James: But I’m pretty certain, and I do say this a lot, whatever you have right now, if you have a membership, is unlikely to be what you have in a year from now or two years from now. They are fluid and dynamic. Have you noticed that your membership culture and offering has changed several times since you’ve had it?
Nigel: It is not even close to what it was like when I first started the thing, or even close to my dreams or ambitions or anything for it. It’s completely evolved into its own thing, and I’m the steward of it at the moment.
My whole goal is just to try and keep up and provide the vision for the future. But absolutely, it’s evolved like crazy over time. And I think it’s Reid Hoffman I think, the founder of LinkedIn, that said, if you’re not embarrassed when you launch your first version of your product, then you launched too late. And that was always bouncing around in my head when I was trying to get this thing off the ground. I was trying to make it, as you were saying, like, perfect, like absolutely every duck lined up in a row, and every pixel perfect on the screen and spending tens of thousands of dollars on development.
And the longer I go through my journey in business, the more I realized that that is just hogwash. It’s far more about the results we get for people than it is about caring whether the thing looks great. However, in saying that, I think there’s also a fair degree of, I’m very deep on making sure our branding is spot on with everything that we do.
James: I can tell that. Your brand and design and attention to detail has always been good, and I think that is an edge in a saturated market.
Nigel: It is, yeah. There is a balance to get that in space but a lot of us, me included, we’re erred too far on the side of being too detail-oriented versus not, and it becomes an inhibitor to growing and launching and getting the product out there and getting what’s most important, is the feedback from your clients around what it should be.
When I first started the thing, I had in my mind exactly what I thought it needed to be, because I thought I knew every single thing about the industry and every single thing about every one of my client’s pain points. And then they started coming into my world and coming up with all of these different things and alternate things and different challenges, and I’m going, ‘Oh well, I thought I knew everything. I thought I knew what I was going to build for them all.’
But ultimately getting them into my world and seeing what their challenges were completely changed that trajectory, and I think that’s a very important point to anyone coming into the membership space, is, get people into your world that share some sort of common pain or common thing. Find out what those pains are and then start building. Don’t build first. I made that mistake far too many times.
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