Status Week 2: Initial ideas and self-doubt

This is my first status check-in for launching a web app before the end of August that brings in over $1000 of revenue from subscriptions.

I’ll be using these weekly status reports let you know how things are going and to also help keep myself in check.

What was good

  • Discussed business problems for a few hours with interstate friends that run a small business. After thinking through our discussion, we met to further discuss possible solutions and refine my thinking.
  • My friends have a problem they genuinely need a solution for. A SaaS app would be a great fit.

What was not

  • Whilst compiling a list of local businesses in the industry, I came across some prospects that advertise a competitor on their website. I looked into them and they’re the SaaS app I wish I’d built, which immediately threw me off guard and into the world of soul-searching… hence my past post.

What’s the plan for this coming week

  • To have confidence that I’m got a solution that others will pay for, not just my friends, I need interview other prospects in the industry. My goal for this week is to do some customer development by contacting 10 prospects to confirm whether they have the same problem that needs my solution.
  • Create a landing page so I have something to share with the prospects if they’re interested. Come up with a plan to drive traffic to the landing page.
  • By next week, I want to have confirmation of this idea so I can put the doubts behind me and move full steam ahead with development.

 

It’s too late to launch a startup

For the past decade I’ve had lists of “web app ideas” floating through my head and entertaining what success and rewards they could bring,

I’ve been dreaming of the greater lifestyle flexibility that could result, which is far more attractive than continuing the 9 to 5 7 to 7 grind in the corporate world.

Jekyll and Hyde: Competing commitments

Like many of you, I enjoy my work in the corporate world. The camaraderie built whilst delivering what seem to be impossible projects somehow has a unique way of attracting me to the next impossible project with the same bunch of folks. Then the long hours, politics, red-tape and people issues slowly chip away and I’m reminded that I have this other side also—an attraction to be a solo-founder. For a decade it’s been calling and drawing me to itself with ideas, filling me with energy and excitement.

Unfortunately, an idea doesn’t make a business, and jumping ship before getting to launch day is the pattern I’ve fallen into with all of them. It’s a pattern I’m now very frustrated with. I’m sure I’m not alone in this experience.

What happens where I end up talking myself out of proceeding on these ideas?

On reflection, It’s the same old thing time and time again.  A new item for Rob to add to his list of Five Reason You Haven’t Launched. It’s the pesky little voice in my head telling me I can’t do it:

“It’s too late to launch a startup” “All the ideas are taken” “There are too many competitors” “Nobody will pay for this”

Once the voice starts, any and all evidence to support those suggestions somehow mysteriously bubble-up into existence, further driving nails into the coffin of launching. I also feel like a fraud. At that point, jumping ship actually seems pretty rational.

If not now, when?

I’ve let 10 years pass by listening to these excuses. Now’s the time to short-circuit that wiring and change course.

In 2024, I don’t want to be sitting here on the couch, sapped of energy after another hard slog at the office, thinking “look at all these folks that’ve started their own SaaS businesses since 2014. How did they do it? I thought it was too late!”

Today, if I’m not going to take an idea and see it through to completion, when will I?

Line in the sand

Two weeks ago, I set a 12 week goal:

Before end of August, I’ll have launched an online business generating at least $1000 of revenue a month from subscriptions.

I guess it’s my own version of Nathan Barry’s Web App Challenge.

Open to the public

I’ve avoided blogging about anything in the past on the basis of not wanting to “put myself out there”. Why share my challenges and successes on the public web for all to see and archiving in the vaults of the Way Back Machine?

It’s time for accountability. I’ll be taking elements of what works so successfully for my teams in the corporate world and hacking them down to use them on myself.

This blog will be my weekly “project drumbeat”. I be covering status of the project, what happened the prior week, and what the objective is for the week ahead. This is my way to “turn up the heat”, increase the urgency for me to take action and mechanism to make sure my intentions are crystal clear to keep pushing on.

My first update will be this Sunday, marking the end of Week 2.