January 16, 2021

Just started working on my first ACTUAL project. Any advice for a newbie?

Anas Saeb @M_Saeb

Simply as the title says.

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    I guess it depends on the project, but don't be too hard on yourself. Trying to make something "Perfect" is the first step to demotivate yourself.

    Try making something that works, even if it's held together with duck tape. After that you can see if it's worth investing into making it better and better over time.

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      Totally agree with this. I've learned it the hard way; don't try to make everything nice/perfect right from the start. First, make sure that people are actually ready to pay for what you're building: https://medium.com/swlh/20-months-in-2k-hours-spent-and-200k-lost-a-story-about-resilience-and-the-sunk-cost-fallacy-69fd4f61ef59

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        @dSebastien holy hell, I just read your entire post, thanks for sharing. I think Mr. G's response sums it up nicely, but if I can be explicit with the OP in terms of what you shared - do not build anything extra you don't need until the actual need arises.

        For the prototype, you don't need Auth or Billing right away. Got more than one user? OK now maybe we need Auth, but maybe you just add their account manually on your end and email them a login / pw. People want to start paying? OK, now add billing. OK more people are signing up? Now create an automated welcome email and a way for them to create their own account.

        Prior to that, just do everything manually; as your project grows, so will its needs. The biggest part is the heart of it, making a thing that is actually useful to people.

    2. 1

      Note taken. Thanks :)

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      After that you can see if it's worth investing into making it better and better over time

      How can i find out if (after releasing beta) my product is still worth the time to develop and market it?

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        If you have an MVP and it solves a problem, start selling it. Most businesses that fail, get the sequence of building out of order. Always build the simplest prototype that shows the idea, then distribution, then infrastructure. This applies to all businesses, and I came from the manufacturing world as a Director with big machines and millions of dollars of raw materials or chemicals. Another case to understand this concept is Planet Fitness...they sell gym memberships before building the gym. It costs them very little to return deposits and back out if they find out their market research didn't work out.

        Marketing the product gives you the answer of whether or not it's worth developing as you currently intend to. If you really listen to what's said and not said, you may find you need to change your product but it's still worth developing and those people who gave those suggestions just PURCHASED their own idea...

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    • Really try and validate that your project will be actually useful to potential customers / users first (the Mom test is useful here, lots of other good resources on this forum). Talk to people on the phone, if possible. Put differently, don't be a "solution in search of a problem"

    • No need to build the MVP for scale, just spin it up quickly on whatever stack/tools you are most comfortable with, then put it in front of potential customers as quickly as possible - per Steve Blank, no plan survives first contact with customers

  3. 1

    I'd recommend solving a pain point you have yourself and would pay to get it solved. And use it on a daily basis, then you will know what matters, what are the basic features to have on V1. Using it on a daily basis will give you a feedback loop on things to improve.

    Then when it is stable and solving your pain, look for other people with the same pain to onboard as customers.

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