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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Be on Fire OR Start small stay small approach

Hi everyone,

Months and years I'm wondering which of these is a better approach for starting a product/service:

1) The "Be on Fire" approach (from FakeGrimLock)
- grab an idea, implement it and see if it has success. If it doesn't then go to the next idea in your list.

2) The "Start small stay small" approach (from Rob Walling, but also mentioned by other authors like Bob Walsh)
- before doing an idea, investigate the demand (e.g. with a keyword tool), how strong is the competition and just after that start implementing it.

What do you think?
Richard Collins Send private email
Friday, November 28, 2014
I've never have any real success with doing business, so take this with a grain of salt.

To me 1) sounds more like a venture capitalist approach than a one man show approach. For how long you would find resources and motivation to jump from project to project?
ThistimeAnon Send private email
Friday, November 28, 2014
Both approaches have success stories and failure stories. Also, both are extremes, used to make a point, not realistic recipes.

IMHO, you should select the path that best suits you, your strengths, your time/financial status, your customers, your market, your competition, etc, etc.

TL-DR: There is no magic formula.
Scorpio Send private email
Friday, November 28, 2014
I have tried to steer a course between the 2: do a bit of market research and then get something out there to sell ASAP.

But I have only ever been able to find out from market research that something was a bad idea. Never that something was a good idea. I had no idea how successful my first 2 products would be when I launched them. I have no idea how successful my latest product ( http://www.hyperplan.com ) will be when I start to sell it. So perhaps people should talk about 'invalidation' rather than 'validation'.

Asking people 'would you buy this' is a waste of time (especially if you know them). The only real validation of a commercial product is sales. Signups to a mailing list are not sales.

But it is hard to sell software that doesn't exist. Especially when it is different to other stuff out there and you aren't really sure what the product will look like until you have developed it.

Services are different. I validated my mISV training course by getting people to pay deposits before I wrote the course.
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, November 28, 2014
What Andy said, but with an addition- the easiest business is to find what is already working well and copy it.

You don't have to copy it exactly, and it's better if you don't, but few markets are so saturated there's no room for anyone else.

As long as you follow the first part, which is finding something that is working well. By that I mean there is serious demand and companies are already making money at it.

Companies, not company. Don't try to beat an established giant like Google, just see if you can snuggle in among a crowd.

Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Before social media was such a thing, I cloned Friendster and launched a local social media site in my country. The first one that I knew of. I had to force my friends to use it, they were afreid of putting up their photo online, most of them sweared they'd never publicly what their friends, hobbies or what they were doing.

Fast forward a few months and Orkut launched, and they were all in. This taught me that if the idea is good, you'll have to shove it down people's throats and no amount of landing pages and market research would validate some ideas.

What if Facebook were paid, would it be a success? You have to dip the toe, believe in the product and make changes until you have a market fit.

Mind you,  I *knew* a social site was a good idea because it was validated in another country, and even then it was hard to execute locally.
Mauricio Macedo Send private email
Sunday, November 30, 2014
I like the lean startup approach, create an small prototype of an idea, it can be a new idea,  and test it on the market, if the customers like the project, start increasing the features based in the customer feedback. Minimun viable product, MVP if not wrong is the concept.
Javier Portilla "Javo" Send private email
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
If you can afford it - don't give up. Especially if you think idea is good and you are having fun working on it.
maxlmus Send private email
Sunday, December 07, 2014
I can echo on things said here:

1. I like the idea of "invalidation". I once had a idea that I thought was awesome and would save real estate companies a whole lot of time. I talked to a few and nobody wanted it.

Personally, I like to do something in between. Make a really simple proof-of-concept to show to people. If they want it, I say it will be available in 3 months and work my ass off to get it done in that time.

2. My most successful project is a physical item that is relatively popular. I just added the same funtionality into an app and voila. So copying does work.
Sandy Wilkins Send private email
Tuesday, December 09, 2014

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