Aug 07

Here’s an idea for a service I would use if it existed. First let me give the backstory.

I’m about 1/3rd of the way through a book on improving conversions through landing page optimization. So far it’s been focused on demonstrating the importance of this practice by showing how minor improvements in conversion can have multiplier effects on profits. While I understand the strategy of firmly embedding the “why” in readers first this isn’t what I’m seeking from the book.

Skimming ahead through the remaining chapters I’ve noticed it’s almost entirely text with no pictures of landing pages. On a subject that is so visually-oriented as this I want to see:

  • screenshots of landing pages
  • real data from A/B and multivariate testing
  • hypotheses on what changes are expected improve conversion and why
  • more pics showing the evolution of these pages
  • analysis of resultant data confirming or disproving the hypotheses

Basically I don’t want theory, I want empirical data from experience and it appears I’m out of luck for getting that in this book.

This void got me thinking that there is an opportunity for someone to write that book. But then the more I stewed on it, the more it became clear that the real opportunity isn’t for another landing page book at all (that’s thinking way too small). The opportunity is this:

Create a member’s only site that consists of user-submitted info on what works. Whether it’s landing page optimizations, changes to product packaging, homepage design, business model tweaks, marketing strategies – whatever. The point is that the content would be the pure extract that comes from iterating on one’s business and improving it. And for the revenue model: the buy-in to be a member is either to earn access by uploading one’s own lessons or to purchase access.

In the same way that The Funded had a service whereby entrepreneurs could gain access to review others’ term sheets by uploading their own term sheet, this service would build its own content out over time. As the repository of lessons grows more valuable, some percentage of people would choose to purchase access to get the information either out of lack of experience or lack of time. They would trade money for both.

I believe The Experts Exchange site had a similar model for gaining access to a bank of technical questions and answers. The distinction here is that this service would be based around insights. There would need to be a way to peer-rate the value of the lessons submitted. The more valuable the lessons, the more privileges they earned you. There would be some kind of credit system where credits could be purchased or earned via submitting valuable insights. The challenge would be in seeding it with enough useful insights to attract initial participation from smart people.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of our business is the discovery & experimentation of coming up with ideas, testing them, iterating and finding out what works. We learn a ton from working in our own little petri dish but imagine if it were possible to barter these insights to buy into a larger body of shared knowledge across other petri dishes? This service would be worth it for the value of those insights alone but think about the other byproducts:

  • having input from other smart people to sanity check your efforts
  • making personal connections with other entrepreneurs through constructive interaction
  • exposure to funding sources in a setting where they can see how you think and operate
  • an objective measure of the value of your input

Thoughts? Who wants to go out and build this?

3 Responses to “Free Biz Idea: the secret society of what works”

  1. I would say that discovery & experimentation in own business providing is too risky. You can experiment with some ideas when you have another job or no family to feed. In other case you can’t just go for it, because this could end a disaster. And not only for you, but for your closest ones – and that is something that no one would want. In the other way, some risk sometimes is necessary to gain success but everyone should rethink this before starts the revolution. How big are the chances to survive? How big are the chances to fail? Those question in my opinion must appear before the liftoff.

  2. sean says:

    @Odchudzanie – huh?

    @Brandon – maybe i should have reworded that last part. I wasn’t actually soliciting help to build this. I was throwing it out there in hopes someone else would latch on and make it because it’s something I would use if it existed.

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