How Many Tools Do You Need?

As you've probably heard, I've been getting into music recently, writing, singing, producing, and, occasionally, performing. And in doing so, I've fallen into the classic trap more than once.

Which trap, you ask?

The trap of acquiring tools instead of making music.

The thing is, I'm busy. I've got lots of things on my plate. Hiring, leading, coding, marketing, serving, there's enough to keep me busy. So what do you do when you don't have the time to actually sit your ass down in the chair and make music? You buy stuff is what you do. Just one more software synth, one more cool effect, one more saturator, one more pair of headphones.

Sometimes it's not because I'm busy. It's because I'm too scared. Making music is vulnerable. Creating is vulnerable. When you create, you put yourself out there. What if you make is shit? What if you're just not good enough for your own taste yet? What if other people criticize it? That is scary. It's safer to just buy another drum sampler, or another cool sample library. Yeah, that'll make my music so much better. Clicking buy feels like I'm making some progress, even though I'm not. Now all I do is learn how to use this new tool...

So you end up spending all this time learning all your new tools and no time making your art.

This applies equally to business, of course. Making products, producing content, marketing your products, that stuff is both vulnerable and time consuming. It's much safer to buy another course, another product, another fancy software solution that all the cool kids use. Then you get to spin your wheels for another few weeks until you need to really put yourself on the line. And by then you'll have already bought the next thing.

Don't let it happen to you.

You don't need all that stuff.

Focus on what you want to create, and then go create that. Only get the tools you absolutely need for the job. Hold off on getting stuff until you actually need it.

I remember years ago some of the "internet marketing gurus" launched a product about creating these 1-click upsell funnels, for people who had lots of products and wanted to find clever ways to maximize their revenue per customer. It sold really really well, and then they did a survey of their customers. Turned out 97% of their customers had either zero or one product! They had absolutely no need for this tool they just built! But they got so carried away with the marketing that they bought anyway.

Don't let that happen to you.

In software, we have a saying when our creative minds want to create these fancy, complicated features: YAGNI! It's short for You Ain't Gonna Need It.

You ain't.

And if you do end up needing it, build it then. The amount of time, money, effort saved by only doing/buying stuff when you absolutely need it... spend that building the things you actually do need when you need them. Or just spend it with family and friends.

Simplero tries to be everything you need, nothing you don't. We don't try to sell you on fancy, shiny new object. We don't try to sell you more than you need, or confuse you with fancy features that don't move the needle.

We get a lot of people who have wasted a lot of time and money and lost a lot of hair or more complicated solution, either of the $300+/month variety, or of the open source web platform + tons of plugins variety, and inevitably they end up wasting too much time and money on trying to figure out all of these tools and how to get them to talk to each other. And not least what to do when one of them gets an upgrade, and it breaks something somewhere.

Simplero even lets you stay in trial for as long as you need to get everything prepared, and only activate and start paying when you're ready to roll out for real.

Keep it simple. focus on the outcome, not the tools.

Please Welcome Raegan

We're really excited to have Raegan Rivers (that's her on the right) start as our Head of Marketing and Sales. Up until now, we've been letting others do the marketing for us, but it's time that we be more active in this area. She's intelligent, joyful, has lovely energy, and feels like she fits right in on the team. Some of you have already spoken with her and will agree, I'm sure. We're really excited to get going with this.

The goal is to figure out a replicatable strategy that really works for us, and then use the revenue that it brings in to hire more people, so we can make the product even better. We're looking for a developer right now, and after that we'll be hiring a designer.

A huge thanks to my wife Nomi for her help with the hiring process. Could not have done it without you.

Oh, and a few weeks ago, we added Nick Bruun as a consultant for the odd bits and bobs on the technical side. Welcome, Nick! It's a pleasure working with you.

Random Links from around the Interwebs

I strongly agree with Richard Branson: It's time we end the war on drugs. It's clearly not working, and the alternative clearly is (re Portugal). It's been time for several decades. Hopefully it'll happen in the next decade?

A fun illustration of how much the photographer influences the portrait.

Bruno Mars is amazing.

Lots of love,
–Calvin

PS. That's me with the suitcase on the right, with my grandma.

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