Cindy's Newsletter #13 - Code first, or validate first?
Or me re-reading books I should have acted on a decade ago.
I’ve been re-reading a few books from my bookshelf lately. Since I’m working on a SaaS and he has a new book coming out, I pulled out Rob Walling book, “Start Small, Stay Small”.
For a book written in 2010, it’s still pretty accurate. Sure, some tools and the examples are certainly dated, but the main message is still true.
My main takeway is to start only with a landing page and point paid ads to it to validate if people would “smash that buy button” (or sign up for a waiting list once they realize that the app is not done). That hit home pretty hard just before I was about to get started coding seriously.
If I’m not able to reach a single customer targeting places where they hang out with a decent budget, I don’t think it’s going to fix itself just because I spent more time coding.
When I originally read the book as an employee, I was hesitant to spend that kind of money for a side project. Now that I work for myself, 200$-500$ to validate if an idea has legs seems like a great deal over spending 50-100 hours coding something in the void instead of billing a client for that time.
Before re-reading Rob’s book I was about to start seriously coding features, having done the work I wanted to complete on the tech stack. I did sign up for Etsy’s API; my request was pending for a while and then vanished from the dashboard. Was it rejected? A bug?
I’ll be reaching out to them just in case, but it’s not filling me with confidence about spending a lot of time building software that leverage their API…
Feeling of the week
Still feeling smug about that decently big bit of golang I wrote that compiled and worked the first time around.
Ways I can help you
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