I’ve been really focused on hitting my milestones over the past two weeks, so I don’t have too much of an exciting pre-amble for this update. But I will say there is something really powerful in creating a series of milestones that build on each other towards a big goal. They force you into periods of focused execution followed by introspection and realignment. While they can be painful at times, if you really use them to build on each other, they are a powerful creator of momentum.
Now that I’m through the period of execution, I’m preparing to take a step back and get some more outside perspective on my project from more beta customers and a set of trusted advisors. And I’m also hoping to take advantage of the beautiful weather a bit more. Seattle is the most amazing place in the world when it is warm and sunny. And this Spring has turned out to be a really beautiful one.
First Beta Customer - About a week ago I reached code complete and onboarded my first beta customer. Qrayon has generously signed up to run a half-dozen experiments for their forthcoming iPad animated drawing app. As expected, we found a ton of bugs in our product, but they were easily fixed and the research turned out to be quite useful for Qrayon. We explored the design options of text buttons vs. icon buttons and to my surprise, the text buttons destroyed icons. People seemed really skeptical of icons, with many of them saying that it is often a lot of effort to figure out what they all mean. Interesting. We also did a suite of competitive studies to understand the differences in first impression between Qrayon’s new product and his chief competition. We should have a more detailed writeup for the Much Finer Blog on this next week.
Business Plan and Advisors - My two big investments this week are polishing up the site and content, and completing the business plan. Over the next two weeks I want to do a circuit with a set of respected advisors (business, product and technical). This week they should be getting special invite codes and copies of the business plan for review. Very excited!
Next 2 Weeks
I have two goals for my next two week sprint (1) Have the product fully polished and ready for a public beta so I can start selling and (2) Get good feedback from my advisors so I can plan out the next months' pivot and start executing.