Personal Questions to Consider When Focusing On Products

In This Episode...

  • First, an update on some of the progress I have made since episode 3.
  • Then, I look at some of the personal questions that self-funded bootstrappers like you and I might like to consider when deciding to focus on products in our business.

Dan's Product Journey Update

You might recall in the last episode I was feeling like I wanted to be doing more with my product.

This week in my product journey, I'm feeling EXCELLENT! I have made, what I feel is some very good progress.

Following Last Episode, I Had Planned To...

  • Set up a development workspace with a set of necessary tools and frameworks so that I could get started on my product.

  • Revisit that attempt at understanding my early pre-product marketing options.

How Did I Go?

On Setting Up My Development Workspace

  • I give that a 10 out of 10.
  • I feel I achieved everything that I had hoped for at this point.

In case you're wondering what I mean when I say development workspace...

You can think about it like this. Whenever you are creating a new product, whether it's physical or virtual, you're going to be working on it using in an environment that suits you, using whatever tools make sense for what it is you're building.

For Example - Creating a Cookbook

If the product you are creating is a cookbook, then your development workspace might include things like:

  • a notebook, so that you can sketch out your recipe ideas;
  • a kitchen, so that you can actually try out your recipes and refine them;
  • photography equipment, so you can capture mouth-watering images of your masterpieces;
  • a computer with word processing software, so you can draft the manuscript for your book; and
  • tools for creating the final proof copy of your book, ready to send off to the printer.
Another Example - Designer Facemasks

Let's say that your product is going to be designer face masks for people that want to feel a bit stylish while protecting themselves and those around them from spreading viruses. The development workspace in that scenario might include:

  • a sketchbook or software to help draw up designs for face masks;
  • a room with large table space and tools to cut out material;
  • one or many sewing machines and associated tools to stitch the parts of each face mask together;
My Development Workspace

In episode 3, when I mentioned I am venturing down the path of my product involving software.

In this case, a workspace for me, involves everything necessary to, you guessed it, design and build software.

In the business of software, a workspace is known as your development environment. It is one of the core elements that all software developers establish early on.

My initial development workspace includes the following:

  • decisions on technologies and approaches that define the architecture of the software;
  • a PC with a fairly decent set software development tools;
  • a place to store the source code for the software; this is what's known as a code repository;
  • a location and framework for taking notes and writing useful documentation about the product as it is being developed; and
  • a basic set of starting or boilerplate-code to put the development environment through its paces.

Like I said up front, I've had some very good progress on this. I was able to set up everything I had hoped to. I'm now able to get started on the product itself. Yay! ⚡

On Getting Started With The Marketing Options

  • I believe I've made a decent start in this area.

The plan was that I would grab hold of a book that provides some guidance on early-stage marketing for technical founders.

I picked up a copy of Start Marketing the Day You Start Coding by Rob Walling. Although I've just started reading it, Rob has so far been doing a great job in the book at reinforcing some thoughts for me, such as the following:

  • Don't overestimate the potential market size and the proportion that I would be able to capture.
  • Get to know who will buy the product and what their buying decisions might involve.
  • Focus on good quality marketing connections with folks, rather than going for quantities of traffic.
  • Get started with marketing early to validate my ideas.
  • Set up a basic marketing funnel with an initial goal of gradually building up a list of people that might be interested in the product down the line.

And that's the progress so far.

What's the Plan For the Next Block of Work?

Between this episode and next, this is my plan:

  • Continue with building up ideas and knowledge for early marketing efforts. Basically, I'm going to keep working through the book - Start Marketing the Day You Start Coding.
  • Get into maker-mode for a decent chunk of time. That is, focus a good amount of my available free time on building some initial parts of my product. It's been a few years since I've done any decent coding and so I'm a bit rusty. I'm conscious that I am a bit slower than I would like to be. Getting back into it will, hopefully, help trigger my software development muscle-memory.

Well, that's it for the update

Next up, it's time for a discussion on the main topic of this episode...

Personal Questions to Consider When Focusing On Products

The remainder of this episode refers to the notes published in this article.

Resources Mentioned in the Topic

Supporter Shout Outs

Thanks this week goes to my friend Zoe Heard. Zoe is the founder of Get Heard, a professional copyrighting and proofreading service, and so she knows a thing or two about words.

Zoe gave me some good feedback and ideas about Speaking of Products which I'm planning on incorporating.

Thanks Zoe! 🙏

Join in With the Show

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  • I also welcome short snippets about your own product journey which we might go through on the show.
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