We can divide the population into 2 categories. Creators and Consumers. Creators are people who can create at least one thing and Consumers are people who consume things created by creators. Creators are also consumers of their own product and other products. But all consumers are not creators. Creators always have some upper hand and they can trade easily. In other words, they can have the potential to earn a lot and/or live a life of their choice. Contrary to pure consumers who are bound to live based on earnings they make which come from work they do as per society norms.
Labour, worker, driver, technician, gardener and lot more profession come into consumer category. Writer, Developer, Engineer, Scientist are few examples of creator category. While former surely possess some skillset for work they do but latter have a unique characteristic, they create something which was non-existent before.
This blog is about the tech industry, we will stick to the context of technology. In tech designers, developers, architects, and a few more roles can be classified as creators. I am a developer and I will stick to my area of expertise.
Tech companies hire developers/creators and create something useful which consumers are ready to pay. Few creators believe they have talent and instead of leasing their talent to tech companies for monthly wages, why not use it to create something they want. Remember, not every creator has aspiration and mindset to understand what should be created which users will welcome and a new demand will be created in the market. Creators who have an aspiration to create something with the technology of their choice/knowledge and shaping it into business are called Techpreneur. They are the technical entrepreneur with ideas using tech which can create a new demand in the market. It may be in shape of a totally new idea, improvement over existing idea OR combination of existing idea, the marriage of social cause and tech, some meta product to help tech business and so on.
I do not have any idea/aspiration to change the world. I aspire to create passive income and I have a dream of owning a company(big or small does not matter). People should use the product and it should feed me is the ultimate goal.
My technical side
I am in software since 2010. I enjoy coding and software development. I believe this is one of few profession where the work of one person can touch many lives. Sometimes in their daily lives as utility and sometimes in leisure/fun form. My core strength is Java(OOPS). I am doing Android for a few years and I love mobile as a piece of hardware. So much computation has been packed in a handheld device and us mobile developers have access to a shit ton of memory and processing power like never before in history.
I know POC level PHP, server-side JAVA EE, basic Linux commands, day to day photoshop. I feel we should respect cryptography(ssh and https mainly) for holding the connected world.
After spending a good time in consumer-facing software companies, your mindset helps in brainstorming consumer-facing products. I consider myself a Product engineer.
In 8 years (2010-2018) I have tried 3 tech products. First 2 failed with a lot of learnings and third is ongoing. Some details about products in the most recent to oldest order:
- When: June 2018 (hueuello.com)
- What it is in 1 sentence: Mobile app for smart lights started with Philips Hue
- Hypothesis: I think a good software for smart lights is in very much need and people who spend so much for hardware will happily pay the little amount if you add value
- Strength: Technology (We are developing a plugin based architecture)
- Money Transaction: Yes
- State: Ongoing
- Users: Users are using it and appreciating it
- Why it may succeed: Money transactions from a very early stage and tech strength with a good vision should help
- Learning: Consumers know what they want. Listen to their pain points and solve in the way you believe it is better. Do not focus on faster horses, build a car if you can BUT do not build if it is not needed. Have a vision and do not deviate from vision. Do not get attached to the path to reach your vision. Be flexible and mold yourself as time demands. Prioritization is they key. Remember, Not everything you can; you should.
- Future Plan: Vision to become the #1 mobile app for all smart lights
- When: Late 2015 (watstime.com , I do not own it anymore)
- What it is in 1 sentence: Mobile app to set the alarm of other people
- Hypothesis: People need to remind other people a lot of time. It will offer a simplified solution.
- Target consumer base: Everyone 10+
- Strength: None (Maybe idea was unique)
- Money Transaction: No
- State: Not pursuing, failed.
- Downloads: < 10,000
- Why it failed: Deviated from product a lot of time not because market needed because I got ideas and went inflow. Product experience matters a lot in such consumer-facing products and I lacked a good UX design. Maybe I could not afford, maybe I did not know. I launched only on Android where the product is communication-based and it must be present on all possible devices of your target user base.
- Users: People were using it for small tasks like reminding medicines to parents, reminding print out to friends in college/office etc. This app got selected in fb startup program.
- Learning: What is your product story should be clear. Define your product in one line. Keep iterating unless you know what are you working on. Do not do so many things at one time. The product takes time to grow. Every product should do only one thing best and gradually you will find the time and need to add more stuff. Have a vision and stick to it. Do not get attached to technology and path you need to pave. Understand the bigger picture and do not launch a not baked product. There is a difference between a not baked product, half-baked product and baked product. For early testing, a half-baked product can help among enthusiasts but the not baked product will not help. It will backfire.
- Financial Profit/Loss: Loss
- Future Plan: None, I still think the right execution can crack something here
- When: Mid 2014 (mobidress.com, I do not own it anymore)
- What it is in 1 sentence: A website to sell mobile designer covers.
- Hypothesis: I thought we can create designer products and convince people to change mobile skin daily.
- Strength: None
- Target consumer base: Female 15-30
- Money Transaction: Yes, from day 1
- State: Not pursuing, failed.
- Why it failed: Not right understanding of business model and competing against vendors like Amazon was too costly in terms of expenditure and consumer service. I underestimated the whole process. A good product is not the only variable in the equation. Online presence demands good consumer process, returns and a lot of investment.
- Users: People were using it but overall it was too costly business to handle and did not see growth given my financial condition
- Learning: Early research is important especially if it is not the only tech-oriented but the inventory based business also. Tech is only 20% of the equation. Online presence is not kids play. You need to be street smart and burn a lot of cash to generate leads.
- Financial Profit/Loss: Loss
- Future Plan: None
I thought to share day to day hurdles and learning on this blog. It might help to connect with like-minded people OR at the very least, I will improve my writing.