Working on a new idea - when do I start to share?

Hey everyone! Long-time coder here, full-time software consultant at https://matix.io. I often build small startup projects that die unused! Recently, I've been trying to stick to building tools that I will use in my day-to-day work as a software consultant.

I have a new project that has a reasonably small scope for the MVP. I'm working on it now, but I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on sharing before MVP!

For context, I probably have about 8-12 hours of work left until I have MVP complete, and would be ready to share. Unfortunately I'm entering into a busy work period and I'm not sure when I will have the time to work on it!

Should I start validating my idea already?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  1. 6

    I am usually a proponent of sharing early.

    However, if you are going to struggle to get in 8 - 12 hours of work to get it to MVP mode anytime soon - then you aren't ready to really digest and use the feedback anyways.
    Push to get your MVP done, let people use it for awhile while you focus on work, then when you have another gap use that to review feedback and improve your product.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Hi Ryan! I finally got the product to a stage I'm comfortable with sharing, and did an introduction here: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/demo-of-my-app-work-in-progress-f442891bd0

      I'd love to get your feedback if you have a moment!

      1. 1

        Excellent, I checked it out and posted in that thread.

        1. 1

          Thank you 🙏. I really appreciate you taking the time.

  2. 2

    I love the concept of building in public and sharing about your product as soon as you can.

    That said, I believe you need to ask two questions before you put your product or idea out there to fend for itself.

    1. Do you have something to show people that allows them to understand the key concept you are trying to convey? If not, then perhaps you may look to finishing up that 8-12 hours before showing anyone cause they might misunderstand its purpose otherwise.

    2. What are you looking out for when sharing about the product?
      If you are looking for users, then without a functioning product, there is not much point. If you are looking to build a pre-launch list, then it is never too early to start conveying the key idea at least if you can get that across in words or mockups.

    I hope this helped.
    All the best for the MVP!

    1. 1

      Hi Bryan! I finally got around to sharing details about the product I'm working on here: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/demo-of-my-app-work-in-progress-f442891bd0

      I'd love to hear your feedback!

      1. 1

        Just saw this! Will go check it out and reply there!

    2. 1
      1. This is a great point. I think in order to properly illustrate the value of what I'm building, I need to complete that last bit of work and a record short demo video.
      2. Just looking to get some feedback / validation of the idea. Wondering about whether others have the same itch I do, and whether this product scratches it for them. Also, I'm looking to validate the different pricing tiers I intend to offer (which include a free-tier).
      1. 2

        If you get a negative response from sharing and validating the idea, would you think it is because you did not mange to properly illustrate the value of it or would you think it is because people do not have the same itch?

        If it is the former, it means you would put in the last 8 - 12 hours anyway, so you should just do it first and give yourself no excuses on not being able to convey its value.

        If it's the latter, then if you consider the worst case that it does not scratch the same itch, then I guess you would have saved 8 - 12 hours going and need to now change how you implement your solution.

        Lastly, I go by the idea that unless someone gives you actual money, pricing would not really be validated - so unless you are looking to do pre-sales to validate, you might prefer to have a demo product first.
        If you are testing a free tier, the validation would be if users keep coming back to use this product. For that, I do believe you need a product they can use and keep coming back to without your prompting.

        Personally, I believe that you will not be satisfied with the results of sharing it if you do not think it can convey its value. If it is just another 8 - 12 hours of nights and weekends, IMO the opportunity cost won't break your heart. Given that, you should push to get the MVP done and then have conversations you can benefit fully from.


  3. 1

    I like the idea of sharing early but only if you’ve done your homework and put some work in. As others have said, if you can’t show your idea so that it’s easy for others to understand hold off until you put a little more work into it. Looking forward to hearing about it!

    1. 1

      Working up to it! I think I'm almost there. I have a prototype ready and a short document with the value proposition. I just want to record a short demo video and then I think I'll start sharing!

  4. 1

    I always recommend that sharing in public should be your real MVP.

    Is there a way that you can build an initial mockup of your product to share?

    This will help streamline the process of getitng user feedback before you sink any time into development.

    You shouldn't be afraid of what people think. Even if the feedback is negative, it'll provide you with some valuable insights to help pivot your idea.

    Getting in front of potential customers is always my first priority.

    1. 1

      Hi Lachlan! I finally dove in and shared my product - would love to hear your feedback: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/demo-of-my-app-work-in-progress-f442891bd0

  5. 1

    Just keep in mind that not all products require a MVP for validation, e.g. if it's the data you are going to sell then it can be delivered via numerous means to those who need it for validation before actually building a product.

    More on this - Myths about Minimum Viable Product.

  6. 1

    Why WOULDN'T you share before MVP?

    1. 2

      The honest answer to this is probably that I'm afraid of people's responses! And probably that is a great reason to start sharing now..

      1. 1

        Thought so. Good luck! 😁

    2. 1

      Ok, I've finally gotten around to sharing the idea here in a post: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/demo-of-my-app-work-in-progress-f442891bd0

      Would love you feedback!

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