- Make $1,000 Per Month Business
- Make Your First Dollar
- Wantrapreneur to Entrepreneur
Product Owner: Noah Kagan
Advertised Price: $300/year or $35/month
What Is It?
Appsumo's Make $1000 Per Month Course (or whatever you want to call it), is a beginner's guide to creating and marketing your own product. Training tutorials and videos guide you though the product creation, validation, marketing, and business scaling processes.
This is a course unlike any other course I've reviewed on One More Cup of Coffee. It contains very high quality information and a positive, supportive community atmosphere. There are definitely people that will benefit from Noah Kagan's advice.
However, it's not for everyone, and what you'll be doing as a “wantrapreneur” is not clearly explained in the beginning. Moreover, I have a few major complaints about the way the course is set up, which is why it didn't score as well as I would like to have rated it.
For people that are not interested in creating your own product and would like to learn how to do affiliate marketing (what I do), you should take a look at my recommended affiliate marketing training. Otherwise, keep reading to see what my experience was with Noah Kagan's training.
Before You Buy
You can't beat a 60 day money back guarantee, and I read several comments from people that took the entire course then asked for their money back (and got it). Noah Kagan is not running a chop shop like a lot of the junk I review. He's a legit marketer, who seems to really believe in what he's doing. I have used at least one of his company's WP plugins on my other websites.
We're told that we will learn how to make $1000 per day, but not exactly how. We'll be creating our own products/services, which is going to be a major turn-off for some people. For me, I am just not interested in making my own product – I love the affiliate side of things because it takes a lot of responsibility off of my shoulders, namely being creative! LOL. Sorry, but I just have to be honest 🙂
I suppose if you are familiar with Kagan's previous work being involved in various startups like Facebook (employee #30), Mint (employee #4), and his own ventures, then you could have guessed that this is a program for “big idea” people.
Not to tear you away from this review, but I prefer affiliate marketing because it allows me to earn money promoting products from other people, meaning I take less financial risk in the beginning. The Appsumo course does it's best to reduce the amount of financial risk you take on by doing extensive “validation” (explained below), but affiliate marketing is still better for newbies looking to earn money online in my opinion.
You can choose to pay the $300 fee for lifetime access, or split the payments across 12 months ($35 per month). I have to question how valuable a lifetime membership for a 1 time fee is going to turn out. Without recurring fees to pay for updates and maintenance, is the business not reliant on a constant influx of new members? Maybe all business are.
It may seem counter intuitive, but I'd rather see a monthly membership fee with no contract. I somehow forgot (or they lost) my request to cancel my membership, and ended up paying for the entire 12 months even though I only used about 30 days of the membership. My fault for not following up on the cancellation in the appropriate time – their fault for locking me into a 12 month contract.
What I Liked
There are many things to like about Noah Kagan's beginner's guide for entrepreneurs. The most significant one is that it's a community of real people, that are actively asking and answering questions. These days, nothing less will suffice.
If you are serious about starting a business, service, website, or something else, and don't have the support of a community in your area (friends or family), then you are going to need some kind of support network online. You will have questions, sometimes very specific questions, that can't always be found with a Google search.
Even with access to mentors via social media, they are busy people, sometimes taking days to respond with very short, generalized answers. I saw Noah answer a few questions, but most seemed to be taken care of by other community members. Questions take place on the training course as well as in a member forum.
Getting personal support via an online business community was vital to my own success, so I know the value of what's being provided here.
Perhaps the best piece of advice to come from the course is for you to stop “playing business”, and figure out what's making you money.
I mentor a lot of newbies and I see this mistake all the time. They want a beautiful website. They want to code. They want business cards and a logo. They want to set all their “ducks in a row” behind closed doors, then bust out onto the scene with their amazing idea.
99% of the time it falls flat, and they quit.
I agree with Kagan that it's much better to put yourself out there right from the beginning, make some mistakes, find out what works, then do more of that. “Playing business” is a great way to impress your non-entrepreneur friends and convince your mom that you are doing something important with your time, but it's a terrible way to make money.
Another thing I liked about this path to my first $1000 was the quality of the training. Kagan is a very personable and animated person. The site is well designed, everything works properly, the videos are high quality, and there has been a lot of thought put into it. It's clearly designed for newbies, though I think experience entrepreneurs with a couple failures behind them could benefit from some of the tough-love advice.
You are definitely getting your money's worth, and though it only scored 85/100, I think it's worth the $300 price tag. The question is, could that $300 be better spent somewhere else?
What I Didn't Like
First off, pick a name bro. I don't know what to call your course. Is it Appsumo? Is it “Make Your First $1000”? Is it “Make Your First Dollar?” Why am I constantly being called a “Wantrapreneur”? I guess this has nothing to do with the material itself, but the lack of cohesion can be seen in other places.
For example, I just discovered the community forum yesterday (3 days in). But this is separate from the comments on the course, some of which are questions. Is there a moderator to monitor any of this or is it all self moderation? Should I expect an answer, or hope for one?
Community is Good, but Could Be Better
Though the community was active and friendly, I did see a lot of comments go unnoticed. I didn't spend long enough to really do an in-depth analysis of what was being asked and answered, but today is May 14, 2014 and you can see that comments from this month haven't been answered, plus comments from 2 months ago are still showing.
Give Me More Control
The absolutely most frustrating thing for me was the way the course was set up. It's EXTREMLY linear, meaning that you must do task one before you can access task two. It's most likely done this way to keep you from skipping ahead, missing stuff, and then blaming them for the course not working. I totally get it.
But at the same time, we are not told from day 1 what we are doing. It's like a the puzzle in Wheel of Fortune that we slowly put together as time goes on. To be honest, I was pretty lost for the first couple lessons, not knowing exactly I was going to be doing with all these silly questions and videos.
What was the bigger picture? There was no overview of what was happening, and no way to skip ahead to see what was coming. We were totally at the mercy of training, and forced to trust in what they had planned for us.
It may be a bit harsh, but I felt is was similar to some of mind-control techniques of MLM motivational speakers.
Asking, Not Earning
Another big issue I had with what they were teaching is that there seemed to be a lot of asking going on. Our so-called “First $1” was actually asking someone for a dollar!
Excuse me? I thought we were supposed to provide a service for someone to earn that dollar. What ever happened that basic principle of business? Instead we are supposed to break down some kind of psychological barrier and start begging for money because it teaches us the lesson to not fear rejection. Sorry, I'm not into it.
And Kagan talks a lot about “validation”. This is an awesome concept, and one of the major underlying themes of what's taught in the material. The idea is that you should always make sure there's a market for what you are planning to sell before you spend a bunch of money developing a business based around this idea of yours.
Some validation techniques are legit, like searching Craigslist. But it's actually recommended that you ask friends and family to purchase your first widgets (or whatever you're selling), which I think is a very flawed technique.
Sure, if you hang around entrepreneur-types, they can give you can objective opinion on whether or not your product is worth their cash. But if I asked my mom or dad to buy anything I made, they'd shake their head and ask what's wrong with me. LOL. Supportive, I know. But it shows that fishing for startup advice in a local pond may give you skewed results.
Hold The Corn Please
The whole vibe of the course was a bit corny. There were silly YouTube videos and Kagan was acting like a clown in the intro videos. That would be nice if this was a high school “start your own business” class for teens, but I'm an adult and I can handle information without it being spoon-fed to me.
I get the concept — make it fun and you'll keep people's attention longer. Being a bit silly is better than being too dry. But my idea of fun is not watching YouTube videos of Pixar cartoons or uploading pictures of furniture in my house to mock-sell something on Craigslist (actual requires of the course)
Anyway, these various activities were less entertaining that they probably think. I'm not interested in how much you love tacos.
Lack of True Direction
I guess the hardest thing for me to describe is the lack of true direction that you get from the training. I felt that you really did need a “big idea” or at least some kind of entrepreneurial spirit to really make use of the course material.
Remember, you will be creating an entirely new business, app, product, service, or something like that. You need to find a problem, and make a solution for it.
Granted, there is some direction provided for this step. We are taken though the steps of how to actually find a market, and we do have access to the community for discussion. But at the end of the day, you might actually have to throw down some capital for an app, an office, a prototype, or something like that.
So while Appsumo's Make $1000 per month course can provide some much needed support and validation to your current ideas, I don't think they will be there for your in the long run. Once your business gets up and running, they won't be there to hold your hand. Are you ready for that kind of commitment?
Appsumo's course is legit. They provide high quality information to help newbie entrepreneurs get their first business off the ground. But it's not for everyone. I feel that there are easier ways to make money on the internet that do not involve product creation and will be easier/cheaper for the average Joe/Jane to start out in.
Getting Started With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is what I do. It's not as glamorous or exciting as creating your own product/service, but it certainly is effective at making money. If a dummy like me can figure it out and earn a living from home, you can too.
You don't need to hold inventory, you don't need a brand new idea, and you don't need to re-invent the wheel. In fact, most of what you'll be doing is writing articles about a topic you are interested in. Sounds easy enough, right?
You can set up your first affiliate website for free in the online business community where I started out as a newbie. I'm still a member, and will be able to answer all your questions along the way.