To quit or not to quit

58 replies
Your plan is to make a product in 2 years, a year and 2 months in, Facebook releases the same product... what do you do? Back to drawing board?


Jack Davis
You should keep going because if Facebook is making the same product it might mean you are on to something. There is lots of examples of two companies who have the same product and both are successful, think of Uber & Lyft or McDonalds and Burger King. Lastly it seems like your product is taking way too long, try making a minimum viable product with only the essential features and see if you can get feedback on!
@jack_davis7 awesome advice..... currently procrastinating on starting side projects because of school
Spencer Walden
I think this advice is key. If someone like Facebook is making a product in an area, you just need to find a niche within that where you can execute on a smaller scale than Facebook as you can focus on those users.
Alexa Vovchenko
Pivot. Why would Facebook ruin your plans?
Ilia Pikulev
Keep on the track as long as your product attracts new customers. If the growth stops, there is a time to consider pivoting :)
@ilia_pikulev and there is never too many products right? (cringes at the many clubhouse clones... the FB one to be eaxct)
João Luiz Caldeira
how the heck would somebody spend 2 years building a product nowadays? you should have built it in 2 days, and then thrown it in the market for users to interact with so you could start iterating.
Jan Mazurek
@jl27_tero how about 2 hours? Seriously, 2 months is too long? From my experince there are products that require time. Of course time may be raplaced by money and skilled specialists, but cannot be reduced totally.
João Luiz Caldeira
@jan_mazurek 2 hours? maybe it's possible depending on your coding skills. What I'm talking about is a mindset: build fast so you can iterate even faster... You can't take for granted that your idea is good, that people will pay for your solution, or even that the problem which you aim to solve is real. In essence, build something that your intended users can use ASAP. So they can start telling you if it works or doesn't. And both the answers have value. If it's good, dive in. If it's not, consider a pivot.
João Luiz Caldeira
@jan_mazurek Just an example. I'm a non-technical founder. Without money. And without co-founders. Even so, I'm building my e-grocery startup MVP on Probably 4 weeks building it now, 1 or 2 weeks more it will be ready to "go to the streets". And I never wrote a single line of code nor knew bubble before. Go check it! =) (I'm from Brazil)
Jan Mazurek
@jl27_tero I understand your point of view. There some projects that can be handle by configurable frameworks or already existing solutions. There are also some innovation ideas that require more effort
@jan_mazurek @jl27_tero wow, that's interesting. But, Is sharing your ideas, solutions to bubble is safe?
Jan Mazurek
My first supervisor had similar problem - his idea was in progress when big IT company released very close product for free. He decided to quit while code was ready in about 50%. Also when he was doing the project, he found many contacts that were possible clients for his new starting company but not exactly interested in the product.
@jan_mazurek he shoulda persevered and maybe went the no code route and work on making it with is code months later with funding and more staff
Adam Żaczek
Keep going forward. If Facebook works on the same thing, you might be on a good track. Find your niche, something that would make an answer to "Why should I use X over Facebooks Y" compelling. Mark Zuckeberg once said that you can't win trying to copy Facebook. So don't ;) It's likely that your product has it's own niche and as history shows, it might be a bigger one ;)
Allan Revah
Less and less people like Facebook. You're fine!
@allanrevah they lived long enough to be villains lol. Can't wait to see how their legal battle with Apple will end
Dan Rockwell
Before I get to do I wanna know more. Like 1, did ya build a product for 2 years ontop of facebook? if yes, you knew this going in, and you had no alt network strategy? 2, if the concept is tangent to fb the its a race to users and then happiness, when I use you, I feel so damn happy, thats a hard model to live on, eventually you die or get acqu-hired, 3, find the other 3 startups the get killed when this happens as well, theres other people, are you further along, sell and get acquired, or merge and kick ass, or watch and see what happens, maybe fb will eat them and not you, 4, analyze the crap outa what they do marketing/product/happiness wise and try to be ahead of it, 5, make sure your tech has a meatier moat even if its purely perception, ideally you back it up with more than that. Overall yer not dead yet.
@jesse_ac yup... spend time on product hunt looking for inspiration and organising it into lil collections
Adnan Yunus
One of the falsest notion that people starting on their entrepreneurial journey is the concept of "unique product" or doing something that no one else has done before. If you are building what you are building because you love it and you have the passion and drive to see it through, you are much more suitable to make it successful than a big corp, whose product strategy is always driven by inertia and fear of being irrelevant.
@udnaan yeah passion b4 profits..... build because of love
Mike Drohan
There are no original ideas, only original executions. Good luck.
Sanskar Tiwari
Focus on sub niche and make your product best for them, the big problem top companies have they make product general enough to have big market size for making billions while we can be happy with millions
@sanskar_tiwari can't wait to see how clubhouse makes itself more unique as compared to FB and twitter clones
Keep going! But try to add something unique abd useful that Facebook doesn't have. Find Loopholes in Facebook's product and act on it. And try to finish your product as soon as possible.
BTW this was inpired by the FB clubhouse clone artictle on tech crunch the other day
Yusuf Taiwo
This only shows you're doing the right thing. All you need to do is to find your own market. There's always a playing ground for everyone 😉
Definitely keep going, big tech doesn't always win. As an entrepreneur you have the gift of independence. You can try things out without risking your reputation, don't have to absolutely create "the next big thing" and are able to communicate with your target group more directly (and friendly). Worst case, if you're doing a good job, Facebook (or a competitor) buys you up.
James Simmons
The answer here totally depends on the market (not so much on the product). Hopefully if you spent that much time building something you have at least an idea of what the total market looks like, and how much of that market you need to capture to be successful. In that case, you need to (a) assess if you have any USPs that Facebook's alternative doesn't (or can't) have and (b) is there enough space in the market for you to still be successful with an 800 pound gorilla to compete with? If your model relied on you capturing 5% of the market... well, there are probably way more than 5% who would choose not to use the Facebook version just because it's Facebook. If your model assumed no competition, or that you have to have 75% of the market to be successful... well, I'm sorry but someone should've told you much earlier in your journey that the had an existential risk out there. This all assumes you're building the product with the intent of building a successful business! If you're doing it out of pure passion (i.e. YOU'LL be happy knowing that YOUR perfect solution to your problem exists), and the goal is to share that success with like-minded people... then it really doesn't matter, go build it. There's an immense satisfaction from building something that you know is the solution to a real problem. Satisfaction alone doesn't pay the bills, but if you're a maker at heart and you don't NEED this to be a financial success for you/your team/your families... then go for it! And a final tidbit, if it's a capability that Facebook's competitors might want to copy, and you're well along in building it, you have a non-zero chance of getting scooped up for your IP or your experience to help someone else roll this thing out and compete with FB just a little bit faster than they might have built it from scratch.