your real opinions are spicy enough on their own…to your people.
  • Your quirky interests are interesting on their own…to your people.
  • Your solutions to problems are interesting on their own…to your people.

So…you really only need 2 things to not be boring:

  1. To be yourself
  2. To find your people

And the first one you can do right now:

Challenge for the week: Decide how you’re going to be more yourself online, starting next week.

Reply with: What that’s gonna look like for you. Send it, I’m your accountability partner. Let’s do this.

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People don’t just like stories…

They’re completely addicted to stories.

Such as the story about why they’re “a charitable person” or “a Mac guy”.

And when they can’t be a part of one of their stories?

They experience pain:

  • Anxiety ('What happens now?')
  • Confusion ('What does this mean for me?')
  • Mourning ('Who am I without this?')

But what about when they discover a new story?

They experience happiness:

  • Excitement ('What happens now?')
  • Wonder ('What does this mean for me?')
  • Identity ('Who am I without this?')

Notice how so many of the questions are the same?

Funny how that works.

Draw people into a good story. They’ll love immersing themselves in it and hate to ever leave.

If it sounds powerful… it’s ‘cus it is.

And this week, you’re going to use it:

Challenge for the week: Take a piece of your product marketing. Any piece. Now reword it to tell a story your audience can relate to. They’ll write themselves in.

Reply with: What story are you going to work in? Send it over, I’ll send feedback.

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If you go to a restaurant…

And you open the menu…

And all it says on that menu is, "Food. $10"

How confident are you that the meal will be your most favourite ever?

"Food" is correct. And hungry people like food.

But given any other alternative, they’re going elsewhere.

And it’s not just food:

  • Zelda fans prefer Zelda stuff to "a wide selection of game-themed tat"
  • Gymrats prefer gym stuff to "a wide selection of apparel"
  • Goths prefer goth stuff to… well, anything non-goth-related

And in every example, those afraid to focus always lose to anyone that dared be a little more niche.

So just be specific.

Fall in love with one group.

And let them fall in love with you.

Last week we listened to customers in a big way. This week we’re putting those lessons to good use:

Challenge for the week: Choose who your brand is falling in love with. While playing this song, write down how your brand will love and honor this audience, forsaking all others, for as long as it shall live.

Reply with: News of your newly wedded brand, so that I can congratulate you!

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"I wish they’d make less stuff so I didn’t have to spend so much money."

It’s madness. Insanity, even.

How do some brands make us feel so… attached?
Why do we hand them our wallets whenever they ask?

Because they figured us out.

And not necessarily in a creepy or insidious way…

…but in a "we actually took the time to deeply understand what you need, what you want, and what you love." way.

  • Why is the news in a frenzy each time Apple makes… well, anything?
  • Why do you automatically buy DLC in your "most favouritest game ever™"?
  • Why are you itching to get your friends into your brand obsessions too?

Because he who knows what their customers need, want & love, wins.

It’s not enough to know their problems (though you’ll sell nothing if you don’t).

It’s not enough to know what they want (though you’ll sell more if you do).


We need to know what they love. What they enjoy. What they do outside of your world (y’know, where they spend 99.99% of their time).

Work that out and you’ll make ads they look forward to, products they feel they need, and audiences that become loyal fanbases.

That’s what you’re going to do.

This week’s challenge is going to help you do that. Let’s go:

Challenge for the week: How can you hear 1–2 customers describe their problems, their passions, their guilty pleasures, their favourite entertainment to you this week?

Reply with: Whether or not you’re going to commit to getting a conversation with 1–2 customers as above. Let’s get the week!

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Ever get to the end of a week and think to yourself…

“Man, I worked hard every day but…what did I even get done?”

The feeling of “literally where did the time go” and “at this rate things will take forever, and I don’t have forever” is not uncommon.

You’re not alone: I’ve talked to a lot of creators over the past couple of decades, and this feeling is normal… and it’s getting worse:

  • Instagram’s full of ‘alphas’ in ‘lamboz’.
  • Twitter’s full of threads about how 2yos are becoming trillionaires.
  • LinkedIn’s full of humble-brags in navy blazers.

“Oh man, maybe I should be doing more of ______!”

Stop. Hey, come back to me. Focus.

Listen: Eating three uncut pizzas at once is gross.

You’re not an animal. Select a pizza. Slice it up. Then eat 1–2 slices a day during mealtimes.

If you’re going to ship all of the amazing projects trapped inside you, eat work like you eat pizza in polite company.

This week’s challenge is going to help you do that. Please do it:

Challenge for the week: This weekend, make a 4-step list for the month. Give 1 week to each (too heavy? Reduce the size of the list!) Now break each week into 5 slices, one for each weekday (too heavy? Reduce the size of the list!) Each day, only eat that slice of work and forget about eeeeverything else.

Reply with: What’s next week look like for you? Share it with me, and treat your email reply like an accountability step. Let’s get the week!

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