March 24, 2018

What is your greatest struggle at the moment?

I was thinking people would either just want to vent or get actual tips and motivation to get past their struggles.

Personally I really don't have a lot of time over for my side project, and I am currently in the middle of a rather huge refactoring of the codebase. Which is really making me feel like I am making no progress at the moment. Can't wait to implementing new features again, the backlog is really long 馃槄

  1. 10

    I don't validate first because I'm unfamiliar with marketing and sales. The result is spending months working on products that I realize are no good when I get about 50% of the way in.

    I now have a graveyard of unfinished ideas and a growing lack of self confidence. IH is helping bolster my confidence though. It's a genuinely great community.

    1. 7

      You should totally write a blog post called, "Tour my graveyard of ideas and unfinished projects!"

      Explain what you were working on, why you quit, and preferably the source code. Either write one huge story or make it multi-part series with one post on each product's corpse.

      1. 2

        This is a good idea. I'll probably write a post about my most recent project. It's a devops tool you can use to spin up instances of your application for github pull requests.

    2. 4

      Sometimes all you need is a small pivot. You might want to show people your graveyard to get valuable insights, some of your buried projects may have bright future or give a great inspirational boost to somebody else.

    3. 2

      I can see myself going that route, and to be fair I think most of us are. Even "validated" ideas aren't always a success.

      Keep on trying! :)

    4. 1

      I'm curious what projects haven't worked out. Maybe they just need a skilled product marketer to help?

      (Note: I am not a skilled product marketer)

      1. 2
  2. 7

    A lot of users are joining but half of the ones joining aren't even doing anything after they join.

    I'm also struggling with building more features so I can finally monetize vs making the onboarding better so people actually use the app.

    1. 2

      A lot of users are joining but half of the ones joining aren't even doing anything after they join.

      This is a good problem to have! For a lot of people, me including, we're still at the stage of finding the right acquisition channels.

      Have you emailed the lost users to get feedback? Response rates to lost users are not high but if you have a lot of signups then you'll definitely get some answers.

      1. 1

        I have not emailed any of them but that's a great idea. I'll add that to my todos :)

        I've gotten 725 signups since launch and I checked yesterday, about 2/3rds of them have done any kind of recorded action on the site.

    2. 2

      Can you segment your user base?

      Have you run through some basic use-cases to try to understand why some users will be active while others will not?

      Can you attract the more profitable users, while dissuading those that will generate less revenue than it costs you to service them? Do you have a cut-off figure in mind for this -- how long can you carry inactive users for, and for how long, before they start eating into your profit margins?

      1. 4

        Well currently none of my users are profitable because I don't have any monetization in place yet :P

        I have hotjar installed and from what I've gathered so far, the main reason people aren't active is they don't know what to do once they sign up. It's not clear/obvious the next steps they need to take once they are registered so they are dropping off.

        1. 2

          Seems like you're off to a reasonable start in understanding existing behaviour. Time to change, test, change :)

    3. 2

      That is honestly what I expect will happen whenever I launch :/ must be annoying.

      If you already have a steady intake I would focus on onboarding, clear design and good communication of what is to come.

    4. 1

      Oh man, same thing.

  3. 5

    Getting feedback from enough people to iterate on my prototype design.

    1. 3

      Lets see it! :)

    2. 2
  4. 5

    Learning enough marketing to get my product ( ) visible to my target audience.

    1. 1

      Your idea and product itself are great, but the video doesn't seem professional (mostly the voice recording) and your price plan is confusing because of placing the free tiral plan button under the team plan which is actually not free.

      Good luck

      1. 1

        Hi Pendant,

        The voiceover is actually me - I think I need a better microphone!

        And I'm not sure what you mean about the buttons: you can have a free trial for any plan. All of them will give you 14 days before you need to pay.

        Have you found a bug with the registration process, or do I need clearer messaging?



        1. 2

          You can get a professional voice artist to read your script with professional equipment for < $100 on fiverr

          1. 1

            VoiceBunny is another viable option.

        2. 1

          I think a little bit of effort in presentation goes a long way.

          About the button, its not a serious issue but was my first impression from a quick glance.

    2. 1

      What resources are you using to learn this? And what do you think you need to focus the most on?

      1. 3

        I'm taking a course from -- it's called "Product Marketing for Developers". It's a crash course by fellow community member @mijustin, and it's pretty good.

      2. 2

        SEO - working my way through everything on Moz and SEMrush right now.

        And then linkedin advertising which in I'm starting to experiment with.

  5. 3

    My greatest struggle is finding something I would be interested to work with that could be eventually be interesting enough to turn into a product/service that someone would find useful. I am a techie at heart and if I can't work on something I would enjoy doing, I just drop the idea, right away. The second thing is finding time for a side project due to my full time job, wife and kids.

  6. 3

    User growth for my products.

    1. 1

      Same here. What products are you trying to grow?

      1. 1

        A fitness app that punishes you each you don't workout adequatly enough. Is easy to see how user growth might be a problem. :D

        1. 1

          Haha! There are some similar apps that have done well ( and!

          I think you could find a way to do it! Do you have a website/landing page for your project?

          1. 1

            Lazy Jar

            Ours is a little different. We don't offer rewards and we don't rely on other users to hold each other accountable. :)

  7. 3

    Selecting an idea to work on.

    I have had a string of startup failures and really want to pick a great idea to validate before writing any code this time.

    1. 2

      Do you have a list of ideas that you just need to choose from? Or do you need help coming up with ideas? Maybe the community can help if you have a list of ideas already

      1. 2

        I have a list of bad ideas right now. I'm trying to find a better idea by using google trends or adsense to find things that people are searching for but not find. Not sure if that will work.

        • for people who are always late: app resets their phone time into the future a random amount of minutes

        • for people who want to try a new yoga class/style: suggests random class

        • for people curious about twitter bots: a web app that shows a bunch of them.

        • for people who want to delete facebook: a guide that shows how

        • for people who want a non-computer/phone activity: website/app that suggests activity, like dancing, yoga, chess

        • intro to hacking for non-technical people

        • video game

        • ebook for people who want to learn to code ruby on rails and get a job doing it

        • database/wiki for people looking for the best translation of classic literary work

        1. 3

          I've personally found starting with what people are already trying to do at work (the more often the better) and working backwards from there has helped with coming up with ideas that are closer to what people would pay for. There's just much less inertia and education needed in this case, even though it's still hard to convince people even if they do things manually each day!

          I think using the keyword planning tool to understand underserved content/solutions is a fair thing to try. A recent case I saw someone successfully do this was seeing the high search number for "How to post a gif to Instagram", I think it was an indiehackers' story.

          With all the ideas you shared, I'd ask who would want this, how often would they need/use it, and how much worse is the alternative.

          for people who want to delete facebook: a guide that shows how

          This is probably relevant to people sharing the hashtag #DeleteFacebook or searching it on google, it would be needed once (once the acc is deleted there is no benefit for them), the alternative could be other free content that is available or apathy that they have over time.

          For people who want to try a new yoga class/style: suggests random class

          This is probably relevant to people who want to try out new forms of exercise (still too broad of a description), some would work out multiple times a week, their alternative is something like ClassPass or searching themselves (which would result in them not being able to get deals that you could potentially get)

          I hope this helps with at least a framework to judge the difference between what ideas may be worth trying to validate!

        2. 2

          I would say that intro to hacking would be the best is those, but isn't there already a couple is those websites?

    2. 1

      hi i would be interested in brainstorming on ideas with you over a chat, let me know if we can connect in hangout to begin with. my id is i believe i may be able to share some good insights.

  8. 2

    too close to launch.

    but out of savings.

    need to freelance to support myself now and freelancing is getting too boring / too much hard work ...

    either i should look for alternate sources of income or launch quickly...

    1. 1

      Sounds like a hard choice to make :(

  9. 2

    Struggling to do the marketing in a balanced way while we work to complete the work and move to beta.

    1. 2

      Good luck with that!

  10. 2

    My top biggest challenge.

    • Getting a co-founder. Sometimes I approach someone who seems really into the idea, passionate, with God-sent ideas on how best we can penetrate the market but start giving excuses after we agree on who will work on what, when and the milestones we should target. A week passes on with 0 achievements even on tasks leave alone closing 1 customer. We do a small crisis chat to see where the dude is stuck but after promises nothing happens.
  11. 2

    Looking to pre-sell to first 20 customers (so far have 4) on a social selling chat tool I am working on.

    Right now, working on scheduling calls with consultants, biz dev, and early stage founders. Reading this post

    Hate rejection, but have to grind through it...

    1. 1

      I wish you the best of luck!

  12. 2

    Marketing. With limited time/money to invest, it's tough to know where to spend it to get the best results.

    My current project: -- Any thoughts would be appreciated!

    1. 1

      Wow looks really well made, both app and website! I'm not sure I know anyone I can recommend this too, but I will keep it in the back of my mind :)

      1. 1

        Thanks @tallkotten! Feel free to play around on the app.

        1. 1

          Did you make everything yourself? Apps, backend and website?

          1. 2

            Yeah! I built it over 2017:

            1. Apps: Ionic Framework

            2. Backend: Firebase

            3. Website: Just a free Bootstrap theme that I've slowly been customizing.

            1. 1

              Awesome! Well done :D

  13. 2

    Trying to update my SaaS' core to be smarter, and I have been slow on finding help. (I posted an Ask IH about this about 30 minutes ago)

    1. 1

      What do you need help with?

  14. 2

    For me it's impostor syndrome right now.

    I've been working at jobs for the past 5 years. I'm done next week and will start freelancing while either building a web studio or working on some ideas, but I'm afraid I won't be able to handle most of my possible clients requests for the kind of things I haven't done before.

    I'm reading a lot and over-engineering my own projects right now so I can do some of things that are scaring me, but I lack the confidence to feel like I'm doing it the right way.

    1. 2

      You'll learn by doing, don't worry about it.

      1. 2

        I agree, if there are any big tasks that you feel worried about. Make sure to research them a lot beforehand. And if really needed, let your client know that you might need some time to learn the new technology/system (at a reduced price), if you feel that you can do so without making you feel less professional.

  15. 2

    In my experience refactoring is evil, unless it can be done in under half an hour. It will put you off coming back to working on your side project until you just give up.

    Refactoring is necessary. I am not denying that, but always keep in mind that there is a massive deference between software engineering and hacking a quick hobby project. SE requires a dedicate team/s, time, resources and money. A side hobby project has none of that. Unfortunately that is the sad reality, which I myself had to come to face despite the fact that I religiously respect code quality, unit testing, well designed architecture etc.

    The only way that I can see a project like that to get done would be for you to spend a lengthy period of time (months if not year/s) and work on it rigorously, while also keeping your discipline. But that is insanely hard, even for someone who loves programming and software engineering discipline.

    1. 1

      You are totally right. I just have a couple of tests to write until I consider the refactoring done. After that I will make sure to really focus on functionality and features until I have a stable beta product :)

  16. 2

    procrastination is killing me

    1. 1

      Sorry to hear that. My advice would be to force yourself to work, even just for 30 minutes each day. I think that after a while you will see that you are getting somewhere and your motivation might take over :)

    2. 1

      install a chrome extension to block procrastination by web browsing? I tried StayFocused before, not bad.

  17. 2

    I'm curious, the project you're refactoring now, did you release it yet? If not, have you validated the idea otherwise?

    I think many of us (myself included) are struggling with validating ideas early, so if you haven't done that yet, just leave your code as it is and make it work somehow and see if people like it!

    1. 1

      I have not released it yet, and I think your point is 100% valid. The problem is that I started on this project maybe 7-8 months ago to learn Go and then left if after just a couple of months.

      At work we then started with Go and my skills have grown immensely because of this. I really have to get this refactoring done, not sure I would want to work in the codebase otherwise :p

      But my plan is to immediately afterwards focus on bringing out an alpha/beta.

      For future things though, I will remember to validate the idea before spending to much time with it.

      I think my problem is that I get attached to ideas rather easy :p The one I have now I have already planned to expand in a few different ways once it's done.

      1. 2

        In a way, this is all true from a product standpoint. You could be faster if you did things different. But do you need to? It's one thing to validate ideas early but it's another thing to rush. There's nothing wrong with learning a new language, tool or skill which will help you down the road. So take your time to learn, and enjoy building a clean backend. This is not a race after all.

        Go is a fantastic language, good choice!

        1. 1

          That is also very true :)

          Go has to be my favorite language for building microservices!

  18. 1

    I'm frustrated by the stigma that is still attached to mental health that makes growing the user base of my new startup ( difficult. It's not that people don't want to improve their mental health, it's just that people think of it as a negative thing, rather than a positive.

    Too often life coaches sell the dream to people that often just isn't true and doesn't happen. We're trying to bring a little sanity to the self-improvement world and that's proving quite difficult.

    I really don't want to sell-out and start using phrasing that's more inline with Tim Ferriss type life hackers, but part of me feels like I might not have any choice.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    1. 2

      You are correct, about the stigma. But I also think you can word it differently without feeling that you have drifted to far away from your standards.

      For example. I would probably not sign up for a "Mental Health" newsletter, but a newsletter with motivational and happy news might be interesting.

      The problem might be that "Mental health" is a bit broad imo, it can mean a lot of things. Happy news, working out, yoga, meditating, motivational quotes, short stories ect.. all very different things

    2. 1

      buddy - maybe you can niche down further to specific issues of mental health.




      anger management

      and other such areas.

  19. 1

    @tallkotten, sounds like that refactor would help you long-term though :)

    On my side, I am eager to start working with some affiliate partners. Bigger, serious players that stand behind the product consistently with their values and the community they have.

    Appreciate any tips on finding good affiliate partners :p

    1. 2

      I think it will!

      I can tell you that I am about 90% done as of now, just got of a long shift of working on it! And it it looking way better, just added a bunch of tests as well so that feels good :)

      I am sorry to say that I have no idea where to find big partners unfortunately

      1. 1

        Anything we can see yet?

        1. 1

          Not just yet, but IH will be the first to see and hear about it :)

          1. 1

            Best of luck with it, let us know when it's ready ;)

            1. 1

              Will do!

              As a sneakpeek, I aim to build a service to analyze data and deliver helpful stats about the data fed too it.

              1. 1

                Sounds big data'ish ;) Success!

                1. 1

                  Yeah I guess, but on a small and focused scale :P Thanks!

  20. 1

    Coming up with good ideas, not just ideas, but good ideas worth pursuing.

    1. 1

      Start and create something you can share, only then can you validate an idea, put it out there.

    2. 2

      This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

  21. 1

    I hear you with the refactoring taking place over features; you only have so many hours!

    On a related note; my current biggest struggle is that I have had doctors orders to sleep more for a variety of reasons; this has cut into my project time hugely...

    So not yet sure of a way to bring my output back up, while looking after my health.

    1. 1

      Not much you can do :/ Is it possible to maybe plan to work on the project more certain days, like weekends or a particular day in the week?

  22. 1

    My greatest struggle at the moment is getting the notifications to work on my site. Right now I just have alerts setup but I want push notifications and haven't figured it out yet, so an advice on how to do it is welcome!!

    1. 1

      Push notifications to a phone or through the website?

        1. 2

          Saw that you got help further down, good luck!

    2. 1

      You can try

      Basically, you create your project: what you are doing now, and how often do you plan to post an update about the project (assuming every 7 days). It will send a reminder on the 7th day. If you still don't update, it will send another reminder on the 14th day and on the 21st day. Reminder is by email though.

      PS: I build this

      1. 1

        Looks cool! Will remember it for when it need it :)

    3. 1

      Are you talking about push notifications on a website or within an app? There may be a service that could be helpful for you rather than building it on your own:

      1. 2

        Thanks I will check this out!!

    4. 1

      This comment was deleted 10 months ago.

  23. 1

    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

    1. 2

      I think the best advice I can give you is to plan for the big picture but live for the "sprint". Meaning that you should have a plan for the long run but when you actually work, make sure to work on small and easily defined tasks.

      All of a sudden you will realize that you have done all of those things you previously feared :)

      1. 2

        This comment was deleted 3 months ago.