The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

100 Startup

RATING: 6/10…READ: May 23, 2012

A beginners book to the vast world of beginning an online based business today. An inspiring book more than anything with numerous case studies of people who have began low overhead businesses. Would have liked more depth, but if you are new to information marketing or online businesses, this book is a good start.

Get at Amazon


If I needed money, I learned to think in terms of how I could get what I needed by making something and selling it, not by cutting costs elsewhere or working for someone else.

It’s all the fault of the old 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.” This might be a good idea for hungry fishermen, but it’s usually a terrible idea for business. Most Customers don’t want to learn how to fish. We work all week and go to the restaurant so that someone can take care of everything for us. We don’t need to know the details of what goes on in the kitchen; in fact, we may not even want to know the details.

“We’re not selling horse rides,” Barbara said emphatically. “We’re offering freedom. Our work helps our guests escape, even if just for a moment in time and be someone they may have never even considered before.

If your business focuses on giving people more of what they want or taking way something they don’t want (or both), you’re on the right track.

MORE: Love :: LESS: Stress

MORE: Money :: LESS: Conflict

MORE: Acceptance :: LESS: Hassle

MORE: Free Time :: LESS: Uncertainty


Instead of just during your free time, would you enjoy pursuing your hobby at least twenty hours a week?

Do you enjoy teach others to practice the same hobby?

Do you like the ins and outs (all of the details) of your hobby?

If you had to do a fair amount of administrative work related to your hobby, would you still enjoy it?

Traditional Demographics: Age, Location, Sex/Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Income

New Demographics: Interests, Passions, Skills, Beliefs, Values

Don’t think innovation, think usefulness

You can see this style of messaging in President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. An early ad in favor of reelection contained the following statement from a supporter: “I don’t agree with Obama on everything, but I respect and trust him.” Meanwhile, an ad that launched the same week against reelection contained the following statement from someone who was opposed: “I like Obama, but I don’t understand his policies.”

These are essentially the same statements, flipped around to place the emphasis on what each side wants voters to believe. Each message contains both an admission of uncertainty and an argument, thus making both pitches a good fit for independent voters who haven’t made up their minds yet.

Style without substance = Flash

Substance without style = unknown

Style with substance = impact

She’s not reluctant to spend money on things that will (1) build her brand and (2) boost her sales. This kind of spending can grow a business. If you can spend $100 and create $200 in value from it, why wouldn’t you? It’s the other kind of spending—the unproven ad campaigns and unneeded custom websites—that Heather learned to stay away from. Lesson: only spend on things that have a direct relationship to sales.

“Testing is important, but it pales in comparison to the traffic source. People love to spend time split testing headlines, copy, graphics, even tiny boxes. They can usually achieve greater returns by focusing on the source.

Want more twitter followers? Then do something interesting…away from twitter.