5 Startup Lessons from LancerProfile's 10 User Milestone
Reading time: 3 minutes
The main lesson learned is this - dive head first into the market. You need feedback from real customers ASAP because without that, you're probably heading in the wrong direction.
My website generator, LancerProfile, now has 10 users according to my admin dashboard. The 1 premium signup was me testing if it worked.
The main lesson learned is this - dive head first into the market.
You need feedback from real customers ASAP because without that, you're probably heading in the wrong direction.
You want to get your course aligned on a path towards prosperity, not off a cliff!
This is a very common theme and lesson for people building startups, one that I had reasons to ignore but still should have followed.
In this post I'll talk about the main lessons I learned since starting to work on this project in January 2021 (I had the idea for a year).
Building a product for yourself is easy. Building one for the market is hard.
The market will determine your fate, not your imagination. Building something in the dark is easy to do.
And that's what I did, I built in the dark, adding features and redesigns for 4 months.
And when it came time to have to show it to the world, I felt fear. Fear of rejection. I worked so hard on building this great tool, what if the world rejects it? That was something I had to find out.
You have to open your eyes to the truth the market tells you. You either have something of value or you don't.
Of course you can pivot, but getting the real world feedback to know you have to pivot requires you to put yourself and your product out there to be judged.
Building a business is hard and takes long.
Or I should say, was hard.
Now it's engaging. I'm enjoying everyday of this project.
At the start in January to March 2021, it was very difficult mentally, and I quit a few times. I never quit for long though.
Then in April I turned a corner. I was upset about how inefficient my progress and methods were.
So I "quit" due to frustration for weeks at times. I was frustrated at how hard it was to make tiny bits of progress on building features.
Then I realized if I continued to work on the project during those weeks inefficiently, rather than doing nothing, I would have made great progress.
So after that realization I continued working on my project however I wanted without judgement because slow progress is better than no progress.
I also accept the reality that I probably won't see success for months or years into the future so I'm focusing on being productive rather than measuring how much success I'm seeing.
The frustration was from messy code architecture from prototyping in the main app
Looking back, messy code and project file structure was what was causing the most frustration.
I was building and changing features rapidly and before I knew it, my project was a massive mess. Making any change was like wadding through a swamp. It took so much effort to make a tiny bit of progress.
I solved this over time, taking some moments to delete files and code and reorganize stuff. I also had to learn my own project architecture and how things worked.
It was a learning curve but now I'm over the hump and progress can be made pretty well.
It could have been avoided by prototyping with Figma.
I could have avoided that frustration by prototyping my app in Figma or another tool.
But, like the point earlier, slow progress is better than no progress.
But with future projects, I probably will spend the upfront effort building the UI with Figma and getting user feedback before running
yarn init -y.
Marketing is just content and distribution.
On day 2 of "marketing mode" I had a realization.
Marketing is just creating content about your product/industry and distributing it.
So that's my new simple marketing strategy.
I'm going to create content about my product/industry, and I am going to distribute it. And I am going to do it often!