Product Development April 7, 2020

I'm Not Done With Side Projects Yet

Andrew Kamphey @AndrewKamphey

Ever get the feeling that you'd like to just focus on one project? You think this is it. This is the one.

If I focus => It'll be a success.

If I had a co-founder => I could focus.

If I had time => I could focus

It's always something.

There's always something in my way.

Answer: Launch.

I launched last year a big epic web app. It sucked. I waited 6 months and then launched a new thing. it sucked. Spent $3k and made $0. Yes. Zero.

I waited too long. I need to launch sooner, faster.

In the past 6 months I've launched 3 projects. All three are profitable (a few dozen dollars).

Something I launched 2 years ago as a fun project. Got me a short term gig this year.

The point is that the projects are out there. Able to bring in some revenue. Bring in eyes.

Launch.

Stuck on the front end? Launch an API.

Stuck on the back end? Launch a micro-service.

Stuck on setting up subscriptions? Launch a newsletter with Substack.com

Need a database? Make it in google sheets. Launch with Sheet2Site.com

Need a landing page? make it with Carrd.co

Scared of success? Shut up and succeed. Then get scared.

Want immediate feedback? Launch to friends and family.

Want peer reviews? Launch to Indiehackers.

Want hard advice? Launch to HN.

Always Be Launching.

Launch once a week to a new platform, a new segment.

  1. 4

    This is awesome, and even though I totally agree it's something I struggle with.

    Pre-launch and post-launch mindset are totally different, even just getting something out in the world can provide a fresh POV, new ideas, and renewed focus.

    1. 3

      Yes. Big diff between "i will launch" and "I made". Everybody's got a great idea. Not many people have made things.

  2. 3

    Great post! Every project I make is the alpha of an idea. Creating it in its simplest form, sharing it and going from there. Using it, testing it and tweaking it as I go. I call these Ugly Functional Prototypes (UFP).

    1. 3

      I was expecting the F in UFP to be something very different than Functional.

      1. 2

        Haha! Functional is a little more useful...

  3. 2

    "Want hard advice? Launch to HN."

    Omg this hit me so hard since my attempt to launch www.kotoha.io (previously under another name) got me a really hard-to-swallow advice haha

    Nice one!

    1. 1

      Out of interest, what was the advice HN gave you?

      1. 2

        "Another login, create account, subscription? Yuck. maison qu'offre: it's on the house. But you won't get that from me."

        "maison qui offre" was one of the French expression that I posted on my language web app, so he made a pun with it😂

        But yeah not too bad after all given that almost all SaaS work like this.

        1. 3

          Tough croud over there, i might avoid 😅

  4. 1

    ABC Always be closing!
    You're absolutely right. It's scary to launch and nobody shows up, but it takes years to be an overnight success! Trying my best with Bullish
    Great inspiring post.

    1. 1

      it took 5 years of googling stuff every day about google sheets to make Better Sheets a success :)

  5. 1

    LEGEND.

  6. 1

    👆🏻💯

    No. Better. Feedback. Than. Actual. User. Feedback.

    I've written many times about this (both on Medium and www.shipharder.com) and can only agree:

    We need to focus on value. And the only way to truly find out if you're providing value with your solution/product/service is by shipping and getting actual user feedback.

    You only know for sure if it is viable when people enter their creditcard credentials and press the submit button. Or pay for the app in the appstore.

    Keep shipping like you're a human version of Aliexpress 💪🏻

    All the best!

  7. 1

    I love this Andrew - this is the motto that I'm starting to realize after starting and failing years on end. Now that the economy is not doing well, I have friends and family who wants to make something with their extra time. When they ask for advice, my advice is to get something out to your audience. The feeling when you first get your product or service out to the world is such a game changer in terms of your mentality.

    1. 1

      Yes, total gamechanger

  8. 1

    Very true words! Fully agree with you 👍

    1. 1

      Much appreciated

  9. 1

    I can launch now as is but it would be a pain to migrate storage from my hosting to AWS s3 bucket and point my MYSQL to the correct files for each user upload. They will be continuously uploading files. Therefore I'm learning AWS s3 bucket integration so I do a proper launch.

    1. 1

      Awesome
      Keep learning!

  10. 1

    Thanks for the reminder, I'm close to finishing my MVP, but I'm already afraid of the launch, thinking it is to minimal and that people will just laugh about it and never give it a shot again.

    My potential users are only World of Warcraft players, so it is a relatively small user base.

    1. 1

      Get it into the hands of a few ppl. Seek the advice of those you respect.

  11. 1

    "Want immediate feedback? Launch to friends and family."

    "Want peer reviews? Launch to Indiehackers."

    "Want hard advice? Launch to HN."

    Amazing advice. I will definitely launch. Immediately. ASAP. If it doesn't stick, or if I don't have people saying "When is more coming?!" I will know.

    Great advice @AndrewKamphey.

    1. 1

      I'm still rocky on the 2nd step. once launched. Then what? What is validation?
      1 sale? 10 sales? 100 sales?

      1. 1

        Good question. However, I do not have the answer. But when I do I will definitely let you know 😅

        If I had 10 sales and 3 of them gave me positive feedback about the product, I would be slightly more in the zone of "validated"

  12. 1

    Great advice, can't be afraid of launching. Your site/app can always be improved.

    1. 1

      Every product needs like 10,000 iterations.

  13. 1

    Nice, makes so much sense.
    Must say I find myself doing this as well since it's your product you are never happy.

    But launching my blog quickly and not panicking about the design aspect was the best thing I did!

    1. 1

      Yeah launching something is better than nothing.

      Medium made it easy to start a blog. Did u make ur own or use a platform?

      1. 1

        Made it in 11ty, Really quick and easy as well.

        1. 1

          Looks great!

          1. 1

            See the end result here: https://daily-dev-tips.com/