Here are my notes from Noah Kagan's visit to Majoran Distillery in Adelaide, Australia. To sum the night up in one word? Awesome!

I'll be honest. Having listened to a few of Noah's interviews online I thought he was pretty arrogant. However I was totally surprised last night with how generous he was with his time and willingness to talk with anyone. He really did want to help people succeed with their businesses.

Noah is really big on validation. This is all about validating a business idea before wasting a ton of time, money and effort on it. Find three people in 48 hours who will give you money for your idea. If you can accomplish this then you have some validation that your idea just might work. Here's a free cheat sheet on validation that Noah put together for AppSumo.

Noah Pearls

Noah said a ton of awesome stuff:

  • Winners keep trying.
  • When you want something from someone do the hard work so they have no other choice than to say yes.
  • What do I really want? What is my aspiration in life?
  • Create frameworks for decision making. See post by Noah on this here.
  • You don't need a co-founder.
  • Everyone has money. Solve a problem they will give you money for.
  • Ask for things. If you don't ask, you don't receive.
  • Noone wants an app or website. They want a solution to their problem.
  • Don't fear failure or rejection. Take the coffee challenge (see below).
  • Why would awesome talent want to work for/with me? What can I offer them?
  • Help people and you will stand out.
  • Put your contact details everywhere. You want to talk to customers.
  • If you're making no money your product is no good.
  • Marketing is easy if people really want your product!
  • When people are buying find out who they are and where other people just like them are.

Live Workshopping

Noah took three people through a bit of a live workshop on how to take their business idea to the next stage. In pretty much all cases the business ideas seemed good to those who put them forward; however, Noah brang them back to validating the idea and seeing if anyone in the room would buy the product. Rather than hypothesizing about a certain demographic just see if those you have immediate access to will buy.

I must appluade those who put forward their ideas and then had to withstand a flurry of questions from Noah. Seeing as Noah regularly charges thousands of dollars for consulting though I think they got an amazing deal!

The Coffee Challenge

One of the things we need to get over is our fear of failure or rejection. One of the activities Noah told us to help with this is the coffee challenge. The next time you order a coffee ask for a 10% discount. Now a quick question. What immediately went through your head when you read that? "Crazy!" "Stupid!" "They'll say no!"

The point is it doesn't matter what they say. If they say no, so what? If they say yes, sweet you saved yourself some money. Regardless don't take it personal and don't worry about what others think.

In fact the bigger take away is that you will learn something about yourself. Why did you think the way you initially thought when you heard the coffee challenge? Why did/n't you find it hard? What did you feel afterwards? Elated? Dejected? Go away and analyse your responses and feelings to understand yourself better.


A massive thanks to Noah for coming out to Adelaide and speaking for three hours when he was only down for two. Checkout his blog and company AppSumo. Noah also has an online program on how to make your first dollar which covers all of the above in greater detail. Check out these sites today!

Also a huge shout out to Majoran Distillery for all they are doing in the Adelaide Startup scene. To get a speaker like Noah Kagan along is a massive coup so thanks.

I'm off to find a problem!

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