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Knowing when to walk away from an idea or keep pushing forward...

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Jdes91

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Hello and good morning to my fellow fastlaners,

In September 2020, I read the millionaire fastlane and it inspired me to create a translation engine (or software system/SaS) called Québecois which seeks to mimic the french language spoken in my native Québec, Canada (I live and work in Montréal). The plan was to develop this into an app and website that could be scaled to serve as many people as possible. I chose the idea after many brainstorming sessions, and I felt that it followed the CENTS framework:

C: So far I have full control over this engine (unless I hire people to help me run it)
E: This involves designing or closely following a translation engine that cannot be easily replicated by others.
N: This follows the command of need; many young professionals and university students moving to Quebec will need a fast translation system that allows them to switch from their native language to the french spoken in Quebec, not the more Parisian one that Google translate offers.
T: Once this thing is up and running, I can detach myself from the time aspect of this and hopefully hire software engineers to help fix bugs and keep it running smoothly.
S: This does fill a need and can be scaled and used by as many people as possible, there are approximately 1 million-2 million english speakers in Montreal (and obviously millions of people across the world who could potentially require this service).

It is now currently January 2021, and while I have made some progress on my idea, I am starting to wonder if I am way in over my head and whether it may be time to move on to a different idea. I took a small 3-day break over the holidays to reflect and what I should do moving forward, and I've realized that there are many aspects of this project that I need to rectify before moving forward. I know that as aspiring and current fastlaners we can be very stubborn and that moving on to another idea can often feel like we are giving up or "abandoning our projects", but we all have to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses when a comes to selling and developing a product or business. Here are some of the issues and barriers I've encountered:

1. Translation skills
I am currently working in the field of special needs and have no experience working as a translator. It helps that I have one francophone parent (my dad), and I've been learning and speaking french ever since I was a child, my spoken and written french is pretty decent but I do not consider myself to be a master of the french language in anyway. If I were to develop the engine, I'm not sure if I could be more effective than a french language dictionary. I have consulted with a translation expert who works in Montreal, he recommended starting with developing a glossary.

2. Coding and software development
Doing this requires developing a very advanced language A.I. and I have no experiencing programming and work in a completely different field (working with children who have special needs). I have consulted with translators who have recommended software to use (tensor flow being one of them), and also consulted with a software engineering student who said that creating a brand new neural network that is better than Google's would be nearly impossible, and also recommended using React Native and no code apps like Bubble.io. I spent 300$ on a Codecademy membership to learn the basics of python and javascript, but I've stopped using it a few weeks ago. I also learned basic HTML through sololearn, but from what I'm gathering people seem to be using websites like Wix.com or Squarespace and don't need to learn the basics of HTML. The software engineering expert I consulted does not recommend outsourcing to a developer as I may not get the result I want or I may end up getting a mediocre product. On the other hand ff I were to run and develop this thing myself it would look more like a high school computer class project so partnering with someone through Fiverr might get me the help I need to get this off the ground.

3. Lack of time and business experience
Bear with me here, I have no problem finding the time to work on the basics of this project, but I already work 35 hours a week at my other job, and I am wondering if this is something that will require leaving my job and turning this into a full time startup with multiple software engineers and translation experts. I'm starting to realize that this isn't really a side hustle but more like a full-time gig.

What say ye, fastlaners? Am I giving up too early or am I acknowledging that I may be in over my head here? I am not giving up on providing value to the world; rather just looking for feedback from people who may have been in a similar situation. I still believe that I can provide value in some way or another but I'm not entirely sure if this is it as there are a lot of barriers involved. This isn't about me choosing an easy way out (I'm not looking to do what tons of other people are doing) but I'm just honestly wondering if this a feasible operation for one dude with little experience in translation and software development.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think,

Cheers!!! :cool:
 

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Knugs

Bronze Contributor
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Jan 10, 2016
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Hello and good morning to my fellow fastlaners,

In September 2020, I read the millionaire fastlane and it inspired me to create a translation engine (or software system/SaS) called Québecois which seeks to mimic the french language spoken in my native Québec, Canada (I live and work in Montréal). The plan was to develop this into an app and website that could be scaled to serve as many people as possible. I chose the idea after many brainstorming sessions, and I felt that it followed the CENTS framework:

C: So far I have full control over this engine (unless I hire people to help me run it)
E: This involves designing or closely following a translation engine that cannot be easily replicated by others.
N: This follows the command of need; many young professionals and university students moving to Quebec will need a fast translation system that allows them to switch from their native language to the french spoken in Quebec, not the more Parisian one that Google translate offers.
T: Once this thing is up and running, I can detach myself from the time aspect of this and hopefully hire software engineers to help fix bugs and keep it running smoothly.
S: This does fill a need and can be scaled and used by as many people as possible, there are approximately 1 million-2 million english speakers in Montreal (and obviously millions of people across the world who could potentially require this service).

It is now currently January 2021, and while I have made some progress on my idea, I am starting to wonder if I am way in over my head and whether it may be time to move on to a different idea. I took a small 3-day break over the holidays to reflect and what I should do moving forward, and I've realized that there are many aspects of this project that I need to rectify before moving forward. I know that as aspiring and current fastlaners we can be very stubborn and that moving on to another idea can often feel like we are giving up or "abandoning our projects", but we all have to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses when a comes to selling and developing a product or business. Here are some of the issues and barriers I've encountered:

1. Translation skills
I am currently working in the field of special needs and have no experience working as a translator. It helps that I have one francophone parent (my dad), and I've been learning and speaking french ever since I was a child, my spoken and written french is pretty decent but I do not consider myself to be a master of the french language in anyway. If I were to develop the engine, I'm not sure if I could be more effective than a french language dictionary. I have consulted with a translation expert who works in Montreal, he recommended starting with developing a glossary.

2. Coding and software development
Doing this requires developing a very advanced language A.I. and I have no experiencing programming and work in a completely different field (working with children who have special needs). I have consulted with translators who have recommended software to use (tensor flow being one of them), and also consulted with a software engineering student who said that creating a brand new neural network that is better than Google's would be nearly impossible, and also recommended using React Native and no code apps like Bubble.io. I spent 300$ on a Codecademy membership to learn the basics of python and javascript, but I've stopped using it a few weeks ago. I also learned basic HTML through sololearn, but from what I'm gathering people seem to be using websites like Wix.com or Squarespace and don't need to learn the basics of HTML. The software engineering expert I consulted does not recommend outsourcing to a developer as I may not get the result I want or I may end up getting a mediocre product. On the other hand ff I were to run and develop this thing myself it would look more like a high school computer class project so partnering with someone through Fiverr might get me the help I need to get this off the ground.

3. Lack of time and business experience
Bear with me here, I have no problem finding the time to work on the basics of this project, but I already work 35 hours a week at my other job, and I am wondering if this is something that will require leaving my job and turning this into a full time startup with multiple software engineers and translation experts. I'm starting to realize that this isn't really a side hustle but more like a full-time gig.

What say ye, fastlaners? Am I giving up too early or am I acknowledging that I may be in over my head here? I am not giving up on providing value to the world; rather just looking for feedback from people who may have been in a similar situation. I still believe that I can provide value in some way or another but I'm not entirely sure if this is it as there are a lot of barriers involved. This isn't about me choosing an easy way out (I'm not looking to do what tons of other people are doing) but I'm just honestly wondering if this a feasible operation for one dude with little experience in translation and software development.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think,

1. Have you ever validated any of your assumptions with real target customer data? I really question the part about a) need and b) revenue-model.

2. Build a team around your business with skills/expertise that you need to lit this off the ground. It would also open up more of your time.
 

Andy Black

Dad, Husband, Inbound Marketeer
Staff member
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May 20, 2014
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Can you help someone or make a sale this week?

I think it was Dan Norris who mentioned product-founder fit in “The 7 Day Startup”. Something may be a great business idea, but are *you* in a position to get this off the ground in a short time period?
 

Jdes91

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 5, 2020
28
24
17
Can you help someone or make a sale this week?

I think it was Dan Norris who mentioned product-founder fit in “The 7 Day Startup”. Something may be a great business idea, but are *you* in a position to get this off the ground in a short time period?
Thank you for the recommendation, Andy. I think its a question that I have to ask myself. If I have to be honest-probably not right now but if I did some more research and looked more into the demand for a program like mine I would have a much better idea of how to move forward.
 

Jdes91

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 5, 2020
28
24
17
Can you help someone or make a sale this week?

I think it was Dan Norris who mentioned product-founder fit in “The 7 Day Startup”. Something may be a great business idea, but are *you* in a position to get this off the ground in a short time period?
Thank you for the recommendation, Andy. I think its a question that I have to ask myself. If I have to be honest-probably not right now but if I did some more research and looked more into the demand for a program like mine I would have a much better idea of how to move forward.
1. Have you ever validated any of your assumptions with real target customer data? I really question the part about a) need and b) revenue-model.

2. Build a team around your business with skills/expertise that you need to lit this off the ground. It would also open up more of your time.
Thanks for the feedback! I'd definitely have to look into this part more. From the people I've spoken to about it (creatives, people who work in education) there could be demand for it. My other issue is that there are two other french translation websites (Linguee and Deepl) that are in use but their models don't quite capture the Quebec french model.
 

Jdes91

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 5, 2020
28
24
17
So your app is only useful to people in Quebec?
Thanks for the reply MJ!!! :)

The app is intended for anyone looking to translate from english (or any other language) into Québec french. So it could literally be anyone in the world looking to move to and live in the province of Québec. Thus it is not exclusive to people living in Québec, but open to people who want to translate to the french spoken here.
 

cm-devpreneur

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 27, 2020
15
21
17
London
Can you help someone or make a sale this week?

I think it was Dan Norris who mentioned product-founder fit in “The 7 Day Startup”. Something may be a great business idea, but are *you* in a position to get this off the ground in a short time period?

Love this, just read a quick summary of the '7 Day Startup' as I didn't quite understand the comment.

Launching fast seems important but I wonder if the 7 day startup would have happened if the author hadn't spent a year running with what might have been a bad idea?


As for when to walk away, I think it all depends on the reasons for walking away. Two things come to mind:
1. Is it really a good idea?
2. Are you walking away because you think it's too hard or because it is too hard?

If you really believe in your idea and you know it's a good idea with a big upside then don't quit.
 

Andy Black

Dad, Husband, Inbound Marketeer
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
11,621
46,590
4,306
Ireland
Launching fast seems important but I wonder if the 7 day startup would have happened if the author hadn't spent a year running with what might have been a bad idea?
I think his definition of launching was to get something in front of the market and to take it from there.
 

Jdes91

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 5, 2020
28
24
17
From a technical point of view, it is not really hard for someone who already has good translation engine. Microsoft recently announced their translator for canadian french: C’est tiguidou ça! Translator adds Canadian French - Microsoft Translator Blog Maybe you can use their Azure Cognitive Services to test the idea?
Thanks so much for sharing this. This is the kind of information I need-to see if my idea already exists or is in the process of being done. That way I can fast track my way to a better/different idea or improve on an existing one
 

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Thinh

Bronze Contributor
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Aug 11, 2018
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@Jdes91 are you excited by your project?

I mean, when you think about working on it, are you fired up?
Fired up by the idea of working on it, not the envisioned success at the end of the hypothetic road, that is.
 

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