What I’ve learned in the last 3 years of trying to start/survive new businesses, as a solo founder:
Old rules: Make, then sell, then grow.
New rules: Grow, then sell, then make.
By creating useful content, building something publicly, or just being helpful to your community.
Use newsletters, social media, video channels, podcasts, live channels.
Talk to them regularly. Give. Then ask.
Based on a recurring, painful, problem. Or just something that your audience would really enjoy having access to.
Use landing pages, mockups, prototypes.
Take money up front to validate the need and “market” size.
Make it in the open: this gets early feedback, & continues to build audience.
Use NoCode tools if you can’t code. Use off-the-shelf components for real-world products.
Use what you know. Avoid learning completely new skills just to create it.
People who play in the new rules are good at all 3. And they usually run solo.
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I'm always looking to learn and share on development and solo startups. Connect with me on Twitter: @farez.