Recently, I decided to get up off of my rear end and start working on a software product that I could potentially make some money from. So, I thought of something that seemed to solve a perceived problem for certain kinds of restaurants. I had one conversation with a restaurant manager who expressed mild interest. Since then, I’ve designed and redesigned the code. At one point, I even felt like the code wasn’t modular enough so I took a couple days and worked up a simple web application framework that I could build the app on top of using independent modules (somewhat like WordPress, but much simpler).
While I was doing this, I have been consuming content from various programmer entrepreneurs to educate myself and hopefully gain some insights. Several of these people have been very helpful, people like Rob Walling and Mike Taber of Startups For The Rest Of Us and Amy Hoy of Stacking The Bricks. Every so often they’d mention some blanket rules and opinions, particularly some that applied to first time entrepreneurs like myself. They’d say things like:
- “I don’t recommend making a software product as your first product”
- “Definitely don’t make a Software-as-a-Service app as your first product”
- “Either sell a new product to an existing audience or an existing product to a new audience, but don’t sell a new product to a new audience”
- “Avoid getting into a double-sided market” (where you have to get two groups of people to use the product for it to work), and
- “Stay away from audiences that avoid spending money on software…like restaurants”
Well, my idea is my first product. It’s a new SaaS product that I would need to sell to a two-sided market that I don’t have the attention of. One of those sides being restaurants. So, I’m not sure if it’s possible to go in the completely wrong direction when making a startup, but if it is, then I think I’ve done it. 🙁
But hey, at least I got a reusable framework out of it.