Two months ago I hadn't launched any solo project that got users.
Until lately everything I had ever done was with someone else, usually with a compatible skillset. The problem with this approach is that if someone on the team loses interest or is busy the project dies out.
As this happened a couple of times I decided to take some time and work on projects by myself.
The products I launched
Here are 3 things I learned in this short journey.
1) Working Alone Sucks
To be effective and get stuff done you need a group of people to keep you accountable and motivate you to do more.
I found that posting updates on Twitter and on Makerlog helped me make better decisions and meet interesting people working on similar products.
The nice thing about these communities of makers is that everybody is extremely helpful and friendly.
In world that is extremely competitive, that many perceive as a zero sum game it's refreshing to see that the ones that succeed are the most kind and helpful.— Ferruccio Balestreri (@0xferruccio) 21 settembre 2018
I talked with so many people about this and they couldn't believe how open and welcoming this "maker" community is! 🚀
In fact if you're working on something feel free to DM me for anything you need!
2) Tell your story
The indie maker marketing is all about creating a story and getting people invested in your products and ideas. so to get started you can start working on any idea that comes to your mind as success and product market fit come from iterating with the community— Ferruccio Balestreri (@0xferruccio) 2 settembre 2018
I found that the more open and transparent you are with what you're doing the more the people feel empathy towards with you and your product and the more likely they are to suggest your product to their friends.
In my experience when choosing what software product I'm going to buy I like to see how the project is evolving and how the customer support is.
Being a solo maker, you have the advantage of having all the informations on usage, problems and feature requests under control.
3) Vet your market
This is something I didn't do very well in both of my launches.
I only asked for generic feedback and not hard questions like “Want to pay for this?”
I made Dripform to ship something fast that I knew people would like. Turned out I was kind of right and gained a bunch of users, none were paid though.
Klipped.in started from a tweet in August
Product idea mockup - https://t.co/N6jEUBlReW , for your clipboard/images— Ferruccio Balestreri (@0xferruccio) 13 agosto 2018
Should i make it 🚀 ? Or will you make it first 😎 pic.twitter.com/27I6zWPgnS
At the end of August I found out about Pioneer and as I didn't have any ideas of what to make for the challenge I decided to pick the shared clipboard idea.
As I knew that project wasn't going to be massively useful I decided to optimise the making for learning.
Both projects got nice feedback from users, but I couldn't figure out any viable money making product spin offs from them.
The next thing I'm going to make will have to be something that people or businesses are willing to pay for.
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My articles are always a work in progress, and almost never complete so if you have any suggestions of how I can improve hit me up at hi[at]ferrucc[dot].io or DM me on Twitter
Here are some useful tools to launch your next product on Product Hunt
Preview Hunt to prepare the copy for your launch
Giphy to make the gifs by chaining some images