What I learnt marketing TrafficLens – Part 1

This is the first post of the series in which I share my experience building and marketing TrafficLens. As a developer by trade, I have much more experience building software but little to none in how to tell people about it. or to market it. I want to share little things that I have learned so far. They are undoubtedly the most basic marketing techniques but I hope they can help someone

Start with building something people need

This may sound obvious but as developer, it is very tempting to build a side project to learn some new technologies and not to solve other people’s problem. It is great if your goal is to learn new technologies but if your goal is to build a business, that approach is less than ideal

I have failed for this time and time again. Let me tell you why building something before finding customers doesn’t work for me.

Motivation can only get you so far. We all know that feeling. You came up with an amazing idea that you can’t wait to get home and work on. Surely this would be different from other project that you have embarked on. You can just tell from how excited you are. Unfortunately motivation is short lived and only get you so far. Life gets in the way. Then before you know it, it’s more and more difficult to make yourself do the work necessary to bring your vision to life.

This is where having interested customers can make a different. The feedback from customers can keep you going even when you don’t feel like it.

How I apply this to TrafficLens

Ironically, I don’t completely heed my own advices when I set out to build TrafficLens. I was using Runscope Traffic Inspector before they announced they would shut down the functionality. Over separate conversations, I keep hearing my developer friends complain about how sucky it is that they shutdown the functionality that they use the most. That’s when I decided to build a replacement for it.

Looking back, it would have been better if I ask them for the first month check. I should also have talked to more people that aren’t my friends and who weren’t using Runscope before to describe to them what it is that I’m building. It’d be amazing customer validation if I can get them to give me checks for first month of service.

There is a name for this process

It’s called customer development. I first heard about it in the start up bible Steve Blank’s Four steps to epiphany and later in Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup

If you want to build a business that can generate revenue, I can’t recommend these two books enough

Was this helpful to you? Is there anything you want me to write about regarding how I built and market TrafficLens. Let me know in the comment. Subscribe to my mailing list below to be notified of new post

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