You may be the person who is born to be an entrepreneur. But your products can only be great if you meticulously think about them. This blog is gonna be the first in a multipart series talking about building products and making them great. So sit back, relax and make sure to follow closely.
I am also building Sandpark right now, so the blogs will heavily reference it. For starters, Sandpark is a platform which is a one spot solution for self-learners like me. This is how we describe it:
How to start?
So every startup starts with an IDEA 💡. You see a problem either for yourself or for someone you know. And you think you know the perfect solution to solve it. Then you set out to look if it already exist and if it does how different is it from what you are thinking? Can the existing solution solve your problem? If yes, cool! Move on to some other idea. If not, that's a gap in the market you need to fill.
Let's apply this practically. I was kind of busy with all the happenings of the world. And often at night just before I'd go to sleep, things would pop up and then I remember, "Shit, I needed to learn accounts today. Forgot it. Umm... fine. I'll go it tomorrow."
Or even worse, "I'll learn economics two times a week" but in reality, it doesnt even happen once cause I forget it. So, solution? Use Google Calendar! Yeah, true, but i cant manage learning there. I need to do things myself. So? Use notion for notes.
Yeah cool. But there are also times when i am keeping through a boring course and no one to tell me, "Hey, you can do something else. Its better for you right now". And most importantly.
My parents or peers: "What do you know?"
Me: "Umm, I know psychology, backend and frontend and maybe a few more things..."
And after an hour start to realize, hey, I also know Physics, and I can drive too. And a bit about products... bla bla bla... Why dont I even remember this!
So, this let's build a product that can do that. Yes, there are some products that do stuff similar to this, but none of them is catered towards self learners and that will simplify a lot of things. None of them get close to what I am building.
What after idea?
So, you know a problem is significant and your solution can be worthwhile. Now what? Build it? Well, two more thing before it. Ask people. Ask your potential customers if they can resonate with the problem. Its great if they can.
I told about 5 - 10 different people about the problem and it was great to see their nodding heads in absolute agreement for pretty much all of it. Next, I asked if they'd pay for it. Its called a paywall for a reason. That's where I lost people. But they said, I can barely pay but before that I'd need to see the product. Thats where an MVP comes in.
Now, its the time to build this. But make it as quick as possible. If you are making an app to convert description of a website into an actual website, instead of building your own GPT4, do it manually first. Its gonna save a truck load of time to verify if its actually needed. In this time you are looking to just see if its a market fit.
For that your MVP needs to have things that are absolute necessity. So make a flowchart of how your product is gonna be. This is the flow of people as they interact with your product.
This is what we did for Sandpark:
Sorry for the blurry image, couldn't get a better one.
But in essence, its a flowchart starting from install to all the things that are important for the basic MVP. Somethings are blue-grey, those are the ones that will be done manually, initially. Later on, I will myself sit and design a state-of-the-art algorithm to do it all, but not now. Right now, its important to get customers and check if its a market fit. Then we can focus on automation.
- 💡 Start with an idea
- 💻 Check what exists
- 👾 How are you different?
- 📢 Ask people if they would use it
- ⏩ Build a quick MVP
- 🧑🔬 Try
So, this is what I have learned after talking to many people and building products myself. Anything I missed or you'd like to add? Let me know. What are you building and how are you approaching it? Let's talk in the comments.