Man, what a ride. 2020 ended with a giant vision, and finally landing on some partners who could help me execute it. And it seemed like things were finally going to kick into high gear...
Until they didn't.
And after months of back-and-forth, a few proof of concept conversations, and a whole lot of wasted time... we realized the partnership wasn't going to work out.
I wanted to build a game-changing, giant f*cking business. They wanted another side hustle.
Nothing wrong with that. But it was clear this was just going to be a repeat of my last business that took way too long to exit.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't furious and a little sad. But this changes nothing about my grand vision for SoVisual.co. In fact, it's only helped me to clarify a lot of stuff.
We're setting out to completely change the world of design. And it might take a handful of baby steps to get there (SocialRemix.co being one of them). But we'll get there.
A couple months ago I had an idea about the evolution of the product. Without divulging too much, I'll just say that it's the most ambitious idea I've ever had for a product. So ambitious, I didn't really have a clue as to how we might get there.
So for weeks I thought through MVPs and different iterations that would help us gradually step-ladder our way to that big, hary, audacious product idea.
This idea would require levels of development--even at the simplest MVP level--that I'm incapable of. So I called in a dev company to consult on it. After signing a couple NDAs, I presented the two phase idea to them so they can get me an estimate.
And then I waited.
[insert gif of someone waiting here.]
Seemed like it took forever for them to get an estimate back. But finally, they did.
The price tag for the MVP was definitely something far beyond what I could fund myself. I wasn't surprised. However, it was significantly lower that what I thought it might be...
So it got me thinking. A lot.
And after weeks of mulling it over in my head, I decided I'd look into possibly getting some investors involved, and exchanging equity for the needed funds to pay for development.
I sent a simple tweet--half-joking... and had 3 offers within 2 minutes. Haha... not surprising.
While I still haven't made a decision of whether or not I definitely want to go down this route, it's widened the realm of possibility to bring this idea to life.
This was a big deal for me. I've been a fan of Jay Baer and the Social Pros Podcast for a long time and to be invited on as a guest was such an honor.
I didn't think that Jay and Adam would want to talk about our product the entire time, but that's basically what happened. Very cool conversation about visual marketing in 2020, and found a kindred spirit with Adam when he realized SoVisualco is very similar to an advertising business his father had in the 70's!
For any interested, here's the episode: https://dustn.xyz/socialpros
Tailwind has been a longstanding cornerstone of savvy Pinterest Marketers' workflow. I have a lot of friends at the company, and have used their product a lot over the years.
When they began releasing their monthly Pinterest Canva Templates, I thought there might be a good opportunity for us to partner together and offer to create Photoshop versions of their templates.
They were thrilled at the idea.
On March 11, I found myself browsing through Betalist. I'd been subscribed for a long time, but never thought my business would qualify since there was no real "beta." We're not a software.
But I noticed they had opened it up to "recently launched products" as well and thought, what the heck... I'll give it a try.
Submitted it that evening, and had an email the next morning that we would be featured. 🎉
Here it was: https://betalist.com/startups/sovisual-co
We had a couple products ready for release, but still weren't up to the production speed we wanted to be at. Plus, I was still making tweaks to the business model based on the interviews I was conducting.
But on February 1, we made our Pre-launch deal publicly visible, and our first Social Packs purchasable. We didn't begin promoting it, but it was there.
When I first began conducting interviews with our target audience, I didn't expect one of the first few people I spoke with to say, "can I buy it right now?"
We only had 2 products, and he ended up buying our "Pre-launch" deal right on the spot. It was a pretty incredible feeling to get that strong of a product validation.
In 2019 SoVisual.co was something different entirely. The product market fit just wasn't right, and we had done nothing but lose money for almost the entire year. I needed to pivot to something with a better product market fit.
Helping social media marketers thrive is something I was passionate about, so I put together some ideas about how I could use my team to create a solution. And that's when a new exciting journey began.
Coming up with daily social media content is hard and time consuming. Especially if you're doing it for multiple clients. We solve both those problems with gorgeous, expert-crafted, ready-to-post social media packs.