How I found and validated good product ideas quickly
Avoid wasting time and maximize the success of your product bets.
In 2019 I started building a product completely in the dark, on the side of my full-time job. I worked on it for 2 years and never had paying customers.
In 2022 I launched two Twitter-related SaaS products, I got them to €4k MRR, and sold them in 2023.
What happened in between the two periods?
I discovered ways to find product ideas and validate them very quickly.
Let's dive into it.
Find better product ideas
You need to find product ideas that will work for you.
Usually, you are in this situation. You are a solo founder (or a team of two), you don’t have a huge amount of money to invest, and you probably don’t have a huge audience on social media.
This is my advice, you need to know the domain of the problem you want to solve, and you are part of a community that might face the same issue.
For example, you are an accountant, and you know how painful it is in terms of time (and therefore money) to make XYZ, and you know other accountants.
This allows you to quickly get feedback, and you’ll get the first paying customers in the community.
Second of all, try to find problems related to a business sphere. It is much easier to take money from businesses, rather than consumers.
Businesses have money to spend, and if you solve a critical issue (save time and money), they would pay you, full stop.
A couple of personal examples.
When I launched Hivoe.com I wanted to automate part of the engagement with my audience on Twitter. Solution -> auto DM welcome message (€3k MRR in 12 months).
When I thought of Inboxs.io I wanted to have a better Twitter DM inbox experience, because the native one was (and still is) terrible. Solution -> a better Twitter DM inbox for professionals (€1k MRR in 5 months).
These are the principles that you can apply to avoid wasting time on vitamin products and instead work on painkiller products (products that solve issues, rather than making people just a little bit stronger, like vitamins).
But one real truth is that you never know in advance what would work in the market until you try it.
Validate your product idea quickly
There are 3 lean approaches to product idea validation.
Make a landing page, describe the problem solved, and the features, and finally collect the email addresses of the people interested.
Post the product idea on Twitter / X, Reddit, and LinkedIn, and see how many emails you can collect.
Again, make a landing page describing the problem solved and how you'd solve it with your product.
Even if your product is not ready, propose a lifetime deal to get access to your product forever, for an affordable price (i.e. $69 or even more). Payments are the strongest validation possible, if you get people interested that pay for it, that's a pretty strong validation!
I pre-launched Inboxs and Userdesk. With the latest, I was able to sell 20 lifetime deals in 24 hours with just one tweet, worth $2,000 in revenues! That's a great way to start a business.
3. Launch the product
It's more risky because you develop the product (a minimal version of it), but if you are confident enough and you can ship quickly, you can follow this path.
I know some indie hackers who did the 12 by 12 challenge, launching 12 products in 12 months. They eventually found a product that stuck and made it a multi-million-dollar business.
How to get started
My proposition for 2024 is to ship more products and validate them quickly.
To do that, I built a boilerplate that contains everything I need to ship a new product in hours.
It is the sum of all the product-related problems I've solved by launching 5 products in the last 3 years: landing page, waitlist, lifetime deals, authentication, payments, subscriptions, emails, SEO, UI kit, and mobile responsiveness, just to mention a few of them.
The value is so big, that I thought you could benefit from it as well.
Only for the readers of this newsletter (no one knows about this already, no kidding), I present you Shipped, the boilerplate to launch your product in days, rather than weeks with a huge $100 discount, valid for the first 50 seats.
If you are a solopreneur like me, and maybe you have a full-time job that keeps you busy, this is the best way to ship your product quickly.
I've reached the milestone of $1k MRR with Userdesk, the AI Assistants platform for businesses. I'm very excited about it, and it's time to double down on it (also in terms of marketing).
I'll keep you updated on the next issues.
Finally, I decided to make this newsletter weekly, so expect a new issue next Sunday.
Please, if you want me to cover any other topics, let me know by replying to this email or DM me on Twitter / X.
Happy product shipping!