Too many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of “I think users will want this”, spend months building it, only to find people do not want it or at least want a different variation of it.
A lot of entrepreneurs also think that the product should be in a “presentable” state before showing it to users and asking for feedback. Some may disagree with me here, but I think launching with the most basic version of your and interviewing ASAP beats slowly iterating an MVP in isolation every time.
As an example, the first iteration of this idea only took 3 days to build before getting it on the App store: and it was garbage. The feedback was harsh, but also entirely changed the direction the app was to go in (I realised it needed to be social). Every day after those 3 would have been wasted if I hadn’t interviewed early.
To figure out if people want your product BEFORE spending time building it.
Michael Seibel from YCombinator: “You shouldn’t have a problem finding initial users for your product because you just go back to the people you interviewed in the first place with a solution to their problem”.
To understand the pain points of the current version of your product.
To build an engaged community who have an impact on the direction of the idea. This is probably the aspect which people overlook most, but bootstrapping a business is infinitely easier with a core set of people who love your app.
Everyone has mentioned you should interview users, but how do you actually do it? If you take away anything from this post: use Discord.
You can chat or call in real time with groups of people or single community members.
You can segment the server into different areas (e.g. feature requests, bug reports, new releases etc.) for organisation.
Discord naturally fosters community, so as your server grows the community starts to interview eachother. I cannot stress just how useful (+ awesome) it is to see people discussing ways to make the product better without direct questions.
A small note: the community won’t grow itself magically and you need to promote it. A good way I’ve found to do it is to put a link to join the Discord in several places throughout the app. Also, when conducting interviews through other mediums (i.e. Reddit DMs / Comments etc) it helps to link to your Discord.
Having an active community is great to test out ideas and really understand the needs of those actually using what you’ve built. It’s not good enough to always be guessing whether people will like something, GO AND ASK THEM.
Also as the userbase grows and the product becomes more complex, maintaining connections with the OG users is extremely important to sticking to an overall vision for the product which is in line with what your superusers actually want. Want to try and monetize in XYZ specific way? Ask the OG users if they think it is fair, and if it would piss them off.
I’ll try my best to answer any questions anyone has, and if you have anything you would like to add please ping me! I’m still quite new to all this myself and don’t pretend to have all the answers.