15 Days Since Side Project Launch (Lessons Learned)

15 Days Since Side Project Launch (Lessons Learned)

Here's what I've learned:

If you build it they won't come. The first couple of days after launching, zero downloads, and zero reviews. Don't be surprised... if you did zero marketing.
Building community around your product is essential: it's easier to talk to people who love your product or service if they are all in one room instead of numerous places scattered around the internet. I've just figured this out and now I'm scrambling trying to learn how to set up the right methods for this.

Listen to your users and react quickly: I've had people leave terrible reviews or abandon using my product altogether because they didn't get answers to their questions in good time. It's a lot of effort, but for your first 100 customers, I think it's a must.

Don't add all user suggestions/feedback to your to-do list: this will simply leave you feeling overwhelmed and miserable when you realize you cannot please everyone.

Think about your marketing strategy before you launch. Don't bet on "going viral". You probably won't, and if you do, it will likely be for a few days then you'll flat line. Focus on steady growth instead. I'll be glad when I figure out how to do this.
Build your personal brand early on: if you currently build things or aspire to build things later in your career I cannot emphasize this enough! Use social media to talk about your area of interest, interact with tech leaders or other founders, etc. Build a circle/following of people who know what interests you and what you do (IMPORTANT: they should be like you, NOT just ghost followers for vanity likes and follower counts).

It sucks when on launch day, you have nobody to share your ideas with. Nervously DMing founders and friends at that point is the textbook definition of spamming. Nobody likes that.

I just thought I'd share. Even though this is not a fully-fledged business, it is the first time I've attempted selling consumer software (an app) and I'll carry these lessons on to when I start a "big boy" business.

Maybe I'll update a few months from now if (when) I learn a few more new things.

My little side project is called Wallow. It is a wallpaper that rises and sets with the sun. You can download it here

This post was originally created on Aug 13 2020 and shared on Reddit.