I summarized the replies:— @levelsio (@levelsio) December 3, 2021
- people building things again way too big (scope too big, too many features and too much tech to JUST validate if ppl pay for an idea)
- and for way too long (months to a year)
- ppl insecure if ppl want their thing (u won't know until u launch it!) https://t.co/UX3wYn5W9D
These are the questions I wish I would have been asked before wasting hour after hour on projects which never launched or were a Solution Looking for a Problem. Use them to cut the crap and see your project from an observer’s perspective.
Are you building a product or solving a problem?
Get an experiment shipped out the door ASAP
Understand your assumptions
Find real validation for your idea
Discover quickly if you are building something no one wants → are you building a Solution Looking for a Problem?
Solution looking for a problem.
Solution for a market that isn’t willing or doesn’t care enough to pay for a solution.
Focusing on growth hacks on a product no one wants.
Struggle making decisions - there's a million to be made about every detail, like picking a name - but you only need to get the big ones right and the small ones won't matter.
Positioning is crappy, or missing.
Fear blocking launching - whether you recognize it or not.
Using excuses to prevent themselves from seeing hard truths.
Having an idea with validation, but waffling on the perfect way to build and other technicalities.
What are you building, and why are you excited about this?
Describe your product in less than 2 sentences, it should fit on a post it note and be OBVIOUS.
Have you launched yet?
How many customers do you have?
How much revenue have you pulled in? What's the median price a customer pays you? (don't let outliers fool you)
Understanding the problem space
What is the problem you are solving?
Why is this a problem people care about?
who's your target customer? What do they act like, what do they do?
What assumptions are you making? How might you validate them to help guide your direction?
What actions have you taken to validate that people want this? How many potential customers have you talked to?
Simplifying what you build
What is the 1 core feature that people are buying this for, the one that if it was missing, no other feature would matter? e.g. Bitly - short url redirects. If you're building things and don't have that nailed, stop.
What does the ideal version of this in your head look like? What are the 2 most important features you imagined? I’m assuming it’s not user accounts or dark mode .
If you could snap your fingers and have your perfect version of the software finished today, what are your next steps for 1 month - 3 months - 6 months?
What assumptions are you making as a part of this? Can we make those less vague? Have you answered any of them yet?
Shipping & Distribution
What % of your time is spent on activities that put you in front of new faces (content marketing, launches, etc.)? Why is it not higher?
Have you put this in front of a large number of people?
If you get no eyes on it, of course you won’t have any sales. Even a great product won’t sell if no one sees it.
Where does your target audience hang out, and why have you not talked to them?
What is stopping you from shipping? If you have reasons why you’re not, can you find alternative routes around them?
How might you be committing Productive Procrastination?