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10 questions for shipping a project that matters
First, we start with "Who is it for?"
1 - Who is it for?
Who are the people you seek to serve? What are their traits? What do they have in common? Target a specific one because you have limited time and limited resources. Build something valuable for them quickly. Once you get that product-market fit, then you can consider expanding.
2 - What is it for?
What is the problem these people have? How do you know if that’s a real problem? Articulate the problem with honesty. Don’t jump to the solution and get too excited about it. Your product must solve problems, so understand this well before playing with your solution.
3 - What is their workflow?
How do they operate? What’s their day look like? If you don’t know, how can you design a solution that fits them? Finding out how people solve the problem you’re trying to solve is critical. Otherwise, you can build something better than the status quo.
4 - How severe is this problem?
Is it a vitamin problem or a painkiller problem? You don’t want to waste your time—months building something to solve a “vitamin” problem. It’s not worth it.
5 - Is this align with our strategy and mission?
What’s our focus now as an organization or as an individual? There are too many problems we can solve. It’s best to find the one that aligns with your strategic direction. To do that, be clear about your mission and strategy first.
6 - How do we monetize this?
Sometimes, you don’t have to know the answer to this question. But it’s important to keep asking this question. Ultimately, if we want to make an impact, we must sustain our business to continue pursuing our mission.
7 - What are our riskiest assumptions?
List them down. Is it valuable? Do people want it? Do people willing to pay? How much should they pay? Once you list the risks, pick one and find enough signals and data to validate your assumption.
8 - When will this ship?
After calculating all the required effort to develop this, put a date. Commit on this date. Push yourself as much as you can. Take a break when necessary. But put a deadline to avoid procrastination.
9 - Why now?
Why not next month? Why not next year? Is today the best time? Consider the trend, market, and economic condition.
10 - Is it worth it?
This is a good question to ask from time to time. As you gain new information and insights, think whether this is worth the effort. Avoid the sunk cost, just drop it if you don’t see it’s worth it. Successful product crafters are always critical in asking if their effort is worth it.
It’s Budi. In the past two months, I have been bootstrapping Crafters. Crafters is an online course for people who want to learn about products and design. After finishing the course, people will be part of the community. We have 35 members now :) I like bootstrapping because I can deliver value to the people I seek to serve in my own unique way, and I’m profitable from day one without any worry from investors.
In 2024, I plan to bootstrap other projects—build some digital products. I might look for a technical founder who wants to pursue things with me. If you’re looking for an entrepreneurship journey, please reach out.