My first paying customers in 24 hours 🎉 (Maker Threads)

After failing to quickly validate ideas in the past, I've finally understood how to optimize the process.

Last year, I'd spent 6 months trying to build a complex product to validate a simple idea. Now, it only took me less than 24 hours to build an MVP, ship it, and get generate my first revenue ($140 with $50 profit).

My problem

As a maker myself, I've always had an affinity for startup tees. When I was recently updating my wardrobe, I had trouble sourcing well-designed startup shirts that were discrete enough to wear throughout everyday life.

My product solution

I wanted to design my own personalized tees that catered to my interests as a maker. Unlike most bold startup tees, these shirts were designed to match my everyday wardrobe. I wanted these to look like designer shirts that I could wear to any occasion, not just industry hackathons.

After printing my own designs, I gave it a name and shared the collection with the Product Hunt community to see if this also solved anyone elses problem. I quickly built a free Teespring store and uploaded my designs.

With my history of launching products, I didn't have any expectations, but was surprised to wake up the next morning with 4 product orders.

Key takeaways

Compared to my previous products that have failed, I noticed some key trends about this launch that made it much more successful than anything in the past.

  1. Building a product that's already validated

There's certainly nothing innovative about a t-shirt store. To my advantage, I already new the overarching product was validated. At the end of the day, the real validation was about the designs in my collection.

2. You can always start simpler

I'd initially thought that I'd create a simple Shopify store to validate the idea, but soon realised that even this would be too much.

Instead of wasting time buying a domain and configuring the store design, I decided to use Teesprings pre-built solution. There's was nothing special about this storefront.

I hope this advice can help anyone on their journey to validating a product.

I'd also love to hear any feedback you might have about the product. With my target market being makers, I'd love to know if there are any designs you prefer, or if you even have suggestions for future designs.

You can check out the site here.

  1. 2

    Cool idea!

    Some feedback on the page itself: https://teespring.com/stores/maker-threads

    Suggestion: change the images to zoom in on the design of the t-shirt, not the full size tee, users can't see the designs unless they open each one, that's very taxing.

    I've bookmarked! :)

    1. 1

      Appreciate the feedback! Will definitely start working on a better version of the store after validating the initial idea.

      How do you like the designs themselves? Is this something you'd pay for if you were looking for a similar product? Would love any candid feedback 🙏

  2. 2

    On time post! Thanks.
    I am thinking in the right method to validate a similar idea without spending a lot of money during the testing process.

    1. 1

      Not a problem. Would love to check it out once it's available!

  3. 1

    Hi Lachlan, this is an inspirational story. Congratulations on your success. How are your customers finding out about Maker Threads?

    1. 1

      Thanks! I've been sharing on relevant communities when it's a good fit. The traffic isn't exponential, but it slowly adds up over time.

      1. 2

        Hi Lachlan,

        That's great to hear. Congratulations on your success.

        I actually developed a product that people selling merch online have used to build the buzz around their product. The product was designed to improve the effectiveness of cold email, but it's also being used to draft posts for online communities. https://getsplashpad.com.

        Best of luck to you.

        1. 1

          Looks great!

          How are you finding the adoption of it so far?

          1. 1

            It's been great. We were able to develop a strong waitlist at the beginning and have been slowly making our way through it as we have granted access to more people. Very grateful for the support of the community.

  4. 1

    This comment was deleted 4 months ago.

    1. 1

      Appreciate it!

      Most makers naturally love learning, so it's always hard to fight the urge of getting carried away.

      The small progress I made yesterday was only possible by learning from the previous mistakes I'd made in the past.

      Will be sure to keep you posted 👍

      1. 1

        This comment was deleted 4 months ago.

        1. 2

          Appreciate the insight, that's a great point. Unfortunately it's the downside to building the fastest MVP possible.

          As I'm using Teespring, their storefront didn't allow me to create custom thumbnail images or add a hover preview.

          Now that I've started to validate the idea though, I can justify building a proper store with all of these essential features.

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