Marc Köhlbrugge
PRO

@marc

39
Joined September 2017

Seriously though, whenever you feel like it’s getting out of control just start closing them.

If you think you might need the page later (you probably won’t) just bookmark it. I use “Reading List” in Safari which means I just need to hit a button and it’s saved. Then I can close the tab and always come back to it later.

Also keep in mind that you should be able to find the page again using history search.

If you’re concerned you might forget about the page, ask yourself if it’s truly important? Time is limited. You probably don’t have time to visit those 100 pages in the future. New tasks and tabs will crop up. If it’s important you will remember.

If you absolutely must, save the URL somewhere in your todo system and close the tab.

Don’t use browser tabs as a todo list. Unless you want to. In which case having 100 open tabs should be fine and not something to worry about.

Thanks Marc! I like your philosophy about this, this is very inspiring :-D

Do or read it now or never.

I did not know about Reading List. I will use it as I like to read articles later.

Close the tabs

Seriously though, whenever you feel like it’s getting out of control just start closing them.

If you think you might need the page later (you probably won’t) just bookmark it. I use “Reading List” in Safari which means I just need to hit a button and it’s saved. Then I can close the tab and always come back to it later.

Also keep in mind that you should be able to find the page again using history search.

If you’re concerned you might forget about the page, ask yourself if it’s truly important? Time is limited. You probably don’t have time to visit those 100 pages in the future. New tasks and tabs will crop up. If it’s important you will remember.

If you absolutely must, save the URL somewhere in your todo system and close the tab.

Don’t use browser tabs as a todo list. Unless you want to. In which case having 100 open tabs should be fine and not something to worry about.

Thanks Marc! I like your philosophy about this, this is very inspiring :-D

Do or read it now or never.

I did not know about Reading List. I will use it as I like to read articles later.

Second this!

It’s more of an awareness instead of an organizational problem.

When you feel overwhelmed with something (not only browser tabs), take a step back and question whether or not what you’re thinking is essential or valuable.

Most of the time it’s not.

That’s how I keep my tabs just enough.

Third this! 😄

I always open a bunch of tabs, the Cmd+T shortcut feels so natural. After a while, I just close them all when no longer needed. Nothing to worry about, and browser history is always there to "hold your back", if you ever need what you've browsed before.

I find it comfortable to close the tabs by using "Scroll wheel click" or "Cmd+W"

The process you describe sounds theoretically correct, although practically I skip most of these steps as a solo founder.

The goal in an early-stage product should be to get as many useful insights as possible. What the market wants, whether you can reach your customer, if you can technically build what you envision, etc.

This means that if you do your job right, you'll keep getting more information that will guide you forward. That means that whatever you plan quickly becomes outdated. You don't want to execute on old ideas that didn't take into account the new insights.

For that reason I find planning more than a few weeks in advance not that useful.

Additional, as a developer, I prefer to build an MVP as quickly as possible to see what resonates with the market. Rather than doing a ton of research which is time consuming and something I simply don't enjoy as much.

I expect that for companies with (larger) teams the steps you outline become a lot more important though. So I think it all comes down to who your target market is.

HI Sashank! Welcome to the community.

Regarding the marketing question, I can highly recommend the book "22 Immutable Laws of Marketing".

The title sounds super boring, at least to me, but I promise you once you start reading you can't put it down. It's a great introduction to marketing and hopefully gives an insight in what it is, and how it can be an enjoyable part of being a maker.

Thanks Marc, I'll give it a read.

Hi Gunjan, welcome to WIP!

Ap Maker Verse looks intriguing. @hailcaesar just joined the community as well and we're discussing this topic in his intro post: wip.co/posts/hi-i-m-marcus-wb…

Curious to get your thoughts on it as well.

Thanks, @marc, for pointing this out.

Let me explain the problem I am trying to solve (maybe you can confirm if the problem is real or not).

When you have a product idea, you must work on two aspects BEFORE the building of the product starts.

First, you need to be very sure of WHAT you are building i.e.
* what problems are you solving,
* is that problem worth solving,
* what do your users feel about that problem,
* come up with some suggestions for a solution,
* engage your users and get their feedback on the problems and solution
The priority here is to find a handful of users with the problem you plan to solve and then keep them involved during the product planning and building phases.

The second part is HOW you solve it. It involves
* Prioritizing the features
* Planning an MVP
* Figuring out how much and how long will the proposed solution take
* Creating a user flow of the recommended features
* Plan the screens and screen flow for each user type
* Creating the UX of your solution
* and so on.

The last part is building the product, which is easy if you take care of the first two parts of planning.

A solution that I have in mind addresses the first two parts of planning using a combination of

  • Technology: A system where users plan the features, collect feedback, create user flows, plan the screens, use a mood board for UI/UX inspirations, and so on.

  • Community: Where the (potential) users of their app can vote/discuss these features/screens/releases etc.

  • Marketplace: Where experts can be hired for specific tasks like creating UIs, Logos, Wireframes, and so on.

Right now, I am still in the exploration phase.

I am conducting a series of in-person meetups in my city, talking to all the startups and people with ideas and figuring out what is essential for them.

BTW, @hailcaesar best of luck. I will continue the discussion in your thread.

The process you describe sounds theoretically correct, although practically I skip most of these steps as a solo founder.

The goal in an early-stage product should be to get as many useful insights as possible. What the market wants, whether you can reach your customer, if you can technically build what you envision, etc.

This means that if you do your job right, you'll keep getting more information that will guide you forward. That means that whatever you plan quickly becomes outdated. You don't want to execute on old ideas that didn't take into account the new insights.

For that reason I find planning more than a few weeks in advance not that useful.

Additional, as a developer, I prefer to build an MVP as quickly as possible to see what resonates with the market. Rather than doing a ton of research which is time consuming and something I simply don't enjoy as much.

I expect that for companies with (larger) teams the steps you outline become a lot more important though. So I think it all comes down to who your target market is.

Hey Marcus, welcome to WIP!

We got a couple of Danish members ( @mikkelmalmberg comes to mind ), so perhaps they are able to help any Danish-specific feedback :)

Your GPT-3 / AI backgrounds seems very intriguing. I've been looking into programmatic SEO myself for startup.jobs utilizing GPT-3, although I'm not entirely sure what Google thinks of it. Do you see good results with it?

I have a bad habit of diving head-first into the shallow end of the pool […]

It's not as bad as it sounds I think. Many makers spend too much time planning and preparing. Scared to get their hands dirty. You don't seem to have that problem 👍

I think what you'll need is some way to focus all that work into something tangible. I recently started using a paper monthly calendar (nothing fancy, just the one that happened to be in my hotel room) to kind of plan out my weeks in broad strokes.

I found that quite helpful in two ways:

  1. During the planning phase it forces me to contemplate what I want to work on. Once you start planning your month, you realize there's only so many days in a week so you need to prioritize ruthlessly.

  2. During the week, when I'm doing the actual work, I'm free from having to think what to work on. I already decided. I also have a deadline ("I only have until thursday to complete this functionality, because friday I have another thing scheduled") so you're focused to reduce the scope into something shippable within that time frame.

I only just started doing this, but so far it really helped me channel all that shipping energy into something focused. Perhaps it's worth a try for you as well!

First of all, congratulations on shipping out so many ideas. The mere fact that you shipped it out and somebody is using it is inspiring.

I have many ideas that have never seen the light of day (One such dead project which is used by 7 people in the world is called the BetterToday.app)

The problem with makers like us is that it is easier for us to start building than actually figuring out whether the app that we are building is worth building or not. In the process, we discount our time and effort and lose the "Opportunity cost". This, in my opinion, is a real and tangible loss that should always be considered before starting any serious endeavor.

I really like your new idea of bots to assist with various tasks. The state of AI is such that you should be able to automate many tasks that needed Mechanical Turks in the past.

The fact that you already have a potential user is the best reason why you must focus on this idea and wow that user. The e-commerce market is also huge so there is great potential for you there.

For how to not get overwhelmed with tasks @marc has already shared some great ideas.
My three tips for that would be
* Make a list of tasks (Todos)
* Decide when and for how long you plan to work on each of those tasks (Time Boxing)
* At the scheduled time, work in chunks of 25 minutes followed by a short break (Pomodoro)
* Do not ignore your physical, mental, and social health in the process. They are of equal importance, if not more important than any idea or product you build.

Best of luck with your app. I would love to be of any help whenever you need it.

Do you see good results with it?

I haven't touched Terry for several months, but it keeps improving every week. The fact that I haven't really monetized it becomes more problematic as time goes on!

I think Google is at their wits end around this. They tried rolling out the Helpful Content update to address this, but it has had no impact mostly because AI-generated content can be very good. (And tbh valuable content is good no matter who wrote it).

People agonize about writing the perfect copy, while I "write" 10.000 blog posts in an afternoon, let them simmer for a bit and observe what content finds a footing.

The important part is to give GPT-3 context and facts to build off on; otherwise you risk it hallucinating all sorts of stuff.

ymmv and startup.jobs seems very polished, so don't rek your baby with garbage content because a random Dane is out of his mind

Perhaps it's worth a try for you as well!

Noted - Just ordered a paper calendar, let's see if this stone-age technology has any merits to it 😉

Haha. Living expenses in Thailand can vary greatly depending on what you want. Not sure what a minimum would be, but you shouldn't be too hard to figure out by checking Airbnb prices etc.

Keep in mind though depending on your passport you can only stay a limited time in Thailand.

How many months would you need to figure out if you can make a profitable business that provides sufficient income?

It really depends on how fast you ship. For example maybe on average it takes about 20 tries to find a product idea that works for you. So if you can ship really fast and try a new product once a week, then it would take 20 weeks. If it takes you a month to try a new idea, then it will take 20 months, etc.

Personally I'd probably want about 6 months to try a bunch of different ideas, find something that works, and then grow it to a point where it covers my living expenses.

@marc Maybe I'll come to Thailand and start shipping. :D

@marc by the way how much money do I need if I want to survive for 6mnth in Thailand?

Haha. Living expenses in Thailand can vary greatly depending on what you want. Not sure what a minimum would be, but you shouldn't be too hard to figure out by checking Airbnb prices etc.

Keep in mind though depending on your passport you can only stay a limited time in Thailand.

Great question. I have a couple of thoughts:

  1. How many months would you need to figure out if you can make a profitable business that provides sufficient income? How many months do you think it would take you to find a job again if the maker approach doesn’t work out? Add those two numbers together, and multiply that by your monthly living costs. That’s how much savings you’d need to give a good try.

  2. Work towards saving up that amount of money at a minimum. If you can lower your monthly living expenses you’ll get there quicker.

  3. Going full-time on your own project sounds wonderful and it is. But just because you now got 40+ hours a week available to spend on your product doesn’t mean those will all be productive. Often the few hours a week people spend on the side of their main job are relatively much higher impact. So you might be disappointed by what change going full time might have. It could also be the opposite. Some people are so exhausted working their main job, they have little energy left for their side project. My main point is this: you don’t really know what it will be like to go full time on your own project. So plan accordingly.

  4. Personally I wouldn’t leave a steady paycheck until I know my own project can cover all my living expenses with a decent margin. So I’d probably start searching for a different job where I have some free time for my own project + where I learn stuff I can apply to my own product. It sounds like your current job is not a good fit.

  5. I never had a regular job. And I’m grateful for the other opportunities I got. But I do sometimes feel I missed out on learning from others. And learning how businesses work from the inside. So that’s a perspective that might be useful for you. If you can find the right (temporary) job that should help you grow as a person/maker.

@marc the 4th point is on point. I think my current job is very different. When I compare it to what I'm trying to do. I think I have to find something related to web development.
Also, you are right, The things which I learned from the security field are good. And I want to make some products for that field. I want to find one job, where I can do dev. So I can start learning in the day job and apply the same on to my side projects.
If I want to go again full-time for a job. It hardly talks 2-3 months I guess

How many months would you need to figure out if you can make a profitable business that provides sufficient income?
For this point, I really don't know what will work. I have to do a hit and try.

Also, Thanks for your input.

How many months would you need to figure out if you can make a profitable business that provides sufficient income?

It really depends on how fast you ship. For example maybe on average it takes about 20 tries to find a product idea that works for you. So if you can ship really fast and try a new product once a week, then it would take 20 weeks. If it takes you a month to try a new idea, then it will take 20 months, etc.

Personally I'd probably want about 6 months to try a bunch of different ideas, find something that works, and then grow it to a point where it covers my living expenses.

@marc Maybe I'll come to Thailand and start shipping. :D

@marc by the way how much money do I need if I want to survive for 6mnth in Thailand?

Haha. Living expenses in Thailand can vary greatly depending on what you want. Not sure what a minimum would be, but you shouldn't be too hard to figure out by checking Airbnb prices etc.

Keep in mind though depending on your passport you can only stay a limited time in Thailand.