im about to get this metal straw and sip some iced oat milk lattes

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

What’s up my dawgs.

Zip

So, I gave you all a really high-level pitch for my company, Zip, last week. For those who missed it:

Zip makes it easy to legally start a homeschool. Think about it like Stripe Atlas for homeschools.

When I pitched you guys the idea it was only about 3 days old and I was asking for $20K so I wasn’t too hopeful.

But, surprisingly, about 6 of you came out of the blue and wanted to invest between $5K and $25K which was really cool. Kinda crazy to be honest. Thank you to the boyz and girlz that beleive in me.

Happy to say I got the money now from one buddy and he’s working super closely w/ me, so Zip is happening! I just started the incorporation proccess a few days ago.

Research

Well.

Time to start a homeschooling company.

Lets fucking go boyz.

Been a pretty intense week just researching the world of homeschooling. I’ve been reading a lot, talking to potential customers, and talking to experts in the space. The goal this week was to try and understand everything I didn’t understand about homeschooling. I understand the different pieces of homeschooling but I wanted to put it together to understand the full picture.

  • What are the main problems parents experience?

  • What kind of brands succeed in the world of homeschooling?

  • Why do most parents decide to homeschool?

  • How much does homeschooling cost?

  • What does a day in the life look like?

  • What is the psychological state of the parent?3

And a bunch of other random stuff.

Here were some of my strategies:

Facebook Groups

The world of homeschooling lives on Facebook. I joined a ton of groups and have just been sorta polking around, asking questions, posting surveys, etc. For example, in one group I posted this image of an app I designed in Figma:

In the world of homeschooling, you need to keep detailed records of everything your child does in your homeschool. The law demands it. Most use composition books to accomplish this. So, I posted this design in one of the groups of an app to let you keep digital records and asked if anyone wanted the beta and everyone started asking for it.

That’s a good sign 👍.

I’ve just been doing a shit ton of stuff like this the whole week tbh.

A lot of poking.

  • Understand problems.

  • Understanding the demand for new solutions.

  • Understanding what gets homeschoolers hype in a product and brand.

  • Understanding the market.

Surveys have been massively helpful. In 10 min I was able to get 200+ people to tell me the age of their kids their homeschooling. By doing this it helped me instantly understand that the majority of the market is aged 7-12. Now I know that the market for products related to homeschooling high schoolers is way smaller than for kids. Well, based off one survey at least. Take it w/ a grain of salt.

Also, people on these FB Groups are ALWAYS posting about their problems. I’m already seeing patterns. Once I see enough patterns I can likely build a product to fix those patterns.

Experts

I got to talk to a bunch of homeschool experts this week: people who have been homeschooled, people who have homeschooled 6+ kids, and people who create products for homeschoolers.

Talking to experts is dope because they can save you from dumb mistakes you may make or holes in your understanding of the space.

The #1 thing I picked up from one of the experts was that my business may really struggle until August. Basically, homeschooling enrollment happens throughout the year but massively spikes in August (when the public school year starts).

I sorta confirmed this through Google Trends. You can see it spikes every year in August. That being said, there is still a lot of demand for it throughout the year. The lowest point is actually right now, late December.

That’s really good to know and I would have never even known unless I talked to this expert :).

I also got to talk to a lot of “homeschool Moms” who run volunteer associations for their communities. These women really understand how the law in their state works and have gone to a lot of trouble to actually make it easy for other people in their community to start homeschooling. Getting these people in voice chat is kinda hard, but Messenger has been going just fine :).

See what I mean? These people are insanely helpful.

I’m loving the homeschool community so far :).

Private Messages

Been sending the landing page to a bunch of different people via PMs.

Often times this isn’t effective at all. I’m finding it’s really hard to get people to trust me. Feels like people mainly trust Facebook pages w/ a lot of likes.

Books and Podcasts

Been mainly reading Teaching Your Own. This book was constantly being recommended. It’s pretty good too. I’m about halfway done. It’s like half a hype book for homeschoolers and half a parenting + child psychology book. I’m mainly reading it to get in the minds of homeschoolers and really understand how they think. How can I build a product if I don’t have a half-decent understanding of my customer?

Remember how the guy that played Joker in The Dark Knight literally went insane because he got so into the character? I’m trying to sorta do that but w/ the world of homeschooling LOL. Completely immersion is always bad, but 80%-90% is good.

Image result for teaching your own

Also been listening to a lot of homeschool podcasts while eating or walking. Their super insightful because they talk about stuff that’s going wrong, stuff that’s going right, etc.

And once again, they help me put myself in the shoes of my customer. Here’s my favorite one so far hosted by two homeschool Moms.

These podcasts have given me like 25 different ideas for Facebook Ads for my product. I’m getting a really good idea of the kind of stuff that jives with this community.

YouTubers

The most helpful thing so far has been homeschool YouTubers.

Hoooooly shit.

Watching them is like doing a user interview and every single video is packed with SO MUCH knowledge. There are HUNDREDS of homeschool YouTubers all talking about their lives, processes, problems, and learnings. I’ve been obsessed with them. This is what my screen has looked like for days. Notepad to the left (I use RoamResearch) and video to the right.

The graph of my notes from just one day is insane.

The main thing the videos have helped me understand is the day-to-day life of a homeschooler and how they do things like plan, keep records, choose curriculum, budget, etc.

It’s been really fun.

Also, been thinking a lot about the idea of contracting some of these homeschool influencers once I get a product going. I can take a lot of my learnings marketing to gamers and apply similar concepts to homeschoolers.

Fun

I have fun I promise.

For fun this week I saw two movies in IMAX it was lit. I need to use my AMC Membership I pay $23 a month for lmao.

Ford vs Ferrari - 9.5/10 - Holy fuck this movie was amazing I wanna watch it 10 more times I literally left the theatre-making race car and drift noises and this old Asian lady thought I was drunk af.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - 7.5/10 - Just a really really good movie. Idk what else to say. Every time I feel like the special effects can get any crazier, they get crazier.

Also, I read The Catcher in the Rye which most people read in high school in their English class. Hella good book. Would recommend. It’s not like a hype book or anything. It’s more like a tale that you learn a ton about yourself from. The main character is so odd yet so familiar. Would recommend :).

This one page from the book made me laugh for a solid while at the cafe and the cute barista looked at me funny don’t think I have a chance w/ her anymore :(.

Also, I got KBBQ with my homie Max. Here’s a pic where he is giving a creepy smile while cutting his meat. I met him in the SF Hostel and now he’s leaving the US. I’ll see you when I visit Europe, dawg :).

NOW I’M OFF TO GO GO-KARTING W THE HOMIES.

PEACE MY DUDES.