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Executing a Sprint to Maintain Results

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23 December, 2021

Erik Rogne
Erik Rogne

Product at Rescale

Erik Rogne, Sr Product Manager at Rescale, explains how he created one of his first businesses, an online course dedicated to selling products on Amazon.

Stumbling into a Niche Business Idea

Growing up, I would scheme business ideas with one of my friends. At the time, I had been selling products through fulfillment by Amazon. I explained to him that I wanted the most payoff for the least amount of effort. My mindset led me to create a system to launch a product in less than a week. Through our conversations, I learned that my friend had begun selling products on Amazon as well, although rather than taking his own approach, he had been following multiple courses online.

All of the courses that my friend took were wildly underwhelming and didn’t help him apply any of the techniques taught. After seeing the low quality of courses on Amazon, he reached out to me to learn more.

Building a Model and Executing

Creating a Partnership:

I understood that my friend and I were on a similar path, both selling products and services on Amazon. A light bulb went off in my head, telling me that we should join forces and create an online course about selling through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Before I started this process, though, I looked into our to-be competition; the other online courses available. I tried to understand what kind of other people were struggling to learn about selling on Amazon because of the lack of resources. There were plenty of courses, but they were all theoretical and didn’t teach real-world content application.

Starting a Program:

I looked into data via Google Trends and discovered that this topic was red hot with popularity. I realized my friend and I could create something that was fully action-based, where individuals could go through step-by-step and directly apply the knowledge without the fluff. I learned that only 10% of users finished online courses, so I expected the progress to be incremental.

Creating an MVP:

To prove that our system would truly work, we built an MVP, part one of our online seller’s course. Our goal was to launch the entire lesson plan in less than a week, which was fast. We launched the MVP video on Udemy for free and quickly began receiving feedback. Our course received more engagement than we anticipated, and the feedback was overall very positive. We chatted with users through video calls and comments on our course and learned that they wanted more lessons to come out.

Launching the Product:

After learning that this course would be a success, we launched a three-part lesson about selling on Amazon. The first was free on Udemy, and from there, users would have to pay to watch the rest of the course. Over 25,000 users signed up, and our lesson became the top-selling course on Udemy and other platforms.

The Importance of Sprints in Rising Tends

  • Launch an MVP as quickly as possible. Timing is important: trends come and go, and if I had waited to launch this course a year later, I would have faced steep competition.
  • In terms of starting something, it is essential to sprint when the opportunity calls for it. Taking advantage of the right opportunity involves a quick sprint rather than making slow progress when it comes to you.
  • Differentiate yourself: we simply made the course action-based rather than passive.

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