Self Care October 22, 2020

I'm scared to ship it

Vladimirs Matusevics @strelec

I got a phobia of failure and that's for real now!

The people in a tech community always say about failing early...

A foreword: Of course, I'm building the current project (and failed about 15 others) mainly to get my life a bit better. Don't get me wrong, for me "better" doesn't mean to be rich, but rather an option to have a second kid without thinking about running out of money. Daniel's story about leaving $500k ( job is very inspiring and motivating for me, but that's just not my case. I do work for 15 years as a software developer but not even close to those numbers. That's probably how much I earned (and spent on rent) for my whole carrier. At this point, your advice probably would be to learn how to negotiate a salary better and you are right. But it's not what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, being able to create something useful for people is what I'm passionate more about.

MVP, release early, test things first, no code movement... all that sounds and works great until you get into App development. It's hard to stand out from others in this space and even when you find your niche it takes a decent amount of time, blood and sweat to build something.
It's impossible to make people install your App on their phone and pay your monthly subscription for something that doesn't solve their problem properly. Or it's just entertaining, that also should be done properly as there is even more competition. How do you even stay an indie hacker in this environment?

I thought about making a decent product with all useful features and a beautiful onboarding of course. :) But that got me so deep I don't know how to get out from here. I keep adding more "required" tasks to my backlog and can't see where it will end. I just can't afford it to fail anymore as I spend too much time working on it instead of spending time with my family or sleeping.

My best project so far brings me about a $100 a month and it was done initially in a couple of evenings. But the irony is that it's the simplest product I made. I should’ve learned from that and release this asap to work later on improving it, but I can't. For me, it's something that I want to be proud of and that feeling is more powerful than the desire for a successful business case.

I hope that I'm not alone with this problem... but it feels like I am, especially while writing this at 2:25 AM. Have you experienced such anxiety? Can you share your approach to dealing with this? Thank you!

  1. 3

    Hey. We all have anxiety. Some of us experience more, some less, but we all stress, fear and worry about something. You are not alone.

    For your peace of mind, choose one project at a time. It seems to me that you are working or thinking about too many things.

    Do not think about failing but instead set your mindset 'Hey! I want to try out whether I like it, whether it's a meaningful thing I'm about to make. Be curious about your next project. It's nothing wrong to shut down your thing if it's not working. For example, Josh worked on 59 projects. A big part of them failed, and a similar story has Noah Kagan.

    Do not read other people experiences. There is always somebody that will have something better than you have. We have very different starting points, unfair advantages, knowledge, characters, etc. It brings me a lot of anxiety reading other people success stories. You can't copy them and implement in your life.

    1. 1

      Thank you for the suggestions Juris!
      "It seems to me that you are working or thinking about too many things." Do you know me? 😁 You are so right here, sometimes one sentence said by someone else can lead you to rethink everything. 🙏
      I don't try to copy but instead, learn when read/listen to other people experience.

  2. 3

    It is when we feel uncomfortable that we grow. You should aim to get out of your comfort zone just as you are doing now. If you stick to your comfort zone you are doing something wrong. Move forward my good man, your on the right track.

    1. 1

      I'm in a comfort zone. :) It's more like a when you are building a project it is still a Schrödinger's cat, so you keep working on.

  3. 2

    Hey man.

    I think it's a challenging thing to build something successful.

    As software developers the easiest thing for us is to code.

    But when we think about building something meaningful that people will use, provide value, get audience, make profit, and be happy, well, it's a lot to balance. And especially if you're also doing client work.

    I'm trying to onboard on a similar journey. And I'm sure building products will take some effort, but the biggest effort I guess will be to keep consistency and a good attitude and have patience in the process, even after launching it, I mean, it's not just build and launch, its the whole process, and post launch, and tweak, and learn, adjust, and move on even if you haven't got good results after the launch. It will require more learning, more work, until it gains traction.

    But I feel you with the fear part. I'm afraid too I'm gonna fail with my product ideas and motivations behind them. But I guess I'll have to try and hope for the best.

    Forget the fear. Just reflect upon the overall process, make a plan, set some deadlines, and keep going forward.

    Patience and good luck mate.

  4. 2

    Your product can't be a failure if your use it daily, it just have a very small market ;-)

  5. 2

    Hey Vladimirs, just a suggestion, instead of shipping anything, why don't you validate your idea first?

    I've got a couple of examples here under Growthunt:

    1. How this founder validated his Photoshop plugin before even coding the product.

    2. How this founder got 500 pre-launch signups from a single comment

    3. This founder got from no product to $2k MRR in a month during a global pandemic for
      his Chrome Extension tool

    You can check out the database and play around the filters to learn more about different launch and growth strategies. Hope this helps and appreciates any feedback on the site.


    1. 1

      Thanks, I'll read your example to learn for the future. It's not an option for me in the current situation as I already worked on it for a half a year and have to release it anyway. :)

      1. 1

        Ah I see. Thats great. Releasing and getting feedback will be good too. All the best!

  6. 2

    Take the time to identify the worst case scenario and work from there.

    If you ship something, yes, it could potentially fail, but you'll learn from that experience and have an opportunity to pivot.

    If you don't ship, your circumstances won't change.

    I completely understand that it's difficult to have confidence in what you build, but really need to become comfortable with that.

Recommended Posts