So week 3: it was kind of all over the shop. This was supposed to be the week that I launched TodoBot. But that didn’t happen - so what did I do instead?
Learning about marketing (but not doing any)
I started learning about marketing. I read most of Marketing for Developers by Justin Jackson. The book is perfectly targeted towards people like me, and I loved it.
One highlight was this bit on choosing what product to build.
”Does this pain need morphine, aspirin, or a vitamin?”
As a founder, you are trying to solve a customer’s problem, and an important factor is how much pain the problem is causing them. TodoBot is definitely towards the vitamin/aspirin end.
Following the advice of this book, I signed up for a bunch of marketing tools (Fathom, Segment, Mailchimp), and started integrating them with TodoBot. You’ll see a beautful newsletter signup form at the bottom of this post 👇.
The next thing
I did do more research into future product ideas, and I now have a spreadsheet with a growing list. Some highlights:
- I have a generative art AI idea that I think is pretty compelling. I think it’s kind of on the cusp of what’s possible with current technology (ie it’s not quite possible). I’m hoping to start work on it within the next 6 months (when the state of the art will doubtless have moved on quite a bit).
- I also have a (less ambitious) idea that I think I’m going to start work on next month. More on that next week.
So why didn’t I “launch” the product? I guess my sense throughout the week was that it wasn’t really ready yet, so I spent more time improving it.
I think building an app like this actually has quite a high bar of polish. A todo list is such a generic product, that it kind of needs to do something slightly different for anyone to give it more than a seconds glance. I guess at the start of the month I thought that this might be a product that people could end up paying for, and I’ve grown pretty confident that’s not the case.
My plan is to keep it free to use, use it myself, and keep making small tweaks over the next year. Who knows, maybe at some point I’ll feel it’s ready to push a bit more. Overall I think it’s been a good first product, it’s given me the opportunity to learn some new technologies, and highlighted how I need to approach product development differently. Next week’s blog will include a bit more of a deep-dive on lessons learnt from Month One.
See you next week!