Sometimes when you start building something, you have an idea of where it will go. And then, like many types of creative work, it starts to take on a life of its own.
Sometimes the product rewrites its own path as you build it.
After releasing the MVP of v1 of Social Remix I had a lot of great feedback from users. They loved the simplicity, and what it helped them accomplish.
But ultimately it was a comment from @8bit that made me realize something that I hadn't seen before.
I had just finished sharing the 30,000 ft. vision for SoVisual.co with him and a few others. It is a big vision, and going to take a lot to get there. Somehow we got on the subject of what Social Remix does and John's first question was,
Why isn't Social Remix a v1 proof of concept for SoVisual.co?
Without seeing the grand vision, it would be really difficult to see the relationship to the two different products. But when John said that, I immediately realized I had overlooked an opportunity.
While I was building out an MVP for SoVisual.co's bright future, big surprise, I was overthinking things and making them more complex than they really needed to be.
I was challenged to rethink what an MVP could look like if Social Remix were the starting point. And it became much clearer as I sat and thought about it.
And this unexpected evolution for Social Remix began.
Version 2 will be a natural leap forward. So natural, I can't believe I hadn't thought about it before.
It's not going to be easy, or cheap... but I think I have a clear plan (or two) to make it happen.
A product I had stalled on thinking, "could I even make this profitable" is now clearly the fastest path to profit.
I've sunk $11k into this so far without getting a dime out. But this next phase will change all of that.
And it's super exciting.
A lot has happened since my last update in July. Not with this project, but It is exciting to say it's finished.
Well, as finished as it needs to be for now.
So now I begin looking for some initial beta testers to help me understand:
While it's not the huge idea it started as, it is something that I hope can be of use to bloggers like me who want to create social content to promote their blog posts quickly.
Last week I was able to meet with the development team I hired to view progress.
It's finally alive!
While not finished, what is there already is something I've been waiting to have for over 3 years.
And man, it was exciting to see it working. We've got a lot of work to go, but when you've been wanting to build something for so long, those small victories are exciting.
Life happens. Business is crazy unpredictable. And sometimes you just have to put side projects in the metaphorical shed to focus on other things.
But a really great idea will never die.
Development had stalled out on codename Soopz for over 2 years. But it was finally time to start re-thinking, re-engineering, and pouring some resources back into it.
So I found a great development company with fair rates and commissioned them to begin building the rest of Soopz under a new, official name: Social Remix.
After coming out of pocket more than anticipated, the initial MVP development was done. My Founding Members could finally login, play with, and give feedback on the product they had paid in advance for 3-months prior.
The only function we had built was the text editor with our scoring algorithm and tips. Not much, but it was something. And it felt good to give people access and let them play with it.
While I loved the idea of being a solo founder, I knew I was going to need financial help to build everything that I wanted this product to be. So I wasn't entirely closed off to the idea of partners or investors.
It just so happened that a person I highly respected was looking for a SaaS product to invest in, and took interest in what I was doing.
The discussion was very fruitful, and this potential partner had a massive audience that would be perfect for the product. A partnership with him would of guaranteed the funding we needed, as well as a much larger target audience reach (at least 20x) for when it was ready for launch.
Unfortunately, the potential partner passed on the idea.
In order to raise the funds needed to develop the MVP, I had to get creative. Since I had a comprehensive mockup of the prototype, I decided to create a video walkthrough of exactly what the end product would do, how it would work, and what it's goal was.
I then send this video to a handful of trusted fans, followers, and friends of my personal brand. Since I had shared a previous version of my idea which was then stolen--won't name names--I was very careful with whom I shared this video.
Those who watched the video were given the opportunity to purchase a "founding member" spot which would give them recognition, and lifetime access to the product once it was built.
The funds raised helped me get a little closer, but inevitably fell short of what was needed. I funded the rest of the MVP development myself.
But, the good news is I now had 10 people who were invested in the future of the product.
After a few months of negotiating the sale of the product so I could take it solo, we finally came to an agreement. The product was now mine entirely, and I was free to start building it without any ties to the previous company.
This would prove challenging, however, since funds were very short after the purchase. I needed to raise some money to finish phase 1 of development.
This idea started like many others--just a thought about how my own workflow could be easier, faster, or more efficient. A simple editor to create optimized social media messages and share them to my various profiles.
I had an idea for a scoring system that, much like Grammarly, would tell you how to optimize your social media post based various data studies. We came up with a scoring system, and wrote out how it would encourage people to improve their messages.
But that was just one feature. The other function was the ability to write multiple messages in bulk using a template I created. It uses 10 text inputs with prompts such as "title of the post," "1-2 sentence summary," "hashtag 1," etc.. Once you fill out all 10 inputs you click a button and the app "remixes" all those text prompts in various ways to create 30+ social media messages.
It began as project Soopz (codename), and started development as part of my other company, Warfare Plugins. We built a good chunk of the scoring editor, but ultimately we would discover that developing a secondary, unrelated product was not sustainable for this business. So I had to buy it out, and take it on solo.
When you publish a new blog post, promoting it can be a lot of work. I wanted to create a simple way for bloggers to create dozens of social media messages to promote their articles without spending a lot of time.