The #1 Way To Stop Trading Time For Money
“Find an inefficiency. Think of a solution. Communicate your ideal outcome. Welcome to tech entrepreneurship!”
- Jared Yellin
“But, How Can You Find An Inefficiency?”
First off - they are EVERYWHERE and they are often created because of the lack of technology and the over abundance of technology.
For example, Facebook, one of the greatest innovations of our time, has created seismic inefficiencies which yearn for a solution. One of the CILA Labs Portfolio companies, Carli.ai, founded by Chantelle V., is focused on eliminating one of the many Facebook inefficiencies. There are currently over 10 million Facebook Groups, which have over 400,000,000 total members across all of these groups and the average person is a member of 40 groups.
Here are the inefficiencies with just Facebook Groups alone:
When you are in 40 groups, you are really in no groups.
Engagement in groups has dropped significantly.
It could take hours a day to find the one thread that matters to you.
When people have time sensitive questions in groups, you will most likely miss the opportunity to help since you are in too many groups.
And the list actually goes on and on and on…
So, Carli stands to make your experience as a member of a group optimal by notifying you in real time of the discussions that matter based on the keywords you are interested in hearing about. There is ZERO purpose to sort and sift when Carli can literally ping you on our mobile application with the exact conversation that will enable you to get what you want and to give what you want to the group.
Let me share one more example…
Claim Guru, Founded by Joshua O. and CILA Labs, is eliminating the process and systems inefficiencies that plague the public adjuster industry. On average, a Public Adjuster will spend about 10% of their week doing FLAME WORK and the other 90% living in a world of redundancy, inefficiency, and an over lack of productivity. Claim Guru is the A-Z software platform that allows a Public Adjuster to run their entire business with this one tool.
Here are the inefficiencies that a Public Adjuster would need to deal with prior to Claim Guru solving all of this and so much more:
Public Adjusters need to document everything but if they are on a call while driving it’s nearly impossible to revisit a key concept that was discussed
Existing software solutions don’t allow for templated emails or any communications so each case is like starting from scratch
Public Adjusters need all communications centralized which does not happen so there is a ton of copying and pasting into files
Document signing is a complete nightmare because the final signed copies need to be disseminated to a number of parties and right now this is done manually
Scheduling could take hours because of the number of different people involved
I shared these two examples to reinforce that inefficiencies are EVERYWHERE!
There is an overabundance of inefficiencies in healthcare, home building, transportation, travel, social media, consulting, course creation, podcasting, telecommunications, blogging, SEO, censorship, DJing, etc. Literally EVERYWHERE so the key is to find the ones you care enough about to SOLVE!
Please read this again…
Your goal should be to find the inefficiencies you care enough about to SOLVE!
And there are two ways to find these inefficiencies:
Way #1: Productize Your Patch
Way #2: Find Compromises
Way #1: Productize Your Patch
I said this before, but I want to repeat it again…
Inefficiencies are often looking you in the eyes daily or at least regularly, but you just don’t see them because you are patching these inefficiencies to make them efficient for you and only you, but if you were to Productize Your Patch you would make them efficient for everyone, while building a limitless scale product or service.
For example, Josh from Claim Guru decided to bring his idea to the world because countless people came to him and said, “Josh, I want what you have.” But what Josh had was not a product, it was actually a patch of a ton of different products, ways of doing things, and a handful of intuition that he would implement daily into this business for his own benefit. Josh has a big vision though to not only be a success Public Adjuster, which he already is, but to transform the Public Adjusting industry which was his motivation to develop a 200 page IP document outline what he needed to be built to Productize his Patch and then he partnered with CILA Labs to bring it to life.
I love stories like Josh because it shows a desire to solve an inefficiency for the masses which is such a noble mission. Listen, you don’t “have” to Productive Your Patch and you can live a wonderful life with an abundance of patches, but if you want to make your mark, it’s time to objectively assess what you are doing to get the outcome you are able to create and then develop a limitless scale product around this need.
Whether your patch falls in the realm of health, intimacy, finances, real estate, travel, contracting, parenting/birth work, art, live streaming, comedy or any other industry, if you want to leave a legacy and make your world a better place then follow these steps to create your product.
Step #1 - What is the outcome you are able to get that others aspire to achieve?
I am sure you heard the cliche, “start with the end in mind,” and now more than ever this is critical. When Productizing Your Patch, you must understand your end because without clarity of what you are accomplishing, it will be nearly impossible to build the right product. We must reverse engineer your results by answering these questions...
What outcome are you able to achieve?
What result have you become known for?
When people come to you asking for advice, what are they asking and why are they asking you?
Assuming there are zero limits or restrictions, is there a bigger outcome you are striving to create?
Your end becomes what your product will build towards and the clearer you are about what makes your “end” special, unique, measurable, effective, etc., the greater your ability to create a product that will help others experience the outcome as well.
Step #2 - What are the steps you are taking to create this outcome?
Whether the outcome is a magical relationship, optimal health, an organized closet, a more efficient way to use social media, or anything else…
What are your steps?
A great example of answering this question came from Brad S., CoFounder of Whizant, when he shared the exact steps he took to build a 30-day program and the amount of redundancy and repetition was almost hard to bear. Luckily, Brad has a world-class team, but for the everyday person who has expertise on a subject and they want to package this genius to sell, what Brad did would most likely be a turn off. It’s highly technical, extremely time-consuming, and rather expensive. But does it have to be?
For example, these were the steps:
Record 30 videos
Program sequencing between videos
Edit each video and add-in branding
Setup a LMS platform or membership area
Design the course
Upload each video and write descriptions
Develop interactive manuals
Setup an affiliate tracking software
Create an onboarding process
Build a marketing plan
Setup ads on all social platforms to sell the program
The list goes on and on and on...
Imagine a community of accelerated learners collides with savants on various subjects. That was the outcome Brad wanted to achieve and the steps he shared were exactly what we needed to lay the foundation for Whizant.
Step #3 - What are the products/services you are using to create this outcome AND what is the purpose of each?
I have yet to see someone NOT overpaying for products/services when they are patching a solution. Usually they are working with a variety of vendors who don’t communicate and the level of inefficiency is insane, and also is a reason their company or life or whatever they are working on is NOT reaching the next level.
This is why we need a list of EVERY product and service you are currently using in a Patch manner...
Please list ALL of them!
This step was a game-changer for ASK Expert Now and the Co-Founders, Parry and Alam. Both of these fine gentlemen are experts in their field and one of the challenges they faced was monetizing their minutes. People would ask them questions and they either have to sell them a consulting package or answer their question for FREE. They were using all different types of software to attempt to automate elements of their consulting including Calendly for scheduling, Stripe for collection of payment, Mailchimp for email marketing and reminders, Twilio for text reminders, ClickFunnels for their different levels of engagement, Zoom for a meeting, and at least 5 other tools as well. The cost was well over $1,000/month and they were 100% responsible for generating all of their own business in their old model.
This was until they partnered with CILA Labs and we built every feature (and more) into a FREE platform where experts can monetize their minutes.
Parry and Alam had an expensive patch that worked, but their mission was not to only make it work for themselves but for the entire expert industry as a whole.
Step #4 - If you were to patch together all of these products/services, what would this new product/service do?
The fourth step is critical because often when you begin to productize your patch, you forget what inefficiency you are actually trying to solve. It gets extremely exciting as you list out the steps and the products/services you are currently using, but remember, people want your OUTCOME in less time, with less invested effort, and for less money.
So now, what will your product/service DO?
Literally, write up what it will do.
Our Co-Founders at Vnderground did an AMAZING job of explaining their product which you can see below…
Vnderground will be a mobile application used via Google Cardboard (and Oculus and the like), which is a $10 “device” made out of cardboard where the user can place their mobile phone into the cardboard for a completely affordable, simple, and fun virtual EXPERIENCE.
When a user opens the Vnderground application on their mobile device, they will see all of the ACTIVE Clubs that are FREE and others with a COVER FEE and they will be able to gain access to their Club of their choice.
Once inside, the experience goer will have the EXPERIENCE that they YEARN for!
Will be able to control the entire experience…
From the venue they are hosting at…
To the lights…
Just picture a DJ mixing it up in the middle of Yellowstone National Park during a thunderstorm with 1,000’s of people in the crowd throwing their arms in the air, living their freedom, enjoying one another, and immersing themselves in the music…
Just picture the Comedian making you laugh until you cry in the middle of the Pyramids in Egypt where you can feel the energy from the 100’s of people who are present all at the same time.
Or the magician who is putting on a show in the middle of the Bronx Zoo and you can feel and hear the gasps of the crowd, the lights are setting the mood, and the mystery is omnipresent.
THIS is Vnderground - The Virtual Underground Of EXPERIENCES!
Oh and btw…
The experience-goer might be sitting on their couch in their boring living room but they don’t feel like they are on their couch…they are crowd surfing at an open air club in Lake Tahoe with 1,000’s of other people.
Or maybe the experience goer uses Vnderground to find a local experience where people are all in the same Vnderground Experience together in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts, but they are not really in the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts...they are at the Great Wall of China listening and feeling the violinist.
Writing out what your product/service will DO for your end user is an extremely valuable exercise because this is where you will be able to focus on functionality, user experience, use-cases and more. Most people start to really see their products come to life in Step #4.
Step #5 - What benefits does someone stand to gain by using your new product versus the patches?
This is a fun experience because you can start to write the testimonials you plan to gather once your product/service is patched!
One of our companies, Vather, really delivered well on this question in their Fundraising Deck when they shared the following:
People are more connected than ever, yet, they feel wildly disconnected.
As we began observing the needs of people along with solutions that create a sense of belonging, we were drawn to TWITCH, the largest video game streaming platform in history.
Although gaming is not our thing, we do love the culture that TWITCH has been able to create for this subculture and it then got us thinking…
What about the whittlers of the world…
Or the wine connoisseurs…
Or the tattoo artists…
Or even the latte aficionados…
Or the sports enthusiasts...
Or Mary the quilter…
Or Bob the town-class chef that everyone loves, but not many people know…
Or any other person with a skill, interest, quirk, or hobby…
Where can these people go to VATHER?
Where can these people go to gain a sense of belonging?
Where can these people go to meet one another, to enjoy their commonality together, and to...VATHER?
This became our singular focus…
How do we make STREAMING technology more connected?
How do we enable HOSTS to teach, share, and inspire, but the audience to gain from them AND from each other?
How do we create a virtual gathering (aka Vathering) place where people can be connected and feel connected?
How do we create a space where people come for the experience, but they stay for the people?
I have found that asking questions like the ones from above really helps develop use cases, which then helps writer testimonials of your future users. Have a blast composing some stories of transformation!
Step #6 - What is the process someone will go through when using your new product?
Now we will start getting into the nitty gritty of your solution with the actual process something will experience when they login, implement, sign up, etc.
Our partner at Referral Bucket dominated this step…
As you can see, Referral Bucket is a business-changing and life-altering solution because right now 1,000,000’s of referrals a year are not happening as a result of leaks in the referral bucket that we are now able to fill, which will yield billions (and maybe even trillions) of dollars of additional referral business.
This is the time when you literally list out your steps…
What does someone do when they login?
What should someone do on a daily basis?
How do they use what you productized?
What features should they use first?
What can they eliminate?
Step #7 - What is the name of your new product?
I have found that when you attach a name to your product it makes it easier to productize your patch, so have fun with this step.
Start to merge together words…
Search domain hosting services for available URLsGoDaddy or the like…
Look up your favorite words in other languages…
Get a NAME!
Most expecting parents say that they begin to realize their baby is actually coming when they give their kiddo a name and the same holds true for the patch product you are about to productize.
Step #8 - What do you stand for and what do you stand against?
The final step is Your DOT (Declaration of Technology), which I introduced in Chapter One and I encourage you to revisit this concept if you have not completed this assignment because it's absolutely essential as you begin to Productize Your Patch. But just to remind you, your Declaration of Technology (DOT) becomes your internal and external war cry when the going gets tough, because even with this roadmap, I promise it will.
Your DOT is a statement that holds extraordinary meaning to you and it’s structured in the following way…
We stand for________________________________.
We stand against____________________________.
Let me share a few DOTs from some of our CILA Labs portfolio companies to give you an idea…
ASK Expert Now:
We stand for experts monetizing their expertise.
We stand against experts giving away their expertise for free.
We stand to optimize the amount of time people spend on social media.
We stand against investing hours to find the one conversation that matters on social media.
We stand for one simple solution to make the administrative side of a Public Adjuster’s business easy.
We stand against monotonous, repetitive, and non-scalable tasks that Public Adjusters are forced to do manually.
We stand to create an interactive online experience which mirrors the real world.
We stand against people missing out on the engagement of all senses during virtual events.
We stand to create the first virtual gathering where people with an expertise, skill, interest or quirk can learn, share, and congregate.
We stand against people who are looking for their tribe, not finding it.
Without your DOT you won’t have the clarity and certainty behind WHY your technology is needed in the world.
One thing to realize is that when you Productize Your Patch, it might not end up being this wildly novel or innovative idea, rather a very practical utility that people in your industry, with your interest, or in the world just need to become more optimal. And the more you can make your product a utility, the more it will scale limitless, but I do need to caution you slightly…
This process is NOT for the faint of heart and it’s really for someone who wants to create seismic impact. NO, this is not everyone, but it might be you and it probably is you. So proceed with this one caution that Productizing Your Patch has risk, can be expensive, might consume a ton of time, but for the right person...it’s beyond worth it!
Now, you might be trying REALLY hard to find your inefficiencies and maybe you can’t seem to locate any patches. Don’t worry - you are NOT out of luck - there is a second way for you to build a utility that will change your industry, your community, or even the world.
Way #2: Find Compromises
he second way to get an idea that is worth executing on is to begin observing where people are making compromises.
Where are people accepting mediocrity?
Where are people living without innovation?
Where are people operating from a space of just enough?
Well, there happen to be 10,000’s of these situations that exist in the world and more are added daily.
I mean UBER is a great example of a compromise because people were OK standing in the rain trying to hail a cab.
Or VENMO is another wonderful example of just enough, because friends would lend money to one another and the process to get paid back was arduous and not immediate aka mediocre!
I want to share something Vnderground created with the support of CILA Labs because it truly captures the essence of a compromise turned into a disruptive limitless scale software solution...
The idea for Vnderground came as a result of observing the DJ scene in the wake of COVID-19. High-level technical DJs found a way to perform via Twitch and other streaming platforms, while the amateurs, which represents the vast majority, had to hang up their vinyl, their mixers, their speakers, and their passion as they hope and pray that some form of a club scene would be resurrected soon.
But there was another person in this story that has also been impacted significantly…
The club go-er!
The club go-er definitely shows up for the music, but they also yearn for the experience!
They want the neon...
They want the energy…
They want the feeling!
Even if the DJ finds a way to livestream their art, the audience is still listening and observing in their white-walled bedroom with the lights on as they lay in bed.
The neon is missing…
The energy is missing…
The feeling is missing!
As we started speaking with DJs, we quickly realized that the “missings” were tormenting them because all they want to do is find a way to deliver the most sensual, world-class experience possible.
Then our journey continued to other industries where EXPERIENCES matter…
And there are plenty of other EXPERIENCES that have been suppressed AND have had ZERO innovation...EVER!
WHAT IF COVID-19 happened FOR experiences…NOT to experiences?
This was a question that we started to innovate on which birthed…
Vnderground - The Virtual Underground Of EXPERIENCES
Everything about Vnderground will challenge the status quo, create a new norm, and make EXPERIENCES better than ever before.
The steps with identifying compromises is more of an intentional observation and surveying process than actual steps because you can’t force finding a compromise.
It’s something that maybe you are experiencing OR you know someone who is subject to mediocre in an important domain in their lives.
The key is questioning and listening…
How are you doing what you do now?
If there were no limits, what would you change about what you are doing?
What are some requests you get often?
As people answer these questions, repeat back what you think they are asking you...
For example, when we met the Co-Founders of Vnderground, their original ideas were VERY different when compared to the solution we are now building.
Initially, they wanted an all-in-one DJ software that would integrate into Twitch. But we asked the questions from above and here are abbreviated versions of their responses….
How are you doing what you do now?
We use an open-source DJ software that is rather complex, but allows DJs to create some cool special effects for our virtual audience.
If there were no limits, what would you change about what you are doing?
I would love to be able to control the environment people are in when listening to my music.
What are some requests you get often?
I wish you could recreate the energy in the club.
Once again, their responses were WAYYYY more detailed than this, but you get the point I hope.
We then came back and said…
So it sounds to us that you actually want to create an AR/VR experience for your audience where they can sit in their home but feel like they are at a remote venue with you, AND you can control the energy even if they are participating in a white room of their house during the day.
The response from Vnderground…
WOW - YES! Can we do it?! That’s even more exciting than what we originally shared with you.
Compromises are EVERYWHERE, you just need to ask those three questions from above, REALLY listen, and then repeat back what you think you learned. I guarantee if you do this enough, you will and on a limitless scale idea.
One of the coolest things about CILA LABS is our ability to RUN, SPRINT, and SOAR with ideas…
Just ask any of our portfolio companies that we are creating as we speak…
Our speed of innovation is INSANE and the reason we FLY is because of this very simple fact…
The world around us is in a constant state of motion…
When you sleep - someone else is awake.
When you perseverate - someone else is taking action.
When you talk - someone else is doing.
This is why the first 30 days that your crazy idea enters your mind is the make or break…
If you commit to a daily - ritualistic - action plan to make progress for the next 30-days, you will build enough velocity to determine if this idea is a hero or an iteration.
But if you just think about the idea for the next 30-days and DON’T take ritualistic action, then it’s guaranteed that your idea will NOT be a hero as it will never see the light of day.
Innovation and immediate action are directly correlated and this does not mean you become careless, but it does mean that you see the innovation and then develop a daily plan to make progress as a mechanism to test your idea.
Are you exhausted or excited by the list?
Are you paralyzed or ready?
Will you do it or not?
There are countless people I speak with who have been sitting on their idea for months or even years and they have already missed that 30-day immediate action window.
The longer you wait - the harder it is to act.
Trust me - I have had dozens of ideas sit for too long and found it extremely difficult to get them in motion once they crossed that 30-day threshold.
And yes, this exercise is NOT for the faint of heart NOR is bringing an idea to life.
Idea generation is for the changemakers…
This is why CILA LABS exists, because we want to meet people who have ideas for days, weeks, or months and help them take their idea from a piece of paper and transform it into a disruptive company.
We stand to eliminate and disseminate inefficiencies in every industry, in every community, and in the world…
There are inefficiencies in healthcare, education, marketing, sales, chiropractic, insurance adjusting, social media, television, mobile apps, podcasts, real estate, data, and EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY that exists…
My question for you to ponder is…
Will you SOLVE the inefficiency or CREATE the inefficiency?
Neither is good nor bad - just decide - and I encourage you to follow the 30-day plan from above because this is the next step now that you got an IDEA!
Live with Intention,