Staying narrow and simple makes things so much easier. Instead of indecision and questions you have clear vision. Try to say no to as many things as possible ahead of time. I also love how easy Carrd is now that I've used it a ton. The more you stick with a tool the better it becomes. I thought about switching to Webflow for added functionality, but the constraints actually help!
Starting with Carrd and switching. "We actually switched to Squarespace. I love carrd for design and speed, but we have plans to add a blog and thought Squarespace would be easier for that."
On using Tawk.to for on page support: "I found Tawk.to randomly. I was looking into Drift and Intercom, but Tawk.to was free and integrated very easily. I’d highly recommend."
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"Staying narrow and simple makes things *so* much easier. Instead of indecision and questions you have clear vision. Try to say no to as many things as possible ahead of time. I also love how easy Carrd is now that I've used it a ton. The more you stick with a tool the better it becomes. I thought about switching to Webflow for added functionality, but the constraints actually help!
Starting with Carrd and then switching to Squarespace. ""We actually switched to Squarespace. I love Carrd for design and speed, but we have plans to add a blog and thought Squarespace would be easier for that.""
On using Tawk.to for on page support: ""I found Tawk.to randomly. I was looking into Drift and Intercom, but Tawk.to was free and integrated very easily. I’d highly recommend.""
1. Product Strategy - Staying narrow starting small. The number 1 mistake I see in a product building strategy is overbuilding. The reason why this is so hard is because as a Maker we are also the visionary for our ideas. We have initial gut feeling and theory of where we want the product to be in order to solve the problem of the user.
Here are two things you are missing out on and should leverage as a solo Maker or side project. Do this and it will increase your odds of success:
1. Iteration - if you build something big, you're not iterating and building lean. What's the best signal for validation? Peoples actions like activating and using your app or payment. Those are the strongest signals. If we wait too long to build a product with many features before putting it out into the wild, we risk building something that our users don't need and you aren't getting good validation along the way simply by asking users to give feedback. Getting good feedback is hard. The best is through what actions people do. These are much stronger signals than just asking for a favor for someone to review your app.
When you launch small, single feature apps you can isolate the true core value prop of the thing you are making. We often fall into the fallacy that our product has to have all these things in it, features, for people to get value out of it. Because you are an army of one, you'll never make it to shipping something and you'll miss true validated feedback.
Launch small, get greater validation signaled feedback. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't get feedback before you release v1 of your mvp/app. You should still target 5 users to try it out in private beta. The over arching principle: Launch small, iterate and get real feedback is your greatest opportunity to increase the odds of success.
2. Product strategy - Small launches add up greater than one big launch - Starting your idea as a small single function apps or products is great because once you launch it you can build in the open and share each feature upgrade. Now you are really are going to get momentum because every time you share an update on your progress you are able to talk about your product without being overtly talking about yourself/product. Because you are sharing your thoughts, progress and what you learned in the open it changes the dynamic of how it is received.
Building in the open is a game-changing strategy because as a solo Maker building a side project you are extra short on time. Now you have a mechanism to build and market at the same time. This is essential to increasing your odds of success. With no-code it allows you to build and market to an audience at the same time.
2. No-code tool comparison - Switching to Squarespace from Carrd. I thought it was very interesting to hear the reasoning behind switching from Squarespace to Carrd. I think it makes sense that Adam evaluated their long term strategy of using blogs to help with distribution. Carrd does not have a feature for subfolders. This means say you want a blog post to be categorized as a page on your website to help with SEO traffic. Carrd does not support this feature. Example, say you write a blog and want it added to your main site URL: sideprojectstack.com/blog-about-seo. Carrd does not support the "blog-about-seo" url structure. Squarespace does.
I think this is important to call out. In my guide The Lean Side Project, one of my first chapters is about distribution. I teach the importance of thinking distribution first when creating a side project. Because this will dictate what type of tool you are going to use. And in the example here, using Squarspace instead of Carrd to support Adam's distribution strategy is the difference maker.
3. No-code tool feature: Tawk.to - Twak.to is a monitor and chat widget that you can embed on your website. You can use it to respond to support tickets and create a help center to empower your users. It is a free tool to use and looks comparable to Crisp Chat. If you have not used these, they are a super easy to use tool where you just copy and paste a code snippet into your website builder. With this tool you can also see what pages your visitors are on in real time. Which if you are launching a v1 of your product it is a huge rush of excitement to know that people are actually using your product.
Secondly, this is a great tactic to use to get feedback from users when you are first validating your product. I have used Crisp Chat before, and would often get people asking questions or provide feedback when landing on the page. I found this hugely helpful because now I had insights on what my site was missing or what problem my users were actually trying to solve.
4. No-code tool feature - Typeform - Using Typeform to checkout with Stripe for payment is a great way to go without having to worry about any complicated integrations to process payments. This is a great starter stack to use to process payments if you'd like to ask some questions as part of the checkout process.
If you'd like to go straight to checkout, I'd recommend use Gumroad checkout process. You could in theory just have a single step in Typeform with Stripe checkout, but then you're using 2 tools instead of 1.
It all depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Plus there is a cost for Typeform. So keep that in mind when you are deciding on best checkout process to use. Gumroad is a great tool that is designed specifically for Makers and Creators. It has many features designed with you as the target user in mind.
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