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91 Comments

Negative Nancy - I’ll Tell You Why Your Idea Won’t Work

"The finest steel goes through the hottest fire.“ 🔥

Post your elevator pitch and website and I’ll tell you why your idea won’t work.

Friends and family tend to shower us with praise and why our ideas will take off, but fail to share the one glaring reason it won’t. - Better to find out now and not a year from now.

If I can’t come up with a reason, someone else is free to jump in.

  1. 4

    https://cloak.ist - custom domain for any public site. Move your Airtable form/Trello board/ClickUp document to yoursite.com so you don't confuse your customers.

    1. 2

      This is an interesting service that I can see the need for and don't see anyone addressing it. Looks like Roam users and the most interested, based on the testimonials.

      Here is what Negative Nancy has to say:

      • There might be people who see the value in this, but not enough who would be willing to pay for it.

      • The platforms your service will add this in as a feature leaving you out in the cold. Similar to when Apple added the flashlight feature, much to the dismay of all the flashlight app makers.

      1. 1

        Yup, both completely fair points. I hope that by getting customers who want to inject custom JS and CSS on their sites (roughly 50% at the moment), I'll be insured against platforms offering custom domains to some degree.

        1. 1

          I just ran into a use case for this myself - HubSpot forms. Any company that offers forms really.

          1. 1

            Nice use case. Only thing I'm wondering is if you can just embed the Hubspot form in a Hubspot page at your domain - would that mean you don't need Cloakist for it?

            1. 1

              Yes, it can be embedded. But isn't mobile friendly, at least not on the free plan with no customization. Paying to upgrade is prob the better bet overall in general.

  2. 3

    I wouldn't add my site... but i have to so that i can hear from you guys.
    weblister.co
    Website Uptime and Analytics Monitoring.

  3. 2

    https://hellobenji.com - Bridging the gap between personal and business financial/tax management for self-employed and freelancers.

    1. 2

      Nice site.

      Negative Nancy:

      • People who are interested in accumulating wealth aren't interested in spending money to do it
      • Who is Benji? Was expecting a bot called Benji to help me with my finances.
      • "Manage your money like a pro, so you can get back to spending your time making more of it." I don't want to mange like a pro - I want a pro to do it for me. 😭
      • Trying to do too much. Could be overwhelming to some people, like the hairdresser or farm examples listed.
      • Can the services be a la carte? What if I just want the tax help, but not the investment help?

      Hope this gives you some insights!

  4. 2

    saasmanual.com - Learn how to build "Software as a Service" products from scratch.

    SaaS Manual teaches you how to build commercial software services that are production-ready, scalable, maintainable, and secure. It teaches you all of this from scratch.

    Any feedback why this is a bad idea or could fail would be super welcome 🙏🏻

    1. 1

      I feel like you should add an infinite scroll to that page that just keep rendering 1 of the preset "wow you're still scrolling" type messages and just let people go forever haha.

      1. 1

        🤣🤣haha, maybe this should become one lesson in the course - how to build an infinite scroll!! Thank you for this idea 🙏🏻

    2. 1

      I think it's a great idea. I kept scrolling for a laugh 😂 Are you selling on Gumroad after someone signs up?

      1. 1

        Thanks @scottramsay!! SaaS Manual will teach the whole thing, so I will build the billing myself eventually. Otherwise, I'd totally use Gumroad!

        1. 2

          That’s great! Wish I had a vast resource of knowledge when I started SaaS back in the day. Best of luck!

  5. 2

    Love this. That's pretty nice! Haven't build the landing page yet, but here's my pitch,
    "Code reviews for technical founder". Basically the idea is helping founders ship perfomant , secure and efficient products. We do this by discussing the code getting a second pair of eyes on the project, retrospecting and refactoring to build solid products.

    1. 2

      It's a bit funny as it goes against the MVP goal, iterating quickly and only fixing things after they break

      1. 1

        Very true! My target being first-time founders wouldn't really make much sense though you could argue that speed very well depends on how fast infrastructure is. Do you think it would make much more sense to focus on validated products?

        1. 2

          I would say yes. Products that have received traction already, first paying customers, maybe even funding... Startups that are starting to scale because that's where the technical debt starts to show and to really create issues. Whether it's more difficult to add people to the team, the quality of the service is bad because of bugs, or the software architecture just doesn't support many users I think maybe your service would be most helpful at that moment.

        2. 1

          Best are ones that are already breaking, when they got traction and are growing faster than expected, but you might have to build up to it, warming potential customers that are working on growth

  6. 1

    Great idea!
    https://guineapig.app - It's a Slack app that helps your team promote healthy habits with workplace wellness programs.

    1. 1

      Thanks! I know a friend of mine who works for a major company has a pedometer and gets rewarded for how much he walks. I don't know if there are contests, prizes, or if he just gets cash if he hits a goal. There definitely an interest in getting employees moving.

      The "Fair Billing" policy seems like a strong value add and addresses a potential concern (paying for users who aren't engaged). I'd include it as a bullet point under each plan.

      Here are some Negative Nancy thoughts:

      • The Nike activity app does a lot of this and is free
      • Offices are made up of people who vary vastly in terms of activity levels and preferred activities. How can rock climbers, free weight fans, and marathon runners compete fairly? What will the 90 year old accountant do? In the end, walking challenges will become the default, which will become boring and then paying customers will drop off.
      • The loom video is a bit long at 7 minutes and needs some sizzle or should be moved to FAQ section perhaps

      Hope this helps!

  7. 1

    https://chatscope.io React components for building chat UI

    1. 1

      Not very familiar space, but...

      Negative Nancy says:

      • What is the use case for this, who want to build their own chat? Aren't there enough chat options out there with fancier integrations already? How is this better than gchat, slack, etc.?

      Hope this helps!

      1. 1

        Thank You, for your opinion :)

  8. 1

    A paid group’s platform.

    1. 1

      This is in regards to "Simpletasking.com - Makes it easy to manage multiple projects and teams," right?

      Here are my Negative Nancy thoughts:

      Breaking into the project management space is extremely hard. You've got to get many different stakeholders to all buy in at once or there is no value. The people using the tool, the people who pay for the tool, and the people managing the people using the tool all have to agree.

      Looks like the main differentiator for your tool is that it is easier to manage multiple projects at the same time, which means even more stakeholders need to be involved.

      Compare that situation to that of Slack, a chat tool. Two employees can start using the free version to communicate. They pull it up during a meeting to grab a doc stored on there and suddenly everyone else in the meeting is intrigued. More people start using it, soon the whole company is using and starts paying for it.

      However, your tool is positioned to be used by agencies with their clients. That's good agencies can determine the tools used.

      This should be in the headline. The current headline is quite general - casting too wide a net. Don't make readers dig and connect the dots on their own, spell things out for them.

      Hope this helps!

  9. 1

    https://qwoka.io/ Qwoka helps you gain back control over all those //TODOs that are scattered in your source code.

    1. 1

      Seen something like this on GitHub marketplace (it was turning //todos into issues).

      Basically, i "felt" like it won't work.

      The issues system is much more firm - i mean when i posts something as issue i have almost certainty that i will address it.

      While in code todos feel more ephemeral. I might cut piece of code accidentally and not solve some important thing.

      Its probably a perception thing, but you know what they say about perception.

  10. 1

    http://ipobrief.email/
    Weekly newsletter with IPOs compilations

  11. 1

    Personal Home Inventory - Stor.Guru

    Heres the Demo and a PDF Sheet that goes with it.

    1. 1
      • It's not very clear what you do when you land on the site.
      • I would also hire a designer to help you out :)
      1. 1

        For real tho THANK YOU for checking it out! I really appreciate it! I think we need to make the marking page a little shorter and clearer with what we want the users to do. Not sure if more screen shots would help. And yes I have been hearing the design needs work, heavily considering a designer. Working on establishing some cash flow to make that happen. Again thanks for the reply!

        1. 2

          No problem :) I would probably add a static page before you get to this one. I think as it's landing on a profile page it doesn't make much sense (to me anyway).

          Check out TailwindUI it's being used loads right now, but great for devs that don't have much experience with design and/or budget.

          1. 1

            I have heard of Tailwind before! Haven't checked it out yet but ill take a look. In the past I used Bootstrap quite a bit. I should consider adding a 3rd party css back in for some quick improvements.

            1. 2

              Used bootstrap for years, it’s soooooo much better in every way 😂

  12. 1

    Coulf Private community for indie product makers, founders and internet entrepreneurs.

    Thanks for the good work Nothing Nancy.

    1. 2

      Thought I'd help nancy a bit,

      • Nobody pays for communities
      • You're serving to too many people
      • You're late to launch your community, many already did, bye 👋

      lol

      1. 2

        Negative Nancy:

        Your last point is probably the most concerning. How does your community differ from IH for example? If it is videos, then focus on that and don't lead with the community bit.

        Just need some sort of twist or differentiator. Maybe everyone is required to login using their LinkedIn? You use a different platform, such as discord? You only serve social good founders? Just some random examples.

        Let us know what you end up doing!

        1. 1

          Private nature with a focus on building relationships as opposed to building just another distribution channel/audience/following.

          Second focus is on accountability sessions and other perks follow, I opened up quite a bit in IH here.

          You replied back at the right time. I planning to formulate its roadmap and key differentiators today and I feel this reply helps.

          1. 2

            Happy to help! Since it was helpful, could you up vote the comment when you have a sec?

  13. 1

    I’m thinking of an building an open-source React Component library which has button components that follow the style guides of famous websites like: GitHub, Google, IndieHackers, Apple, Dribbble, etc.

    Have barely started to build it and would love to hear your thoughts :D

    1. 1

      How is it going to be different than Material UI or similar libraries that are used by many developers?

      1. 1

        This is a bit different. For example if someone likes the Indiehackers button style, all they would have to do is type this:

        <IndieHackersButton value="My Button" type="primary" />
        

        While most UI libraries are focused on a unique design, this one takes design styles from tons of websites and puts them into one library. This is mainly something I would put on ProductHunt for fun and my dev portfolio :D

        1. 1

          If that's the case, you could just make the website and let people sign up for early access before building it. Let the market speak. You could get feedback on which buttons they would like as well.

          Good luck on building your portfolio!

          1. 1

            Thanks for your input. Great thoughts.

            Good luck with your work too!

  14. 1

    https://myvegankitchen.com/gb - My Vegan Kitchen is a curation service to discover new vegan recipes and foods. A bit like Product Hunt for vegans. Members have their own virtual kitchens where they can save and share their favourite foods and recipes.

    1. 2

      Here's Negative Nancy:

      Product Hunt is successful, because the products can be quickly "digested" and judged. What they do, the pricing, and the branding are all there. Many offer free trials and can be tried instantly, since most are saas products.

      People have tried to duplicate PH's success and failed, even PH itself, because other things can't be quickly judged, such as books and podcasts.

      How can one accurately up vote a recipe they have never cooked and tasted?

      A community page seems more fitting, but there might be already a lot of those.

      Alternatively, you could aggregate the top recipes from the more popular vegan websites along with ratings and rank them.

      Hope this helps! Please, up vote if it does. 😉

      1. 2

        Thanks Negative Nancy ! It was very helpful and I have taken a lot of it on board. Upvoting was the wrong terminology. We basically let users bookmark recipes they want to into their own virtual kitchens. The recipes are crowd sourced from all over the web.

        1. 1

          You are very welcome! Reminds me of Pinterest with bookmarks/pins. A trending list would be cool.

          Keep me updated.

  15. 1

    wowmate.io is a freemium open-source B2C log analysis SaaS for World of Warcraft players. Think DataDog for (WoW)Gamers.

    I have plenty of reasons why it wouldn't work. I'm exited to hear your opinions.

    1. 1

      What is your site built on?

      Might be good to get the website up and running, so you can validate interest in your idea before building anything. You could even go as far as to run Facebook ads and see how many sign-ups you get. Costs some money upfront, but saves you time and money in the long run.

      1. 1

        it's more of a learning side project, my primary goal isn't really to make money with it. it has been going on for over 2 years by now, but I'm getting close to finish my mvp^^

        I'm using serverless technologies on AWS

  16. 1

    Nice, I like critical feedback.
    www.frontfigure.com - It's basically an automated financial valuation or feasibility study service (still being developed).
    User answers questions which should take around 20-30 minutes and then automatically generate a detailed report which tells them the value of their company or their financial feasibility of their idea. My edge is that prices will be around 90% cheaper than traditional methods and much much faster ofcourse.

    1. 1

      whats your business model?

      1. 2

        A one time payment which gives the user access for 30 days to the dashboard to change the answers to the questions and issue a new report, if required.

      2. 1

        Hello Retro, so what do you think :) ?

        1. 1

          I know very little about this domain and its market...im not quite sure...sorry to let you down man

          1. 1

            No problem, thank you :)

  17. 1

    knoww.me - Simple Profile Pages

    1. 2
      • Still got some latin text on the pricing bits :)
      • The market is quite saturated now. I actually built something similar earlier this year, but still need to properly push it
      1. 1

        Too many established players in the space.

        What’s your differentiator? (Don’t compete on price.)

        Does your service automatically pull in your LinkedIn profile and make a website in seconds?

        Is it made for Podcastors and allows them to post their top 5 episodes, which are automatically updated based on listens?

        Do you offer 15 phone calls with copy writers or designers every month?

        Needs a differentiator to stand out with so many similar companies in the space.

  18. 1

    I love this. Calling out why something won’t work makes you think really critically of if it ever will.

    I’m building Mugshot Bot, a micro-API to generate images for blog posts. It takes the pain and guesswork out of manually creating images and does the hard work for you.

    1. 1

      Do you read it like a command to the user? "Pay bro, now!"

      1. 1

        haha its more like a bro that helps you make payment integrations easy

  19. 1

    https://siteoly.com - The fastest way to build websites from Google Sheets

    1. 2

      Hey, I signed up for early access and got your email today. Congrats on taking your project to the next step!

      Here are my Negative Nancy thoughts:

      • Google can create a website builder like this and steal your users.
      • Google can get rid of Google Suite and you'd be out of luck (very unlikely)
      • There is already a company offering this
      • There are not enough use cases for a tool like this, how many people want websites that are just lists and are willing to pay?
      • All the templates are picture heavy, but what if people want to use icons instead?

      Hope this helps!

      1. 2

        Though its scary to read through Negative Nancy statements, I really liked all the points.

        1. 2

          Remember, this is coming from someone who is not familiar with the space and has done no research, like most people you’ll talk to. Everyone has an opinion and they are happy to share them. But hopefully you know your stuff and know a secret they don’t.

          Lots of smart VCs passed on AirBnB. The secret was people were willing to host and sleep in strangers’ houses.

          Glad my notes are helpful! Upvotes encouraged. 😉

            1. 1

              Hey, I was searching for your website and found these. You probably already heard of them.

              https://sheetui.com/
              https://getbiew.com/
              https://sheet2site.com/

              Funnily, I think they are all active on IH.

              1. 1

                Yeah. I wrote an in depth article on why Siteoly is better than any other products in this space.

                You may check at https://medium.com/@upen946/why-i-built-sheet2site-alternative-4e1b96b5ef38

  20. 1

    Responsive templates made with Tailwind CSS, use or customize.

    https://new-wicked.netlify.app/

    It was n5 last Tuesday on PH with this version.
    Wickedtemplates.com

    After the launch it was clear that Bulma templates weren't worth to have.

    I am redesigning the site and will create 1 file and fully equipped websites only with Tailwind.

  21. 1

    Howitzer - Reddit Marketing Made Easy!
    The first direct marketing tool for Reddit, made for Entrepreneurs, Founders and Indie Hackers!

    1. 2

      Negative Nancy says, once you start getting users, they would be annoying to Reddit and they in turn would work to block your service

  22. 1

    Funds are tight but you still need a website. We'll build it now and bill you later.

    https://financed.dev/

    1. 3

      Negative Nancy says, You'd probably be losing money on projects where people just close up shop

  23. 1

    http://examportal.site/
    Helps educational institutions run, manage and grade online exams that are AI proctored.

    1. 3

      Negative Nancy says, by the time you'd be able to close a deal with such an institution, covid would be a far, far memory

      1. 1

        thats so true.....its been 3 months...hahahah.....laughs in pain

      2. 1

        Thanks for jumping in! Always good to have more than one (negative) opinion.

    2. 2

      Interesting idea and well put together site. I’d change out the undraw illustrations, since those are used so much.

      Here are my negatives thoughts:

      This might be an improvement, but I am not sure you are solving a pain point. I don’t see a school district paying for a service, that allows their teachers to do other things than proctor tests. They are going to want teachers to proctor tests.

      Proctoring makeup tests (given when a student has been out sick) might be a pain, since those can’t be batched. But they occur relatively rarely, so paying to solve this problem, seems unlikely.

      In addition, I recommended evaluating this assumption: there are exams that are worth monitoring, but not worth paying a person to monitor. Online certificate tests are not worth monitoring. SATs and GMAT exams are important enough to monitor and use a person. Are high school tests in between those?

      Lastly, you are trying to break into notoriously difficult education industry. Ripe for improvement, BUT very little funds, lots of stakeholders to deal with, red tape, and slow moving.

      If you were thinking of pivoting to universities, I can say many in the US have “honor codes.” Students can take tests whenever and where ever they want without monitoring. Honor codes have been around for decades.

      It you were thinking of going with private high schools, you’ll have less bureaucracy to deal with. Prob your best bet, if you move forward. Go talk to the ones near you this week.

      1. 1

        did talk to the the private schools ... no luck there....
        if you have the time please respond to my question here
        https://www.indiehackers.com/post/is-my-idea-dead-or-is-the-market-bad-53fd01b1e3

        1. 2

          Checked out your post and commented there. Again, I’d switch markets personally. Other markers have less red tape, more cash to spend, and might feel more pain.

          If any of this helps, upvotes are appreciated.

  24. 0

    If you really want to hear why an idea won’t work, network with some VC’s. They adore punching holes.

    Seriously, neat post, but I’m going to be a naysayer to your naysaying: the only surefire way an idea won’t work is (a) if it doesn’t solve a problem, and (b) if it’s poorly executed.

  25. 1

    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.

    1. 1

      Negative Nancy:

      How is this different from Google? Wouldn't a designer, for example, just Google for a tool they were looking for? They would prob find blog posts by experts with helpful comments from other readers as well as top ten lists from trusted organizations. Those seem more helpful and creditable.

      Maybe start in one niche and go really deep. Seems like it is trying too much (trying to appeal to everyone). Pick the category that is your most active.

      Hope this helps!

  26. 1

    This comment was deleted a year ago.

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