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My biggest mistake was to not ask for help early and being naive about my assumptions. I started dedicating a slot to talk to more people (investors, potential teammates, founders) so I don’t waste much time but still bring perspectives.
Also, reading “the Mom test” has been useful during those conversations.
I'd say my biggest mistake is not putting more hours into it. This is probably because I'm avoiding it. I'm probably avoiding it because the nature of what to do next is unclear to me. It's unclear to me because... I'm afraid of deciding, then getting the next action wrong and being criticized for it? I'm afraid of getting the next action wrong and being criticized because... The stakes are important and I must get it right or I'm bad or something?
Wasted months of design and dev work on an aspect of the product (Private Messaging) that had some user appeal but was a major distraction from the core. Once I realised this and started pruning, out of desperation to ship something I was able to finish v1.0. 18 months later have still not returned to the moth-balled stuff.
Not testing with customers before building
How will you test something with customer before building? You need to atleast have a MVP to show it to your users.
I used to think that way too, but I've learned over time it's not true. At least not for most products, hard tech may be different. For most things I've found you can test early using spreadsheets, blogs, a landing page, Facebook or your own labour to get a feel for what the customers really want. This has made a huge difference to how we test assumptions and stopped a lot of waste.
What are you building if you don't mind sharing?
I will love to connect with you on linkedin and will be interested to know more about your testing strategy.
The ld https://www.linkedin.com/in/rahulbansalrb/
I am building a quiz platform where teachers can host live quiz and students can answer them.
Sounds interesting. Have sent you a connection on LinkedIn
Hey can you message me on linkedin. I am unable to find you?
conflating our favorite thing to build with customer's favorite feature to use
Miscalculating the time it would take me to finish the project, I under calculated, now I realized the time I had earlier predicted was a joke
I have many as I have been at this since 2004. But latest mistake is bloating the team too quickly. I wrote about this https://www.skilledup.life/background-to-skilledup-life/. Now I restarted, there is only one team member, who is me.
Using the wrong platform for back and front end development. We began to use Python even though Java would have been a better language in which to code a website.
Previously: not knowing when to throw in the towel. I lost a year working on the wrong thing.
However, in that time I also learned a lot of lessons on how not to build a startup, and those lessons are serving me really well now.
Early launch without even having a single feature ready.
Doing public build and release now, with major release every 2 months
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