Co-Founder Opportunity

Ready To Make a Lasting Difference?

Explore a new path where you use your marketing skills to give the world a new way to manage time.

Hello there!

My name is Trevor Lohrbeer. I’m a serial entrepreneur who needs help.

I’m looking for a partner to join me in the journey of inventing a new way to manage your time. Someone who can focus on the marketing and operations side while I focus on the product side.

Over the past several years, I’ve been developing a time management method, currently embodied as a web app, centered on the idea of workflows to guide people through the planning process.

While lots of software exists for task management, little exists explicitly for time management. Instead, task managers or calendars are used as suboptimal substitutes. I want to change that. 

With Day Optimizer, I am creating new concepts and frameworks for managing time. I implement these into a SaaS web app that has a small base of paid customers who use it daily. I need your help to spread the word & grow the business.

Read through the tabs on the leftsections below to learn more about the opportunity, then if it sounds like something you might want to explore further, schedule a quick introductory call with me.

- Trevor Lohrbeer

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

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Have you said to yourself recently: I need a change.

Maybe you’ve been working in your career for a while and no longer feel challenged. You want to learn something new—to expand your skillset and gain new experiences. 

Maybe you’ve been working for other people’s startups, coming in as the 7th, 23rd, 256th employee. Never early enough to get significant equity. Never early enough to help shape the company. Now you want to be a founder.

Maybe you’re semi-retired, but not ready to hang up your hat yet. You’ve made enough money from your career or previous startups that you don’t need to work. But you want to—to make a difference in the world and leave a legacy.

Whatever the reason, you haven’t taken that step yet.

Perhaps you don’t have an idea that you’re passionate about pursuing, so you find yourself waiting around for inspiration or dabbling in ideas that seem good, but don’t give you enough conviction to make the leap.

Perhaps you don’t want to do it alone, but worry about how to make sure any co-founder you find is competent, compatible and will treat you fairly. You’re not sure how the process of finding a co-founder even works.

But something still drives you.

Maybe you feel fear—not of failing, but of not trying. Never taking the leap and then living with that regret. The fear of regret can be a powerful force for change.

Maybe you feel unfulfilled—like you’re not reaching your potential. You want to prove to yourself that you can help build a business. You want to learn new things while you leverage your existing skills to make an impact.

Maybe you feel bored—at a pinnacle in your career where the work is easy and you’re no longer growing. You want a challenge, a new type of puzzle to solve.

I may have an opportunity for you.

Overview

Seeking

You want a collaborative relationship with a technical co-founder. You’re willing to work on an existing product & are open-minded about new approaches to time management.

Desires

Impact
You seek to leave the world a better place, not merely make money.

Balance
You prefer to work at a measured pace and maintain a work/life balance. You work hard when you work, but are not a workaholic.

Freedom
You want to work for yourself and shape the direction of your future.

Values

Be honest, have integrity and wisdom. Use that to make an impact in the world.

Strong At

Relationships
Forming and maintaining high-quality relationships. You’re an extrovert at heart.

Marketing 
Creating content, forging partnerships, generating demand—ability to learn anything.

Communication
Excellent written and verbal skills. Able to communicate clearly & succinctly in English.

Decent At

Business Development
Finding, negotiating and managing partnerships so they are successful for both parties.

Operations 
Hiring, overseeing others, nurturing culture, team building, firing quickly.

Personality

Adaptive, communicative, open-minded and a complement to my personality. Take your own PrinciplesYou personality assessment here (requires ~40 minutes).

Current Status

Financially secure for the next 12-24 months, either through your own funds or part-time work.

Location

In a time zone that overlaps with North America and Europe for a few hours each day.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

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Diving Deeper

Education-Based Marketing

Your marketing should help far more people than your product ever does.

Dan Martell

That quote from Dan Martell represents the core of what I think marketing for Day Optimizer will entail. He calls it “education-based marketing” and when (re)defining a space like time management software, I think it’s critical.

You should believe that the marketing is part of the whole product, not something separate from the product itself. Day Optimizer is not just a software application, but a method of managing your time with new concepts that can be used independently. Teaching that is critical.

I believe the success of this product requires not only improving on-boarding, but improving pre-boarding—the educational content people consume before they even touch the registration page.

Education-based marketing falls in between Customer Success and Marketing. It helps existing customers, while attracting new customers. While I’ll be helping generate educational material as needed, you’ll need to be a strong communicator to assist in these efforts.

Adaptable Lifelong Learner

Nothing works out as planned in a startup. I certainly have ideas of the skills and competencies Day Optimizer needs at this stage in its development. But those needs may change. 

One of the key differences between a founder and an employee is that when the business needs change, the founder adapts and learns the skills required to make it a success, while an employee often stays within the universe of skills they were hired for.

Founders are stewards of a business, helping to guide it through rocky waters to lands unknown. Employees are hired hands & agents, who often give their all, but don’t always hold that stewardship mentality. Are you a steward or an agent?

At its core, I believe it comes down to whether you are a lifelong learner. Someone who is adaptable, who has a growth mindset. It matters less if you’ve been a founder before than if you have the ability to learn what’s needed and to take ownership of the outcome.

As just one example, a month before I sat here writing this, I knew hardly anything about finding a co-founder. If I find you, it’ll be because I identified the need, then learned enough about finding a co-founder to launch this search.

I am a serial entrepreneur who has sold two previous startups for modest amounts of money and is focused this time on making an impact. I am no longer looking for the “big win” so I can retire. I’ve come to the realization that I love creating products and may never retire. 

Rather than sacrifice my health and sanity in pursuit of some unicorn exit, I’m working every day toward building a business that can support my lifestyle and the lifestyles of others.

As you read more about me below, pay attention to the way I think. What I say is less important than how I organize my thoughts. Any good partnership is built on trust and respect. If you respect how I deconstruct the world and find it valuable, then we might be a good match.

Anyone can build products, what I do is see the world differently and figure out ways to give that to others.

Overview

Mission

To help others live more fulfilling lives by reaching their potential. 

Superpower

Creating mental models & frameworks that help people reason about the world to solve existing problems in new ways. 

Values

Impact
I seek to change lives, not merely make money.

Integrity
I try to be fair, open, trustworthy, competent and honest.

Wisdom
I try to be self-aware, admit my mistakes and make smarter decisions over time.

Discovery
I am able to accept & lean into uncertainty, to learn through doing, and to grow & change.

Freedom
I want to own the vision (with input from others), leave space to explore & support my travel.

Strong At

Product
Architecture, full-stack development, testing, deployment, user experience.

Strategy
Metrics & financial analysis; systems, critical path & scope analysis; identifying options.

Okay At

Marketing
Running tests, creating messaging, copywriting, managing online ads, setting up tracking.

Design
Creating layouts, having an eye for spacing & consistency. Lack higher-end design skills.

Customer Success
Creating training videos & documentation, handling support requests.

Weak At

Management
Hiring, overseeing others, nurturing culture, team building, firing quickly.

Sales
Prospecting, relationship building & nurturing, closing deals. I’m an introvert at heart.

Personality

Growth Seeker (primary)
Defined by a deep passion for learning and personal growth and development. Tend to be curious, humble, open to new ideas and experiences, and adaptable.

Explorer
Love to take in new knowledge and are drawn to new experiences through intrinsic motivations. Tend to be curious, open-minded, reflective and adaptable..

Strategist 
Adept at generating and translating concepts and ideas into effective strategies to achieve results. Tend to be both conceptual and structured thinkers, curious and open-minded, while also being reliable and pragmatic.

Current Status

I work half-time on Day Optimizer, sometimes bursting for a few months to full-time using the savings from the sale of my last business. I do consulting on the side to avoid draining my savings too quickly.

Location

I live part-time in Asheville, North Carolina and part-time in Berlin, Germany.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Dive Deeper

To learn more about me, explore my social media profiles and a selection of content I have created both as part of Day Optimizer and for other projects of mine. The only active project I have right now is Day Optimizer. All other projects are currently on hiatus, but could be revived if they make sense for building Day Optimizer or a future business together.

Day Optimizer

Blog

Talks

Play Video
A Process to Create More Effective Daily Plans
Play Video
A Framework for Deciding How & When to Enable Them
Play Video
For Working At Home

Podcasts

Mindful Productivity

Book

The first draft of Mindful Productivity: The Art of Getting Things Done While Living a Good Life.

I wrote Mindful Productivity in 2020 during a challenge I set for myself to write a book in the 25 days before my 48th birthday. I had to give myself a 5-day extension to finish the first draft.

The first draft is a complete book, but is missing some chapters I didn’t have time to complete.

Download it or browse through it on the right.

YouTube Channel

After writing Mindful Productivity, I explored building a broader audience around productivity with a series of videos on YouTube, based on the chapters of the book plus some additional concepts I came up with.

Web Sites

Aside from Day Optimizer, I have three professional web sites that I’ve created over the years that you can browse to learn more about how I think.

Before Day Optimizer I built a life planning membership site.

Browse the list of life planning tools, including the Scheduled To Do List tool that eventually became Day Optimizer.

When I pivoted to building Day Optimizer, I made the membership free. I continue to get a few signups a month.

Lean Decisions aims to help people use the minimum amount of information & process to make successful decisions. 

For 50 twice-weekly posts back in 2012, I explored decision-making and started developing a pattern language for decision-making.

I put it on hiatus to sell my last company & haven’t return to it yet.

One of my first blogs where I explored the concepts of entrepreneurship, analytics, professional networking and technology.

My last post was in 2017 and some of the pages are outdated. I have other priorities right now, but it showcases my thinking process and how I approach business.

Social Media

I use most forms of social media in a limited fashion. It is neither a marketing nor a communication channel that I enjoy or am good at. Nonetheless, my social media posts may tell you more about who I am: 

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Day Optimizer is a time management web app that helps solopreneurs create more effective daily plans, using guided workflows based on neuroscience. 

For a 1-minute overview of the product, watch this explainer video.

For details on the benefits, features and theory behind Day Optimizer, as well as testimonials, its present state and future development plans, keep scrolling, or sign up for a free 7-day trial to try it out yourself.

Play Video

Testimonials

Never stuck to one system so long

I have used a lot of time management systems, and none have satisfied me…

[Because of Day Optimizer] this is the first semester of my long career where I was the first English teacher in the building to turn in my grades. But I’ve still made time to read and knit…  

I’ve never stuck to one system as long as I’ve stuck with Day Optimizer; I don’t see myself using anything else!

Read Full Testimonial >
Jen Cranston
Over 180 plans created in Day Optimizer

How Day Optimizer Changed My Planning

Play Video
Ana Tirolese
Over 350 plans created in Day Optimizer

Benefits

See everything in one place

Day Optimizer shows your tasks, your calendar appointments, and your daily activities like habits & meals together, so you can more realistically plan your day.

Appointments are synced from all major calendar providers, and all data is synced in real-time between your desktop and mobile devices.

Limit task list distractions

One of the problems with a master task list is that looking at it throughout the day can cause you to be distracted by lower priorities on your list. 

Day Optimizer solves this by guiding you to create a daily commitment list where you only see what you plan to work on today.

To limit distractions while planning your day, you can also “snooze” tasks, so they disappear from the planning workflow until the date you specify.

Always know where you stand

Your day rarely goes exactly as planned. Even if you effectively planned your day at the start, knowing how to readjust your plans as things change can be hard.

Day Optimizer keeps track of how much effort you have remaining in your day and compares that to your time remaining—so you always know if you’re ahead of or behind schedule.

Balance competing priorities

Solopreneurs often have multiple competing priorities. Not only must they do the main work of the business, they need to acquire new customers, handle admin work and take time out to work on strategy.

Day Optimizer prompts you to consider each of your priorities each day, so you can effectively allocate time across those priorities and avoid the typical “feast and famine” cycle that ensures when you focus too much on any one area.

Leverage planning best practices

Day Optimizer uses a 3-step planning workflow that guides you toward building a more effective daily schedule.

Designed to leverage how your brain works and minimize your subconscious biases, the Day Optimizer planning process helps you to quickly & effectively plan each day.

Gain a sense of accomplishment

Ever look at your task list at the end of the day and wonder what you’ve accomplished? It feels like you did a lot of work, but didn’t get to check anything off.

Using the combination of a daily commitment list with Day Optimizer’s unique Done Today vs Done Forever status options, you can check items off your list once you’ve put in your time, even if you didn’t finish them. At the end of the day, see exactly what you worked on & feel good.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Features

3 types of to-dos

Tasks, activities and appointments each have special properties and behaviors within Day Optimizer. 

Tasks are things you’ll eventually be done. Once you start them, they appear each day in your planning flow until marked Done Forever.

Activities are never done or overdue. You’re never done eating lunch, and if you miss lunch one day, you don’t have to eat 2 lunches the next day. Activities appear on the day they are scheduled, but don’t participate in the task flow.

Appointments are fixed points in time. Many people have appointments on their calendar they don’t need or plan to attend, thus Day Optimizer asks you to explicitly commit to which you’ll attend each day.

Time Blocks are currently implemented using activities, but may soon become a fourth type.

3 types of plans

Day Optimizer supports three different ways to plan your day: 

Daily Commitment List
A list of only what you’ve committed to do today. 

Time Bucket
A prioritized list of commitments with time allocations, helping you to see exactly where your time is going. 

Daily Schedule
An agenda that specifies which commitments you plan to do when.

Task flow

Day Optimizer has the concept of a task flow, where unfinished tasks reappear as options when planning your next day.

To manage this, DO allows you to mark tasks as either Done Today or Done Forever:

Tasks marked Done Today remain in your task flow, while those marked Done Forever are removed.

Tasks can also be snoozed so you won’t see them in your task flow until a future date, or marked Won’t Do to remove them forever without doing them. 

Future extensions of the task flow will help with Next/Soon/Later task reviews & aging undone tasks.

Guided planning workflows

Day Optimizer is built around the concept of guided workflows for planning out your day.

Each plan type uses these steps, with the Daily Schedule using all three:

1. Commit
Decide explicitly what you plan to do today & commit to only those things to stay focused.

2. Allocate
Allocate how much time you want to spend on each item, to make progress or complete it.

3. Schedule
Create a schedule to keep you on track and see your available time to prioritize effectively.

Real-time visualization

Knowing how you are doing with regards to your plan is critical for making decisions on how to adjust your day when you get off track.

In the Time Bucket view, Day Optimizer greys out commitments you won’t have time to get to, based on the time allocations you set and how long you said your day was.

In the Schedule view, Day Optimizer greys out time slots in the past, so you can quickly see what you didn’t get done.

Both views have stats on your remaining effort and your projected end time if you want to work overtime to get everything done.

Theory & Philosophy

For a deep dive into the theory behind Day Optimizer, watch this CASE Planning Method talk I gave last year at the Task Management & Time Blocking Summit. 

The philosophy of Day Optimizer and its creation is described further below.

Play Video

Implementation Intentions

An “implementation intention” is an if-then plan that has been shown in research to help people more often achieve their goals & beat procrastination.

A daily schedule is a series of time-based implementation intentions, where you are specifying not only what to do, but when to do it.

A “goal intention” is a weaker form of intention where only the “what” is specified. A daily commitment list can be viewed as a series of goal intentions.

Both types of intentions nudge you toward action and away from procrastination & distraction.

Awareness management

Day Optimizer is built around a key insight: to be distracted by something, you first need to become aware of it. Thus, a large part of managing distractions is actually is managing awareness.

This insight is baked throughout current and planned features for Day Optimizer. 

The process of committing to what you want to do today is a filtering process, where all other options are removed from your awareness. Looking at your master task list during the day is distracting.

The 3 steps in the day planning workflow help isolate each concern (deciding what to do, how much time to spend  & when to do it), so you don’t get distracted jumping between concerns.

Snoozing allows you to remove tasks from your awareness for a period of time, while the task flow ensures active tasks remain in your awareness.

That last is key—we must have trustworthy systems to allow our brains to relax and not go back to our master task list worried we forgot something.

Manual vs automated planning

Day Optimizer is explicitly a manual planning tool, as opposed to automated schedulers like SkedPal and Focuster.  

I believe that the planning process is just as important as the plan itself. Planning changes you.

The entire psychology around implementation intentions requires that you yourself set those intentions, not some algorithm.

The goal of Day Optimizer is to make that manual planning process as efficient as possible, without losing the psychological and strategic benefits of doing the planning yourself.

Accomplishment stokes motivation

When we accomplish something, a small amount of dopamine is released, increasing motivation.

Even the act of checking something off, however small, creates this effect. 

Features like Done Today, by allowing you to check an item off your list before it’s done, give you a mini-motivation boost that can help you build momentum.

Thinking modes

“Thinking modes” is my own hypothesis around how the brain works. 

I believe that different ways of thinking “activate” the brain in different ways. And that mode-switching can be just as detrimental as task-switching.

For example, if you are writing a blog article, the process of outlining, writing and editing require three different modes of thinking.

Likewise, the 3 steps of the Day Optimizer process use 3 different thinking modes:

  1. Commit
    Uses divergent thinking to brainstorm what you need to work on today.
  2. Allocate
    Uses analytical thinking to figure out how much time to spend on each item.
  3. Schedule
    Uses time/spatial thinking to decide when to do each item & how they fit together.

I believe that it is more efficient to process all of your to-dos in each step together, than to use “one piece flow” where you go through this process one at a time for each to-do.

Different tools for different people

Paul Graham introduced the concept of Maker’s vs Manager’s schedules.  And while I think it’s a useful framework, I also think it’s limited. There are more than just two types of schedules.

Day Optimizer works best for a “solopreneur” schedule which consists of:

  • Limited number of meetings
  • Multiple, competing priorities
  • Tasks with large unknowns or complexity
  • Autonomy over one’s schedule

For instance, solopreneurs must balance doing the work of their business, with acquiring new business, doing administrative work and doing strategic work.

Many of the tasks they do, they will have never done before, resulting in a large number of unknowns that make accurate estimation near impossible.

In this context, learning how to allocate time across your priorities and focusing on making progress on each, instead of working to completion on a single one, are key.

Time estimation vs allocation

Time estimation is figuring out how long a task will take to complete, while time allocation is figuring out how long to spend on it today.

Time estimation fails when tasks have a large number of unknowns or huge variance in the time it takes to do individual steps. 

In these situations, time allocation becomes a powerful method to making progress and eventually completing these tasks.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Day Optimizer is what you might call a diamond in the rough. It’s not a failure, but it’s not a success either. It has a small base of dedicated customers, a solid codebase, some customer success content and a partially-working marketing pipeline. 

But customer acquisition cost is too high, too many users are lost during the activation phase, more customer success content is needed and at least one major feature requires development to make the system complete.

Essentially, it’s a work-in-progress that has potential. I need your help to unlock that potential.

Overview

Pitch

Day Optimizer (DO) helps solopreneurs create daily plans that reflect their priorities, using guided workflows designed around neuroscience principles.

Journey So Far

Founded as a pivot of Strategic Life Tools, a membership site for life planning. I’ve been working on Day Optimizer on-and-off since May 2018, some months working full-time and other months part-time while I do consulting on the side.

Struggles

Working alone, it’s been hard to gain momentum in any of the three core functions of the business: Product, Marketing & Customer Success (training, documentation, support). Onboarding & marketing remain unsolved.

Successes

Paying customers. Stable product. Part of the customer acquisition pipeline working. Positive feedback like “Thanks for changing my life with this”.

Differentiation

Workflow-based planning method plus new concepts like Done Today vs Done Forever for more effective task & time management. See the Product tab for more info.

Business Model

Software as a Service: $14.95 monthly or $149 yearly.

Competitors

Paper-based daily planners, Amazing Marvin, Any.do, Focuster, Sorted3, SkedPal.

Reward

Significant equity, earned over time based on a Slicing Pie or other fair equity model.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Diving Deeper

Fragmented Market

As a market, the Productivity Tools market and Time & Task Management sub-market are structurally fragmented. There are no dominant players because a) the barriers to entry are low, b) the network effects are weak and c) the goals & needs of the customers are conflicting in a way that prevents a single “optimal” mass market solution. 

While the total addressable market is huge (how many people are bad at time management?), the total “reachable” market for any one solution tends to be much smaller, due to fragmented markets—where “markets” here is used in the Crossing the Chasm sense of not only people who share the same needs, but people who reference each other when making a buying decision.

Furthermore, the Time Management market, by being overlooked and lumped into the Task Management market, has an even greater sense of fragmentation and structural gaps. There is far less time management software than task management software.

If you ask the average person what they use for time management, they often respond with a task manager. Building an effective time management app is much harder than building an effective task management app. Yet often the two can be used together in a complementary fashion.

Thus, I believe that a business that provides an opinionated solution that solves time management for a subset of customers can carve out a distinct slice of the market. And I believe Day Optimizer can be one of those solutions.

Size Of Opportunity

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in 2018 in the U.S. there were at least 25 million people starting or running early stage businesses (42 months or younger) and at least 12 million people running established businesses—and that was before Covid and the Great Resignation.

Due to the market fragmentation discussed above and the fact that the Day Optimizer method doesn’t work for everyone, a rough size of the potential target U.S. market for Day Optimizer might be between 100,000 and 1 million potential users. While not a current focus, Day Optimizer has been written with localization in mind, so additional language-specific and English-speaking international markets could expand this number.

For context, Wunderlist had 13 worldwide million users when Microsoft bought in it 2015 for between $100-200 million, Todoist has 10+ million users with $15 million in revenue and Any.do has over 30+ million users with $5-10 million in revenue.

So the potential for growth is there. Though even 10,000 paying users at an average of $15/month comes to $1.8 million in revenue and the cost structures of this business don’t scale linearly with its growth.

Growth Strategies

Growth strategies are something we can discuss as we get to know each other. I have ideas, but I’d like to also hear your ideas.

You’ll notice throughout the site I refer to the niche that Day Optimizer serves as “solopreneurs”. There are specific reasons why I believe solopreneurs make a better market for Day Optimizer than others. However, not all of the most engaged users are solopreneurs, so we may want to explore this.

Even if we stick with solopreneurs as the target market, there are also several target markets to niche further into to build momentum and drive growth, such as ADHD solopreneurs or solopreneur coaches, before expanding into new markets using a bowling pin or other strategy.

Finally, I am a member of Dan Martell’s Growth Accelerator program, where he and his team teaches and coaches different strategies for growing Software as a Service businesses. As a co-founder, I would look to bring you into this program so you can learn from Dan and his team as well.

The process will start off with three 30-60 minute calls:

  1. Seek the No
    Are there obvious reasons we shouldn't work together? Let's surface these early so we don't waste each other's time.
  2. Establish Rough Fit
    Delve into the opportunity further and try to figure out if you are roughly the right fit for the opportunity and for me. Are we in rough alignment?
  3. Get to Know Each Other
    Learn more about each other on the personal level. We don't need to be best friends, but let's ensure that we like each other before agreeing to spend days or weeks vetting each other.

At the end of each call, either one of us can say that it doesn't look like a good fit and quit the process.

After that, the process gets a bit fuzzier. We need to test the relationship at a deeper level. I have ideas on how to do that, but no prescribed step-by-step process and will be looking for your input as well.

Even if you or I determine that we're not a good match for each other right now, or not a good match for this opportunity, I'm talking to others looking for co-founders during this process, so will try to point you in the right direction if I can.

I’ve been toying with finding a co-founder for a while now, but I believe a co-founder is the right choice now for two reasons:

  1. Joy in the Journey
    After working with my dance partner to create swing dance classes last year, I experienced the joy of having a working partnership. While we both worked together on the class creation, I focused more on the “product” side, developing the curriculum and preparing the playlists for us, while she handled the business and relationship side: coordinating with the university and students. I want to experience that same joy working in DO with someone.
  2. Desired Destination
    I’ve come to realize that my goal is not to own a business, but to create things that improve people’s lives. While I need a business to realize some of those things, like Day Optimizer, I don’t want to be the one running it. I want to lead product development, and work with someone else who will sell those products. In the ideal world, this wouldn’t be restricted to DO, but would include my books and future software.

Ultimately, I want someone to amplify me, who I can help amplify in return. Rather than shoring up my weaknesses, as I've done for many years now, I want to leverage my strengths. I believe I can travel a lot farther and have a lot more fun along the way with a business partner by my side.

I am using a process similar to the one my M&A advisor and I used to sell my last business.

In my research it seems most people who look for a co-founder mainly use their network or post on one or two "co-founder dating" sites. Many don't communicate clearly what they are looking for, in order to attract the right match.

The result is that their offer has limited visibility into the universe of potential co-founders and those co-founders who might be a good fit have no way to determine if reaching out is a waste of their time, resulting in only the most motivated potential co-founders contacting them.

I believe the right co-founder exists out there for me, but that reaching out to the 1,000 people or so in my network, or making one or two postings that perhaps another 1,000 people will see, may not find them.

I also believe the right co-founder may not be actively looking for a co-founder position. From a previous startup where our business model involved recruiting services, I know 85% of the market is passive job seekers, who tend to be some of the most valuable potential employees. I suspect the same rule applies for co-founders.

From studying decision-making, I know it’s better to evaluate multiple options against each other, than to evaluate those options sequentially.

Hence, I am using “launch” strategy, where I do a big announcement to gain visibility and get as many candidates into the same stage of the pipeline as possible, in roughly the same timeframe.

I have designed this page to both attract candidates for whom the opportunity might be a good fit and filter those for whom it's a bad fit. 

In the end, I recognize this is an experiment. It may fail, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try it. Every successful strategy was at one time just a crazy plan before someone made it successful. 

First, it's not the output, it's the process. The process of researching how to find the right co-founder and creating this landing page has given me a lot more clarity about who I am and what I am looking for than if I merely did a few posts on co-founder dating sites.

Second, it's not that much effort if you put it in perspective.

To launch my search I spent less than 100 hours researching, reading books, asking others for advice, introspecting, developing a process and building this landing page. I expect to spend a minimum of another 100 hours before I find the right co-founder.

200 hours may sound like a lot. But I expect to work with any co-founder I find for the next 5-10 years, on either this business or future businesses—that's anywhere from 5,000-20,000 hours.

In context, 200 hours is anywhere from 1-4% of my total time with this person. We've all heard horror stories of bad co-founders (or badly-matched co-founders). I would gladly spend a little bit more upfront time to find the right person than to work even 6-12 months with someone who isn't a good fit for me.

At this time, I am not looking for a service provider. I am looking for a co-founder.

There are fundamental differences between how one approaches marketing as a founder versus an agency. Especially with equity-only situations, initial excitement often fades as the sugar rush of paid clients beckons, and I am looking for a long-term partner, not a service provider.

If you are looking to transition from a services-based business to a product-based business and shut down your marketing consultancy, we can talk. Otherwise, it's not a good fit at this time.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Help Me Find the Right Co-Founder

My aim is not just to find any co-founder, but to find the right co-founder. 

I believe the success of my co-founder search depends on how many potential candidates see the opportunity. The more people who see the opportunity, the greater chance I have of finding the right fit for my specific needs.

Can you help me out? Can you share the opportunity page on social media and send it to specific people you know who might be interested? Below you can find pre-written message to use—or feel free to write your own!

As a thank you, whoever refers someone who I choose to be my co-founder will earn a $500 finder’s fee.

- Trevor Lohrbeer

Send an Email or Private Message

To make it easy to send messages to your contacts, I composed some fill-in-the-blank templates you can use below. Feel free to use these or write your own. Whatever you do, thanks!

If You Know Me Personally

If You Don't Know Me

Inform the Media

If you know anyone in the media who would like to write an article about my co-founder search, please have them contact me. I’ve been documenting my process in Notion to give others a road map to follow if they also want to find a co-founder and would be happy to share my journey and what I’ve learned.

Like, Comment & Share

URL to Share:

As I make posts during the launch, I’ll add links and embeds below to make it easy for you to link, comment and share. Bookmark this page and come back to it later in the day and again later this week for updates. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Twitter

Facebook

FAQ

If you’re the person who makes the co-founder I finally choose aware of the opportunity, I will pay you $500.

The way I’ll determine this is by: 

  • Asking how they found out about the opportunity when they schedule a call
  • Asking them directly during or shortly after the initial call, if no specific person could be identified

If more than one person is identified (because, for example, they saw multiple posts before deciding to schedule a call), then I’ll split the $500 among those identified.

I want to be fair to anyone who helps me. If no “finder” can be determined, I’d like to do a random drawing to give the $500 to anyone I can identify who helped increase the visibility of my search by liking, commenting or sharing it.

There’s some legal stuff around sweepstakes that I didn’t have time to look into before this launch, so I can’t promise anything right now.

But I’ve committed the money. So as long as I can figure out a way to do it, everyone will have a chance to win the money as a thank you gift. In which case, assuming it’s legal, each share, comment or like will be taken into account.

Share it on social media and send the offer via email or private message to people you know who you think might find it interesting.

Please don’t go overboard here and cross the line into spam. Violating the terms of service of a platform you are sharing it on, or sending the offer via email or a private message to someone you don’t know (aka cold email) will void the finder’s fee.

Ready To Make a Lasting Difference?

Explore a new path where you use your marketing skills to give the world a new way to manage time.

Hello there!

My name is Trevor Lohrbeer. I’m a serial entrepreneur who needs help.

I’m looking for a partner to join me in the journey of inventing a new way to manage your time. Someone who can focus on the marketing and operations side while I focus on the product side.

Over the past several years, I’ve been developing a time management method, currently embodied as a web app, centered on the idea of workflows to guide people through the planning process.

While lots of software exists for task management, little exists explicitly for time management. Instead, task managers or calendars are used as suboptimal substitutes. I want to change that. 

With Day Optimizer, I am creating new concepts and frameworks for managing time. I implement these into a SaaS web app that has a small base of paid customers who use it daily. I need your help to spread the word & grow the business.

Read through the tabs on the leftsections below to learn more about the opportunity, then if it sounds like something you might want to explore further, schedule a quick introductory call with me.

- Trevor Lohrbeer

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Have you said to yourself recently: I need a change.

Maybe you’ve been working in your career for a while and no longer feel challenged. You want to learn something new—to expand your skillset and gain new experiences. 

Maybe you’ve been working for other people’s startups, coming in as the 7th, 23rd, 256th employee. Never early enough to get significant equity. Never early enough to help shape the company. Now you want to be a founder.

Maybe you’re semi-retired, but not ready to hang up your hat yet. You’ve made enough money from your career or previous startups that you don’t need to work. But you want to—to make a difference in the world and leave a legacy.

Whatever the reason, you haven’t taken that step yet.

Perhaps you don’t have an idea that you’re passionate about pursuing, so you find yourself waiting around for inspiration or dabbling in ideas that seem good, but don’t give you enough conviction to make the leap.

Perhaps you don’t want to do it alone, but worry about how to make sure any co-founder you find is competent, compatible and will treat you fairly. You’re not sure how the process of finding a co-founder even works.

But something still drives you.

Maybe you feel fear—not of failing, but of not trying. Never taking the leap and then living with that regret. The fear of regret can be a powerful force for change.

Maybe you feel unfulfilled—like you’re not reaching your potential. You want to prove to yourself that you can help build a business. You want to learn new things while you leverage your existing skills to make an impact.

Maybe you feel bored—at a pinnacle in your career where the work is easy and you’re no longer growing. You want a challenge, a new type of puzzle to solve.

I may have an opportunity for you.

Overview

Seeking

You want a collaborative relationship with a technical co-founder. You’re willing to work on an existing product & are open-minded about new approaches to time management.

Desires

Impact
You seek to leave the world a better place, not merely make money.

Balance
You prefer to work at a measured pace and maintain a work/life balance. You work hard when you work, but are not a workaholic.

Freedom
You want to work for yourself and shape the direction of your future.

Values

Be honest, have integrity and wisdom. Use that to make an impact in the world.

Strong At

Relationships
Forming and maintaining high-quality relationships. You’re an extrovert at heart.

Marketing 
Creating content, forging partnerships, generating demand—ability to learn anything.

Communication
Excellent written and verbal skills. Able to communicate clearly & succinctly in English.

Decent At

Business Development
Finding, negotiating and managing partnerships so they are successful for both parties.

Operations 
Hiring, overseeing others, nurturing culture, team building, firing quickly.

Personality

Adaptive, communicative, open-minded and a complement to my personality. Take your own PrinciplesYou personality assessment here (requires ~40 minutes).

Current Status

Financially secure for the next 12-24 months, either through your own funds or part-time work.

Location

In a time zone that overlaps with North America and Europe for a few hours each day.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Diving Deeper

Education-Based Marketing

Your marketing should help far more people than your product ever does.

Dan Martell

That quote from Dan Martell represents the core of what I think marketing for Day Optimizer will entail. He calls it “education-based marketing” and when (re)defining a space like time management software, I think it’s critical.

You should believe that the marketing is part of the whole product, not something separate from the product itself. Day Optimizer is not just a software application, but a method of managing your time with new concepts that can be used independently. Teaching that is critical.

I believe the success of this product requires not only improving on-boarding, but improving pre-boarding—the educational content people consume before they even touch the registration page.

Education-based marketing falls in between Customer Success and Marketing. It helps existing customers, while attracting new customers. While I’ll be helping generate educational material as needed, you’ll need to be a strong communicator to assist in these efforts.

Adaptable Lifelong Learner

Nothing works out as planned in a startup. I certainly have ideas of the skills and competencies Day Optimizer needs at this stage in its development. But those needs may change. 

One of the key differences between a founder and an employee is that when the business needs change, the founder adapts and learns the skills required to make it a success, while an employee often stays within the universe of skills they were hired for.

Founders are stewards of a business, helping to guide it through rocky waters to lands unknown. Employees are hired hands & agents, who often give their all, but don’t always hold that stewardship mentality. Are you a steward or an agent?

At its core, I believe it comes down to whether you are a lifelong learner. Someone who is adaptable, who has a growth mindset. It matters less if you’ve been a founder before than if you have the ability to learn what’s needed and to take ownership of the outcome.

As just one example, a month before I sat here writing this, I knew hardly anything about finding a co-founder. If I find you, it’ll be because I identified the need, then learned enough about finding a co-founder to launch this search.

I am a serial entrepreneur who has sold two previous startups for modest amounts of money and is focused this time on making an impact. I am no longer looking for the “big win” so I can retire. I’ve come to the realization that I love creating products and may never retire. 

Rather than sacrifice my health and sanity in pursuit of some unicorn exit, I’m working every day toward building a business that can support my lifestyle and the lifestyles of others.

As you read more about me below, pay attention to the way I think. What I say is less important than how I organize my thoughts. Any good partnership is built on trust and respect. If you respect how I deconstruct the world and find it valuable, then we might be a good match.

Anyone can build products, what I do is see the world differently and figure out ways to give that to others.

Overview

Mission

To help others live more fulfilling lives by reaching their potential. 

Superpower

Creating mental models & frameworks that help people reason about the world to solve existing problems in new ways. 

Values

Impact
I seek to change lives, not merely make money.

Integrity
I try to be fair, open, trustworthy, competent and honest.

Wisdom
I try to be self-aware, admit my mistakes and make smarter decisions over time.

Discovery
I am able to accept & lean into uncertainty, to learn through doing, and to grow & change.

Freedom
I want to own the vision (with input from others), leave space to explore & support my travel.

Strong At

Product
Architecture, full-stack development, testing, deployment, user experience.

Strategy
Metrics & financial analysis; systems, critical path & scope analysis; identifying options.

Okay At

Marketing
Running tests, creating messaging, copywriting, managing online ads, setting up tracking.

Design
Creating layouts, having an eye for spacing & consistency. Lack higher-end design skills.

Customer Success
Creating training videos & documentation, handling support requests.

Weak At

Management
Hiring, overseeing others, nurturing culture, team building, firing quickly.

Sales
Prospecting, relationship building & nurturing, closing deals. I’m an introvert at heart.

Personality

Growth Seeker (primary)
Defined by a deep passion for learning and personal growth and development. Tend to be curious, humble, open to new ideas and experiences, and adaptable.

Explorer
Love to take in new knowledge and are drawn to new experiences through intrinsic motivations. Tend to be curious, open-minded, reflective and adaptable..

Strategist 
Adept at generating and translating concepts and ideas into effective strategies to achieve results. Tend to be both conceptual and structured thinkers, curious and open-minded, while also being reliable and pragmatic.

Current Status

I work half-time on Day Optimizer, sometimes bursting for a few months to full-time using the savings from the sale of my last business. I do consulting on the side to avoid draining my savings too quickly.

Location

I live part-time in Asheville, North Carolina and part-time in Berlin, Germany.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Dive Deeper

To learn more about me, explore my social media profiles and a selection of content I have created both as part of Day Optimizer and for other projects of mine. The only active project I have right now is Day Optimizer. All other projects are currently on hiatus, but could be revived if they make sense for building Day Optimizer or a future business together.

Day Optimizer

Blog

Talks

Play Video
A Process to Create More Effective Daily Plans
Play Video
A Framework for Deciding How & When to Enable Them
Play Video
For Working At Home

Podcasts

Mindful Productivity

Book

The first draft of Mindful Productivity: The Art of Getting Things Done While Living a Good Life.

I wrote Mindful Productivity in 2020 during a challenge I set for myself to write a book in the 25 days before my 48th birthday. I had to give myself a 5-day extension to finish the first draft.

The first draft is a complete book, but is missing some chapters I didn’t have time to complete.

Download it or browse through it on the right.

YouTube Channel

After writing Mindful Productivity, I explored building a broader audience around productivity with a series of videos on YouTube, based on the chapters of the book plus some additional concepts I came up with.

Web Sites

Aside from Day Optimizer, I have three professional web sites that I’ve created over the years that you can browse to learn more about how I think.

Before Day Optimizer I built a life planning membership site.

Browse the list of life planning tools, including the Scheduled To Do List tool that eventually became Day Optimizer.

When I pivoted to building Day Optimizer, I made the membership free. I continue to get a few signups a month.

Lean Decisions aims to help people use the minimum amount of information & process to make successful decisions. 

For 50 twice-weekly posts back in 2012, I explored decision-making and started developing a pattern language for decision-making.

I put it on hiatus to sell my last company & haven’t return to it yet.

One of my first blogs where I explored the concepts of entrepreneurship, analytics, professional networking and technology.

My last post was in 2017 and some of the pages are outdated. I have other priorities right now, but it showcases my thinking process and how I approach business.

Social Media

I use most forms of social media in a limited fashion. It is neither a marketing nor a communication channel that I enjoy or am good at. Nonetheless, my social media posts may tell you more about who I am: 

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Day Optimizer is a time management web app that helps solopreneurs create more effective daily plans, using guided workflows based on neuroscience. 

For a 1-minute overview of the product, watch this explainer video.

For details on the benefits, features and theory behind Day Optimizer, as well as testimonials, its present state and future development plans, keep scrolling, or sign up for a free 7-day trial to try it out yourself.

Play Video

Testimonials

Never stuck to one system so long

I have used a lot of time management systems, and none have satisfied me…

[Because of Day Optimizer] this is the first semester of my long career where I was the first English teacher in the building to turn in my grades. But I’ve still made time to read and knit…  

I’ve never stuck to one system as long as I’ve stuck with Day Optimizer; I don’t see myself using anything else!

Read Full Testimonial >
Jen Cranston
Over 180 plans created in Day Optimizer

How Day Optimizer Changed My Planning

Play Video
Ana Tirolese
Over 350 plans created in Day Optimizer

Benefits

See everything in one place

Day Optimizer shows your tasks, your calendar appointments, and your daily activities like habits & meals together, so you can more realistically plan your day.

Appointments are synced from all major calendar providers, and all data is synced in real-time between your desktop and mobile devices.

Limit task list distractions

One of the problems with a master task list is that looking at it throughout the day can cause you to be distracted by lower priorities on your list. 

Day Optimizer solves this by guiding you to create a daily commitment list where you only see what you plan to work on today.

To limit distractions while planning your day, you can also “snooze” tasks, so they disappear from the planning workflow until the date you specify.

Always know where you stand

Your day rarely goes exactly as planned. Even if you effectively planned your day at the start, knowing how to readjust your plans as things change can be hard.

Day Optimizer keeps track of how much effort you have remaining in your day and compares that to your time remaining—so you always know if you’re ahead of or behind schedule.

Balance competing priorities

Solopreneurs often have multiple competing priorities. Not only must they do the main work of the business, they need to acquire new customers, handle admin work and take time out to work on strategy.

Day Optimizer prompts you to consider each of your priorities each day, so you can effectively allocate time across those priorities and avoid the typical “feast and famine” cycle that ensures when you focus too much on any one area.

Leverage planning best practices

Day Optimizer uses a 3-step planning workflow that guides you toward building a more effective daily schedule.

Designed to leverage how your brain works and minimize your subconscious biases, the Day Optimizer planning process helps you to quickly & effectively plan each day.

Gain a sense of accomplishment

Ever look at your task list at the end of the day and wonder what you’ve accomplished? It feels like you did a lot of work, but didn’t get to check anything off.

Using the combination of a daily commitment list with Day Optimizer’s unique Done Today vs Done Forever status options, you can check items off your list once you’ve put in your time, even if you didn’t finish them. At the end of the day, see exactly what you worked on & feel good.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Features

3 types of to-dos

Tasks, activities and appointments each have special properties and behaviors within Day Optimizer. 

Tasks are things you’ll eventually be done. Once you start them, they appear each day in your planning flow until marked Done Forever.

Activities are never done or overdue. You’re never done eating lunch, and if you miss lunch one day, you don’t have to eat 2 lunches the next day. Activities appear on the day they are scheduled, but don’t participate in the task flow.

Appointments are fixed points in time. Many people have appointments on their calendar they don’t need or plan to attend, thus Day Optimizer asks you to explicitly commit to which you’ll attend each day.

Time Blocks are currently implemented using activities, but may soon become a fourth type.

3 types of plans

Day Optimizer supports three different ways to plan your day: 

Daily Commitment List
A list of only what you’ve committed to do today. 

Time Bucket
A prioritized list of commitments with time allocations, helping you to see exactly where your time is going. 

Daily Schedule
An agenda that specifies which commitments you plan to do when.

Task flow

Day Optimizer has the concept of a task flow, where unfinished tasks reappear as options when planning your next day.

To manage this, DO allows you to mark tasks as either Done Today or Done Forever:

Tasks marked Done Today remain in your task flow, while those marked Done Forever are removed.

Tasks can also be snoozed so you won’t see them in your task flow until a future date, or marked Won’t Do to remove them forever without doing them. 

Future extensions of the task flow will help with Next/Soon/Later task reviews & aging undone tasks.

Guided planning workflows

Day Optimizer is built around the concept of guided workflows for planning out your day.

Each plan type uses these steps, with the Daily Schedule using all three:

1. Commit
Decide explicitly what you plan to do today & commit to only those things to stay focused.

2. Allocate
Allocate how much time you want to spend on each item, to make progress or complete it.

3. Schedule
Create a schedule to keep you on track and see your available time to prioritize effectively.

Real-time visualization

Knowing how you are doing with regards to your plan is critical for making decisions on how to adjust your day when you get off track.

In the Time Bucket view, Day Optimizer greys out commitments you won’t have time to get to, based on the time allocations you set and how long you said your day was.

In the Schedule view, Day Optimizer greys out time slots in the past, so you can quickly see what you didn’t get done.

Both views have stats on your remaining effort and your projected end time if you want to work overtime to get everything done.

Theory & Philosophy

For a deep dive into the theory behind Day Optimizer, watch this CASE Planning Method talk I gave last year at the Task Management & Time Blocking Summit. 

The philosophy of Day Optimizer and its creation is described further below.

Play Video

Implementation Intentions

An “implementation intention” is an if-then plan that has been shown in research to help people more often achieve their goals & beat procrastination.

A daily schedule is a series of time-based implementation intentions, where you are specifying not only what to do, but when to do it.

A “goal intention” is a weaker form of intention where only the “what” is specified. A daily commitment list can be viewed as a series of goal intentions.

Both types of intentions nudge you toward action and away from procrastination & distraction.

Awareness management

Day Optimizer is built around a key insight: to be distracted by something, you first need to become aware of it. Thus, a large part of managing distractions is actually is managing awareness.

This insight is baked throughout current and planned features for Day Optimizer. 

The process of committing to what you want to do today is a filtering process, where all other options are removed from your awareness. Looking at your master task list during the day is distracting.

The 3 steps in the day planning workflow help isolate each concern (deciding what to do, how much time to spend  & when to do it), so you don’t get distracted jumping between concerns.

Snoozing allows you to remove tasks from your awareness for a period of time, while the task flow ensures active tasks remain in your awareness.

That last is key—we must have trustworthy systems to allow our brains to relax and not go back to our master task list worried we forgot something.

Manual vs automated planning

Day Optimizer is explicitly a manual planning tool, as opposed to automated schedulers like SkedPal and Focuster.  

I believe that the planning process is just as important as the plan itself. Planning changes you.

The entire psychology around implementation intentions requires that you yourself set those intentions, not some algorithm.

The goal of Day Optimizer is to make that manual planning process as efficient as possible, without losing the psychological and strategic benefits of doing the planning yourself.

Accomplishment stokes motivation

When we accomplish something, a small amount of dopamine is released, increasing motivation.

Even the act of checking something off, however small, creates this effect. 

Features like Done Today, by allowing you to check an item off your list before it’s done, give you a mini-motivation boost that can help you build momentum.

Thinking modes

“Thinking modes” is my own hypothesis around how the brain works. 

I believe that different ways of thinking “activate” the brain in different ways. And that mode-switching can be just as detrimental as task-switching.

For example, if you are writing a blog article, the process of outlining, writing and editing require three different modes of thinking.

Likewise, the 3 steps of the Day Optimizer process use 3 different thinking modes:

  1. Commit
    Uses divergent thinking to brainstorm what you need to work on today.
  2. Allocate
    Uses analytical thinking to figure out how much time to spend on each item.
  3. Schedule
    Uses time/spatial thinking to decide when to do each item & how they fit together.

I believe that it is more efficient to process all of your to-dos in each step together, than to use “one piece flow” where you go through this process one at a time for each to-do.

Different tools for different people

Paul Graham introduced the concept of Maker’s vs Manager’s schedules.  And while I think it’s a useful framework, I also think it’s limited. There are more than just two types of schedules.

Day Optimizer works best for a “solopreneur” schedule which consists of:

  • Limited number of meetings
  • Multiple, competing priorities
  • Tasks with large unknowns or complexity
  • Autonomy over one’s schedule

For instance, solopreneurs must balance doing the work of their business, with acquiring new business, doing administrative work and doing strategic work.

Many of the tasks they do, they will have never done before, resulting in a large number of unknowns that make accurate estimation near impossible.

In this context, learning how to allocate time across your priorities and focusing on making progress on each, instead of working to completion on a single one, are key.

Time estimation vs allocation

Time estimation is figuring out how long a task will take to complete, while time allocation is figuring out how long to spend on it today.

Time estimation fails when tasks have a large number of unknowns or huge variance in the time it takes to do individual steps. 

In these situations, time allocation becomes a powerful method to making progress and eventually completing these tasks.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Day Optimizer is what you might call a diamond in the rough. It’s not a failure, but it’s not a success either. It has a small base of dedicated customers, a solid codebase, some customer success content and a partially-working marketing pipeline. 

But customer acquisition cost is too high, too many users are lost during the activation phase, more customer success content is needed and at least one major feature requires development to make the system complete.

Essentially, it’s a work-in-progress that has potential. I need your help to unlock that potential.

Overview

Pitch

Day Optimizer (DO) helps solopreneurs create daily plans that reflect their priorities, using guided workflows designed around neuroscience principles.

Journey So Far

Founded as a pivot of Strategic Life Tools, a membership site for life planning. I’ve been working on Day Optimizer on-and-off since May 2018, some months working full-time and other months part-time while I do consulting on the side.

Struggles

Working alone, it’s been hard to gain momentum in any of the three core functions of the business: Product, Marketing & Customer Success (training, documentation, support). Onboarding & marketing remain unsolved.

Successes

Paying customers. Stable product. Part of the customer acquisition pipeline working. Positive feedback like “Thanks for changing my life with this”.

Differentiation

Workflow-based planning method plus new concepts like Done Today vs Done Forever for more effective task & time management. See the Product tab for more info.

Business Model

Software as a Service: $14.95 monthly or $149 yearly.

Competitors

Paper-based daily planners, Amazing Marvin, Any.do, Focuster, Sorted3, SkedPal.

Reward

Significant equity, earned over time based on a Slicing Pie or other fair equity model.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

Schedule a Call

Diving Deeper

Fragmented Market

As a market, the Productivity Tools market and Time & Task Management sub-market are structurally fragmented. There are no dominant players because a) the barriers to entry are low, b) the network effects are weak and c) the goals & needs of the customers are conflicting in a way that prevents a single “optimal” mass market solution. 

While the total addressable market is huge (how many people are bad at time management?), the total “reachable” market for any one solution tends to be much smaller, due to fragmented markets—where “markets” here is used in the Crossing the Chasm sense of not only people who share the same needs, but people who reference each other when making a buying decision.

Furthermore, the Time Management market, by being overlooked and lumped into the Task Management market, has an even greater sense of fragmentation and structural gaps. There is far less time management software than task management software.

If you ask the average person what they use for time management, they often respond with a task manager. Building an effective time management app is much harder than building an effective task management app. Yet often the two can be used together in a complementary fashion.

Thus, I believe that a business that provides an opinionated solution that solves time management for a subset of customers can carve out a distinct slice of the market. And I believe Day Optimizer can be one of those solutions.

Size Of Opportunity

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in 2018 in the U.S. there were at least 25 million people starting or running early stage businesses (42 months or younger) and at least 12 million people running established businesses—and that was before Covid and the Great Resignation.

Due to the market fragmentation discussed above and the fact that the Day Optimizer method doesn’t work for everyone, a rough size of the potential target U.S. market for Day Optimizer might be between 100,000 and 1 million potential users. While not a current focus, Day Optimizer has been written with localization in mind, so additional language-specific and English-speaking international markets could expand this number.

For context, Wunderlist had 13 worldwide million users when Microsoft bought in it 2015 for between $100-200 million, Todoist has 10+ million users with $15 million in revenue and Any.do has over 30+ million users with $5-10 million in revenue.

So the potential for growth is there. Though even 10,000 paying users at an average of $15/month comes to $1.8 million in revenue and the cost structures of this business don’t scale linearly with its growth.

Growth Strategies

Growth strategies are something we can discuss as we get to know each other. I have ideas, but I’d like to also hear your ideas.

You’ll notice throughout the site I refer to the niche that Day Optimizer serves as “solopreneurs”. There are specific reasons why I believe solopreneurs make a better market for Day Optimizer than others. However, not all of the most engaged users are solopreneurs, so we may want to explore this.

Even if we stick with solopreneurs as the target market, there are also several target markets to niche further into to build momentum and drive growth, such as ADHD solopreneurs or solopreneur coaches, before expanding into new markets using a bowling pin or other strategy.

Finally, I am a member of Dan Martell’s Growth Accelerator program, where he and his team teaches and coaches different strategies for growing Software as a Service businesses. As a co-founder, I would look to bring you into this program so you can learn from Dan and his team as well.

The process will start off with three 30-60 minute calls:

  1. Seek the No
    Are there obvious reasons we shouldn't work together? Let's surface these early so we don't waste each other's time.
  2. Establish Rough Fit
    Delve into the opportunity further and try to figure out if you are roughly the right fit for the opportunity and for me. Are we in rough alignment?
  3. Get to Know Each Other
    Learn more about each other on the personal level. We don't need to be best friends, but let's ensure that we like each other before agreeing to spend days or weeks vetting each other.

At the end of each call, either one of us can say that it doesn't look like a good fit and quit the process.

After that, the process gets a bit fuzzier. We need to test the relationship at a deeper level. I have ideas on how to do that, but no prescribed step-by-step process and will be looking for your input as well.

Even if you or I determine that we're not a good match for each other right now, or not a good match for this opportunity, I'm talking to others looking for co-founders during this process, so will try to point you in the right direction if I can.

I’ve been toying with finding a co-founder for a while now, but I believe a co-founder is the right choice now for two reasons:

  1. Joy in the Journey
    After working with my dance partner to create swing dance classes last year, I experienced the joy of having a working partnership. While we both worked together on the class creation, I focused more on the “product” side, developing the curriculum and preparing the playlists for us, while she handled the business and relationship side: coordinating with the university and students. I want to experience that same joy working in DO with someone.
  2. Desired Destination
    I’ve come to realize that my goal is not to own a business, but to create things that improve people’s lives. While I need a business to realize some of those things, like Day Optimizer, I don’t want to be the one running it. I want to lead product development, and work with someone else who will sell those products. In the ideal world, this wouldn’t be restricted to DO, but would include my books and future software.

Ultimately, I want someone to amplify me, who I can help amplify in return. Rather than shoring up my weaknesses, as I've done for many years now, I want to leverage my strengths. I believe I can travel a lot farther and have a lot more fun along the way with a business partner by my side.

I am using a process similar to the one my M&A advisor and I used to sell my last business.

In my research it seems most people who look for a co-founder mainly use their network or post on one or two "co-founder dating" sites. Many don't communicate clearly what they are looking for, in order to attract the right match.

The result is that their offer has limited visibility into the universe of potential co-founders and those co-founders who might be a good fit have no way to determine if reaching out is a waste of their time, resulting in only the most motivated potential co-founders contacting them.

I believe the right co-founder exists out there for me, but that reaching out to the 1,000 people or so in my network, or making one or two postings that perhaps another 1,000 people will see, may not find them.

I also believe the right co-founder may not be actively looking for a co-founder position. From a previous startup where our business model involved recruiting services, I know 85% of the market is passive job seekers, who tend to be some of the most valuable potential employees. I suspect the same rule applies for co-founders.

From studying decision-making, I know it’s better to evaluate multiple options against each other, than to evaluate those options sequentially.

Hence, I am using “launch” strategy, where I do a big announcement to gain visibility and get as many candidates into the same stage of the pipeline as possible, in roughly the same timeframe.

I have designed this page to both attract candidates for whom the opportunity might be a good fit and filter those for whom it's a bad fit. 

In the end, I recognize this is an experiment. It may fail, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try it. Every successful strategy was at one time just a crazy plan before someone made it successful. 

First, it's not the output, it's the process. The process of researching how to find the right co-founder and creating this landing page has given me a lot more clarity about who I am and what I am looking for than if I merely did a few posts on co-founder dating sites.

Second, it's not that much effort if you put it in perspective.

To launch my search I spent less than 100 hours researching, reading books, asking others for advice, introspecting, developing a process and building this landing page. I expect to spend a minimum of another 100 hours before I find the right co-founder.

200 hours may sound like a lot. But I expect to work with any co-founder I find for the next 5-10 years, on either this business or future businesses—that's anywhere from 5,000-20,000 hours.

In context, 200 hours is anywhere from 1-4% of my total time with this person. We've all heard horror stories of bad co-founders (or badly-matched co-founders). I would gladly spend a little bit more upfront time to find the right person than to work even 6-12 months with someone who isn't a good fit for me.

At this time, I am not looking for a service provider. I am looking for a co-founder.

There are fundamental differences between how one approaches marketing as a founder versus an agency. Especially with equity-only situations, initial excitement often fades as the sugar rush of paid clients beckons, and I am looking for a long-term partner, not a service provider.

If you are looking to transition from a services-based business to a product-based business and shut down your marketing consultancy, we can talk. Otherwise, it's not a good fit at this time.

Interested in Exploring This Opportunity?

Take the first step to see if this opportunity is right for you and whether we are a good fit for each other. Schedule a 30-minute introductory call with me.

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