Pausing development on Ioignition

This was not an easy decision to make. But an important one, to free me up for other projects. By pause I do actually mean pause, the project will keep running and I do intend to resume development.

So Why Pause?

There are some things I learned about selling a product that I did not know about before. During the last couple of weeks, I have been interviewing potential users to understand their current workflow and their pain points. It turns out I was no where close to solving the actual pain points of users. It was either, rebuild everything from the ground up or pivot to a simpler project that has a product market fit. My resources are limited as a bootstrapping solo founder. So it makes sense to pour all my energy and resources on one project at a time. As to what that project is, will depend on the outcome of my interviews this week with the target users.🤞

Lessons Learned

If this is your first or second project just build it: Even though my next steps are different, I will not change my initial steps. Why? It refined my building process, make decisions around the tools I would use, and make improvements on the template I have built through the experience of building the first two projects. My tools are solidified, I know them like the back of my hand. Thanks to the first two projects I can go from zero to MVP in a few days. Don't know what to build? Follow your curiosity, look at the tools you use already, see if you can make them better.

Verify before you build: There are plenty of advice saying build a marketing page first before you build the entire project to gauge interests. That is good advice but there are a couple of steps to take before that:

  1. Go to Reddit, G2, Exploding trends and see what people are saying around the idea of what you are building. You'll learn the lingo, the pain points and potential market gaps. But don't stop there!
  2. Talk to a few people who could be potential target users, ask them about how they solve the problem right now. Find out the context in which they work, things like size of company, how they interact with the problem, which other tools they use around the problem etc.

When it comes to Marketing: This comes back to the verify before you build step. If you have gone through this step, you will know how to speak in your blog posts. The words that your target users will resonate with. I don't have much to say about this step, as I am yet to fully understand it myself. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, is a really good book. Helped me demystify marketing slightly.

Build X projects or focus on 1: Early on, it helps to build a couple of projects within a fixed timeline like thirty days. This helps you make quick decisions on what to build and what to cut. Remember you are refining your building process during this stage. Also, helps you get over any fears of talking about or showing what you've built to others.

After the first two, focus your time on a single project at a time. Build a fully functioning project, spend some time on fixing all the rough edges. Keep talking to your users, iterate and improve. This could mean, working on a project long term.

Write changelogs: From day one. Spend a few minutes, include screen shots of the changes. Write about the things that would make a difference to the end users experience. Write with this end user in mind. It's free marketing, and shows people that the project is actively worked on.

Ensure your changelogs are accessible by search engines.

Don't listen to me.

These might not apply to you. I haven't made a successful product that has made money yet. These are just lessons I've learned based on the actions I have taken and might not apply to you. Instead be curious and build things you are interested in, the way you want to build it. Be open to the lessons and iterate. You are in this for the long run. The reward for me, that I'm looking for is freedom of time. I'm willing to keep iterating and building till I get there. I believe I can do it, only a matter of time.

The odds of building a successful product is low, but these odds are not fixed. You can take steps to help improve these odds. This is where, your individuality, the kind of person you are is an unfair advantage. There is only one of you. Your experiences, your network of people are unique to you. This is where you can move the odds slightly in your favor. I wish you all the best. Keep building.