Searching for the Pain of Social Media Professionals
To each their own I guess. I'm sure your strategy is effective, but personally I feel like this philosophy leads to unimaginative products for an already over-served audience.
I feel much more inspired by people who follow their passion, wherever it might lead them.
Hey Sacha - can't say that I agree with you here. (Full disclosure, I'm cofounder of Extra with Liam)
While it's true that this process can lead to unimaginative products, that isn't the goal. The goal is to achieve product based income rather than employment or service/consulting based.
In your position, what you say is completely true, you've had many years of product work, built an audience, and now get inspiration for your products from the foundation you already have in place.
Following one's passion shouldn't be removed from the formula, but if the goal is to build something that pays the rent and puts food on the table, it's important to focus on customers.
Really appreciate you taking the time to read this and offer your feedback!
Thanks for reading the post, and for providing the platform that you do for designers (I've been flattered by a feature on Sidebar before).
There's a a lot of debate around the idea of passion. I think a lot of designers (and developers) are probably sweating it building things that they aren't super passionate about because their passionate about some other aspect of the work (this is often the nature of agency work). For Matthew and I, who prioritize balance and freedom in our lifestyles, the idea of designing and developing something to our standards is passion enough.
For the designer or developer working at an agency or startup whose vision maybe isn't super inspiring (and there's a lot of them), a side project that pays the rent can be the thing that gives them the freedom to pursue what they're really passionate about. It's working for me.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond.
Here's how I look at it: take 10 entrepreneurs using your strategy. 5 might be successful, and you end up with 5 successful social media management apps.
On the other hand, take 10 entrepreneurs trying to shoot for the stars and, say, solve world hunger. That problem is (at least) five times as hard, so only one entrepreneur out of 10 might be successful. The outcome is much worse for your group of entrepreneurs, but it's much better for society overall, because hey, you've solved world hunger.
This is a vastly simplified example of course, and you can never know if a trivial-seeming idea won't end up changing the world (Twitter being the perfect example), but I thought it was worth bringing up to argue the other side of the debate.
Bit of commentary on Extra's home-page, since it reads more like a novel at the moment than a website!
Extra allows you to:
- Automate posting and reposting to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
- Analyze audience behaviour to post at the perfect moment.
- Maximize your content marketing return-on-investment.
- That should be at the top of your Extra page, in a header, in bold, huge text.
- Drop bullet point 3. (Name me one product for your target audience that's not focussed on maximising return-on-investment. It's superfluous.)
Hey guys: This is the process that I've followed to launch my little side projects (that I work on full-time now). Thought it might be helpful to those of you are working on side gigs. Cheers,