How do you decide if a project is worth investing more time/money/resources into after launching?

The time spent on one product is time I cannot spend on another. So the question becomes: is this the right product to spend my limited time on?

The answer to that question depends on a number of factors, including:

  • How far will my investment take me? Not all products are created equal. Some products require a shitload of work resulting in little growth whereas others seem to almost grow by themselves. Momentum is crucial.
  • If I stop or pause investing more time, what will happen to the product? Will it die immediately, or can it live on its own for a while?
  • Do I enjoy working on this? Does it make me happy?
  • Are there any other benefits I'm getting from working on this product? For example learning a new technology or expanding my network.

Answering this question becomes easier as you get more experience. It gives you experiences to compare to. If you're just starting out though, I'd focus on acquiring more experience as quickly as possible. As long as you feel like you're getting relevant experience, than keep going. Even if you feel stuck, try to push through. I've seen many new makers make the mistake of hitting a wall, starting over with a new product, and then hitting that same wall again. Over and over again. (Usually quickly after launch when they can't seem to grow their customer base.)

Thanks for the response. I feel like I have a lot of experience building things, but most of the ideas I come up with are very content (lots of work, little growth up front but growth accelerates over time) vs service based. It feels hard to gauge success of a project like #financialtoolbelt right now because I haven't monetized yet and traffic while decent, is still pretty low. Any thoughts specific to more content heavy businesses or does the same framework apply?

I think the same framework applies. Instead of adoption you'd be looking at consumption, how much the content is shared, conversion rates to newsletters, etc.

If you find it hard to decide whether to invest more time, ask yourself what date you'd need in order to make that decision either. For example, if you don't know yet how passionate people are about the content add something to gauge this. (newsletter signup, etc)

@marckohlbrugge has answered this much than I. I have the same problem. My take - creating good content every day or week is really difficult. So a project that requires fewer content updates seems better to me, but with some really good content for marketing and SEO.