Product Development October 23, 2020

Early Work

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry
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    Yep, you are swimming under water, your survival depends on staying calm, processing feedback, adjusting course, being patient and focusing on your destination. Appreciate every inch of progress; if you lose perspective, you drown.

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    I think this is all really great advice from PG. One more thing that I would add is that I think it's helpful to think about all projects through the lens of learning and skill acquisition. Indiehacking/startups are hard because success requires so many different types of skills, knowledge and experiences, and so even if your project "fails", learning will make your next attempt more likely to succeed.

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      love these thoughts!

      i don't agree that indie hacking is hard though... it's hard if you make it hard. but, you could easily make it easy too... it's about the amount of pressure you create and manufacturer for oneself that can make it "hard"... but, i don't think that's the necessary default gear.

      but, i agree... learning is the the most important outcome and can still show up when things don't go well.

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        Hmm... for me, indie hacking is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Maybe it's easier for you because you've been at it for so long. I agree that it's possible to make things harder and more pressured than necessary (I'm certainly guilty of that). But here's why I think it's hard:

        1. Multiple hats. I think to be successful, you need to wear a lot of hats and be good at them. Here are the hats I'm currently wearing: product development (both frontend and backend), marketing, brand development, web design, product UI/UX, copywriting, graphic design, strategic positioning... and I haven't even launched yet! After I launch, I'm going to have to add customer service and operations to that list, and probably a few more marketing skillsets like SEO, content marketing, email marketing and maybe social media marketing. Having co-founders and hiring employees can help here, but then there are more mouths to feed.
        2. Uncertainty. Before you are successful, there's so much uncertainty. Will people buy my product? Is the market big enough? Can I execute? Do I have enough runway? What are the most important things that I should be working on now? What's a priority and what can wait?

        In all the jobs I've had in the past, the job requirements by contrast were narrow and well defined. You do x, y, z, then you'll be successful. I think people are now figuring out the IH/startup "playbook" but to me that playbook is huge, amorphous, ambiguous and with no guarantee of success.

        The flip side is that having left my job to be an indie hacker, I'm the happiest and most fulfilled I've ever been in my career.

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    Unfortunately, if you want to do new things, you'll face a force more powerful than other people's skepticism: your own skepticism. You too will judge your early work too harshly. How do you avoid that?

    This is a difficult problem, because you don't want to completely eliminate your horror of making something lame. That's what steers you toward doing good work. You just want to turn it off temporarily, the way a painkiller temporarily turns off pain.

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    He is such a legend.

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    Just the article I need, I hope I'm not the only one constantly doubting the project that I've been working on for quite some time now. Interesting point on surrounding yourself with people that also like trying something new, does anyone have experience with seeking out likeminded people? There's not many meetups where I live (Belgium) that handle this subject.

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