Growth February 27, 2020

Is the market coming to you or are you dragging them in?

Team Indie Hackers @TeamIH

Often as indie hackers we can fall in love with the idea of serving a market that just isn't quite ready to serve.

The traditional startup world has been obsessed with being first to market. However, as indie hackers we do not need to be thinking like that. Being first comes with huge costs, which is far from plain sailing. A more sustainable way could be to tackle a market which you can clearly identify and don't need to educate (as much).

Real businesses exist in all shapes and sizes. As indie hackers it's important to think about how and where you can pull people in from.

  • When building your product what is the market you are going after?
  • How much do you need to educate them?
  • Are there existing communities and websites that serve your target customer?
  • And how easy do you think it will be to pull people in and convert them as customers?

We would love to hear your experiences!

PS. If you want to dive further into this idea, have a listen to @mijustin's Indie Hacker Podcast

  1. 3

    Great topic.

    When you're starting out, I'd say the principle of early adopters is pretty critical. Or said another way, your market isn't all the same.

    The classic definition of early adopters involves something like:

    • They have the problem
    • They're aware of the problem
    • They're seeking a solution
    • They've hacked together some kind of solution

    These are the people that don't need much selling, are very willing to give your product a go, and are very forgiving of what it's like to use it, as long as it delivers the core value they're after.

    So at an early stage, I try and identify who these people are, where they hang out, and recruit them for the early stages.

    But this is also why the early stages are so tricky. They're not common, and you'll speak to a lot of people who you think are early adopters, but aren't.

    For our product - which helps B2B entrepreneurs validate an early-stage idea - we know our early adopters are founders who've tried a start-up 2/3/4 times. Those who know that validating the customer segment/problem is a vital first step.

    Our market's bigger - anyone with an early-stage B2B idea - but we're starting there to get traction, and learn.