My $40,000 Lesson

By Posted on 2 min read 933 views

Ever felt like crawling into a hole and never coming out?

That’s what I felt when I realised that a product development I’d been working on for nine months was a waste of time. Not only had I been developing it for nine months, but it’d also cost me $40,000.


Let me tell you that hurts.

And what was the reason? My own stupidity.

You see I’d wanted to create this product for years. In fact I’d become desperate to create it. Desperate to the point where I was no longer focusing on the crucial questions you need to ask when creating a product.

Yes it would solve a problem that people in the market had, and it worked well.

The issue… it was too damn complex to use. The learning curve was too steep.

FFS. I shoulda known that was going to be the case. And I use lean development techniques, which means nothing should take that long to build. If it’s going to take longer than eight weeks to create the first release, then there’s a problem and I should be re-looking at the product to see what it is.

When creating a product you need a complete step-by-step process so that you don’t spend a dime before your 99% sure it’s going to work.

Here are my three rules:

  1. It has to fulfil a demand in the market, solve a problem and provide a minimum of three big benefits to customers.
  2. It’s got to be easy to use with no large learning curves, or have a starter version that’s simple.
  3. First release has to be developable within eight weeks otherwise it needs to be made simpler.

If you’re looking for more details on how to create products then Sarah Staar has a pretty damn good course on it here.

All the best,


P.S. Sarah’s course isn’t that new, but the information in it is timeless, and it’s cheap as chips. Here you go:


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