Recently, I started building an app, Gurgeh. Every week I learn something new (this is a common feeling among founders). So I decided to share my weekly lessons in the hopes that (1) I don’t forget them and (2) they help you on your own journey.
In the world of startups, we usually only talk about two ways to make money. Either (i) raising money, or (ii) charging people (users or advertisers).
However, there is a third way that isn’t as commonly discussed.
I was going to call it “the side hustle”… But I don’t like the way it sounds. Instead, I’ll take a page out of Tim Ferriss’ book and call it, “the muse.”
“Our goal is simple: to create an automated vehicle for generating cash without consuming time. That’s it. I will call this vehicle a “muse” whenever possible to separate it from the ambiguous term “business,” which can refer to a lemonade stand or a Fortune 10 oil conglomerate — our objective is more limited and thus requires a more precise label.” — Tim Ferriss
You probably get the idea.
A muse is something small built with the sole purpose of making money.
No changing the world. No IPO. Just something that helps you pay the bills.
Startup founder strapped for cash? This can be your life saver!
The most famous example of this was Airbnb (for more information, read “Brian Chesky: I lived on Cap’n McCain’s and Obama O’s got AirBnB out of debt”)
I had known this story for a while, but never thought much of it.
Sidenote: Can you think of other cool stories where a muse helped a startup? If so, drop a comment below and let me know 😊 I believe this “third way to make money” should be discussed more often.
A muse helped build Airbnb and Lambda School? I had to give it a try.
Since I think it’s too early to raise money for Gurgeh, and I don’t want to charge users (my goal is to help users have more money, not less), a muse is the perfect option!
My muse experiment: MostRecommendedBooks.com
I like Tim Ferriss’ podcast and I like reading books, so I decided to combine both!
It shows two things:
- The books recommended by all of Tim’s guests (and a few other people).
- The ranking of top books that are recommended over and over again.
This is cool because (a) it’s simple and (b) it doesn’t charge people anything (it makes money from affiliate links).
Hopefully, this little experiment is the muse that will help my startup flourish 😊
Now, it’s your turn. Can you think of a muse that will help you make extra money?
Here’s a warning. Do not let the muse distract you from your core business!
One of the most important qualities in a great founder is focus (blog post on this coming soon).
If you let your muse take too much of your time, you will lose focus.
This is bad (it will probably lead to the loss of your startup).
As you probably guessed, this completely defeats the purpose of a good muse.
Remember, build and sell your muse quickly (and then go back to your main goal).
And that’s it for today!
See you next week.
Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.