image from Unsplash
I’m a software developer. I’ve been doing this since 2013, and I’ve already worked in the biggest company in Ukraine, later in Poland, came to Germany to work for a small family type company and went back to Ukraine to work for a startup.
Three months ago I was still working for a company, even though startup was closed, but we had another project as a consultant agency. I was making a decent amount of money, was living in the middle of the biggest city and was living near an office, so I never experienced heavy traffic. From a stranger standpoint, it was living a dream.
Not so fast
Since 2015 I was wanting to start my own thing. I’ve tried once and it was a huge experience. I thought: first try some small idea, then iterate to the big one. Spoiler: I was wrong.
Although, something interesting happened. They said when you find product-market fit it fills as you step on a bomb. This is exactly what I’ve experienced. I made a product for the SMM community vk.com and it was hyped. At some point, a guy forces me to sold access, even though I had no automatic payment system or finished product. He wanted so bad so I’ve just manually created an invoice and send it to him. To say the long story short there was not anything hard to clone my idea, 100 new product emerged and the market was so small so it wasn’t worth it to fight. At the finish line, I left with a $500 for 5 months of work.
Lesson learned - start with big markets
Before I left a job, I calculate my spendings and savings. Spendings were approximated based on history, so I’m pretty sure I’m not too biased with planning fallacy. Turned out I have a healthy year without any need of income, so I could afford a little rest by the end of the year and started fresh in 2019. I was thinking about creating my own thing, but frustration arises and I came up with nothing. I just couldn’t start. Every idea seemed unpromising and this is what I was considering during evaluation: - I couldn’t monetize it - nobody needs it - this is too easy, everybody is already doing it - this is too hard, I will never build it
I’ve read a lot of articles like “how to find a good idea for a startup” and I spotted a common pattern: - no matter what you start, you should look for feedback - the idea doesn’t really matter, but the execution does - it’s good if you are a customer of your product - not sexy ideas are not bad ideas Coming across this 12month12startups challenges I thought to myself: “I just need to start and see where it takes me”. The master plan is to build a couple of products, starting with the most fun ones. Although, the amount of started projects without any outcomes is enormous and this is my point of frustration, but the trick here is to ship no matter what.
I’ve tried it a year ago and it turned out really well. Writing a blog was a big discovery for me. It gives me an exposure I really need and it somehow enables that rational gene. One can easily agree with himself, but when you are open about your intentions things have changed. I used it as a tool to define a process, set goals and, eventually, achieve them. The plan here is to post every release or at least every 2 week with a product update.
Nobody knows where it takes me and will it worked out, but I’m in the good groove right now.
Thanks you for reading and see you in the next posts!