7 Steps to 30x500: a System of Product Success

30x500 is a repeatable product development system presented and designed by Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman. The system is research and value focused and provides and end to end cycle for creating products that people actually want to buy.

on the left are two drawn circles and on the right is a fully rendered owl with the caption 'draw the rest of the fucking owl'

This summary of the 30x500 system is very "draw the rest of the fucking owl" but the full course is not. It is hands on and high-quality with a focus on learner success (assuming the learner is willing to do their part and do the work).

The 30x500 system as outlined in the 30x500 course:

  1. Safari your audience
  2. find their pains
  3. ebomb their watering holes
  4. persuade them to sign up for your list
  5. ebomb & ebomb & ebomb
  6. pitch them on your compelling (commercial) fix
  7. build your product

Safari Your Audience

One mistake we can make is to spend time asking people what they want instead of observing what they need. Sales Safari is a system of research that puts you in direct line of sight of the people that you have the ability to help.

Sales Safari is a form of online ethnography (research) invented by Amy Hoy. It is a core technique from the 30x500 system.

Find Their Pains

The internet, as a platform, is excellent for complaining and expressing dismay. Maybe you've noticed? With Sales Safari we are investigating that pain and lived experience. While we have strong intuition about what to make, we will bolster that intuition with intentional user research to understand what they actually want and need.

Ebomb Their Watering Holes

A thoughtful tweet.

A helpful blog post.

A useful comment.

A timely email.

Ebombs aren't self-promotional spam drive-bys littering the internet with sharky marketing douche bag info-skat.

Ebombs, or "education bombs" are you, hanging out in communities you care about, helping others succeed long term.

Ebombs are an act of service.

Persuade them to sign up for your list

Because you are solving actual problems and providing value consistently folks will want more. If you don't ask them to sign up and tell them why they should, they won't. If you do ask them to sign up and continue to be a high value, helpful, and timely resource for them your list will grow and bolster your community brand.

Treat your list like your friends and community members and not a sack of customers to be squeezed for their sweet sweet money juice.

Go above and beyond, teach everything you know, and be zealously generous.


Keep doing the work. Set a sustainable pace. Be genuine. ♻️

Pitch them on your compelling (commercial) fix

Eventually you will have assembled so much useful knowledge you'll be able to package it and attach a price tag. This assembled knowledge is valuable and your list will be happy to buy it (and ask for more)

Build Your Product

Armed with research and an audience of eager folks you can invest your time and effort on creating a product you know people want that provides layered depth of value.

Where to start?

30x500 is a premium course and not something that I'd recommend buying on a whim or adding to an ever collecting horde of "someday/maybe" courses in your digital archives ffs 😅

They know this and Amy & Alex have provided a lot of ways to get acquanted with their approach and worldview so you can make an informed decision if the course and process seem right for you.

One of the most interesting aspects for me is the Sales Safari technique for starting with the actual needs and pains instead of starting with an intuition fueled solution/idea. To see Sales Safari in action click here.

It makes me smile when I see it.

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Joel Hooks © 2022