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The Non-Technical Person's Guide to Building Products & Apps

900 minutes of course content

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$75.00 (taxes calculated at checkout)

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Course Description

What do Pinterest, Snapchat, Amazon, and Alibaba all have in common?

They were all started by non-technical founders who couldn't code and didn't have a CTO.

Nowadays, anyone who has an idea is told that they have to "learn to code" or "find a partner," but learning how to code isn't realistic; it takes years to get good at and forces you to neglect your other skill set. Finding a technical partner is insanely difficult because everyone is trying to do it, and if you do find someone, it's going to be really expensive. If you have an idea you don't need to learn how to code and you don't need to sacrifice half of your vision to someone "technical."

I created this course to teach you how you can launch your idea without spending years learning how to code, having to recruit a partner, and without breaking the bank along the way. As an entrepreneur, a freelancer, or even a small business owner you need to learn how to independently test and launch your ideas - without anyone else's help. This course will show you how.

After taking this course, you will be able to:

  • Quickly validate your ideas with five different techniques
  • Build a landing page that converts with Launchrock
  • Run validation campaigns through Facebook and Google
  • Interpret the results of your validation campaigns and understand basic web analytics
  • Wireframe from scratch with Balsamiq and produce a mockup of YouTube
  • Determine the best (and cheapest) way of getting your app designed
  • Manage design freelancers and be effective at negotiating a lower price
  • Make use of free and premium templates to skip the graphic design process entirely
  • Avoid the common pitfalls of contracting
  • Understand the basics of startup traction and how product quality plays into that
  • Leverage your MVP to recruit and attract investment capital

This course is for professionals within the following business functions:

  • Anyone interested in learning how to launch their web or mobile ideas
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to test ideas and validate internal projects
  • Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners can all benefit from this course

    1. Get acquainted - 8 Minutes

      1. Meet the instructor
      2. Course overview
    2. Getting ready - 30 Minutes

      1. The three essentials of feasibility
      2. How much is this going to cost?
      3. Is learning to code a waste of time?
      4. Section 2 Review Material
      5. QUIZ: Getting ready
    3. Validating your idea - 48 Minutes

      1. The idea validation framework
      2. The idea we're going to use as an example
      3. Customer segmentation
      4. Running a qualitative analysis offline
      5. Extra: Before you start validating
      6. Section 3 Review Material
    4. Scoping out your competition - 30 Minutes

      1. Advanced search techniques for finding competitors
      2. Running a competition analysis
      3. Section 4 Review Material
    5. Getting your first customer feedback - 50 Minutes

      1. Conducting the five-second test
      2. method
      3. Quick and easy validation through email
      4. Validation through online groups
      5. Creating your pitch experiment
    6. Creating your pitch experiment - 96 Minutes

      1. How to create a Launchrock landing page to gauge interest
      2. Using UnBounce for more in-depth analysis
      3. Setting up A/B tests for your Unbounce page
      4. Adding conversion goals + dynamic text
      5. Adding a payment button to your page
      6. Extra: Using a payment button in email
      7. Extra: Getting a logo for free
      8. Extra: Getting a better logo for $5
      9. Extra: Getting domain names
      10. Section 6 Review Material
    7. Testing your idea in the wild - 40 Minutes

      1. Using Google ads + Launchrock for validation
      2. Using Facebook ads + Launchrock to test your idea
      3. Getting free coupons for Google, Facebook, Bing
      4. Section 7 Review Material
    8. Evaluating results - 13 Minutes

      1. Looking over the results
      2. To repeat or not
      3. Section 8 Review Material
    9. Introduction to prototyping - 65 Minutes

      1. Crash course terminology
      2. What exactly is a wireframe? And what's a prototype?
      3. The reason we use wireframes and prototypes
      4. Concepts: High fidelity and low fidelity
      5. Important things to understand beforehand
      6. Picking a tool
      7. Following the construction path
      8. Following the construction path
    10. Pre-prototyping exercises - 30 Minutes

      1. Coming up with a strategy
      2. Coming up with the scope of our project
      3. Section 10 Review Material
    11. Sketching it on the cheap - 165 Minutes

      1. Intro to sketching
      2. Materials for sketching
      3. Sketch it out part 1
      4. Sketch it out part 2
      5. Upgrade to a tool: Getting started with Pidoco
      6. Getting used to the features in Pidoco
      7. Creating a quick sitemap upfront
      8. The site elements to start with
      9. Using templates
      10. Handling images in Pidoco
      11. Adding and controlling layers in Pidoco
      12. Annotate everything
      13. Getting up and running with Balsamiq
      14. Balsamiq continued
      15. An example of a page made with Balsamiq
      16. Creating the low fidelity version of the Happy Hour app
      17. Section 11 Review Material
    12. Making an interactive prototype - 50 Minutes

      1. Why I don't use HTML/CSS
      2. Introducing M.A.P.
      3. Adding interactivity to your prototype
      4. Creating the tablet version
      5. Collaborators & reviewers
      6. Collaborators & reviewers
    13. Designing it on the cheap (optional) - 35 Minutes

      1. Design it
      2. Option #1: Graphic design freelancers - Should I go this route?
      3. Option #2 Design contests - Why should I use these?
      4. Option #3: Templates
      5. The design packet - save yourself 80% of the headaches
      6. Section 13 review material
    14. Building it on the cheap - 120 Minutes

      1. Where to find freelancers
      2. Intro to Elance
      3. Intro to Elance continued
      4. Intro to Upwork
      5. Intro to Upwork continued
      6. Intro to Freelancer
      7. Five pillars for evaluating contractors
      8. The $50 test
      9. Six red flags to look for
      10. Tools for bug testing
      11. Becoming a bug hunting master
      12. Bug hunting on mobile, a whole new beast
      13. Section 14 Review Material
    15. Bonus tips - 75 Minutes

      1. Tip: Don't worry about extra work, follow my guidance
      2. In-country or out-of-country? It's easy
      3. Are contractors a long-term solution?
      4. The difference between outsourcing and contracting
      5. How do you pick a development "stack"?
      6. Tip: Some thoughts on bug hunting
      7. Tip: Why are freelancers so cheap?
      8. Tip: Fixed rate vs hourly rate, use my method
      9. Tip: Equitizing your contractor
      10. Tip: Off hours developers: What they are, where to find them
      11. Tip: The truth about referrals
      12. Tip: What is good? Avoid this trap
      13. Tip: Accelerate your testing this way
      14. Outsourcing and protecting your IP
      15. Section 15 Review Material
    16. The finish line and beyond - 3 Minutes

      1. Where do I go from here?
    17. Course commentary - 42 Minutes

      1. The dilemma of recruiting tech
      2. Why does equity matter?
      3. Product - Team - Interest - Traction
      4. Product - Team - Interest - Traction
    18. Extras

      1. Our $4k NDA, yours for free
      2. 70 codeless tools for running and growing your business
      3. 77 tools for building a codeless site, store, blog, or web / mobile app

      About the Expert

      Evan Kimbrell

      Evan Kimbrell

      Hi, I'm Evan Kimbrell. Thanks for checking out my course. Currently, I'm the Founder, Director of Sprintkick, a referral based full service digital agency based out of San Francisco. Over the last 4 years, I've overseen the development and launch of over 100 web and mobile apps. Clients range from 1-2 man team startups bootstrapping their initial idea, to multibillion dollar Fortune 100s like Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, & GNC. Previous to Sprintkick, I worked as a VC for a brand new firm called Juvo Capital, based out of L.A. I spearheaded the firms expansion into Silicon Valley deal flow and into Consumer Web tech category. Previous to working for Juvo, in the long long ago, I was a co-founder for a educational software startup called ScholarPRO that raised a ton of money and then spectacularly blew up (in the bad way). Before it exploded like the Death Star, I went through 5 tech incubators (yes 5) with Tech Stars, Excelerate Labs, MassChallenge, Babson Venture Program, and Sparkseed. I'm an avid AirBNB host for the Fishermans Wharf district of San Francisco. My space has the #1 search ranking for my area, has hosted over 200+ people, and is currently booking out 18 months in advance :) Over the last year I've helped multiple other hosts get their properties listed and maximize their price per night. Results range from an extra +50% in price for established hosts, and +400% for brand new hosts. Hope you enjoy my courses!
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