How Can You Simplify A Big Idea So You Can Launch Something Manageable?

Have you noticed how many entrepreneurs on Mixergy have talked about the importance of launching a scaled-down version of your site?

One of the big ideas that I talked about with Andrew Lee, founder of JamLegend, is how to whittle a big idea to a manageable launch.

Andrew Lee

Andrew Lee


Andrew Lee is the founder of JamLegend, which let you play a rocking guitar game online for free and was later acquired by Zynga.

Here’s an edited excerpt from our conversation.

What is JamLegend?

We basically put Guitar Hero online.

What we do is allow you to play for free with your friends online. And we want to allow you to play with more songs. The idea here is that, instead of having a closed system, where you enjoy music games only with a couple of friends, only in the comfort of your living room, you can enjoy them anytime, anywhere.

So we’re basically allowing people to play Guitar Hero at work.

You can also plug in your Guitar Hero and Rock Band equipment into our site. So eventually, later on, any song you want to play, you can play it through our site.

That’s a big project. How do you know what to focus on?

For JamLegend, we asked ourselves, what are our core needs?

We need to make it free, we need to make it social and we need to have songs on there that you can’t get elsewhere.

We have to make it so any artist can get on. That’s really, really important to us. Any artist can on to this and play with it.

What was your first version like?

That wasn’t even a beta. It was a Flash thing. It was like a Flash widget.

It only ran on local hosts, so it didn’t even run on the web. But we tested amongst our friends at LaunchBox. And that’s how LaunchBox was really important. Because we worked with the community and we worked with a lot of the other mentors.


Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.