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Focus and subtraction or shave the yak?

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trylks

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Jul 4, 2020
24
34
20
Europe
Context: I have a 9 to 5, I am a wantrepreneur so far, to achieve a greater freedom (and better hourly rates), I am setting up a consulting business, writing code. I have many ideas for SaaS, but after closer inspection, probably not so many people need them. Hence the current focus on consulting.

I know: A productocracy would be better, but I find consulting a useful way to build internal products while being paid to do so, and perhaps eventually remove myself from the interface and have other people pressing the buttons. It can be easy and profitable for them, as a job, or as B2B clients, if the buttons are clear enough to be "self-service". In the end it is like building a product inside out.

Dilemma: I cannot estimate the opportunity cost.
  • Focus: I may pay someone else to do the web development, copywriting, etc. If my time is 1.5x more valuable (approximately), I would be saving good time (note, I need more time than experts to do things out of my field of expertise), seems like a good investment to get things rolling fast (speed being so important in this forum). If I get enough clients fast, the return of the investment should be good.
  • Do all the things: I may do it myself. It is arguably slower (i.e. more expensive), but I would learn in the process (and that is always good), I have more control, and in fact... I do not know yet if I am going to find many clients as a consultant, which would make the previous point a really stupid investment. In addition, learning additional skills would help to expand what I can do, and potential clients. Being a contractor for frontend with some clients beats being a consultant for something better with no clients.
So far, I am in the second point in everything technical, and in the first point for everything legal, because going to prison is a bad downside. I think what I am learning may also help for SaaS products, or at least the bad ideas will be cheaper to test, which is something I would like to get to eventually (kind of ASAP, but not in a stupid crashing-against-a-tree way).

Problem: until the first client (or recurring revenue), how much my time is worth may be zero or not, in a way it is like the story of the Schrödinger cat, until the box is open. This is the kind of information that in hindsight shows what of the two options is the most stupid.

Question: How to know if I am:
  • doing an oil change and a smart investment as part of the work that takes building products, or
  • procrastinating with busywork and a huge opportunity cost?
 

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EternalStudent

Contributor
Apr 4, 2020
38
75
110
Australia
Context: I have a 9 to 5, I am a wantrepreneur so far, to achieve a greater freedom (and better hourly rates), I am setting up a consulting business, writing code. I have many ideas for SaaS, but after closer inspection, probably not so many people need them. Hence the current focus on consulting.

I know: A productocracy would be better, but I find consulting a useful way to build internal products while being paid to do so, and perhaps eventually remove myself from the interface and have other people pressing the buttons. It can be easy and profitable for them, as a job, or as B2B clients, if the buttons are clear enough to be "self-service". In the end it is like building a product inside out.

Dilemma: I cannot estimate the opportunity cost.
  • Focus: I may pay someone else to do the web development, copywriting, etc. If my time is 1.5x more valuable (approximately), I would be saving good time (note, I need more time than experts to do things out of my field of expertise), seems like a good investment to get things rolling fast (speed being so important in this forum). If I get enough clients fast, the return of the investment should be good.
  • Do all the things: I may do it myself. It is arguably slower (i.e. more expensive), but I would learn in the process (and that is always good), I have more control, and in fact... I do not know yet if I am going to find many clients as a consultant, which would make the previous point a really stupid investment. In addition, learning additional skills would help to expand what I can do, and potential clients. Being a contractor for frontend with some clients beats being a consultant for something better with no clients.
So far, I am in the second point in everything technical, and in the first point for everything legal, because going to prison is a bad downside. I think what I am learning may also help for SaaS products, or at least the bad ideas will be cheaper to test, which is something I would like to get to eventually (kind of ASAP, but not in a stupid crashing-against-a-tree way).

Problem: until the first client (or recurring revenue), how much my time is worth may be zero or not, in a way it is like the story of the Schrödinger cat, until the box is open. This is the kind of information that in hindsight shows what of the two options is the most stupid.

Question: How to know if I am:
  • doing an oil change and a smart investment as part of the work that takes building products, or
  • procrastinating with busywork and a huge opportunity cost?
Dont try and solve problems that dont yet exist. First get a customer. Do it all yourself until you are too busy, then start hiring out the work in small parts until you find a good worker. Then, hand all the work over to them so you can focus on growing, automating etc
 

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