If you haven't lived under a rock, you might have noticed that "building an audience" is currently quite the rage on Maker Twitter. The gist is that you build your personal audience and/ or immerse in an existing group first, then you find a problem, then you build a solution. This is a variation of the well-known "problem first, solution second" mantra. The good thing is that you already have a potential customer group to sell to.

Yet here's a thing: how do you add value to an audience? Depending on the niche you want to build for, you may already have the experience to share or insights to give. And what about a group/ field you are new to? Take the indie hacker space on Twitter as an example: how to contribute something really valuable if you haven't actually built something?

Okay then, let's just build something. Developing is way more fun anyway than pesky marketing, right? That's what another group is advocating. Build fast, ship fast. Get stuff out there. Sure, you are running danger that nobody needs your product, but then you just iterate and start new, don't you?

Both groups are right and both groups are wrong. Each group describes what works or worked for them. But this might not be the right way for you. Your personality is different, as is your skillset. You are better at one profession, you have most likely to get better at an other. Anyone trying to sell you best practices is selling you snake oil or should refresh about survivorship bias. Take any advice you can get, gather a pool of good practices, build from there. And the only right way is your own one.

That's quite an introduction to explain what happened to me. One of the reasons I build side projects is to learn. To put innovation theory into practice. Therefore I'm always at risk to try to do things too close to the book. That's what happened at the start of my Birdspotter journey. The landing page was a no-brainer. Then I tried to build the a market map and find people to interview. But why, actually? Birdspotter scratches my own itch and keyword monitoring is already a validated idea. (Okay, talking to potential customers is always a good idea.) I overthought too much. #LFMF. Time to build.

This post originally appeared in Basic Problem issue #38.

If you liked this, feel free to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my newsletter.

Previous Post Next Post