What is the single biggest challenge holding your project, product, or startup back?

Rick Turoczy
11 replies
As a founder, there are any number of things you're juggling. And any number of issues plaguing your traction and growth. But more often than not, there's that one problem. You know the one. That one big obstacle that is keeping you up at night. And that is not only impeding your progress but feels like a weight you're carrying. It could be something real. Or it could simply be something perceived. Like a mental block. Or a fear. There are any number of assumptions in the industry about what that hurdle may be, but I'd love to hear actual issues from folks who are comfortable sharing. Because if we all have a better understanding of the actual problems, then we all have a better chance of helping one another resolve them. Thanks in advance for considering this. Looking forward to your feedback.

Replies

Justin Garrity
VP Product @ ChartHop
Great question. I find the biggest challenge when launching a new product is trying to figure out if all the positive signals you are receiving about the product are actually an indicator of how big the market truly is. Consumers often say encouraging things about what they plan on buying but their actual buying behavior can be quite different. When I used to paint and sell my paintings in galleries, I would visit them from time to time and listen to the conversation people would have about the art. I was struck about how many conversations turned out to be about the potential buyer telling the gallery owner they wanted to buy the piece, but... And then many excuses why it wasn't the right time, or it wouldn't work in the space at home, or the spouse wouldn't like it. Plenty of art sold, but I've always remembered that people feel compelled to indicate that they really want to buy your art or product because they want you to be successful. Launching a product is no different.
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Rick Turoczy
Cofounder, PIE
@justinogarrity I absolutely love this context. Thank you!
Andrea Brice
Data Intelligence meets good living
I self-funded development given the Covid world. I don't think that's a bad thing because the research & coding I needed to do was extensive - 43 states of state taxes, 11 states of local taxes covering nearly 2K local taxing jurisdictions, 508 Health Insurance rating areas which had to be transformed to nearly 2.3M health insurance estimates. I find myself chomping at the bit now because I want to throw more money into design & content, and not just into the product, but also into things like pitch decks and video support. Still, all that aside, my absolute biggest worries relate to customer care & tech support for a live product. I simply don't have the funds for 24-hour customer / tech support, and I'm the only person who could troubleshoot the algorithm itself. We're just moving forward as we can and based upon what I can afford to burn monthly.
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Rick Turoczy
Cofounder, PIE
@andrea_brice I really appreciate the specificity here. Super helpful. Thanks so much!
Ryan Hoover
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
Choosing a name. J/k... but it is hard. 😅
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ronsheridan
Startup Wannabe
It Takes a TEAM! Being a non developer, also not being a Product Manager/Marketer nor a UX/UI designer, my what keeps me up at night is building a team from GO.
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Lakshmi
Engineer. Entrepreneur.
Cofounder. I havn't found my cofounder yet. Yes, I need one for this startup.
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Gleb Braverman
Founder, Speakezee
All borders are in your head
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Rick Turoczy
Cofounder, PIE
@gleb_braverman I'd love to hear more about this. Is this in the realm of "imposter syndrome" or something else…?
Isabel Nyo
Tech Leader | http://eisabainyo.net
The analysis paralysis. When I was younger with less knowledge about the world, industry and everything, I shop more often and I put more products out in the market. As I now know more and have more experience in the industry, I notice I am starting to overthink simple things. Something that's holding me back and something that I am trying to overcome.
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Rick Turoczy
Cofounder, PIE
@eisabai Thank you! I love that you shared this. Experience is almost always seen within the context of being helpful. It's super interesting to think about how experience and knowledge — as opposed to naivete — hold folks back.