Hey friends 👋
It’s been a long time since I have written something here, but I don’t want to write articles for the sake of “keeping the blog alive”, screw that 🔩!
Well, I finally have a story to tell. After 👽 Postwoman, I'm finally working on a new project since last month. It went from a simple "I have a great idea for an app 🤦" to "a way to solve a problem, not just build an idea 💁".
It'll take me few more steps to make the MVP web app to a full-fledged platform for creators and consumers. I would say that it’s been a very exciting month, but actually, it’s been a bumpy ride for 5.5 years. I made a lot of mistakes and I learned a lot of lessons, so I'll be sharing the entire story with you.
Think about the products you use every day and the underlying problems they solve.
Want an easy way to get around town? The problem Uber is solving is your need for access to an on-demand car. Uber happens to be the most efficient way to obtain the on-demand car you’re looking for; it is the best app on the market to reduce the friction between your problem and a viable solution.
Often times entrepreneurs start out by defining a product before they have identified an actual problem, and yes — I’ve been guilty of it too. When this happens you’ll easily start to build a product, find a way to market to it, design an attractive website, only to then discover you can’t acquire users.
Instead of identifying a solution first, the initial step is to identify the problem. The key here is to be very specific about the problem you are identifying.
For example, let’s say the problem you’ve identified is: “I cannot find a fun bar to go to at night in my city.” Start digging into deeper specifics of the problem.
- Once you’ve identified the problem, the next step is to ideate possible solutions, and they don’t have to necessarily be technical solutions.
- Then, from those proposed solutions, create prototypes and begin to test each one.
- Continue testing and refining the prototypes until you have enough validation to move full-steam ahead with the one that is working.
Narrowing down your prototypical solutions through trial and error is incredibly important before advancing forward with your idea.
So before you hatch an idea, first hatch a problem. Define the specific problem that you are attempting to solve and not the idea that you want to build and test — if you don’t, you’ll end up with a really nice solution and no one to use it.
I never thought I would be writing again but when I look at my dashboard I see there's 9,820 followers. Are you kidding me? Wow you guys..! I don’t even know what to do with a viral Dev account. I have nothing to promote and even if I did, I wouldn’t do it on here. My heart is filled to bursting with all your response to my words, I’m just a dude with a phone and a little spare time.
🎁 Bonus: when I hit 10,000 followers, I'll be hosting a live AMA on Dev 🎉
If you want a heads up on my next projects, or just want to chat about the web, life and happiness make sure to follow me @liyasthomas on Twitter 💙. If any of my projects helped you please consider making a donation.
IMPORTANT: I always suck at naming my projects - especially when I develop that by myself. Coming up with a strong name is a critical element of any new product, so help me out here. My new project revolves around a service that takes a payment from one money service (PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay, Cash app, etc.) and then transfers it to a different money service. Keywords are: pay, cash etc. Here's the initial app icon: