How Paul MacCready Succeeds in Creating a Glider Plane When Others Had Failed For 17 Years
Henry Kremer wants to push the boundaries of human ingenuity. He has a vision: can an airplane travel – powered only by the pilots body? So in 1959, he starts a contest: he would award the grand sum of £50,000 (which is about $1.3 million in todays money) to the first person who builds a glider plane that runs for half a mile only on human effort.
17 years go by. Many resourceful teams attempt to win the reward. But no one succeeds.
In 1976, Paul MacCready faces a crisis. His business venture has failed. And he still owes $100,000 to a friend who had loaned him the money to start his business. In 1976, 1 pound is exactly equal to 2 US dollars. So when Paul hears about Henry Kremer’s reward, he decides to try his hand at creating the human powered glider.
Paul starts by studying the efforts of other teams that have attempted to win the reward. And he comes to a startling realization. All those people were solving the wrong problem. They would spend over a year creating a glider plane. And then go on a test run. Which would result in a crash within seconds. And then they would go back to creating a new airplane. The process was very slow. And expensive.
Paul realizes that the problem is not inventing a human powered aircraft. The problem is the process of inventing a human powered aircraft. It’s just too slow. So he changes the problem: how can you build and rebuild a plane in hours instead of months?
With this problem in mind, he creates his first prototype. He uses mylar, aluminium tubing and wire to build. This first prototype fails because it is too flimsy. But Paul quickly fixes that in hours and tests again.
This quick iteration process means that Paul has more data points to learn from his failures. While other more resourceful teams have spent years and years behind the problem, Paul comes and wins the Kremer reward within 6 months!
The biggest mistake people make is they spend weeks and months building their product. Before they even know if it will sell. You have to fix that. You have to speed up your product testing and development process.
Young Thomas Edison toils for 6 whole months to build his first invention: a vote recording machine. People can vote for an issue without getting up from their seats, and all the votes are tallied instantly – saving a lot of manual effort. But when Edison tries to sell his invention to the Massachusetts Legislature, he finds that they are not interested in buying it.
One seasoned politician explains to Edison that his invention will disrupt the status quo and is exactly what the Legislature does not want. You see, the political groups regularly relied on brief delays caused by manual counting of votes to try and influence others to change their votes. They wanted more time to persuade others. Not more efficiency in vote counting.
That’s when Thomas Edison vowed that he would never waste time inventing things that people did not want to buy.
But how do you find out what people want to buy? You can’t ask them. Because as Edison’s friend Henry Ford says, people themselves don’t know what they want.
So what do you do?
Apologies for leaving you at a cliff hanger. But the above post is an excerpt from the first chapter of the new ebook I’m writing: Frontend Marketing Strategy: How to create ever increasing flows of traffic by building a frontend product.
The book will sell for $35. But you can pre-order it for $5.
The book will reveal a strategy you can use yo create a perpetual traffic cycle:
- How to create a frontend product and sell it effectively.
- How to use the profits from the sale to promote your website.
- How to optimize the product pricing and the conversion rates so that each sale gives you enough money to advertise and generate at least one new sale.
It will cover topics like:
- How to validate your idea. And not waste time developing a product that won’t sell.
- The quickest way to write salesletters and create effective landing pages.
- A few frontend product ideas that do well.
- How to price your frontend products.
- How to use joint ventures to drive the traffic.
- Advertising tricks.
- How to optimize your conversion process.
If you are interested in the book, pre-order it by paying $5.
Note: The ebook hasn’t been written yet. You will receive the chapters as a I write them. 1 chapter at a time. 1 to 2 chapters per week.
Why am I doing this?
- I do my best work when I have deadlines to meet. Having you pay me the token $5 will make sure I am accountable.
- The end product will be a lot better because of your constant feedback.
- It would be awesome to gather a few testimonials before the ebook is launched.
What skill sets do you require?
- Moderate writing skills (although you can outsource this.)
- Domain expertise. So that you can actually create a front end product.
What you’ll have at the end?
- A comprehensive step-by-step process of how exactly you can build and utilize a front end product to create a perpetual traffic cycle for your website.
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