There are many ways to succeed at building software products. If the Get It Built way is right for you, here's how you can get started.
1. Decide Who Your Users Will Be
The only requirement to get started is to have a target audience and a desire to solve a problem for them. At this stage, you are picking your market. Who is your product for? There are a lot of ways to calculate market size based on different assumptions. This is as much an art as it is a science. Simply put, you need enough people to spend enough money on you solving their problem. You decide what "enough" is. Unlike Silicon Valley VCs, we believe not every product worth building has a billion-dollar market. You should pick a market based on your goals and priorities for your business. You should also have (or be ready to work towards) a unique advantage in your market by being able to solve your user's problem better than anyone else.
2. Find a Problem You Can Solve For Them
Understanding your users well enough to define the problem you want to solve for them is key. You can pick a problem based on experience, interviews, or observation. You should know your market well or have access to learn from them. Conducting user interviews, surveys, and market research can be helpful in this step. Focusing on the problem first will help you by making sure you don't get attached to the wrong solution.
3. Make Sure Your Financials Work Out
At this stage, financials (even if they are guesses) are very important to decide what your budgets should be. Given that you know your users and their problem, you should be able to determine a range for the value of your solution and sanity check the feasibility of your plan.
4. Build a Beta List of Fans
One of the most important things to do before you start building an app is creating and deploying a strategy for building your beta list. These are the people you will solve the problem for first. In the process, you will entrust them with giving you feedback on your product, so be very intentional about and managing this group. In addition to this a beta list will help you with:
Validating your potential users really exists
Making sure the problem is real
Showing potential investors your progress
Building a community for your brand.
5. Start Solving their Problem with Real-World Solution
The most successful products go through a lot of iteration. The key to creating a successful product is gathering information and iterating faster and cheaper than the competition. For this reason, we like the first few versions of the product to be no product at all, meaning we solve the problem #IRL. It is 10x faster and cheaper to change functionality and get feedback on features in the idea phase than it is in the design phase, and 10x faster in the design phase than it is in the development phase. We want to take advantage of our early-stage flexibility to learn a lot and learn quickly.
Try to find 100 people in your market with the problem and do whatever you can to solve their problem for them. In the case of Uber, this means giving 100 people rides yourself. You should be able to leverage existing tools at this stage. Here you are working towards:
Intimate familiarity with the problem.
Understanding the weaknesses of the solution.
Low-cost iterations on the solution.
Testing your hypothesis about value/cost
If you've done all this, you are ready to automate your solution to develop a successful software product to meet the needs of your market.