I spent 10 months coding....and almost failed before launching

Key takeaways

  • Users don’t care about the technology
  • The more time you save from users, the more they are willing to pay you
  • Niche down as much as you can
  • Relationship matters

1/ The AHA moment

Similar to how Tyler Tringas’ Storemapper started

2/ Company creation

So excited. Wow, I’m an entrepreneur! Well, Just need a name for the company, website, email, logo, product name, leaflet, etc. After more than 1 month along with my 2 co-founders working part-time, the company (Everesti) and product (Nera) are named. Everything else is set up, we can start.

3/ Just one more feature…

Now, onto the product. Let’s build an iPhone app! 2008. That will be cool! Clients will close deals as soon as they see it! New things to learn! So, I bought a macbook (I’d never used one before) and an ObjectiveC book.

I’m a Java architect. Will build the architecture and the product. I don’t want to hard-code anything, of course. We need a dynamic product to be used by new clients.

One more feature and we can sell. Ok, let me implement another one. Got an idea for a new page, just one more month….time has passed...Finally after 9 months, my baby was born! I’m so proud! Built this amazing, state-of-art architecture. So many features like signup/signin/sms alerts/email alerts/SOA bus/connections with loads of different DBs/Webservices/Text files.

Time was running out. Almost one year with no income. We’re ready to sell!

Our pricing strategy is set. Well, we didn’t talk to any potential client, apart from the one we previously “pre negotiated”.

Product creation

4/ Build and they will come…well, not really


After tens of meetings:

  • They didn’t want to create anything. I could’ve avoided building a whole admin side and saved months of work.
  • If we’d focused on relevant KPIs for any particular industry, we would’ve talked the users’ language and become experts
  • They asked how much would cost, but I didn’t have the answer as the product was too flexible (Well, I’ll discuss pricing in another edition, as we struggled a lot with this)

At least, we made a deal with the potential client that requested the project. Took us “only“ 10 months. Obviously, they used only a tiny part of the massive product we created.

5/ What would I do today?

  • Meetings before building
  • Try to build a community around KPIs for an industry (http://rosieland.substack.com)
  • Hard code to get data
  • Personalise and automate Excel to connect and generate charts/tables
  • Email the charts/tables


h/t @harrydry indiehackers @rosiesherry

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  1. 1

    Great article. Building first is one of my biggest weaknesses as an entrepreneur.

    Hopefully launching fast helps pivoting with feedback from the first users.

  2. 1

    Great tips! I think most entrepreneurs go through this phase of, I'll build it first, talking to people is hard. Or build and then find a customer.

    As you say, no-one cares about the tech!

    1. 2

      Some makers who can code prefer the building first, as they feel more comfortable coding than promoting/talking to potential users

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