Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How I built an online product in 4 weeks starting with no idea and no customers

Choosing an Audience

I attribute most of my success launching online products to choosing a good niche audience. The people in my niche are accustomed to spending tens of thousands of dollars on products and are an enthusiastic community. The fact that the audience spends money and is excited about new products went a long way towards my success.

The audience I chose to target is small. The niche is a special type of programming language. There are less than 10,000 active people in the community. I chose to focus further on an underserved sub-niche that had less than 500 active participants.

The criteria I used for choosing a niche are:
  1. The niche is accustomed to spending lots of money
  2. The niche is specific enough that a solution won’t be overly complicated
  3. The people in the niche already look for solutions online
  4. The people in the niche are cool to talk to
It is very important that the niche already be using the internet in their daily routine. If the people in the niche aren’t accustomed to solving their problems online then it will be extremely difficult to first teach them to go online and then buy the solution from you.

A specific niche will make the solution simpler. If the niche is large or loosely coupled together then there will be too many edge cases the product needs to handle. The edge cases and unique uses will be expensive to develop and even more expensive maintain.

The people in the niche should be people you like to talk with. After all, you will be spending hours talking with them, helping them troubleshoot, and discussing interesting topics together. Having a community that you enjoy will help when the tasks become difficult and your motivation is low.

Don’t underestimate your niche’s ability to spend money. Make sure your niche is willing to spend money on products, but don’t make any assumptions. Do your research and see if your niche is spending money. Many great opportunities have been overlooked because people assumed the niche didn’t spend money, when in fact they were willing to spend quite a bit.

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