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Your Own Definition of Success

C96ed27286a51ae9d0951066c1d75579?s=47 Rachel Andrew
September 18, 2014

Your Own Definition of Success

A talk for Milton Keynes Geek Night.

My book The Profitable Side Project Handbook expands on many of the themes in this presentation.

C96ed27286a51ae9d0951066c1d75579?s=128

Rachel Andrew

September 18, 2014
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Transcript

  1. Your own definition of success Choosing a profitable side project

    idea Rachel Andrew, MKGN #10 Thursday, 18 September 14
  2. I’m Rachel Andrew • Web developer: Perl → Classic ASP

    →Java → PHP • Writer of books, articles and angry blog posts • Likes cats, running, obscure CSS, Linux, cheese • Founder of edgeofmyseat.com in 2001 • Talk to me on Twitter @rachelandrew • Read my stuff at http://rachelandrew.co.uk Thursday, 18 September 14
  3. grabaperch.com Thursday, 18 September 14

  4. The Bootstrapped Startup Thursday, 18 September 14

  5. Bootstrapped businesses have to make money to support the ongoing

    development of the business. Thursday, 18 September 14
  6. Being Bootstrapped means ... • No investors • In it

    for the long-term • No exit plan • Making a thing and charging money for it • Decisions made between the business owners and the customers Thursday, 18 September 14
  7. This is just business. Thursday, 18 September 14

  8. discuss.bootstrapped.fm Thursday, 18 September 14

  9. bootstrappers.io Thursday, 18 September 14

  10. buybootstrapped.org Thursday, 18 September 14

  11. G.K. Chesterton “I owe my success to having listened respectfully

    to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” Thursday, 18 September 14
  12. Funded Startups • Need a “big idea” • Focus on

    high growth • Need to get “traction” quickly • Have an eye on the exit - if the founders don’t, the investors will • Success is another funding round or a profitable exit in all but a very few cases. Thursday, 18 September 14
  13. What would success look like for your product? Thursday, 18

    September 14
  14. Success? • Your side project funds itself - isn’t a

    drain on the rest of your life/business finances • Your side project makes enough to be able to have one day a week dedicated to it • Your side project drives customers to your main business Thursday, 18 September 14
  15. Niche business ideas - of no interest to funded business.

    Perfect for the bootstrapper. Thursday, 18 September 14
  16. A product for your own community. Thursday, 18 September 14

  17. Solve your problems or the problems of the groups that

    you are part of. Thursday, 18 September 14
  18. Amy Hoy “Are you a Ruby developer? Then serve Ruby

    developers. Are you a UX designer? Serve UX designers.” Thursday, 18 September 14
  19. We were web developers working for design agencies. We launched

    a product for web design agencies. Thursday, 18 September 14
  20. Looking to your own community means less time spent on

    market research and “validation”. Thursday, 18 September 14
  21. With a track record in a community you will already

    have trust. Thursday, 18 September 14
  22. A Product you can ship quickly Thursday, 18 September 14

  23. John Radoff “The goal of a startup is to find

    the sweet-spot where minimum product and viable product meet – get people to fall in love with you.” Thursday, 18 September 14
  24. To launch with a small product, you need to find

    a problem that can be solved with a small product. Thursday, 18 September 14
  25. Jason Fried, 37signals “The longer it takes to develop, the

    less likely it is to launch.” Thursday, 18 September 14
  26. Perch v.1 • A simple content editor • No way

    to add new pages • No API • Images could be uploaded - but not resized Thursday, 18 September 14
  27. Launch small. Solve a problem. Sell what the product does

    now. Thursday, 18 September 14
  28. A Product that solves a problem people will pay to

    have solved. Thursday, 18 September 14
  29. Who will pay for this? Why will they pay for

    this? Thursday, 18 September 14
  30. If you can save a business time they will see

    the value in paying for your product. Thursday, 18 September 14
  31. Bootstrapped With Kids, Episode 31 “We think their workflow sucks,

    but they like it…” Thursday, 18 September 14
  32. Our target market for Perch was designers and agencies. We

    aimed to save them time on smaller projects. Thursday, 18 September 14
  33. Feedback from paying customers trumps feedback from free users. Every

    time. Thursday, 18 September 14
  34. A Product that does not need a lot of users

    to become useful. Thursday, 18 September 14
  35. “Social” or “community” products need a large user base to

    succeed. Thursday, 18 September 14
  36. Choose a product that is as useful to customer #1

    as customer #1000 Thursday, 18 September 14
  37. Perch ... • Scratched our own itch • Self-hosted and

    useful to each individual customer • Requires very little infrastructure • Would have been useful to our business even if no-one else had bought it Thursday, 18 September 14
  38. A Product with competition. Thursday, 18 September 14

  39. Perch competitors at launch • WordPress • ExpressionEngine • CushyCMS

    • PageLime • Joomla • Drupal Thursday, 18 September 14
  40. What problem is your competition NOT solving? Build the solution.

    Thursday, 18 September 14
  41. Revenue that would be small change to a 60 person

    business could be life- changing to a solo founder. Thursday, 18 September 14
  42. Joel Spolsky “Listen to your customers not your competitors.” Thursday,

    18 September 14
  43. Regis McKenna "The more alike two products are, the more

    important their differences become." Thursday, 18 September 14
  44. Concentrating on the needs of your ideal customer gives you

    focus. Thursday, 18 September 14
  45. Focus on how your product can help your customers solve

    problems. Thursday, 18 September 14
  46. Go build things. Thursday, 18 September 14

  47. Thank you Rachel Andrew @rachelandrew http://rachelandrew.co.uk Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/drewm http://freekvanarkel.nl

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/futureshape/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/22746515@N02/ Thursday, 18 September 14