Part 7 and final part of a raw report card on my maker journey so far. Some actionable learning points from making and launching minimum viable products every month. 2018 was a maker year for me. My very first year as an indie maker. In Feb, I made a commitment to launch a minimum viable product a month (#1mvp1month). Read Part 1 (list of products made), Part 2 (metrics), Part 3 (what went well), Part 4 (what went to hell), Part 5 (technical learnings), Part 6 (personal learnings).
So, what's next?
👉 Stopping #1mvp1month, after my next project Public Design FAQs. I feel that I'd learned enough about shipping fast on a monthly basis based on my existing skillset. Now it's time to take more time to learn new skills like coding to deliver on more complex products that I want to deliver, because if I continue with making one product on a one month window, it'll probably stay quite simple and be using the same tricks I'd been using all along - Wordpress, mashups of other internet services. I'll spend slightly more time to develop my product (due to learning curve), but shipping fast and launching MVPs will still be a priority. But stopping #1mvp1month doesn't mean it's useless. The regular deadlines and associated stress of launching a product a month had provided a useful structure and habit system to keep momentum going. I will continue to use this structure while not necessarily sticking to a 1 month window.
👉 Doing more marketing experiments. I was inspired by this review post by Candy Japan to try marketing on different platforms. Marketing is a separate project altogether! I shouldn't shy away from doing it or experimenting with it just because I'm not good at it.
👉 Trying physical handcrafted products. After making only digital products, I'm craving to try using my hands more, beyond just keyboard typing. What if I could handcraft products for passion, then (try to) sell them on a limited basis?
👉 Making projects, not products. I'm keen to try making products that are projects for users instead of simply consuming it as a product/service. By projects I mean stuff that helps users achieve something, or be better versions of themselves. Challenge products like 200wordsaday, 24hrstartups, gofuckingdoit are all products that help users create challenges and goals for themselves. There seems to be an emerging market for personal growth/evolution, and
👉 Being clear who my customer is. It's too tempting to market to makers, but many of my products aren't for makers to start with! Even this article isn't for my customers, it's targeted at makers. Who am I really selling to? And definitely I need to launch on platforms other than PH and IH! Many of the maker influencers are folks who make for other makers. That's why they are influential within the maker community. And it's easy to make the mistake of emulating them as the ideal. But many (if not most) of the makers who make $100k MRR aren't necessarily making products for makers. Their customers are those who they are familiar with. The maker community are only tangential to their business, not core. And you probably not heard of them. So
👉 Creating audaciously and all else will follow. Passion first, profit later. Make more products out of passion; products that need more design and aesthetics; and shamelessly charging a fair price for it. I enjoyed the devil-may-care approach to making from passion, and will continue this in the next year.
🔥 Day 21 of the #200wad challenge.