I've made some exceptionally poor decisions in my time as an indie hacker 👎
I wanted to share 4 of my biggest mistakes that I believe makers should discuss more frequently.
(Note: These are based on my own personal experiences)
1️⃣ Thinking I need to build an MVP
By failing at so many products, I've learnt a thing or two about validation.
In my opinion, the only source of validation you need is revenue - not upvotes, not subscribers, not positive feedback.
Now, when it comes to finding your first paying customer, building an MVP will only hold you back.
If you're planning to build something that solves a genuine pain point for someone, they should be willing to pre-register and pay for access.
Instead of spending days, weeks, or months building a product, you should use this time to speak to potential customers.
A cold email is the best MVP.
Sell the idea of the solution, then find someone willing to invest in the remedy.
2️⃣ Thinking I was one iteration or feature away from finding success.
If you're building a product, you'll quickly learn if it has real potential.
If you're 6 months into a build, adding one new feature isn't going to suddenly move the needle.
When it comes to building, you'll either know if it's working or not.
What's the best way to know if something has traction?
Refer back to point 1 👆
Sell before you build.
3️⃣ Spending too much time trying to build an audience
I've recently come to realise that building an audience and building distribution are two completely different things.
If you're building an audience, you'll spend months/years working to attract 'potential' customers in the hope that you can later monetise this following.
Distribution, however, is focused on connecting you with real customers who are already looking for a solution to a problem.
If you're an indie hacker trying to get to revenue as quickly as possible, sourcing a distribution channel, not building an audience, will be the fastest way to monetisation.
I've genuinely spent years of my life trying to build an audience, only to find that I had built a following of the wrong 'potential' customers.
If you're building an audience of like-minded peers, you're essentially building a network of friends, not customers. And you know what they say about selling to friends and family...
4️⃣ Learning pointless skills and knowledge
I spent 3 years of my life working for startups. I loved being surrounded by tech.
Every day, I'd spend hours reading articles and research papers about new machine learning models, product roadmaps for social platforms, and the latest in crypto.
While I was infatuated with staying up-to-date with the latest trends, I also wasted so much time learning things that didn't apply to my ultimate goal of creating my own business.
Even now with tools like no-code, I'm always in envy of the amazing products my peers are building and sharing on Twitter.
While I'd love to spend time learning new tools, I also know that it's only a distraction from building my own business.
While this affects my ego in the short-term, it builds momentum towards my goal in the long-term.
In summary 👇
These are some of the most important lessons I've learnt throughout my own journey to-date.
I'm also sure there's plenty of makers with opposing opinions who are much better off than I am.
Mistakes are essential for your personal growth. You won't evolve without them.
While advice can be helpful, nothing is more powerful than experiencing the outcomes of something first-hand.
If you found this thread useful, you can find more of my content like this across Twitter.