3 months ago

Launching new products every 72 hours

I have a big problem with finishing products. I get tons of ideas everyday but finishing the actual product is my biggest problem.

I got inspired by Pieter Levels who launched 12 Startups in 12 Months, well technically he launched 8 Startups but one eventually took off.

My goal is to actually finish products, no matter how small or big they are, and launch them on Product Hunt. So I will be launching a new product from scratch every 72 hours.

Ideophobia

Ideophobia is the morbid fear of new ideas or thoughts. Living in a comfort zone can result to cause of fear of ideas. In startup world, for example, seeing the fall of a startup due to following a new strategy could be the trigger of this phobia. This can permanently put off the person from implementing any new ideas.

Now I don't have Ideophobia but I do have a phobia for actually finishing & launching products. I have always put off launches because I find myself asking these questions ―

― Will my product be successful?

― Will I get criticised by a lot of people for my product?

― Will people pay me any money for my product?

This is what stopped me from shipping any real product from start to finish.

Motivation

There is also one other problem that I really have after starting to work on an idea & that is Motivation.

I lose motivation on the project I tend to be working on because I get some weird error & can't figure it out.

I tend to search on Google, Stack Overflow & ask in different kinds of community forums explaining my problem very well but still that one error stops me from making any progress.

Then I lose motivation on that project & start working on something else from scratch & the cycle continues.

Perfectionism

I have the problem of being a perfectionist. I can't live with a bug in my website or app.

I always tend to make that 1 pixel look perfect & making websites & apps bug free. Even if nobody is using my website or my app, I will still try to make it perfect.

And that's my another problem.

The Past Year

Last year, I graduated & became Computer Engineer on 1st June 2017. After that, I got lots of job offers from around the world.

But I wanted to do something different, something daring. So I rejected every single offer without listening to the people trying to reach me out. I know that's dumb & stupid.

But, I figured if I work on a job, I'll get too comfortable with the easy cash & lifestyle plus all the monetary benefits & I won't be able to go back to build my startup.

So I started learning React Native to build a mobile app because I read an article how one guy, Ankit Srivastava from my country, India, made lots of money by making a Music Player App. Like he made around ₹ 45 lakhs (approx. $ 65k) in 6 months from launch.

I thought I could do the same by launching many different products so I would be making a lot of money by creating a similar app (mistake #1). I was offered various jobs, few were high paying jobs but I never took them.

I thought I can make a lot of money by not working for someone else & by doing my own thing.

So I was fast enough to make something because I had the motivation to earn money as fast as possible. I then launched Weekly Plans for Android. It wasn't as simple to make as it looked like but I did make it & I had to make it twice since my Computer got corrupted. I placed some ads on it but it never really made anything. Then I launched Futuro SMS again using React Native. Again, I put some In App Purchases which I never tested myself to make some money but it again failed.

I learnt everything about Marketing then. I read various guides on "How To Market". Suddenly, I had an idea for an exciting startup that will help sell React Native Templates & it is a great idea as some people have successfully implemented that & others are also making a lot of money from it. This was when I found Work In Progress & I made a Todo to complete it which you can check in my Pending Todos. Its been 9 months since I had that idea but I didn't finish it. I, however, finished 3 apps which I again never released (mistake #2).

Then my sister's wedding was around so my whole time was invested in that even though my mind was on my startup. As I am a huge movie/series fan, I started watching every possible thing on TV from The Walking Dead (which I completed in a very short time), The Catch, How To Get Away With Murder, Game Of Thrones, Silicon Valley, etc... (mistake #3)

The list is so long that even if I start, this blog will be too long. Then I told my best friend who was constantly asking me when am I going to start making money. I promised my best friend to do it in Dec, then Jan, then Feb, then till my birthday in April, then May, then Jun & now its July. From the day I graduated till exactly a year later, I made exactly $40 which is a hell of a lot less.

I get job/freelancing offers all the time but I tell them soon I will be launching my very own startup. This never happened.

“A turn here, a turn there, and it goes on for years. Becomes something else.” ― Ray Velcoro

My main problem was I wanted to launch something too big, that's why it got so overwhelming. That's why they say Start Small. Well, now I know.

Small victories often add up. Its essential to have small victories at first.

“Sometimes, it's the small victories that keep a person going.” ― Liz Czukas

The Present Year

I publicly committed to shipping a new product from scratch every 72 hours.

This gave me a sense of fear & excitement to launch something. And finally I am ready to ship a product.

So what are the rules?

Credits - The format below is taken from Rami Ismail's A Game A Week

1. Make a product every 72 hours

Currently, I go for a run & hit the gym every morning at 5:30 am & I come back at 8:30 am. I sleep for 4 to 6 hours. Other activities like eating food, etc.. take 2 to 3 hours. So I have 12 hours left out. I will ship each day as much as I can & will release a new product at the end of the week. All my time is calculated using the amazing WakaTime.

Just like I started working out a month ago. It became a habit. Now I go for a run & workout everyday. This has helped me immensely & I can already see the results.

So shipping new products or new features everyday will get me over the fear of failure. After a month, I shall start seeing the results.

2. Release a product every 72 hours

No matter if the product is incomplete or buggy, I will release it as it is. It shouldn't have tons of features. It can have only one feature but that feature must provide some kind of value. That's why releasing it is the most important step no matter the stability of the project.

I will be releasing a Minimal Usable Product (MUP). MUP means I will be creating a product with the most minimal features so that the user using the product gets value from it. Another term for MUP is MVP (Minimal Viable Product). This way I don't waste too much time waiting if the idea doesn't take off.

Sometimes it might take longer than 72 hours & sometimes it might take shorter than 72 hours depending on the scope of the project. But the most important thing I will be doing is shipping consistently, day in & day out. No more consuming. No more reading. Only shipping.

Having said that I will try my best to make a complete product in less than 72 hours. If you are in the same boat as me & want to create a product, then just SHIP IT 🚀

3. Stop worrying about programming language

It doesn't matter what the tech stack behind the product is or what programming language is used. This will make me lose momentum & make me trapped in the loophole of learning & mastering the programming language rather than making the product itself.

So I will be using JavaScript because that's what I'm most familiar with & I can make things quickly in JavaScript than any other programming language.

4. Avoid making similar products

This is a difficult one as we talked about IdeoPhobia above. Once you have a product idea which you are in love with, then you keep having similar ideas. But this is also a challenging task. So no 2 similar products will be launched one after the other.

This will force me to try to think about something new & innovative rather than making todo apps all the time. The products within weeks of each other will be completely different from each other.

5. Public Accountability

The most important one is accountability. I am doing this in public is because I am too comfortable with my life. I don't feel any pressure & it has been this way for years. Heck I even used to start studying 6 hours before my final exams during engineering without knowing anything about the subject. So by having lots of eyes on me might give me some pressure & will eventually help me ship products.

That's the whole reason behind public commitment as I don't want to let down the people believing in me.

I will use WIP Chat to log all my todos. I will tweet about the process on my Twitter account.

I will also write a blog after I launch the product on my personal website about the things I learned, what could've gone better & what I would've done the same way.

6. Tweet with hashtag #72hoursproduct

I will tweet about my product with the hashtag #72hoursproduct on Twitter. I encourage you to join me in this journey & together we will ship new products every 72 hours.

And I hope I fucking do it. I really, really hope I do it.

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