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FAILURE I've messed up

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Zellot

New Contributor
Feb 2, 2017
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So a little while ago I had this great idea for this Saas business. There definitely seemed to be a need. I could certainly use it myself, as well as a number of other businesses around me. A quick Google search showed that there was no-one else really offering the solution in quite as good a way as I was planning to.

Great! I jumped in and spent every spare minute I could developing the business. About four months in, it has been coming on well and I am almost ready with a minimum viable product. Last night I did another Google search to see if there was any competition. I'm not quite sure what I did last time, but I clearly didn't search for the right thing. This time my search brought up a ton of competition. It's almost as if every monkey with a bit of coding skill has decided to create a Saas exactly like I have been doing. There are also a number of large and well established solutions available.

Now, I know having some competition is a good thing, but this is ridiculous. I am struggling to see how I could possibly do anything to differentiate myself in such a crowded pool.

I know what the root problem is. I did not spend enough time validating my idea. Why did I not do this? Because that would have involved getting out there and talking to people. This is totally out of my comfort zone. I chose instead to stay comfortable, lock myself away and code.

I think this chap sums it up very well :


(You can skip to about 5 minutes in)

So three months work down the toilet. I am really going to have to rethink my whole life.
 

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Leoto

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So three months work down the toilet. I am really going to have to rethink my whole life.
Well, rethinking your whole life might be one option, but a better option might be to take the simple lesson you learned, find a new project, and this time do adequate research to validate your idea by getting out there and talking to people :)
 

Red

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So three months work down the toilet. I am really going to have to rethink my whole life.
I'm going to guess that you learned quite a few things that can be applied towards the next endeavor, so you can't think of it as a complete waste (this mindset will only frustrate & inhibit you). So how did this whole experience benefit you? What did you learn aside the "need more/better due diligence" you posted above?

I don't think you need to rethink your whole life, just a few mindsets that might not be serving you. You get to decide how you're going to look back on these few months. You took action, you worked. You could have sat on the couch & eaten cheetos, playing COD. Yeah, you f*cked up on the research -guess what mistake you won't make again? I know it's discouraging to find out that you feel you've wasted time, but how you view this scenario & what you learn from it will set the state for your future endeavors...

What would you say to your best friend in this same situation?
 
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Zellot

Zellot

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Feb 2, 2017
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Well, rethinking your whole life might be one option, but a better option might be to take the simple lesson you learned, find a new project, and this time do adequate research to validate your idea by getting out there and talking to people :)
Ah, crap, yes good point. It's quite hard to break out of this mindset..
 
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Zellot

Zellot

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Feb 2, 2017
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I'm going to guess that you learned quite a few things that can be applied towards the next endeavor, so you can't think of it as a complete waste (this mindset will only frustrate & inhibit you). So how did this whole experience benefit you? What did you learn aside the "need more/better due diligence" you posted above?

I don't think you need to rethink your whole life, just a few mindsets that might not be serving you. You get to decide how you're going to look back on these few months. You took action, you worked. You could have sat on the couch & eaten cheetos, playing COD. Yeah, you f*cked up on the research -guess what mistake you won't make again? I know it's discouraging to find out that you feel you've wasted time, but how you view this scenario & what you learn from it will set the state for your future endeavors...

What would you say to your best friend in this same situation?
True, I have learned a ton along the way. I could probably redo the whole thing in a couple of weekends.

I also learned a very big life lesson. My whole life has been about playing it safe, which is why I don't get anywhere. I guess I need a few knocks to get me out of this space.

Thanks for the positive insight!
 

Daniel M.

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Hi Zellot,

I know exactly how you feel. A year ago I did the same. I started working on a project like "local Freelancer". Connect people who want to do different small jobs for people who need this kind of service. I created my website, worked a few months on it in my spare time, and before I officially launched it I saw a TV ad, repeat, TV AD, about exactly the same concept and service. A company who did this well in Hungary, started the same here in Romania too.

I also did my research, obviously not as good as I should have.

However, it had no success. I can't decide if they did something wrong, or we are not ready for something like this (maybe trust issues). There is also Freelancer Local which had no success yet here.

It is hard when you are so pumped up, and the cruel reality strikes :) But that's the way to success, failure.

Btw. You are a developer? In what languages do you feel comfortable?
 
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Zellot

Zellot

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Feb 2, 2017
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I know exactly how you feel. A year ago I did the same. I started working on a project like "local Freelancer". Connect people who want to do different small jobs for people who need this kind of service. I created my website, worked a few months on it in my spare time, and before I officially launched it I saw a TV ad, repeat, TV AD, about exactly the same concept and service. A company who did this well in Hungary, started the same here in Romania too.
Ouch! I wonder if maybe now could be a chance to look into relaunching your site. Often the first mover doesn't work, but perhaps it has prepared the way for your site now?

Btw. You are a developer? In what languages do you feel comfortable?
Yes. I like using Common Lisp, it is an amazing language and lets you iterate really quickly. For the front end I have been working with Elm. I find it is too easy to make mistakes with Javascript, whereas with Elm it is virtually impossible!

How about you?
 

NoahK

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Thank you, Zellot,

Most importantly, for sharing. I appreciate your willingness to post.

It's really applicable, as it also looks like my own idea doesn't have any competition at the moment. This may or may not be true, and you've really motivated me to do some more robust research before ploughing ahead.

Thanks again and Rep+
 
Last edited:

Daniel M.

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Ouch! I wonder if maybe now could be a chance to look into relaunching your site. Often the first mover doesn't work, but perhaps it has prepared the way for your site now?



Yes. I like using Common Lisp, it is an amazing language and lets you iterate really quickly. For the front end I have been working with Elm. I find it is too easy to make mistakes with Javascript, whereas with Elm it is virtually impossible!

How about you?
I'm not sure if it is a good idea after an international company (Freelancer) and another company which already did this with a great success in another country, has a bigger budget tried and had no big of a success yet. However I'll make a little more research now as you reminded me. I already forgot this project :)

I'm not a programmer, I have no great skills yet. HTML, CSS and Wordpress, that would sum up. But I'm really passionate about coding and I started to take seriously this. At this moment I'm watching 1-2 hours of online course on Lynda.com and also working on codecademy.com.
My plan is to learn Java and create my own Android App in the future. Or at least to have the basics and be able to start an app start-up.
 

thehighlander

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True, I have learned a ton along the way. I could probably redo the whole thing in a couple of weekends.

I also learned a very big life lesson. My whole life has been about playing it safe, which is why I don't get anywhere. I guess I need a few knocks to get me out of this space.

Thanks for the positive insight!
Yeah, you made a mistake but you actually were not playing it safe at all. Playing it safe would have meant you did your due diligence and minimized your risk before pouring effort into your project. Big difference between taking unguarded and guarded risks.

You've learned your lesson and it didn't cost you that much. Fight another day!
 
G

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Yeah, but on the other hand, who cares? Do you know how many time tracking, project management, accounting, hosting, insert-business-function-here SaaS apps exist that are profitable? Many.

Point being: you don't need that many customers to build a business that gives you the freedom to dream up something even better. It just needs to be enough to work.

I have an analytics app that is mostly hands-off - one va runs it, I do Q/A. It's based on a white label product. I technically compete with Google who offer a more complex, more powerful, more featured product...for free. And yet, I wouldn't call it magic that it hasn't churned itself out of existence. There's a b2b market that hates GA, we sell to them.

Not telling you what to do, but it might be beneficial to reevaluate the market and what share you really need.
 

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LuckyPup

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So a little while ago I had this great idea for this Saas business. There definitely seemed to be a need. I could certainly use it myself, as well as a number of other businesses around me. A quick Google search showed that there was no-one else really offering the solution in quite as good a way as I was planning to.

Great! I jumped in and spent every spare minute I could developing the business. About four months in, it has been coming on well and I am almost ready with a minimum viable product. Last night I did another Google search to see if there was any competition. I'm not quite sure what I did last time, but I clearly didn't search for the right thing. This time my search brought up a ton of competition. It's almost as if every monkey with a bit of coding skill has decided to create a Saas exactly like I have been doing. There are also a number of large and well established solutions available.

Now, I know having some competition is a good thing, but this is ridiculous. I am struggling to see how I could possibly do anything to differentiate myself in such a crowded pool.

I know what the root problem is. I did not spend enough time validating my idea. Why did I not do this? Because that would have involved getting out there and talking to people. This is totally out of my comfort zone. I chose instead to stay comfortable, lock myself away and code.

I think this chap sums it up very well :


(You can skip to about 5 minutes in)

So three months work down the toilet. I am really going to have to rethink my whole life.
I agree with Leoto. Don't be so dramatic as to think you have to rethink your whole life. Learn your lesson and move on, either to continue with your SaaS despite the competition, or onto another endeavor. Move from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mentality.
 
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Zellot

Zellot

New Contributor
Feb 2, 2017
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6
13
46
UK
Thanks for positive words, it means a lot.

You guys are absolutely right, it isn't the end of the world. I can be a bit of a drama queen at times. It's just another lesson. I have been rethinking things a bit and I think what I need to do is focus the app down on more of a niche area.

I think I also need to start marketing it now and get talking to potential customers.
 

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