25 things I learned after launching my first MVP in 3 weeks

  1. Who is my Persona Buyer?

Persona buyers for example like this,
Youtube: People who want to share their videos with the world
Medium: People who want to write something (blog)
Facebook: People who want to connect with old friends
Site2Static: ???

Maybe that would be like this: "People who want to create a website quickly but do not want to pay much for hosting costs".

That's my mistake, when you're making a product, especially a solo founder like me, should also be taken into account for how to monetize from the beginning and I was wrong because it was targetted to people who did not want to pay greatly. It is possible to install ads, but I don't like it, I still use AdBlocker until now hahaha. And yes, because my initial goal in building Site2Static was to solve my problems, I finally decided not to monetize them.

  1. What is the real problem that I want to solve?

Because startups are there to solve problems, therefore I always challenge to look for problems (seriously), even I have a challenge to always write the problems I face every day on my ToDo list, and it is quite successful because it can be asked for sure I forget. Never make a startup that only presents a solution, there are already many who fail because they do not know exactly what problem you want to activate.

  1. Difficulty in delivering for what products I make'

To make a successful product on the market, I just realized that if necessary it is truly important to be able to describe it easily. So I started making Site2Static copy all types of websites, but in the middle of the road, there was a technical barrier, because I used AWS Lambda, a function as a service, where this function could run for a maximum of 15 minutes. So to copy a website that is quite complex (like a blog) it will always fail, so I change the purpose of the application to focus on "one page" just like the Portfolio website, or landing page.

  1. Self-awareness

This is so important because I am a person who likes to build digital products from the results of coding, sometimes like to forget if it's been for hours in front of a laptop. Especially when debugging can be stressful and makes a lot of headaches. Mental and physical health is still important for me, always having to set aside myself for an early night's sleep, and replace work at dawn. Yup, I'm not a person who likes to stay up ;)

  1. Talking with potential customers

The most fatal mistake for engineers like me is preferred in the technical field (coding), making something first without talking to prospective customers. And that's particularly bad, for example, you make something for a year, never ask for feedback during the process, and when launching it's usually what the customer wants and most of your assumptions could be wrong. To fix it, now I try not to code first, but created a landing page for my idea, and tried to gather as much feedback as possible while waiting for the MVP. It's important not to make something perfect in the beginning because I don't need to spend more years making something that no one else needs to use.

  1. Onboarding

This is more to the side of the User Experience because I made a fairly new product on the market, it is important to "guide" how to use the applications that we make. If for Site2Static, the user is on the landing page, click on the Start button, immediately presented with a login to Netlify, without telling you exactly what it is for and why you should use Netlify, then suddenly go into the dashboard and again the user is left alone, it should be guided for the next steps. That's my mistake, but I'm cool with it, because it's still MVP, it's still beta, so yes there isn't anything perfect.

  1. Logging / Analysis

It's important to know that there is churn, so we can know what caused the user to suddenly leave our website, from which we can explore deeper insights, be a little question, I installed the Google Analytics tool.

  1. Fail faster

Site2Static for immediate success overnight. And that was part of the problem, it was the first product, so that was debated for learning, which was arguably quite successful, so I understood more things, especially in marketing, such as making a product video trailer and uploading it to Youtube so that it was increasingly added to my enthusiasm to become a YouTuber too.

  1. Did the user like? it's not enough

Being a bootstrapping solo founder, of course, I have to think carefully about all types of expenses, my budget is quite limited, therefore I can't "burn money" just to buy paid ads like Facebook Ads or Google Ads. So the other way is that I make a product that is truly loved by users, it's not enough to just like it, but really "love until dies", because that will present good news by word of mouth, which is a type of marketing that has a truly powerful effect.

  1. Domain, logo, it's not important.

I often get stuck thinking about the right domain name and logo, but it takes quite a long time. Finally, I decided to fix the bad habit by using a generator.
everydomain.co - to search domain
favicon.io - to generate logo
landen.co - make a landing page as soon as possible

  1. Marketing

This is a rather difficult topic in my opinion, and it might take several years to understand it, but lately, I have found a Twitter account that addresses it briefly and is easy to understand (https://twitter.com/GoodMarketingHQ ). Thank you, Harry :)

  1. The idea is worthless

"Ideas are worthless, execution is everything" - so people say.
And that is true my idea to make Site2Static is to take from SiteSauce.app, even I fought with the founder on Twitter hahaha. I explained that I didn't copy everything, I just took some of the ideas that I adjusted to the problem I wanted to solve. And competition in the business world is pretty common. Competition is the most effective strategy in my opinion, why? Because the market has been validated, some people are willing to pay for the application, just how smart we are to make the differentiation and unique value that will be able to provide. Remember the story of Facebook that was founded when at that time there was something more popular (Friendster)?

  1. The importance of ship faster

One mindset that I think is most important in building something, whether it's a book, a blog, or a video. The point is to launch soon, even though it is still not perfect, because it is extremely rare that someone makes a perfect one right away, and by launching an imperfect version, we can get feedback faster. I am very grateful to have bought a lifetime package from Crello.com for $49. All the thumbnail videos on YouTube I made use of it and it was very fast, maybe it only took half an hour, It's like you have a designer team hahaha. A purchase of my best software in 2020.

  1. Comments: "Good", "Cool", are worthless

It's just a mood booster, not a validation because other people just try to be kind to us. What I expect is feedback, an honest review, even though it is painful, but for a long-term effect, it is better.

  1. "Scratching your itch"

Let's be realistic, most products that fail on the market are because the founder ran out of energy, why? That's because they try to solve other people's problems. It's very different if we solve our problems, every day there will be a sense of motivation, and that is very good for the long term.

  1. Users don't care about the tech stack

That's right, how great is your tech stack, users won't care. What they care more about is on the UX side. So when making a product try to use technology that you are familiar with.

  1. Community is everything

Being a solo founder can sometimes be pretty lonely, especially for a single person like me hahaha. Therefore the community plays an important role here. IndieHackers.com in my opinion is still the best forum because the people are supportive, and the topic is also weighty.

  1. Shiny object syndrome

It is undeniable that when we are working on a project, there is always a desire to immediately move to another project because it feels more challenging or maybe its potential is greater. I even always noted if there were business ideas that crossed my mind until now the list has reached more than 100. But I realize, that I need to focus on one project, at least until the MVP is done first.

  1. Love to make something

As a Maker, of course, there must be a passion for making a product. Not only that but also must be clever in terms of project management because we don't have a manager who tells us to do something. We should be able to own initiative, for that Trello is a tool that is mandatory for me, so that I can be accountable, in fact, I intentionally made the Site2Static roadmap on Trello open to the public.

  1. Programming is all about solving problems

Many programmers out there are not happy with their work now, I'm quite concerned, maybe because they have been working too long for other people to become bored, they see the profession of a programmer as monotonous as working on features and bug fixing. But it is not! many people forget that programming exists to solve problems, the same as what I'm doing in my new project, StaticSheet - which hopes to generate dozens of websites just from Google Sheets. Do I already know the steps to make it from beginning to end? Of course not, I will start from small steps first, write it on Trello so that I don't forget it, and try to find out the solution by searching on Google. Yup, actually it's just that easy, especially since we now have StackOverflow which can almost answer all of our technical problems.

  1. Always create value

Whether it's on social media or anywhere, always think about how you can provide valuable things to others, don't just be selfish. Therefore I rarely post memes on social media. I try to maintain that value, so people who see my timeline will get something valuable.

  1. Produce more content

Don't be a continuous consumer, for example, like on Facebook, it's easy to post something short on the homepage, but what if that energy is diverted to blogging for example, because it's going to be far more useful in the long term.

  1. Growth hacking

One of the skills that I have not yet mastered, but quite understand the basics. So far, I usually go to the community and start being part of it. But the most tricky part is how to be genuine so that it doesn't seem too "selling". What I've been doing lately is in the Facebook group, and it's quite successful. In the future, I want to try to enter the community on the sub-Reddit.

  1. Don't trade time with money

I don't know, but the idea of ​​becoming a Freelancer is not right for me. Because it's the same as working at a company, the difference is that you have little control to "fire" a client that doesn't suit you. But even though your hourly rate is really expensive, you are still trading time for money. What is different if you invest in yourself, by building a business, you can have the opportunity to say that you are only sleeping but you can get money, if the system is working.

  1. What is next?

Lately, I like static sites and no code movement, and there is an idea to create a curation website for topics I like, but can't find a solution that is right out there, there are still a few, but the price doesn't fit in my pocket, finally, I decided to make it myself. From there I immediately thought of making StaticSheet, the landing page I made myself with the help of Site2Static, so it only took about 4 hours until it has done. My mission in the coming year is to make tools for founders, which are inexpensive, easy to use, and help them to deliver MVP faster. Consider subscribing to know about my continued development of StaticSheet: