You Can Fail Quickly … Or You Can Do What I Did
It’s generally advised if you’re trying to build something do it quickly. Put it out in the world ASAP. This, with the idea in mind that if you fail, and most things fail, get it over quickly so you can move on and avoid the sunk cost fallacy.
Wrytr’s approach was different as by failing (in different ways) quite a few times before getting to the point now, where I can see if I’ll succeed or fail completely. BTW, Hi I’m Rob, and I run a strategy and creative consultancy).
I’ll share my path so anyone seeing this can figure out how to do better than I did.
How Did I Fail?
- One: Built a website for a product best used on a phone
- Two: Hired an app developer who quit due to personal issues.
- Three: Hired a new developer who did some work and then took money and ghosted me. I’d link to the GitHub he set up, but f–k him as it’s time to move on.
- Four: Hired another developer who didn’t know what he was doing.
- Five: Finally found the right developer partner.
What Were You Building?
The framework for a concept ultimately called Wrytr started up a long time ago when I emailed writing prompts to friends. They’d respond back via email, which developed into more challenges with more friends. We named a winner for the first challenge, with the prize a bumper sticker for a burrito shop in San Diego. After that, the ‘winner,’ would get to set up the next challenge.
I loved the concept, but wanted to automate that fun and make it easier for others to enjoy that fun, too.
Why Did You Keep Working on the Concept?
That spark (after being inert for a long while) came from finding Ryan Hoover and a few posts of his on Medium about building products, which was right around the time he launched Product Hunt. PH, for anyone building anything. is as inspiring as it gets. Everyone, from the biggest of big, to 12 year olds, is debuts new things there.
With Product Hunt around, and me in need of help building the new vision, I reached out to Ryan and bought an ad on Product Hunt in search of a developer. Through Product Hunt, I found a great designer. As for devs? Not so much luck. Cycled through a few before finding the right now. Good lessons learned throughout the journey that have helped with my business efforts, as well as was just something – in spite of the struggles – that I found to be fun.
I could offer advice, but I didn’t take much of it myself. Maybe just this – learn a lot by doing the work (and failing). All else, who cares?
Go build something. An app. A garden. Anything. Even the bad you go through is more fun than not.
In the meanwhile, get Wrytr on your iPhone and get your creative flow moving forward.