Ideas and Validation May 11, 2020

Appreciate your vote on one of my 7 potential projects!

Mario @logicalicy

Hey IH! 👋

I've been looking at a few potential projects to start soon and would like your input!

Of these problems, which one strikes a nerve/chord in you?

  1. Testing: E2E tests are repetitive and take too much time away from making
  2. Marketing: Affiliates links are scattered and changing any is a nightmare
  3. Consumer: Coming up with a gift idea for a birthday/anniversary is hard!
  4. Productivity: Want to create an internal tool with a Chrome Extension but there's no easy way
  5. Engineering: Engineering post mortems are not organised enough to be able to reflect on later
  6. Product: Internationalising my website and keeping it up to date is a nightmare
  7. Consumer: Calorie counting is not fun. It should require less searching and be more visual!

Feel free to vote below or on Trello: https://trello.com/b/wiOgNnUl/ideas

Thanks a bunch!

  1. 3

    Can you elaborate on this?

    1. Marketing: Affiliates links are scattered and changing any is a nightmare

    I am working on a collection of affiliate programs but I don't understand your problem statement.

    1. 3

      I'm not sure if this is what OP had in mind but this is my interpretation. Currently, if you have an affiliate link, you'll go around and share it all over the place. Let's say the product sells out or any number of things happens to that link and it's no longer good. Instead of going out to every single place that you shared that link, you only had to update the link in one place, this would be the service provided.

      The service could generate a unique path, and whenever someone lands on that page, it could send a redirect header to where there affiliate link should be. It would make management super easy.

      @OP, if you need help with this.. I'm totally onboard. I write mainly in GO and React.

      1. 3

        This sounds like a good idea

      2. 1

        @bennychan good Q! I deliberately kept it to a one-liner but looks I should provide some context!

        The problem stems from an experience I had, to build a custom solution for in a contracting gig. But I think the problem may be more general. Marketeers often create affiliate links in multiple platforms and then post them in their articles/websites. Sometimes they maintain multiple links per affiliate if they want to track e.g. mobile/desktop/email, etc!

        When you need to change any of them, you might need to go back to those platforms and change lots of links, as @ismaelvazquezjr describes (I hope I understood it right anyway!). If any of the links break, you might only realise a day later when the analytics trickle in. You can see how this will get exponentially hard to maintain.

        A solution I'm considering is one where you can maintain all of these links via a single service, and updating links later on is as simple as updating them in the service (not in the articles or your site). Additionally, sometimes links need to be dynamic and need to look up a database (e.g. you have an internal product ID but it doesn't match the product ID in your affiliate). Is "dynamic" a problem too or not so much @ismaelvazquezjr?

        1. 2

          I'm curious, is this issue not something a typical link shortener can solve? For instance with Bit.ly you can just change where the link redirects the user to.

          1. 1

            Partially, yes. Sometimes though, these affiliate links have multiple dimensions: for desktop, mobile; for page X, page Y; etc. That’s the case I was thinking of!

        2. 2

          @logicalicy I understand your problem. As experiments for my project AffTable.com, I joined 20 - 30 affiliate programs. There are just too many aff networks, links, login, etc. I feel a headache to manage so many logins. Though I know there are already SaaS tools to give you a dashboard view for all programs you joined.

          I have 2 ideas for the solution:

          1. A platform to connect various aff networks & aff platform via API. The user can manage all aff links in a single portal. Also, the commissions from each program can be seen.

          2. A platform to create shortened URLs. Each aff link will be wrapped by a shortened URL. When the aff link is dead, you can receive a notification to change it. (maybe similar to WordPress plugin prettylinks?)

          By the way, are you making some money from affiliate programs? Otherwise, I don't think this is a problem worth solving.

          1. 1

            Thanks for the suggestions. I've taken note of your insights. And AffTable.com — awesome! 😊

            Edit: Out of curiosity, would you be able to share the SaaS tools that give you the program overview?

            1. 2

              Voluum, thrive tracker, and binom tracker?

              You can refer to the thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Affiliatemarketing/comments/dmz9gv/is_there_software_that_gives_you_a_dashboard_to/

              I saw it when I was doing my research. There are already players in the field. If you want to join the competition, you can try.

              1. 1

                Brilliant will check 'em out. Not joining competition just yet as I'm exploring and this is my early external validation exercise 😁

      3. 1

        I really like this idea. What I was wanting is a way to post links to multiple places with the touch of a button. For example, I create a new article then post it Linkedin, Twitter, HN, Facebook, and more. Especially if it did this based upon the best time of day for the link to post.

        1. 1

          You can already do so with zapier / buffer

          1. 1

            Thanks. In that case number 2 as is.

    2. 2

      Did OP ever respond? If not I might be interested in building this product.

      1. 1

        Just replied. 😁 You're also welcome to build it, the more the merrier! Especially because there will be lots of certain niches to target. I don't think there's a shortage of them.

        1. 1

          Thanks! I think it's your best idea out the bunch because it's unique and seems to solve a pain point nobody thought about.

  2. 2

    3 resonates the most. 6 is definitely a problem, but not one I care too much about (the internationalization side anyways)--I know how to update my websites. I have no idea what 1, 4, and 5 mean 😂. I know of a few solutions that already exist for 2. I've never (nor will I ever) count calories.

    You didn't ask for that much feedback, but there you go. lol - hope it was somewhat helpful.

  3. 2

    Voted and left a few comments on Trello :) IMO, i18n and calorie counter are the most promising ideas with clear pain on the market.

  4. 2

    Hi @logicalicy . Some interesting ideas here.

    1. Consumer - Coming up with a gift idea for a birthday/anniversary is hard!

    This is one that I feel a lot of people struggle with. It can be tricky to think of good gift ideas for all the different types of holidays, whether it is birthdays/ christmas / anniversaries etc... Some sort of aggregator of the most popular gift ideas broken down by different demographics could be cool. I know there are sites that do this already but I still don't find them very useful.

    I know ideas like thieve.co that aggregate the best products from Aliexpress, but you could do something similar specifically for aggregating gift ideas.

    1. 2

      It can be tricky to think of good gift ideas for all the different types of holidays, whether it is birthdays/ christmas / anniversaries etc.

      Indeed, this is me every holiday/birthday. 😁 Thanks, will bear in mind re aggregating!

  5. 2

    The affiliate links issue is a real pain point for me. Can see you creating some real value there.

    1. 2

      Is clickmeter.com The type of thing you had in mind? Or something simpler perhaps...?

      1. 1

        Will be sure to check this out, thanks @BlazingHippo!

    2. 1

      Hey @bchangTO, thanks for feeding back! I've posted a reply to an earlier comment (see above), and feel your pain. Would you mind elaborating what isn't working for you currently?

  6. 2

    I'll vote with questions :) - which of these do you care about the most? and can imagine working on 6 months from now?

    1. 1

      Very fair Q. 🙂 As I mentioned in another comment (above), this list of seven is actually a shortlist of a much longer list. Re evaluation criteria, I'm a big fan of solving a problem for myself and/or have plenty experience in. I've found over the years that helping others make things (via productivity or no code tools) is a motivation boost for me, so those will likely be my front-runners. And will dwindle my list further. 😄 Thanks!

  7. 2

    I think that 1 & 5 are the best problem areas to explore for building a bootstrapped business.
    That being said, I have been looking for a great gift tracker app, and would be happy to provide you with some of the pain points I've run into in the past and be an early customer

    1. 1

      Thanks, #1 and #5 certainly have a clearer path than some of the others. 😊 ...hopefully I can take you up on the offer re gift idea in future!

  8. 2

    It's done :)

    I upvoted 3 ideas, and here are my thoughts about it (I tried to leave a few feedbacks, and not just "I like it", but, all 3 really talk to me).

    I like the idea about E2E, but, from what I used, automated E2E are like automated bug finders, automated code corrector, they looks great, but it's hard to find one good. The underlying problem is complex. That's why many people still write code to achieve that.

    The gift idea finder is great, as I've never managed to find a good one. You'll need a pretty decent survey in order to avoid just selling affiliate things that nobody wants.

    Finally, post mortem is indeed something that I've rarely seen well achieved. But, I believe it would be hard to force people to leave their engineering environment to write something in an external tool.

    1. 1

      Thanks Alex, appreciate your extra comments! 😊

      • Re E2E, yes, I'll be doing some extra research on the E2E testing. The state of the art is likely Cypress/Puppeteer at the moment but I'm considering a "no code" solution for those who can't or would rather not write those tests themselves.
      • Re gift finding... you're right! These generic gift ideas aren't going to cut it.
      • Re Post Mortem, I'll dwell on this. You're right that "yet another tool" is something most people will be cautious of (including myself). Ideally, something quite integrated!
  9. 2

    A product for E2E testing could be good if executed well. I think the others belong to markets that are already very competitive.

  10. 2

    I'm in for Engineering Postmortems. (I'm an engineer)
    To me, public platform with post-mortems on any possible technology could be a great win for everyone.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your vote!

  11. 3

    This comment was deleted 8 months ago.

    1. 2

      That's a fair Q. To provide some context, this list of seven is actually a shortlist of a much longer list. 😄 Like you say, I had to evaluate which ones bothered me the most and dwindled it down. I'm a fan of building something that solves your own problem.

      ...but (!) I'm seeking validation on them too (as I'm doing here) because I want more data on whether others are bothered by them too. I do have front-runners though, ones that I'm considering more than others!

      1. 2

        People talk a lot about mom test here and I think it is a nice guideline.

        Which of these you ACTUALLY tried to solve for yourself?

        How many calorie apps have you tried? If the answer is 1 or less then you don't care about this problem enough.

        (Btw I am guilty of doing the same as well. Saying that I am solving my own, actual problem, but in reality it is a problem I just "made up" to create a business) :)

        1. 1

          I've read the Mom Test too, good book. And yes, all of them I have personal experiences with. 😊 The calorie counter is lower in my list (likely to be cut out of the list) but I have a spreadsheet I maintain every day. I've made up many problems before, but I can back these ones up (at least with personal examples, but I need others' help with external validation) 😉. If you'd like to submit a vote, please do!

          Thanks for the tip all the same

          1. 1

            But that' the thing.

            I would personally vote for 7, because that's the only thing that I care about on your list.

            BUT at the same time I know that there are 1 000 000 calorie counters already. So unless you have something new/unexpected as a solution, I simply don't know if it's worth it.

            That's the thing, you state all these ideas as problems, because many people recommend to do so, but this is also a trap.

            I have multiple problems that I can assure you, are multi-BILLION dollar problems, but nobody does them, because at our current technological/economical level they are probably impossible to solve.

            Example:

            Create a startup that solves "I have to work 40 hours/week at a day job my whole life" problem. If you do, you will be richer than Jeff Bezos in 3 months.

            But can you actually do it? No.

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