Critical Questions
Try Notion
Critical Questions
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?
Common Problems
Asking awful questions that don't validate their assumptions - asking hypothetical questions to people who aren't the target audience. Double bad. Read about the Mom Test.
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.
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.
- Delete multiple tweets with one click. - Short links, big results - A URL shortener built with powerful tools to help you grow and protect your brand.
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
Also many people THINK they launched many MVP prototypes but instead they launched many unusable dysfunctional messy web apps/sites An MVP means Minimum Viable Product it doesn't mean Dysfunctional POS It has to be VERY usable but simple and do 1 thing great - Pieter Levels
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.
Could you describe your first version as Simple, Lovable, and Complete? Doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfect yet.
Another great visualization for Earliest Testable/Usable/Lovable - Making Sense of MVP
Image attribution Henrik Kniberg
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?
Indie Lurker Compass
A living swipe file for indie hackers, indie lurkers, & founders with the examples needed to start simple and start shipping🚢.