Growth October 21, 2020

How I failed 6 side-projects in 10 months

José León @jrleonr

After losing my job in December of 2019, I decided to step into bootstrapping my own ideas for a while.

First (don't do this), I worked for more than 6 months on my first idea, a very simple one, but difficult to execute. An email service provider, nomadmail.io. It wasn't easy, but I did it.

I launched. 1 upvote on Product Hunt, mine... Crickets. I probably cried on the inside.


Lessons From a Failure Entrepreneur

Get The Next One!


After spending an immense amount of hours tweaking and fixing and making sure everything was workings, 99.9% of the visits to the landing page, never passed from there.

2,058 visits since 20th May. 0 clients. No one has seen my app.

After that, I thought: Ok, if people don't pass from the landing page, I am going to create landing pages and test ideas.

So I create:

nomadnest.org and alternative to Couchsurfing, 2,162 visits, I made more money from it than from nomadmail. And I did it in one weekend (shorturl.at/ekwGU).

coffeelist.co: a coffee community, 1,716 visits. I got a bit excited and did some features.

nomadasdigitales.com, a digital nomads community in Spanish.

lanzame.net, a Product Hunt in Spanish.

classline.io, a SaaS for teachers to simply communicate with students over email, this is using the technology that I created for nomadmail.

What I learned:

  • Don't rush into solutions. Find people that have a real problem, talk to them, and then, think of solutions. Every problem, has many solutions, don't rush into making the first one that you can think of.

  • Find clients before making anything. I always think... I will make it share it, and people will see and use it. It doesn't work like that.

  • Don't do it if you need money NOW. Making a product's success takes time. If you are doing it for the money, you are going to rush into the wrong decisions.

That's it. Honestly, I sometimes think to stop and to just work for others. To think that I don't have it, or that I am just not good enough.

But I keep thinking and thinking and making. I can't help it. I am sure many of you can relate. At the end of the day, you only need to win once.

So if you like my writing, please, give me a happy moment and buy me a coffee, or two: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/jrleonr.

  1. 12

    Man I love this community, look at all the valuable feedback you got. Go Indiehackers 🙌

  2. 11

    Honest feedback: you need to hire a conversion-focused copywriter and redo your Nomadmail landing page.

    I’m sure your product is great, but if you can’t comunicate its value properly nobody will buy it.

    1. 2

      I thought at the beginning that all the customers will come like "outbound" like I have to go and find them.

      I am not sure that improving the landing page is going to make any difference at this stage, I don't have the traffic coming in. But you are right, the page needs to be improved, that's for sure.

      Thanks for your honest feedback!

      1. 1

        I agree with what @andreboso said. If I were a potential customer I might've been put off by the copywriting. However, for the start perhaps you shouldn't even need to hire someone, I'm sure the HN community would be really helpful with this!

        1. 1

          Ok! I'm listening! What do you think is making people think that way? Something specific, everything? Love to have some feedback if you have any on that!

          1. 23

            Hey José! A conversion copywriter/editor here (thanks for the mention, @andreboso). If you'd like to work together, that's great, but let's see what exactly you could improve about your lander:

            1. Were you in any way inspired by TinyLetter? It's MailChimp's newsletter service that seems to have a similar USP. It's simple, it's easy to use, and it's free (for up to 5,000 subscribers). If you haven't, it might be good to check out their copy and approach to marketing.

            2. I like your heading - "Newsletters, for real people." (Alternatively, it could be: "Newsletters for people, not robots.")

            However, I think the next section is too long, and I'd rephrase it as - "Human to human. Write a newsletter, choose who receives it, click send, and reach your people."

            This feels simpler to understand. Additionally, I saw that NomadMail has audience segmentation, so it's good to hint at that in your hero copy.

            It remove this entirely: "Try it free for 14 days, credit card required. Just to avoid spammers, but do not worry, if you don't like it, you won't be charge. I am here to help!"

            It can definitely create confusion and it adds friction, so just leave it at: 'Start your free 14-day trial.'

            1. Second section:

            Turn 'Make connections' into 'Create relationships.'
            Remove "When your subscribers get an email from nomadmail, they know that is comming from a person."

            Why do I recommend removing it? Because - in practice, how are people going to know that the email is coming from a person just because it's sent through NomadMail?

            1. 1st part of 2nd section:

            Remove everything but the heading and the description line: "Sending email newsletters doesn't have to be complicated."

            The shorter, the sweeter. ;)

            Then, edit audience segmentation and simple content editor parts like this:

            *"Organize your subscribers by groups

            Send the right message to the right people. Choose which subscriber group gets your emails with audience segmentation."*

            Leave the content editor explanation as it is, I love it!

            1. 2nd part of 2nd section:

            Here's what I think this should look like when edited:

            "Easy to use" (in general, avoid saying 'nothing new' in your copy because people are automatically going to think there's nothing new about your tool and that will put them off even subconsciously)

            "NomadMail is so easy to use that you'll feel like you've always been using it."

            *"Easy-to-read stats

            We only show you what's important so you can focus on writing the best content ever."*

            *"Simple, but powerful

            Sleek on the outside, powerful on the inside. NomadMail is easy to use and offers powerful features to increase your engagement."*

            1. About me section:

            I think it's a really good move to include your bio because it proves that you're a person who's had it with overly complex email marketing providers.

            I would make some changes here. Namely, I wouldn't criticize email automation too much because it's really handy for businesses.

            This is also the part where I should mention that I think you should fine-tune your audience targeting and positioning.

            Checking out TinyLetter can really help, trust me. It's made for a similar audience to what I think yours might be: creatives, freelancers, and other people who want direct communication with their subscribers.

            At this point, it's not immediately clear who your product is actually for, so a lot of people likely bounce because of that. I've gotten the impression that you're not talking to big corporations who want to get more sales, but to people like yourself.

            Your next step should be finding out what like-minded people need out of newsletters, and that's when your copywriting would be at its most successful.

            1. I like your final CTA for now.

            All in all, I like what you're doing with NomadMail as a copywriter and as a person who is really tired as heck of all those overly complex email marketing providers. I'm probably your target audience, really.

            But the main thing that I, as a member of your target audience, would find a problem while considering your service is the pricing point.

            Again, TinyLetter is your biggest competitor for this, and they're free.

            So, what I would suggest would be offering a free plan for up to, say, 1,000 subscribers. I'd also cut back on the $29 price, and make it something more approachable, below the $20 monthly fee.

            Then, as you start getting users with your freemium plan, you can start expanding. But, in my experience, any price that's above $20 means you'll have to work with businesses (and they kind of want automation).

            Alternatively, you could work on your branding and make getting personal newsletters from businesses sexier. But that's a whole 'nother bag of cats that I won't bore you with right now. You can check out @andreboso 's Zero to Marketing newsletter, he often shares quick and easy advice for improving your audience targeting, market positioning, etc.

            For now, you can make these edits, and see if anything changes. Please feel free to pose additional questions if you have any, I'd be happy to help out. :)

            EDIT: I saw you mentioned that you're mainly reaching out to prospects rn, not getting inbound traffic. You still need a good lander that solidifies what you promised them. I love your personal, hands-on approach - I think it's really powerful in the age of faceless corporations - but your lander should still back up what you're saying. Chances are, people are going to forget your conversation, and they'll want to remind themselves or learn more.

            1. 4

              Amazing! I don't think I can add anything smart to this.

              This is what I am going to do... I am going to do everything you said and send you the link with the changes. Also, I will be adding some sections to expand on it.

              I can't thank you enough. I will send you the updates when ready! Thank you very very much. You are too kind.

              I was inspired by ConvertKit, I have to say. I found Tinyletter later on, but it is true, the idea is very similar. I think I was ignoring it because it's free and that hurts.

              Thanks again!

              1. 2

                Please do, I'd be happy to see what you changed and keep this conversation going. :)

                I definitely understand ignoring competitors because it hurts. But on the other hand, you have one thing they don't: You care about your users. TinyLetter doesn't.

                It takes days to receive a single reply from their customer support. Their Twitter and social media accounts are totally ignored and empty. (Their last substantial tweet was in 2018.) They're essentially using TinyLetter as a content marketing project to promote MailChimp. I'm just using it because it's no-fuss, but it's not like they inspire me to do more with my TinyLetter account (even though that'd grow my subscriber list and I'd eventually have to switch to their MailChimp paid plans). They don't even have a blog.

                On that note, it could be a good marketing move to showcase and celebrate your customers' projects once they start using NomadMail, but I digress.

                You, on the other hand, are showing that you're a real person who cares, so I wouldn't feel discouraged if I were you. Human connection can be a good marketing differentiator.

                So yes, definitely keep me posted and good luck! :D

            2. 3

              This answer deserves an award. A huge congrats for having a big heart!

              1. 1

                Aww, thank you, Karthik! :) I hope you have a wonderful day!

            3. 1

              Congrats for such amazing answer! For sure will keep you in mind for doing such analysis on my product marketing material!

              1. 1

                Thanks so much, Mauricio! :) And yes, feel free to get in touch!

    2. 1

      @andreboso - do you know any recommended conversion-focused copywriters?

        1. 1

          Thanks @andreboso.
          Hey @LanaRafaela, how can I reach out? your DMs are blocked on twitter.

          1. 1

            Hey @ran - sorry about that, I'm not on Twitter that often! I've unblocked them now so feel free to DM me now. :) If it still doesn't work, just give me your username and I'll DM you first.

            EDIT: I've also added my email address to my IH profile.

            1. 1

              @LanaRafaela great, sent you an email!

  3. 3

    Thanks for sharing your story! IH Milestones are great, but it's just as valuable, if not more, to see the struggles and the failures.

    That being said, I don't think it's fair to say that you've failed 6 side-projects.

    Products rarely take off from day 1. It's an iterative process - you develop a hypothesis, test it, and iterate. They're only failures if you didn't learn from them.

    Which means that nomadmail was probably a process failure - it was a costly 6 months when you weren't talking to users and testing things. But you learned from that by shipping subsequent projects much faster.

    I think it's far too early to say that any of those projects are "failures" quite yet. But it might be a good idea to stay focused on a single project. Clearly you can build quickly - just imagine if you had launched nomadmail in 1 month, and then talked to users and iterated for the next 5!

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot for these words!

      It's more like a personal feeling that I am failing than "real failures". Or at least a mix of both.

      Now I need to decide what to do, what to focus my energy, etc. I create fast, that's true. I've doing MVPs for other companies for many years. So I have experience creating, but not with marketing.

      Thanks a lot for reading the article!

      1. 1

        I definitely understand that and would probably be feeling the same way in your shoes. I just started my solo-bootstrapped-founder journey as well, and might be in the same place in 10 months!

        1. 2

          Best of luck! Do some marketing research or find 1 customer before start creating :D

  4. 3

    I feel I'm reading my own story hehe.
    I also learned the same lessons (the hard way)
    and also sometimes feel the same way, "maybe I don't have it"
    but as you said, you only need one win. the question is how many failures you need to get there. So just keep trying and learning and most importantly, ENJOY THE PROCESS

    1. 2

      Probably this story is not that uncommon, we end up just listening to those who have some degree of success, that's why I think is important to share failures when you are still failing, not only when everything goes well.

      Sometimes I do not enjoy the process, because I worry too much about money.

      Thanks for sharing your feelings!

  5. 2

    Here's my piece of advice. Allow using the free trial without credit card. I think it will substantially increase conversions. You tried to play it safe and got 0 clients, so give it a try.

    Thanks for the article! 👍🏼

    1. 1

      That's true. I will do that.

      Thanks for sharing that!

  6. 1

    It's difficult to fail at anything in 10 months. It's to short a time.
    Most businesses takes several years or a decade to really get going.
    The key is to find a way to stay in for such a long time.

    It starts with lowering your costs to the absolute minimum maybe getting a part-time job so you don't run out of money.
    Then identifying what distribution options you have.
    Then finding a problem that match your distribution options, interests and skills.
    Then making the first small version of the solution.
    Then staying with it and making increasingly smaller pivots.

    Repurposing stuff from previous projects is really great.

  7. 1

    These are not failed projects, these are 6 milestones in your path to success. The suggestions are absolute amazing by @andreboso. Do implement it. Thanks

  8. 1

    Honest feedback: you are LEGEND because you did six businesses in 10 months. We learn from our failures; not from our success. Perhaps you need to focus. Perhaps you need to launch another six businesses. Perhaps you need to take a break. You should give yourself credit for all of this hustle. BRAVO!

    1. 1

      Hey Daniel! That's very kind! It is hard to see it when I'm not yet making money from any of the products, but I will get there!

      Thanks for your words and the energy!

      1. 1

        I have been wanting to do this "100 Days of Making" but I still haven't done it. So you are a step ahead of me! :)

        https://medium.com/@twahlin/100-days-of-making-3889635e8d8b

  9. 1

    Also a good pricing page will help, I didn't knew the product price until I signed up. I thought it would have a free tier (like some of your competitors: mailgun, mandrill).

    1. 1

      The problem with the free tier is that having too many clients cost a lot. What would be a good tier?

  10. 1

    I don't know if nomadmail is still available but I tried to signup and choose a plan and it gives me a 404

    1. 1

      Sorry! It's coming back today! I am improving it!

  11. 1

    Hello José, thanks for sharing your experience!

    I wanna ask you, if you don't mind, about your Spanish version of Product Hunt lanzame.net, What's your tech stack ? Because I have a similar project idea in mind for my country.

    1. 1

      Thanks!

      I use PHP and Laravel always :)

      1. 1

        Did you use them for both front-end and back-end in your platform?
        P.S. I'm a newbie when it comes to web dev. I have background in mobile dev though.

  12. 1

    Thanks for taking the time to share!

    With each failure, you'll only keep refining your process and discover what works.

    It took me over 2 years of building to generate my first dollar, but giving up and getting a job has never been an option.

    Looking forward to following the journey!

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot for your kind words.

      After all these comments I feel again the willingness to keep trying!

  13. 1

    Some feedback for NomadMail:

    From the landing page - no idea what value it adds. There are thousands of ways to send newsletters, why would I choose yours?

    Then I sign up. Okay, first thing I see is choose a paid package. I have no idea what the product is but you're asking me to pay already? I need to be onboarded. I need some reason to pay.

    And that's all the feedback I can give you for the product because the next step is to pay.

    As you'll likely never see a penny from the product as it is now, I would make the bottom tier free and then you people will start using it for real. Some of those may convert down the line.

    Enjoyed the post in any case. Great to see this kind of honesty.

    1. 1

      Hey! Thanks for your honest feedback!!

      Yes, the landing page needs work. I will change it this or next week!

      You need a reason to pay, 100%. But, only 10 people have seen the payment page, so I don't think that's the problem right now.

      Free is complicated for me, sending emails is expensive. I need to improve many things and keep testing.

      I really appreciate your feedback. I will try all the things you recommended, but I need to think about how!

      Happy that you like the article! I'll send you updates in the future!

      1. 1

        It's not that expensive. You can likely afford to give 100 free emails before a user needs to upgrade. Most will use a handful. They just want to see the product in action.

        1. 1

          True! I was thinking like a free account of maybe 300 subscribers or something like that? What do you think?

          1. 1

            Sure. Any improvement here is good.
            The details you can iron out over time. If you see 300 is costing you too much you can change the number or turn it off.

  14. 1

    @jrleonr - Love your initiative, and clearly you have talent! Anyone who can launch that many services in such a short time is a rock-star in my book.

    Who cares if they haven't taken off in such a short period of time? Marketing is the hardest part of growing a business, service, or brand. It takes a long time, and a good amount of effort and tenacity.

    Fail fast. Fix faster!

    Can you email me (see my email on my IH profile)? I may have some things we can work on together that may be mutually beneficial.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your kind words, Mike! I'll send you an email!

  15. 1

    This is the first post that made me want to comment. I didn't even introduce myself on the weekly threads yet... Just wanted to thank you for writing about your experiences, I'm enjoying this website because I can relate to other people trying to build something great. I've been working on the same web app to learn Japanese for almost two years, it's kind of a satured market I guess? There are a lot of apps for learning Japanese already and here I am making yet another one. Haven't shared it on Product Hunt or here yet (only on r/LearnJapanese, 17 upvotes on the post), I'm making a few updates before doing that, but I'm getting around 20 users per day. So I made the same mistake as you, spending too much time on it before getting users and now I have some users but don't connect with them very well, apart from some feedback and error reporting mails. Need to launch it officially and get more users and properly connect with them. The nexts months will tell the future of the app, hope it goes well! Also, wish you all the best, José! Success for your next projects, keep 'em coming!

    PS: just clicked on some of your links, your sites look very good! I woud like to be able to design like this haha

    1. 1

      Hey! Welcome to IH.

      20 users per day is a LOT of users. Can you share the app? I like Japan! :))))

      The design is all Tailwind, I just copy and paste. You can do it too!

      Keep working on that, and I will love to see the app!

      Thanks for your time and comment!

      1. 1

        Hello, thanks for anwsering. I had a look at Tailwind a few days back, probably will use it in the nexts projects (or other UI framework). One of the mistakes I made with my current app is that I didn't use any framework to being with, just React and pure CSS, next time I'll make sure to use something like Chakra UI or Tailwind to save time down the road. Here's the link for the app https://www.ryouflashcards.com it's focused on practicing kanji and words, I might add some guides in the future because it doesn't have any tips on how to learn the language. Hope to read your thoughts on it!

        1. 1

          I think is a GREAT GREAT site.

          Yes, make it look a bit better, but it has a lot of potentials. Add some layers around login to try the product, etc.

          You don't have a Twitter to follow your journey? I'd like to see how that goes. Love it.

          1. 1

            I do have a Twitter account (same handle @opauloantonio) but I don't post anything 😂

            I'm planning on making a website for myself to showcase my projects, like a portfolio and then start writing articles about learning how to code and about my journey and to help others. Then I'll be more active on social media, for now the plan is to finish and release Ryou.

            What do you mean by adding layers around login? Do you mean I should ask people to login before using the app?

  16. 1

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. 1

      Happy that you liked it! Thanks for reading it!

  17. 1

    Great work, Jose! You've been very busy. I'm glad to hear your ideas are gaining traction.

    I have a question about nomadnest.org - I'm working on a somewhat similar service where local people connect with each other in person (for launch if we ever get rid of Covid). Rather than stay in each other's homes, my service connects them in acts of service. My question is, how do you plan on working with safety from harm and crime? By that I mean you have people opening up their homes to strangers who are staying with them in their homes and both parties are opening themselves up to potential harm and criminal behavior. How can we keep people safe when they use our services? I know you can't keep people completely safe and Terms & Conditions give some responsibility to users of the service. I thought of checking their identity using a service that cross-references name and social security number but that could be a sticking point for sign up for a lot of people and different countries have different systems for that - I think it would be a nightmare! I've never signed up as an Air B&B host so I don't know if there's a waiver. I've used Air B&B as a guest but have never had to sign a personal safety waiver. Their Terms & Conditions provide a written legal framework for safety - do you think that's enough?

    I'm interested in your thoughts about this.

    Again, great work - it's very inspiring to learn about what you're doing - I'm sure you'll have great success!

    Simon

    1. 1

      Hey Simon!

      Very difficult topic. I think in the end, it should be the responsibility of the user.

      There are some services to validate identity and I think Airbnb is using those, at least they did in the past. But many people said that you can fake them.

      Paddle uses onfido.

      The problem is that they cost money. I think I would start with a review system. That was my intention.

      Let me know how it goes! Thanks a lot for your beautiful comment!

  18. 1

    Interested to know if you got another job

    1. 1

      Yes, I make MVPs for other companies. :)

  19. 1

    Don't lose heart man! I've made about half a dozen projects over the past 6 months myself and it's been mostly a dud. :D

    You learn lessons, improve in intangible ways at least, and are better equipped for the next one.

    1. 1

      Thank you for this beautiful words!

      This article gave a lot of good energy to keep going!

  20. 1

    Thanks for sharing your story! I also feel I'm reading my own story here ! I worked for months on 2 projects, I didn't launch the first one because by the time I was done, the market was already saturated, in the second project I made the same deadly mistake as you did, I didn't talk enough to my future customers before starting.
    Sometimes I also feel that I don't have it like you said, but I still have faith, maybe, just maybe someday I will make it, and then, all these failures will sedently make sense! as a learning path towards this success.

    1. 1

      Don't break my heart, keep pushing! I will do it too! You never know.

      If you don´t keep trying that's 100% failure, that's for sure!

  21. 1

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us :)

    For me, I find it hard to switch projects on something that I've invested time to make. There's a part of me that wants to keep trying to somehow make it work. At the same time I also know that I don't want to fall to the sunk cost fallacy and waste time.

    I'm wondering, how did you know when those products were considered failures? Was there a point where you you just knew to move to the next one?

    1. 1

      I think that I just love creating new things, it's my motivation. Also, I was running away from the scare side of not knowing how to promote my project.

      I don't know if those projects were 100% fail or I was just scared, a bit of both. You never know if you keep pushing, it is almost impossible to know.

  22. 1

    Hey sir, 1st of all, how you get Couchsurfing, 2,162 visits , 2,058 visits for nomadmail.io and all the visit for other project you made?

    Cause 2k plus visit is not bad. But where is the visitor came from? Do you running ads?

    1. 1

      Mainly from Twitter, Indie Hackers, Reddit, and Facebook Groups. A mix of everything.

      1. 1

        wow..2k plus visit is really not bad

  23. 1

    This is awesome Jose, your advice should be the first thing every startup should go through. Which one of your ventures did you first take your advice and how did you reach out to these people in the first place?

    1. 1

      Thanks, Lorne! I tried that for Classline, because it was so hard to find people to talk with. Still learning from the things I did, I think is a long process and takes time.

  24. 1

    Thanks for sharing so openly! Failure stories are important, and even better when there's an analysis of it, as you've done.

    Main thing is that you're learning, and this is to me the primary metric for a startup founder. How much can you learn per unit if time. The faster you learn, the better you get.

    Keep at it.

    1. 1

      Thanks for leaving a comment! I will keep learning and trying. I hope you do the same!

  25. 1

    Hi jose, may i know what's your front-end for classline.io? I think it looks good. I have seen similar theme but don't have the budget to buy it. Maybe i don't know if there's framework out there to build something like that, thanks, good luck for your next project

    1. 2

      It's Tailwindcss and Tailwindui. Very popular CSS framework.

      1. 1

        i see, thank you. I have another question, is tailwindui free ? i see that it cost about hundreds of dollars but they provide free component and we can just copy the code but it stated that it required tailwind ui plugin. I'm confused. Is the free component really free?

        1. 1

          tailwindcss is free, tailwindui is not free. You need a license to use it. It's personal and you can't transfer it, so, you need to buy it.

  26. 1

    Great nomadmail project. Landing page also looks awesome, but I think much more description is required for people.

    1. 1

      I see, more people are commenting on that! Taking notes! Thanks!

  27. 1

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Happy to read it :)
    It should be good to have a client first and build an mvp for them.
    Also you should work more on your landing pages. For example you should update nomadmail home page with a better user experience. You can read some ux articles and do it yourself at this time. But it would be good if you hire a ux designer after making some money $$$

    1. 1

      Thanks for that!

      What do you mean by user experience in this particular case? It is just text!

      Something is wrong with the landing page, that's for sure!

      1. 1

        Also, most times people trust a company instead of a person! So I suggest removing the "Who is behind this project?" part.

      2. 1

        For example, at the first sight, I was searching for prices. After 2 times scrolling the whole page I found it in text size font at the top!

        1. 1

          Ups! I did that months ago and completely forgot about it.

          You are 100% right, I will improve the landing page! Thanks for sharing your opinion!

  28. 1

    Idea: Take coffeelist.co, rebrand it and turn it into a discord community for coffee lovers. Charge 2-3$ monthly for access.

    1. 2

      No point in charging money for access to a Discord server for a topic as large as coffee. There are tons of free more active ones

    2. 1

      I had a Slack community, but the project wasn't about that. Maybe the site should only talk about the community?

      1. 1

        What we're you trying to build?

    3. 1

      This comment was deleted a month ago.

  29. 1

    Thanks for sharing José!

    You've had a lot going on, I'm wondering what's your focus now? How are you spending your time?

    1. 2

      Thanks for reading Stefan,

      I have a client and I am creating an MVP for this client. That's taking mostly all of my time.

      At the same time, now I am trying to choose if I should continue any of those ideas or try a different thing.

      1. 1

        Interesting to hear... is the MVP for a completely different product?

  30. 1

    Thanks for sharing you story :)

    I too have a failure like nomadmail. Unfortunately, It’s an expensive (mostly our time) way to learn an important lesson about product development—that you need to evaluate market and channel risks, and not just product risks before building. I’m trying to do that right next time :)

    What is your plan for coffeelist.co? I’m a coffee enthusiast :)

    1. 1

      Thanks to you for reading it!

      Fiding customers before building it is probably the way to go, but it is so hard to talk to people. But if you can't find customers before making, how to find them after?

      Don't know about the coffee project! Any ideas? :) Maybe a small community or something like it.

      1. 1

        Re: talking to customers, I hear you! I definitely struggle with that too.

        I'm trying to pick a niche right now (e.g., self-taught developers) and engage with them on various communities online. Then see what comes of it. Basically, go from niche > audience > products rather than products > audience.

        I can't say I'm an expert on after the product is built—but I wonder if you can figure out a niche that would use it, and just focus on that one niche (so your copy, landing pages, etc are targeted at driving value for that one niche). Figure out where they spend time, how your product solves problems for them, etc. The danger is you pick the wrong audience/niche or come across to salesy. The danger is that you're blinded by the fact that you already have a product that works a certain way, so it can be hard to see past that to the audience.

        Good luck! I'm definitely still learning and failing at this more than succeeding.

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        As a consumer, something that could be interesting is like roasters being able to post about new beans, limited releases, etc and let folks know who follow them. I order beans from a number of local roasters, and if I got like a notification saying a roaster I liked was running an exclusive limited release, I'd order it.

        Whenever I go to a new city, I look up the best coffee shops. If there was a strong enough community behind coffeelist.co, I'd probably refer to it and trust the community's opinion.

        I could potentially also see something focused on baristas, roasters, coffee shop owners where it's more like an industry community to share knowledge, tricks, tools, etc. I'm just a consumer so no idea what folks who actually work in coffee want.

        I don't know if any of those ideas are monetize-able tho :) just spit-balling here...

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      Btw, you could consider posting in coffee love community on IH. It’s not super active, but that means it’ll probably get some attention over time.

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