March 28, 2019

8 questions to ask your indie hacker business

An interesting article here that I thought would be of interest. It focuses on asking 8 questions, which I've kindly put below :)

  1. What systemic, societal change do you aspire to create with your product?
  2. How will you sustain the virtue of your product?
  3. How do you drive the greatest impact on an individual level?
  4. What do you think is an optimal growth rate? How will you keep yourself accountable as you scale?
  5. What’s your framework for leveraging data and AI responsibly?
  6. Does your business foster an ecosystem in which innovation thrives?
  7. How do you define and promote diversity in the context of your business?
  8. How does your company dynamically evolve in response to regulation and account for the various stakeholders your product impacts?

Wondering if you feel, as an indie hacker, these questions apply? Or if there are any other questions you feel we should be asking ourselves?

https://hbr.org/2019/01/the-era-of-move-fast-and-break-things-is-over

  1. 6

    I reject the premise of the questions. They're overreaching, clearly status-signalling, somewhat political, and, in my opinion, a mistake for an indie to focus on at the very beginning.

    Far too many people spend their time concerned about things they have no power over, at the expense of what they do.

    Instead of grand visions about affecting societal change, how about focusing on the affect you have on those in your life? Even in the case when one does have the power to change society, as Facebook does now, I'd prefer a more cautious approach. Zuck has a desire to change the world to fit his vision and I'm not a fan of it! I'm not a fan of how he already has changed society, either. It's considerably more dangerous than if he were just trying to make money.

    This doesn't mean I don't believe in altruism. In a former life, I built and ran a school for children and I put in far more work than was economically rational. It's work I'm very proud of and nothing in the world feels better than running into former students' parents and being thanked by them. But to the degree I succeeded, it was due to trying to be good to the individuals I was actually interacting with.

    So, I would replace all those questions with one:

    "For those you interact with, are you making their lives better or worse?"

    (This includes customers, employees, suppliers, neighbors, family...)

    1. 2

      100% agree with your first paragraph.

      The idea that these would the questions that someone would have as top of mind at any stage of the business is mind boggling, scary, and very ideological.

      How about:

      • how do I make a better product?

      • what’s a better way to talk to users to get better feedback?

      • am I striking the right balance between tactical and strategic for this stage of the business?

      Etc...

      1. 2

        I agree. Too much time is often focused on theory, not practice. I believe in spending less time thinking about the business and more time doing. In early stages especially, getting an MVP out so you can really validate your idea is optimal.

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