People tasking themselves with building one startup per month for 6 to 12 months is no longer the wild idea it once was (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), but I'm throwing my hat in the ring anyway.
Page Flows, my main source of income, is going well enough, but only requires a day or two a week of attention. I've been spending the rest of my time searching for my next opportunity.
During that search, I've made the mistake of spending way too much time building products before getting them in front of users and learning whether or not they have legs. Limiting myself to one month per product would ensure I never do that again.
I've also spent too much time over-analysing every decision. Here's what that looks like:
- Come up with an idea or a strategy for discovering pain points and opportunities
- Read a whole bunch of related articles online
- Find faults in my plan
- Keep researching
- Talk to some people
- Lose faith in my plan
- Rinse and repeat
While I've correctly invalidated product ideas during this process, I've spent a whole lot of time making no progress. By sticking with the tight schedule of one month per product, I have no time for analysis paralysis.
What kind of ideas will I be working on?
To maximise my chances of success, I've created a set of criteria to filter ideas though
- An obvious one, but it has to be possible to build the key parts of the product within 2-3 weeks
- The product, however unpolished, has to deliver value from day one
- People should be searching for keywords related to the product (I use Ubersuggest to check this)
- The related keywords can't be super competitive
- An individual person should be able to use the product without having to get teammates or bosses onboard
These are based on the type of business I'm trying to build, so may not be relevant for you.
My hope is that in six months, I will have:
- launched six products
- had great conversations with interesting people
- learned about problem spaces I currently know nothing about
- found my way out of the creative rut I'm currently in
Ideally, I'll also have the conviction to spend more time on at least one product. I'll be shipping the first product by the end of January 2020.
If you want a behind-the-scenes view of my process, you should follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter below.
Aug. 27, 2020