The 100$ Startup by Chris Guillebeau

The 100$ Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Three important lessons you’re going to learn about in this book:

1.Convergence:

What will make our business successful ?

This simply means that not everything you’re passionate about is interesting to others, however, see that small overlap between the two circles? That’s your opportunity for a microbusiness.

2. Skill transformation

You don’t have to have the exact skill needed to start a certain business, you only have to have a related skill, for example, teachers are good at teaching, but also, they’re good at communication, they can adapt to the circumstances easily and they also can coordinate and organize a large number of people with different interests.

So, start by simply realizing that you have more than one skill, much more, so, think carefully, what skills do you have that could be transformed into another skill to help you start a microbusiness built on that specific skill?

  • The magic formula:

Using the previous two lessons, we can make an equation, a formula that will end in success:

Passion or Skill + Usefulness = Success.

How to put happiness in a box and sell it?

Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering a salmon plate, after you made your order, the chef came to you and told you, “Salmon is a little bit tricky to prepare, have you cooked it before?”, and before you have the chance to respond, the chef continues, “I’ll go ahead and heat the oil, you go wash your hands and meet me back in the kitchen.”, that sound weird, right?

It probably has never happened to you, what chef on earth would ask you to come prepare your food with him? After all, it’s unpleasant, you pay extra for eating in a restaurant than you normally would pay if you had the same meal at your home, you’re basically paying more for the service and the atmosphere.

Imagine going to a restaurant and ordering a salmon plate, after you made your order, the chef came to you and told you, “Salmon is a little bit tricky to prepare, have you cooked it before?”, and before you have the chance to respond, the chef continues, “I’ll go ahead and heat the oil, you go wash your hands and meet me back in the kitchen.”, that sound weird, right? It probably has never happened to you, what chef on earth would ask you to come prepare your food with him?

After all, it’s unpleasant, you pay extra for eating in a restaurant than you normally would pay if you had the same meal at your home, you’re basically paying more for the service and the atmosphere.

What does this have to do with managing a microbusiness? I’ll tell you, most owners expect the customers to prepare their own food, they think that this is what customers want, they believe in the saying:-

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”, but, the thing is, most customers don’t want to learn how to fish, we want our fish served to us, it’s a small treat after working a long day, so, for that, you need to give customers what they want.

Where do ideas of microbusinesses come from?

An inefficiency in the market: When a certain product loses its efficiency, a new product should come right away to replace that old one, why not make that new product yours?

New technology: When smartphones first came out, the market changed, there were new jobs including app developers, so the market was hungry for people who had that skill, on the other hand, newspapers’ market also bloomed, because some people didn’t like the idea of completely changing everything into electronic.

A side project: You don’t have to limit yourself to that one microbusiness, in fact, when you see your business going well, you should think of other side projects that could be made to bring more income.


But, I still want to make money doing what I love, what should I do?

That’s not hard, in fact, it’s easier than doing something that you don’t love, however, to be able to do that, you need to connect the thing that you love with the thing that people want or need.

A friend of the author, has a side business that is based on doing something that he loves, let me first explain something before telling you his story, often, when people travel with an airline for the first time,

they offer them flyer miles which is basically a certain amount of miles earned after each trip using that airline, after a few flights, you might find yourself having enough miles to take a free flight to some place, now let’s go back to our story,

Gary used this flyer miles offer in his own benefit, most people who earn enough miles to take that free trip don’t have enough time to figure out all the things they need to do to use these miles, they don’t have time to learn or to think of the hardships they might face, so,

Gary opened a side business where he offered to completely organize a trip using these flyer miles that those people had, he charged 250$ per trip, now, when you think of it, you might ask yourself why would anyone pay 250$ for something that they could do for free?

The answer is that those 250$ are not that much compared to the actual 5000$ these people would have to pay if they went on the same trip without using their flyer miles, and Gary promises to give people the best-organized trip they ever had, if it wasn’t well-organized, they wouldn’t pay, simple as that.

Here, Gary built his business on something that is indirectly related to his passion -being a consultant- not his passion itself, so, he managed to connect the thing that he loves with things that people need by giving a solution to a problem.

As someone said “1 HOUR OF EXECUTION CAN ANYTIME BEAT 100 HOURS OF PLANNING”.

Therefore, act as quickly as possible.

Let’s hear a story about starting quickly, you don’t really need a plan as long as you have the previous steps in mind.

Jan and Omar were two freelancers who freelanced in designing, they had multiple projects and they made a good profit, but, by time, they started losing interest, they began wondering if that was it,if maybe they should have chosen a different career, this wasn’t a good sign,

they were less than 1 year deep in that career, it’s not normal to get bored that quick, one day, they designed a map of their favorite country, a country they have always wanted to visit, after finishing its design, they wanted to print it, the problem was that to print it, it would cost them 500$ because the printing office won’t print less than 500 copies,

so they did, they printed 500 copies and took their maps and had 498 other maps they didn’t know what to do with, they gave some away and were left out with about 494 maps, they didn’t know what to do with them so they just put them on a one-page-website

they’ve made and went to sleep, next morning, they woke up to find their first customer, after that, customers kept coming in for a long time, they started their business, without even planning it, and as quick as a business could be!

Jan and Omar were two freelancers who freelanced in designing, they had multiple projects and they made a good profit, but, by time, they started losing interest, they began wondering if that was it,

if maybe they should have chosen a different career, this wasn’t a good sign, they were less than 1 year deep in that career, it’s not normal to get bored that quick, one day, they designed a map of their favorite country, a country they have always wanted to visit, after finishing its design,

they wanted to print it, the problem was that to print it, it would cost them 500$ because the printing office won’t print less than 500 copies, so they did, they printed 500 copies and took their maps and had 498 other maps they didn’t know what to do with, they gave some away and were left out with about 494 maps,

they didn’t know what to do with them so they just put them on a one-page-website they’ve made and went to sleep, next morning, they woke up to find their first customer, after that, customers kept coming in for a long time, they started their business, without even planning it, and as quick as a business could be!

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