My First Product Launch and The Real Reason Why Meta Lost $13.72 BILLION Dollars

Abhi Chand
April 7, 2023

Last week we discussed the data-driven, FB ads-based approach to uncovering what your customer really wants.

Let’s be honest here: nothing beats data.

Especially, data on what people do vs. what people say.

That’s one of the biggest benefits I find of the ad-driven approach to finding out what your customer really wants.

But if you don’t want to do that, or if you’re just interested in more ways of identifying your customer’s biggest problem…

…I’ve got you covered today.

What I Learned from Shane
& How I Did My First Product Launch

This is the 2nd way of identifying what your customer really wants.

And it’s so simple, you’re going to roll your eyes.


Here it is:

You ask them.

It’s almost as simple as that.

The process is simple tho:

  1. 1
    Identify 10 people who fit your Ideal Customer Profile.
  2. 2
    Hop on a call with each one of them.
  3. 3
    Ask them questions about the thing you want to help them with.

This is also called doing Customer Development Calls.

There are 2 things you learn from doing Customer Development Calls:

1. Most people say similar things.

You will realize that people are largely struggling with the same issues… even though everyone believes they’re alone in their struggles.

Interesting isn’t it?

Just from a psychology perspective. Objectively, we all know that we can’t be the only one struggling with this problem.

But subjectively, we feel alone and lost.

That aside, the main thing you will learn is how your customers describe their problem.

That’s important.

You want to use the words they use.

You want to use the language and the expressions they use in your marketing material.

Because that’s what resonates with them.

All you’re doing is trying to figure out what message resonates with your market.

aka you’re trying to identify the Message-to-Market match.

Knowing the words that your prospects (and potential customers) use is the key to getting them to pay you in attention before they pay you in dollars.

The first time I did something like this was in 2021 for the Men Getting Sh!t Done (MGSD) coaching program.

I took what I had learned from Shane and asked him if I could Run the Gauntlet.

The Gauntlet is a full-stack entrepreneurial exercise he created to go from Identifying a Problem to Selling a Product, from scratch.

This was the first time I did something like this entirely on my own.

I interviewed 11 people for Customer Development. And realized that what they said was their problem was not their actual problem.

And that’s the 2nd thing you learn from doing Customer Development Calls.

2. What people SAY is their problem
is not their REAL problem.

Think of it like going to the doctor for wrist pain.

You tell the doctor: “my problem is that my wrist is hurting, please help me fix it.”

The doctor examines your wrist and says, “actually, you have a minor stress fracture. That’s why your wrist is hurting. Here’s the treatment plan for how to get better…”

Do you see what happened there?

The doctor listened to you to determine what your real problem is.

Being an effective entrepreneur is like being the doctor in this example.

What your customers tell you, are the symptoms of their actual problem.

If they knew what their actual problem was, they most likely would’ve solved it already.

It is your job — as the entrepreneur — to examine the symptoms and determine what the underlying REAL problem actually is.

THIS is what it means to be an entrepreneur.

And this is exactly the reason why only less than 1% of the population succeeds at entrepreneurship.

This is where your gut, your intuition has to combine with your existing knowledge of the market and it’s problems.

From there you refine it to what you think is the real problem your market is dealing with…

…and devise a solution around it.

This is the reason why you cannot simply buy a course and succeed as an entrepreneur.

This is also the reason why everyone wants to buy a course to succeed as an entrepreneur.

This ability to correctly assess what the underlying problem your market is dealing with, is a SKILL.

And skills can only be honed and developed.

They can’t be bought.

Sure you can read about them or study them.

But, ultimately, the only way to get better at the skill is to do it.

To put it in practice, over and over again.

And that requires confronting the big bad F-word:


The best anyone can do is give you guidelines on how to do this. But no one can actually tell you exactly how to do it.

It’s this stage of the process that NOBODY has figured out.

Last week I gave you the example of how CNN lost $300 Million Dollars on their streaming service CNN+

Here’s another example for you:

The reason Meta (facebook) lost $13.7 BILLION dollars is because they got this exact step wrong.

According to their estimates, they thought that people want to live in the MetaVerse.

(I am glad that people, at large, have rejected this concept.)

But it is an excellent example of the fact that

Nobody Knows How to Be an Effective Entrepreneur… Not Even BILLION Dollar CEOs

But I have to give credit where credit is due.

Mark Zuckerberg went for it.

He didn’t sit around thinking about buying a course or let analysis paralysis plague him.

He went for it.

And this time, he was wrong.

I’m saying this to illustrate the point to you that anyone can guess wrongly what their customers want.

If this is something that you have been procrastinating on, I would urge you to simply go for it and learn from the experience.

I highly doubt that you getting this wrong would result in a $13.7 BILLION dollar loss and the layoff of thousands of employees.

All that is to say: you’re not risking a whole lot here.

Obviously, I wouldn’t bet my house on a hunch. You have to be able to determine the risk-reward ratio and how much risk you’re willing to take.

Getting back to the point:

There is No Such Thing as a Guaranteed Way
to Know What Your Customers Want

The best you can do is try different strategies that have worked for other people, and do your best to replicate the results.

In the case of the MGSD Product Launch, everyone was telling me that they were procrastinating on their goals and didn’t have time.

Or that they needed to make more time to work on their goals.

But what their real problem was that they were afraid that “it might not work”.

"What if I'm not good enough?"

What they needed was a boost of motivation. A proper goal setting framework. And someone to hold them accountable to do what they needed to do each week.

They needed help executing on their big goals.

That’s how we got stories like James here.

Check out his video below. This guy absolutely crushed the MGSD program.

MGSD ended up with 20 people signing up at $500/person.

That’s how my first ever product launch did $10K in sales.

I am eternally grateful for each and every single person that joined that program.

And for the 11 people that hopped on calls with me to share what they were struggling with.

From those 11 calls, I was able to examine their symptoms and determine what their real problem was.

Identifying this problem is part of the Market Awareness Skill.

This is probably the most important of all the entrepreneurial skills.

Without knowing what your market wants or struggles with, you can’t solve their problem.

Before I let you go though, I did tell you that there is a 3rd way to identify what your customers want.

The first time I used this technique was back in 2018.

At the time I was running a marketing agency for dentists and I choose to tackle the highest tier services for them.

The service was implants. Full arch implants.

This procedure is worth $25,000 per patient.

One of my clients asked me how we could attract more of these patients for him.

I gave him the plan.

We executed the plan.

3 months later, he signed 4 new full arch implant patients.

In other words: in 3 months I helped him make $100,000.

This strategy is best if you already have a customer list.

A list of people who have already bought from you before and, ideally, love your products and services.

Next week I will show you how you can leverage your list to figure out what your customers want.

In the meantime, let me know how you’re finding these articles in the comments below.

Would love to know if you’re resonating with the things I’m sharing and whether or not you have any questions.

Thank you for your time.


PS. Thank you for everyone who’s been answering this question for me. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please let me know what’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with here: click here.

Abhi Chand

About the author

Abhi is super passionate about business and marketing. He loves hitting the gym and working out while also being a bit of a nerd. But the best thing he likes to do is help people win big!

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  • Christopher Bird says:

    This a classic example of attempting to introduce a technology that the mass market doesn’t really want. A bit like 3D television. The technology is probably years away. For the metaverse to become remotely attractive it must fulfill an explicit need plus be easy to use and above all affordable.

    • Completely agree! Excellent example with the 3D TVs. Beyond a gimmick, it didn’t have much practical use. Although, I liked them.

      I like what you said about the metaverse needing to fulfill an explicit need! I do think that’s one of the main things that’s missing.

      Also, I think there was a lot of confirmation bias here given that the entire world was on their screens during the pandemic. That doesn’t mean that everyone wanted to be in front of a screen the whole time.

  • says:

    Henry Ford was not a nice man, but got some thing: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

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