Building in Public

Hey there! I'm Daniel Morales, an entrepreneur and software developer (and sometimes data scientist) who loves to build in public. In this blog, I share my journey as a maker, my learnings, and my projects.



Update #2

Should I build this product?

The product is:


1) I authored a book tailored as a lead magnet, addressing topics pertinent to my Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

2) Leveraging this lead magnet, I've engaged nearly 500 individuals, acquiring their contact details.

3) A landing page promotes both the book and a prospective product. The marketing copy outlines envisioned features and benefits, albeit without an actual product behind the scenes, as validation is underway.

4) Targeting mid-sized companies, the proposed product operates within the B2B domain.

5) Despite it not being my forte, I've commenced outreach efforts, personally contacting prospects, albeit with some difficulty given my background as a software developer.

6) Herein lies the feedback from the initial 20 calls: My introductory script typically entails introducing myself as the author of the book and proposing a software solution aligned with its themes. I inquire whether they perceive a need for such a product or if their needs are adequately met using tools like Excel. Additionally, I mention the imminent MVP and gauge their interest in testing it upon completion.

Feedback Breakdown:

- 8 individuals (40%) have deemed the product unnecessary, citing Excel's sufficiency for addressing their needs. This reaffirms my belief that the solution caters to the more complex requirements of mid-sized B2B entities.

- 5 respondents (25%) provided varied feedback, leaving me uncertain of their actual requirement. While their remarks suggest a potential lack of immediate necessity, they've expressed openness to reconsider upon product completion.

- 7 participants (35%) validated the product. Their acknowledgment of Excel's limitations in addressing their requirements, coupled with their willingness to test the forthcoming product, serves as a validation milestone.
Next Steps and Considerations:

These are my questions for you all 

1) Should I expand my outreach efforts to gather more comprehensive feedback?

2) Is it prudent to proceed with MVP development, followed by a re-engagement strategy targeting the remaining 480 prospects for potential sales?

3) Or, alternatively, should I reassess the viability of the problem space and explore alternative avenues for solution development?

Posted here

ChatGPT answer:

Wow, you're on a roll with your approach to validating your business idea through direct outreach and leveraging your book as a lead magnet. Let's step through your situation to help decide the best next steps.

Idea Validation

First, it's commendable that you've already engaged in preliminary validation with your target audience. Your detailed feedback from initial calls offers some clear insights. Let’s break this down a bit:

  • Feedback Summary:
    • Unnecessary for 40%: The feedback that 40% of your respondents find Excel sufficient suggests that while there is some demand, there's significant reliance on existing solutions which are perceived as adequate.
    • Varied feedback from 25%: This group seems on the fence but could potentially be swayed with a more compelling product or clearer understanding of the benefits over existing solutions like Excel.
    • Positive Validation from 35%: This is quite promising. The fact that they recognize Excel’s limitations and are open to testing your product suggests there is a gap your solution could fill.

Given this, let’s address your next steps and considerations:

  1. Expand Outreach Efforts: It seems prudent to increase the sample size of your validation efforts. The initial batch of 20 provides some direction, but a larger dataset would give more statistical significance to the feedback. It could also uncover additional insights into the needs and pain points of your target market.
  2. Proceed with MVP Development: Based on the positive feedback from 35% of your initial contacts and the interest from another 25%, developing an MVP appears justified. This step will allow you to offer something tangible for users to explore, which can help convert the uncertain prospects and even sway some from the 'unnecessary' camp by showcasing the practical benefits over Excel.
  3. Reassess the Viability: While continuing your validation and MVP development, keep an analytical eye on the feedback you receive. If you start noticing increased resistance or a lack of interest as you scale your outreach, it may be necessary to pivot either your product features or your target market approach.

Strategic Advice for MVP Development

  • Focus on Key Features: Identify the most critical pain points that your 35% group has with Excel and ensure these are addressed in your MVP. This will make your product compelling and necessary rather than just another alternative.
  • Iterative Development: Release the MVP to a limited audience for beta testing. Gather feedback rigorously and refine the product based on real user data.
  • Leverage Your Book: Since your book is already attracting interest, consider using it more aggressively as a marketing tool to pre-sell the MVP. Offer exclusive early access or special pricing for readers.

Re-Engagement Strategy

Once the MVP is somewhat stable, prepare to re-engage the 480 prospects:

  • Customized Communications: Use the insights from initial feedback to segment your communications. Tailor messages that address specific concerns or interests shown by different groups.
  • Demonstration and Case Studies: Prepare demonstrations or case studies that clearly show how your product solves problems more effectively than Excel.

By expanding your outreach, refining your MVP based on continuous feedback, and using tailored re-engagement strategies, you'll be well on your way to successfully launching a product that meets the needs of mid-sized B2B companies. Let’s keep the momentum going—what do you think would be the best feature to start with for your MVP?