First time product makers, what was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it?
Your first product is always special. All the hard-work you have put and the struggles you had to go through, finally culminates into a tangible product that you are proud of. This question is a chance for everyone to learn from that experience and to hopefully prevent making some common mistakes. What did you struggle with the most - was it the team, design, the feature, customers, validation, marketing, scaling... ? and, what steps did you take that helped you to overcome it?
posted by vivek
Comments (24)
Founder of Tiramisu
I would say test, test and test. Some time ago, I made the mistake of closing my room (way of talking as I was in coworking spaces) and developing something for months without testing or asking for feedback... and sometimes without even knowing who I'm developing this for. So I'd suggest to define your target first and start talking to them before developing anything. The other issue is the team... surround yourself by people who will lift you up and who you could trust. If you can't find them then sometimes it's better to work on a project by yourself (or with a smaller team).
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Thanks a lot for sharing @khalid_b . Very true. I've also often fallen into the pit of isolation you have described , and realized it too late. Constant Feedback , Clarity of Goals and Good People , are all important factors that could decide whether your efforts are actually going towards building something beneficial or not. [PS - Great work building a wonderful app like Tiramisu . Always nice to see products that help society get better ]
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@khalid_b Let me know if i can help Tiramisu and it's noble cause in any way . Please feel free to DM me on Twitter.
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Founder of Tiramisu
@notanothervivek Thank you so much! :) I'll send you a DM.
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CMO of AtTrack
It is absolutely impossible to start a product without calculating the unit economy. You can't skimp on the team and hire juniors. If the hypothesis cannot be tested in 2 weeks, then you should not spend money and time on its verification.
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Good point @olga_tyagunova . Hiring is no place to be penny wise ,pound-foolish. Hiring experienced people who can do a fair bit of fire-fighting when a trouble arises , is essential for the intial days of any startup.
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Founder of Trnd.
The biggest obstacle is trying to figure out how exactly to do everything for the first time all at once. Also figuring out all the legal stuff is hard.
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@jack_davis7 I feel you. Being a developer/marketer/entrepreneur is tough enough for any product maker, adding legal into the mix just makes things impossible. The delicate nuances of legal things often requires years of dedicated knowledge and experience to figure out. [Which is why it is always, and i mean alwayssss, recommended to take legal decisions only after consulting with a seriously qualified lawyer. Never rely on info you read up online and assume things. Each case may be different. ]
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Design resources for creators.
@jack_davis7 I totally agree with that. You gotta learn a lot of new things for the first time which is exhausting and exciting at the same time. Not to mention the legal stuff πŸ˜…
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Security Researcher
@jack_davis7 Totally agree with you on this. The experience of finding the right way to fulfill requirements itself is a major challenge.
Building Clapup.me
Non Coder Bootstrapper No network Can you imagine the trouble that i faced. We are seeing the brightest side of things. But i got lot of mocking by saying idea man in reddit, literally broken from everywhere. But i got somehow a designer who design UI, and a front end developer from my LinkedIn. Lessons learned: A cofounder is not someone who meet at reddit or cofounders lab, if you find one you are way lucky. Search among your colleagues, friends, or networks like LinkedIn. If you are searching for a cofounder, hire somebody and work with him or her for atleast 4 -6 months, if you perfectly sync with the person, pitch for partnering with you. Because partnership is like marriage, you should be careful before finalizing your partner.
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Publisher and maker of resources
@sreekanth850 Very useful advice. Thank you.
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Building Clapup.me
@eugenia_russell Glad that it was useful for you.
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@sreekanth850 Kudos for overcoming your struggles and fighting through until you reached your goal. Growth often faces resistance , but only gets stronger due to it. So keep on going ahead. Good point about finding the right co-founder. It can often be a pivotal make or break point for any startup. Keep up the great work. Wishing you great success with clapup. [ps - small world isn't it @sreekanth850 ..didn't expect to run into you here as well πŸ˜€]
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Building Clapup.me
@notanothervivek haha just noticed your website, remembered the slack now. Happy to see you here.
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Co-founder at Qinaps.com
@sreekanth850 Laurent Ponthieu the Founder at Qinaps and I took 1 year to decide that I should join as a Co-founder. So you are bang on target. If agree on some basic stuff and the rest we learn and convince each other along the way !
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Breathe Right
There were lots of obstacles on the way, putting constant efforts to serve the purpose of app with simplicity and sticking to the plan was the key.
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Founder of NOLI Music
The problem was to develop the string system for our guitar. We decided firstly to replace strings with butoons to provide musicians with an easy-to-play instrument, but button neck is not suitable for those who are used to strings and for those wgo want to get real guitar experience. Replacing buttons with strings meant making the instrument more difficult to play for people with hand injuries and disabilities, so after several attempts we managed to make easy-to-clamp strings using special sensors to pick the position of fingers on the neck
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Thank you for sharing @denis_goncharov . Interesting to know . Shows how innovation alone isn't always useful unless it actually makes things better/easier. Great work figuring out the right solution and going ahead πŸ‘
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Founder of NOLI Music
@notanothervivek It's a bit difficult to be innovative in music tech, where there are lots of different solutions for almost all the musicians. But we firstly focused on people with disabilities, so we tried to find a way to make their life better and give them a chance to play music. Now we have decided to make our product even more interesting for all the musicians and more suitable for beginners, and it is such an interest for many musicians all over the world, that we are surprised
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@denis_goncharov That's fantastic. Happy to see such a noble and meaningful initiative from you. Keep up the great work. Music is the great unifier, but like you said, your niche and physical product are much more difficult to get right than digital products. But, seeing that you kept at it and eventually succeeded, gives hope and inspiration to other entrepreneurs in similar predicaments. [PS - I doubt I can (i'm pretty ignorant about guitars), but i would still love to try to support your initiative to help people with disabilities. Please DM me on twitter if there is anything that i can do to help. ]