1 Comment

How my product development works


I'm the founder and sole developer of my own open source software called open3A. It's a web-based invoicing application that I started in 2007 and have developed ever since.

You can read more about my journey in my last post: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/how-i-earn-a-living-selling-my-open-source-software-476f6bb07e I'm so grateful for all your nice comments and questions to this post. The internet is a harsh place, but I feel welcome here.

People make it sound like I have a say in the development of my product, what it does and does not do. The hard lesson I learned over the years, again and again:

I can either work my ass off and try to sell something that I think someone wants or I can let go of what I want and build what my customers want.

A decade ago (feels more like a lifetime), I had a master-plan. A really grand vision of all the things I wanted to do with open3A. I even made a diagram. It was called "Masterplan" (sorry, I can't find it 😕).

Literally nothing of it ever happened. 🤣

I worked on open3A, following the incoming requests of my customers, always too busy to put my grand plan into action. I worked and worked and in the end, their requests led me in a totally different direction ↕️. The solutions I had envisioned just weren't a problem. open3A today is at another place than I ever imagined. I let my customers lead (more or less voluntarily) my product development and I think it's better than what I could have come up.

Don't get me wrong, I get to decide how I do things in open3A. I never ask my client how I should solve their problem (haha, that would be something 💥). I ask them, what their problem is and I solve it my way. This is what I bring to open3A: My crazy out-of-the-box thinking, my weird right-left layout, my talent as translator between worlds and probably a few other things that don't come to mind right now 😉 But it's my customers who fill open3A with life 🌱 By them using my software it gets purpose and meaning. I just build the garden and make sure there is enough water, light and care.

I started open3A because I needed it myself. I started a lot of other things, that I needed myself. It now feels more like an accident that open3A caught on and the other things didn't. Like open3A is my way. Part of my life's work. Every time I went astray, the universe didn't let it work out. That is sometimes sad, but I made my peace with it 😌

Thank you, life, for continuing to teach me the lessons I need to learn.

  1. 1

    Thank you for sharing this nemiah. I can totally relate to finding your life's work.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Share your product or landing page, and I'll give you product design advice 54 comments Does anyone actually use productivity software? Which one? 27 comments Can you try my side project? I'm looking for some feedback 🙂 24 comments Copywriting Examples — The world's best copy. In one place. 13 comments Working towards an MVP 8 comments What did you work on this weekend? (Jan 15-16) 7 comments