Product Dating

How working on products is more like Tinder than Wedding Wire

This past week I heard something from Clifford Oravec on the Indie Hackers podcast that really stuck with me. Clifford is the author of “The Epic Guide to Bootstrapping a SaaS Startup from Scratch — By Yourself” an excellent series of articles about doing what I’m trying to do now.

Anyway, here’s the bit that stuck with me:

Your first attempt at this, it’s not going to be the last thing you do, right. Not a lot of people marry the first girl that they date. So you’ve got to treat your first attempt [at a product] as, “Okay this is a first date with somebody and we’ll see how it goes.” You can’t be planning out marriage when you’re on Match.com and you’re looking at someone’s picture. You know, like that’s a little creepy.

Now you might say, “I’m looking for someone who’s going to be marriage material” and that can help you to filter down the type of people you’re looking at. But don’t try to crush your first startup out the gate. Don’t try to crush your second. Just do something that you think that has some potential, that you think you’re going to have some fun doing.

—Clifford Oravec

Hearing this - and adapting my own attitude to match this - was honestly a huge relief! After I published my “Six Product Ideas” post last week I really started feeling a lot of anxiety. I didn’t think that any of these ideas were particularly good - nor were the ones that I’ve been considering that I hadn’t published. How could I pick one? What if I picked wrong?

Now I feel quite a bit less pressure.

I’m not getting married. I’m just going on a first date.

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