November 8, 2018

Read the way Buffer started their journey. Going to do just the same.

After making some really useless websites in the past, I have decided to take a different approach this time.

Since the day I have got an idea for this service, I found myself with an immediate impulse to start coding right away.

So far I have controlled myself and just created a Github Repo, while talking to my target audience.

With much more control over myself, I will be following the methods set by Joel Gascoigne while making Buffer.

Do you have any points to share? I'd love to get your perspective on this method.

Link for anyone wondering:

https://blog.bufferapp.com/idea-to-paying-customers-in-7-weeks-how-we-did-it


  1. 2

    In my experience this method is great in theory (and in buffers case even beyond that), but I see the biggest issue with it in driving enough traffic to your landing page to gather enough data to validate demand.

    If you have already channels you can leverage on where you find your target audience (e.g. a mailing list) you’d have a much better base to start.

    1. 1

      the biggest issue with it in driving enough traffic to your landing page to gather enough data to validate demand.

      I agree... I would need at least a weeks data to analyse this. I will be talking about it on various forums, subreddits and to people directly on Instagram/Twitter & in person.

      If you have already channels you can leverage on where you find your target audience (e.g. a mailing list)

      I don't sadly. I should Have started collecting emails way before. But for this project, Ill be creating a new email list.

  2. 1

    Like to add, and this might be obvious, what worked for them doesn't have to work for you.

    Also the world was a total different place almost 8 years ago (when this Buffer story happened). Don't get to hung up on these stories. If you would ask Joel what he would do now, he wouldn't use the exact same strategy.

    1. 1

      what worked for them doesn't have to work for you.

      That is so true. But in the past, I have created a few websites that no one wanted. So from where I stand, I can see this as the only reasonable method to give a try.

      total different place almost 8 years ago

      True.

      If you would ask Joel what he would do now, he wouldn't use the exact same strategy.

      Also true.

      I referred a website which lists different type of Product Development Frameworks, and I found that the one used by Buffer is the cheaps for me, as well as makes more sense to me.

    2. 1

      What do you mean by “total different place”? I believe the approach described in the article is still used very often - validate market demand with a landing page and email field, then build the mvp, then iterate.

      1. 1

        the approach described in the article is still used very often

        yea, I have seen it around a few times, but I was never aware that I was a thing. A lot of Makers follow this method.

        Although most of them had to iterate quite a lot before finding their audience.

      2. 1

        The different markets/niches were less saturated than they’re now. People were less reluctant to leave their emails. And so forth.

        The fact it’s still used often doesn’t mean it works. Creating a landing page with an email signup tells you close to zero about “market validation”.

        1. 1

          Creating a landing page with an email signup tells you close to zero about “market validation”.

          This is a really solid argument.

          https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18400020

          If you read the first answer to this question on HackerNews (by philip1209), it is really fascinated by how they started their service.

          If I make a landing page, collect email, and then sent the interested people to check out the MVP, where I manually manage every task and thing, giving them a feel of how the service will work.

          I think I will have a better chance of getting an audience.

          1. 2

            Yes, that's such a better way to start a product than lazily set up a landing page and hope for the best.

            The quicker you have something tangible out the door the better. The earlier you get customers, the earlier you get real feedback about your product.

            All the best! Let me know once your product is live (email is in profile :)).

            1. 2

              Thanks for this.

              Ill keep you in loop.

  3. 1

    Buffer is a great company. They have quite a specific and, at the same time, different way and vision of doing things.

    I admire their determination and drive.

    Did you know they were rejected by the YC?

    1. 1

      Yes, Buffer is an amazing company, and their products are really useful in my opinion.

      Did you know they were rejected by the YC?

      No, I was not aware of this fact. Thanks for sharing.

      1. 1

        https://open.buffer.com/buffers-y-combinator-application/ => here is their YC rejection story. Hope to find it interesting.

        1. 1

          Hey... thanks for sharing the link.

          This is really interesting to read, and learn about perseverance