commit: fb200d8 - #595 (2014-04-14 00:44:57 -0400)
He quotes Rand in there: “Transparency is a way to express empathy for those who’ll come in the future.”
Easy to say/understand - SO hard to do cause you can't fake transparency. Still one of the biggest competitive advantages IMHO - especially for "the underdog".
Rand has been a huge influence on my approach to transparency. I've made a commitment to be transparent, so if you want to know anything not included in the article, just ask.
I am curious two things (since you've nicely offered!)
1. How much time do you think you dedicated to creating the book, marketing it etc?
2. Did you do anything to prep your web server for all that traffic? ;)
1. Everything related to the book took 3 months from start to finish. I started writing it September 5th and launched December 12th. I probably spent between 15 and 30 hours a week on it. Except for the last week before launch where it was more like 40 hours. Nothing too crazy. The key was to make slow, consistent progress every day.
2. Yes, I turned on caching with a WordPress plugin. The traffic only hit 12,000 visits for the day and never more than 300 concurrent visitors. I run the blog on a $20/month grid server from Media Temple. It briefly hiccuped, but only for about 30 seconds all day.
I did have an alternate sales page up on my company site which sits on another server. Knowing that if needed I could start pushing some traffic there, but I never needed to use it.
Also... just playing "skeptic" here a bit... it does help if you can be your own designer right? How much would it cost to hire a designer to produce an ebook like that? And the landing pages/sales stuff to go with the promo?
Knowing design is very helpful, but it is a skill that anyone can learn. Since I focus on products I made a goal a few years ago to become really good at design, development, and marketing. Those skills are usually found in three separate people, but I don't see a reason one person can't be good at all three. I started with design, since that's my background, then moved to development/programming, and most recently worked on improving my marketing skills.
Take the time to learn and you can have those advantages as well.