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Bootstrappers Diary – Failure


Welcome to part 5 of my bootstrapper’s diary,

In part 1 I outlined what the aims and plans for this series were, I plan to create a series of different bootstrapped products.

In part 2 I explained my product and announced the name Kanban cash flow. I also launched my landing page.

In part 3 I explained the decisions about building the MVP for Kanban cash flow.

In part 4 I dived into pricing my product Kanban cash flow and changed in my target platform to a Mac app.

In this post, I am going to explain how I have failed to move this project on and what I plan to do next.

Failure and where did it all go wrong

The whole point of the bootstrappers diary is to build products and document my ups and downs.

So…. My first down is that I have decided to kill kanban cash flow and I wanted to explain why and then move on. Now there are a couple of reasons why I failed on this product.

For one, People were not getting excited about the Kanban cash flow, so I started to wonder if I was wasting my time in creating yet another product that no one would use. I would be stupid not to ignore this, and I did try too 😉

Secondly, I don’t think I was totally excited about the product in the first place, and therefore me working on it felt like a chore, and it was not exciting, so my development started to slow. As my progress slowed on it, I started to procrastinate and put off doing other jobs as well as working on this product.

It wasn’t until I decided to take a step back and look at the project from a high level and try and figure out why it was not progressing that I spotted the signs that I was not fully engaged with it and decided to stop it. As soon as I made the decision, I felt like a weight had been lifted and was reenergized to move on which was great.

Now doing this in public most likely made ignore the signs longer than I normally would because I needed to write about the product journey and didn’t want to fail in public. However that is the point the diary, that is to be open about building products including knowing when you should stop.

Here is a quick list of the reasons I have decided to shelve Kanban Cash Flow.

  • little interest from target market at the moment
  • no sign ups to mailing list (huge clue)
  • personally not engaged enough

whats next

Well, next it is back to the drawing board and back to the list in part 1 to find a new bootstrapped project. As well as talking about bootstrapping my products, I will also start to include stuff around rebuilding and changes to the site.

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