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1. Product Strategy: How to find an idea? One of the best ways that I recommend starting with is just watching people's current behaviors online. What are they already doing? And if what they are doing doesn't have any formal process or organization around it, this could be a starting point for creating a side project.
For example when I created Side Project Stack, I remember seeing many people tweeting about how they made their project and writing out what tools they used to build it. So I created some organization around it to help anyone who wants to build something.
Tony did this as well demonstrating the power of no-code. Simply by listening to a paint point described in a tweet, he built it in Bubble and launched within a week. The app built here has a sign up, and stores user information. How impressive it is to be able to create a working application that saves a users information in such a short time?
Tony is really proficient at Bubble. So he leveraged his skills there to quickly create a V1 for his solution. The principle that I have learned and applied to my own building is using behaviors that are already happening as inspiration to create a product around it. Productize behaviors that you see happening. Chances are if people are already doing something and you add layers of value on top of it you can grow it into a product and learn from these early users about what they would be willing to pay for.
2. Product Strategy: Launch small, launch iteratively - The other advantage of launching this is so that Tony can quickly get feedback from a working application that also is an MVP. We are in a new dawn of creating things on the internet. No more prototypes. Why waste the time to create one when you can create a working application in the same time?
The biggest risk isn't creating something and then iterating it based on feedback. It's not getting feedback and then launching it to find out that it doesn't actually help or that your users won't pay for it.
It's critical to shorten your feedback loops as much as possible so that you can make sure that your product does something that adds value. Shorter feedback loops means you are actively increasing your odds of success with your product.
With no-code you can now do that because you can build out the different features with your users privately or publicly.
When should you build in the public vs build in private beta?
Generally, I would recommend for something new that you aren't sure about or have not validated to first create it for yourself. Then share it with less than <5 people. Once you feel confident that it there is some value given in your product, tweeting about it in a subtle way is a great way to start building in public. You can just mention that you are in the process of building something and that you'd like to get some feedback on it.
I have launched this way several times again and again and its helpful to make launching less intimidating and less effort. You should only have one massive launch that you invest a ton of time into and that is after your products has gone through these smaller iterative stages of launching.
3. Product strategy: Iterative launching helps you build an audience - lots of little launches > one big launch.
One benefit that no-one talks about in the Maker world but as you make you begin to understand. Lots of little actions compound over time. Because Twitter and most social places are such short term effective channels, it's really hard to stand out above the noise and really get noticed for the thing you are making.
So in order to combat that and reduce your risk in building something successful, The Lean Side Project framework takes the approach of many smaller launches add up over time to help you grow your audience. You're going to need a lot of continuous updates on your project, building the open and milestone announcements to really get the attention of people in a niche to be attracted to what it is you're doing.
There are two ways that you can approach this. One is using iterative launching the other is to segmentize your product into bite size chunks and shipping individually. It's really like a micro product launch approach that will help you gain momentum and more noise for your product.
For example, when I started launching The Lean Side Project my iterative launch schedule looked like this:
1. Create for myself
2. Create something that <5 targeted users might use/buy
3. Create a presale page/early sign up to learn more
4. Create a private beta group based on the early signups
5. Launch just the main feature of your product through a pre-order or official public beta
6.Launch feature #2
7. Launch feature #3
8. Launch all the features are out and will be doing official launch soon, grab your early pricing before the official launch
9. Launch to Product Hunt OR where are your users hanging out on the internet?
10. Launch to and start investigating other channels for acquisition
The Lean Side Project Framework helps organize this process a lot more so that you can apply it to your product.
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