Daily Stand-up September 15, 2020

Stand-down #5: fell in love with the problem + forgot to validate = hard lessons to learn

Dmitriy Borodiy @DmitryBorody

Admitted to myself that Wordcloudy.com certainly wasn't the greatest product idea for the amount of time invested.

What happened to me is I fell in love with the problem, literally thinking:

"I like this problem and capable to solve it WELL. Much better than the ones before me! "
"If there's a niche market for these other solutions (inferior, of course), mine will probably do well!"

And I didn't validate these basic things:

  • if there's an actual market for an alternative?
  • Will people be willing to switch from the existing solutions?

As I'm beginning talking with potential business customers I realize there might be a big "oops, I didn't think about that" glaring at me.

And I certainly need to do better than simply offering a "better alternative" to motivate the competitor's audience to switch.

Time will show, but I wouldn't be that naive again.

Lessons for myself, learned the hard way

  • Be more mindful about emotional attachment and sunken cost fallacy
  • Never work on a project in isolation for months on end. Avoid putting so much time before real interest/traction.
  • Ship earlier, let it fail or change course.
  • Keep to "problem first, solution second" mindset.

Obvious, I know.

Gosh, I wish I knew about IndieHackers and the whole MVP thing when I started out 4 months ago.

Last few days in a nutshell

  • Wrote to 2 potential business customers about Wordcloudy.com, entered a convo with one of them (first time ever talking to customers!)
  • MyGuitarTuner.com grew past 13k monthly users bringing me the first cup of coffee support
  • Learning my way around Twitter, made a few connections and followers (12 in total, yay!)
  • Applied to Mailchimp's Integration Fund project
  • Updated my personal site with TailwindCSS to my liking so that I don't wrinkly at the sight of it

By the way, "stand-down" is like stand-up, but at the end of the day.

I'd like to experiment with this format – I found it to be working for me.
During the day I could use a thought like this to keep procrastination at bay:

"Wouldn't it be nice to mention <THIS> on my stand-down? Well, just do it!".

  1. 2

    I like the idea of a stand down :)

  2. 2

    Love the idea for the new format. I'll try it :) I have thoughts on your pricing section if you'd like to hear it! 😊

    1. 1

      Hey Andrew, I'd be happy to hear your thoughts!
      Feel free to DM or mention me on Twitter.

  3. 2

    I am reading your post and thinking... "is this me too?"

    I have launched something just a couple of weeks ago but to be honest I didn't do any prior market validation thing because I wasn't sure of how to do it. I had/have the gut feeling that there is space for my product in the market but I realise now, while reading these pages, that I should have perhaps validated the idea first and gotten in touch with my target audience with some pre-launch email sign up or something. I just launched so I am hoping it works out.

  4. 1

    This project looks really good, I wouldn't give up on it. As a user the site looks great and I get excited to start using the tools but don't know where to start. Maybe guided tooltips can help?

    1. 1

      Thank you!

      Absolutely, great advice. I plan to add a few tutorials to make it really easy to get started.

      But first I'd need some time away from it to re-charge.

  5. 1

    this project looks good honestly. kind of reminding me Canva.
    maybe you can take this project and think out of some things that people do need and try to change it to something that people do make use of.

    do not feel bad about 4 months of project that not seems to give you any income its happen to me also (with more times) and sometimes I saw people wasting years for projects that just sucking money from their pockets.

    Try to market your project before you are launching, landing page some times can be enough to see if croud is interested on product or not.

  6. 1

    I'm sorry about that reality check Dmitriy. On the bright side, I'm sure you learned and improved A LOT of skills (both technical and soft) during this months and those you will be able to apply forever in Wordcloudy and every project that is coming.

    Congrats on the last few day achievements and keep up the good work!

    1. 2

      Thank you! I did learn a lot (well, I'd like to think so!) even if at the high price.

      I think from every failure a positive experience can be extracted: after all, you were able to finish the damn thing. You were able to keep your focus and motivation for that long.

      And that's a good thing to know about yourself, even better is to have an actual experience to back it up.

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