I'm not 100% qualified to answer this, since, I do have kids, but my full-time job is my side-project. I have managed to save enough cash and saved it in bitcoin at the right times, so I can do without a paycheck for a long time.
At the same time, I have an almost-2-year-old toddler, no family to help, and a very busy wife who runs her own business. So on any given week my child, Alana, will take about a full-time job worth of time and, specially, energy.
Since COVID started I have dedicated all my non-parenting time to my project #perspectiva which, even though it hasn't officially launched yet, it's doing quite well and has many paying customers.
With that background, I hope the few tidbits I can provide are of some help:
The basis of my framework is: my time with my daughter is precious. My time with my wife is a delicacy, and my reading time is insanely prized. Which leads to:
No wasting time on things that might be slightly beneficial. No using time to go a crazy infrastructure rabbit hole. No unnecessary early optimizations.
This doesn't mean, ship a shitty product. Quite the contrary: you don't have the time margin to ship a shit product and, if it starts picking up interest fix it during a marathon 48-hour no-sleeping session.
No, it means REDUCE the scope of your project. Dramatically.
And then reduce it again.
Also, choose what you'll be working on extremely carefully. Before working on #perspectiva, I was working on #derivex because I knew there was a crazy profitable market there. It was a trading platform for bitcoin derivatives.
I had it already 50% programmed as a freelance job I got paid for some time ago, so I just needed it to make it a lot better and then get customers. Long story short: I did get customers but I didn't quite like working with them, so decided against launching past the private launch with ~20 customers.
Cutting your losses early is a critical skill (see Seth Godin's book The Dip for more on this).
My #perspectiva customers are people working on becoming better versions of themselves. They want to grow, to see what they do wrong, confront it and improve.
I fucking love that.
Focusing on building with and for people you really like will mean that customer support becomes PLAY. It will mean that when you are building a feature you can think of a particular customer who will love it.
I love doing CS with my customers. I literally laugh out loud when exchanging emails with them.
I think if you focus on this rule, you won't need extrinsic motivation. No tricks. No tweaks. You'll just do it because you want to.
About managing your time. This is what I personally do and have found that works well:
For example, for the past couple of weeks I decided to move away from product dev in a structured manner (I could write more about this if you are interested in this bit) and put some focus on the marketing side of things.
As a dev, and as an introvert, I have always shyed away from marketing and most of my projects I either delegated entirely marketing or the project failed.
Now what I do is make sure that all things I do will pay off in multiple ways. If you look for the ways, is very easy to align marketing with either video production, or improving copywriting skills, exploring your social self by interacting with more strangers online.
Write now, as I explore what I learn in these marketing pushes, I'm documenting every little thing I do and putting it on a book I plan to launch (not-active-yet mailing list form: book.pablof7z.com/). This moves the needle forward on:
* becoming better at writing
* writing a book about a topic I want to become better at
I know. I know. It'll sound like I'm speaking from my bias, but it's REALLY easy to fall down all types of traps in indie-hacking, which will destroy your productivity.
As a parent, you just can't afford to spend 2 hours playing with your CSS to make the rounding of a button just right. You just can't do that. So you need to make sure that, when you fall down a productivity sink, you NOTICE it.
And, at least for me, the only way to notice I've spent a bunch of unproductive time is to journal every single day.
You don't need to use my app for that, I'm just saying what has worked for me and might work for you.
Hope this help. Obviously, I am passionately about this, so glad to help if you have more questions.
It's actually quite good that that happened! It means your competition is pretty sketchy, and we are well set now in the age of radical transparency!
This is great news for you. Double-down on being transparent and forth-coming and let the sketchy competition take care of themselves.
Can't believe I'm the first one saying this, but... hey.com! And basecamp's. tbh, I have a thing for copy-heavy landing pages. I tend to think they set you apart from the typical SaaS landing page that has become so overused.
Problem I see with this is that, even if they don't pay, it's not free; if they have to do the work of creating an account, figuring out how to use it, upload their inventory, etc. that's a lot of work for something that they don't see an immediate value in using yet.
On the other hand, doing that work for them allows you to learn about their use case and create a relationship.
I agree with what you have above -- do the on boarding process for them so you can make the process painless and build rapport.
In addition to fully free, I'm suggesting another payment model to gauge the realtor's willingness to pay if the platform works with no downside if it does not. Perhaps a "During the platforms early stages, I waive the fee for posting if my platform doesn't gain you x amount of traffic."
I'm curious how others have solved this problem -- I'd benefit as well from the answers.
I appreciate your answer and honesty. I will probably stick with Pablo's strategy though of offering free on boarding. It makes a lot sense and I guess that would be something I'd want to have too, in their shoes as it is very transparent too, another goal/core value of mine in business.
The problem of marketplaces is a well known problem; there's definitely a lot of material you can find about it. I believe I remember that when I looked into it there was no single silver bullet strategy: it'll depend on the market which approach is right.
I'd go with:
* free for realtors
* you onboard them/you do all the work: make it as pain-free for them: only upside/no risk for them.
I'd also focus on a very very very small niche: probably a small neighborhood where there are really good chances of adoption on both sides of the market.
Good idea, I was thinking about doing an onboarding process for free where I do all the work for a limited amount of realtors/time. With that, they don't loose anything but only gain and I can build some reputation and traffic in the meantime.
Yes this, do it by hand for your first users. Just ask them if you can add the listenings, as soon as they see results they will start using the platform.
Thanks! It's the first time in many many years I go without a template and just design it following my intuition, so I appreciate your comment greatly! :D
I was in the middle of doing a private-beta launch of #derivex: a tool that enables traders to build and execute complex option-strategies easily and at specific prices.
Not so much because of the virus but the historic volatility of the markets has 100% made the ppl that had signed up for the beta launch to shift their focus to the markets.
I followed up with a bunch of ppl over email but noticed they weren't too responsive, so, instead of swimming against the current I'm refocusing my attention from a product which launch's is hurt but the current environment to a product that is favored by the current chaos: #perspectiva which is a product I've been thinking about working for a long time because I desperately need it myself: it's a journal app.
Another one? Yeah, the idea of perspectiva.app is to be a partner in crime to always help you out with being consistent with a journaling habit.
It's an app that basically implements everything I've read in the past few years about habit-building into an app that is 100% focused on journaling.
I'm stalking you.
That's awesome! I love the design of the site. Simple and classy
The app looks very clean and polished: I'm taken aback big time by this: "Real-time Monitoring, Be aware of how your team members spend working time". Perhaps you can adapt the copy a bit to make it less Taylor-esque.
Btw, congrats on such a successful PH launch!
Thanks Pablo=) we will check it!
I really like uptimerobot.com -- been using them for years for free and they've got a sensible pro plan.