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#004 - Zach Merritt - Making a product that over 200,000 teachers LOVE

Maker of Habit
Today's Maker: Zach Merritt - Making a product that over 200,000 teachers LOVE
WHY HE’S FEATURED:
  • Built Kindu TV which is now serving over 230,000 teachers 😱
  • Teachers LOVE his product. He gets tweets like this almost everyday:
  • He’s bootstrapped the business from Day 1, working in collaboration with his now-wife, a kindergarten teacher
I actually know Zach from my UCLA days (Go Bruins!) before we were both makers. What I love about Zach’s work is that you can tell he really listens to his customers needs. Not only does he listen, but he responds to those needs with creative, enjoyable solutions that really resonate with his audience. Listening to customer’s pain points is built into the product’s DNA–Zach came up with the idea for Kindu TV in collaboration with his wife, a Kindergarten teacher, who was experiencing many pain points and a lack of helpful tools in her own classroom.
With some subtle pivots on his positioning and offering over the past year, you can tell Zach is being strategic and thoughtful about the product’s direction and market opportunities.
Read on to learn about 3 habits that have changed his trajectory as a maker 👇
3 Habits that changed Zach’s trajectory:
  • 🚶‍♂️Take walks between focus periods - Whenever I transition from one area of focus to the next, I go on a walk first. So, once I finish up some sales calls, I’ll take a walk before moving into product development. I like to treat my day like chapters in a book and I try to minimize context switching (i.e., I like to carve out large chunks of time to work on one area only).
  • 🥪 Go out to lunch and socialize - I go to the same 1 or 2 places for lunch every day. I work from home and mostly alone. This helps me socialize (I know the people at my go-to spots) and get out. It sounds lame - but it’s really important to me. Going back to point #1, I use lunch as a large opportunity to do a major context switch (e.g., when I get back from lunch it’s major building time!).
  • ⏰ Get up early and have a full morning routine - I like to get up early and have a full morning before I dive into work. I take my time, take a long shower, a long walk with my doggo, sit on the floor with my doggo, etc..
Seems like Zach is really intentional about how he works from home and it’s paying off. His customers LOVE his product and it’s clear he’s serving a real need. (I mean…that traction! 😱) Follow him @zachkindu on Twitter to stay updated on his growing business.
P.S. If, like me, you were also curious about Zach’s “doggo”, here’s some photos of Mochi that he shared with me 🥺:
And as always, thanks for reading!
Do Zach’s habits sound like something you’d want to incorporate into your life? Start building the habits with Harold, a quirky SMS bot that checks in with you once a day to help you stick with new habits. It’s a game changer.
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Kyleigh from Maker of Habit
Kyleigh from Maker of Habit @bagelsangranola

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