Discover more from Lior's Newsletter
Indie hacking, once again
+ a new product that I've launched today!
Welcome to the first issue of this newsletter.
I’d like to start by thanking you for being one of the first subscribers to this newsletter. I hope to share interesting insights and give you an insider’s view of everything I’m working on. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to share.
Before we dive in, I have one ask: I’m launching a new product today - if you can, please show your support on Product Hunt!
I’ve spent the past 12 years or so as an entrepreneur - not necessarily the sanest of choices, but what can I say - I just love it.
I’ve worked on various projects over the years - some succeeded and grew, others failed, and some are still TBD.
Since 2019, I’ve been the CEO of a startup called Openbase. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to grow it into a large successful business, and I shut it down earlier this year, which was a very tough decision.
Indie hacking, once again
After considerable thought, I made the decision to dedicate myself to indie hacking once again. While this may not have the same leverage, velocity, or fame that comes with raising money from top investors and leading a talented team, it’s a better fit for the lifestyle I’m looking for right now.
After four years of running a startup (which has been a challenging but amazing experience), I’m looking forward to spending more time in “build mode” vs. “manage mode”, spending more time in a state of flow, and having fewer responsibilities, just hacking away.
I decided to focus mostly on building products that utilize AI - the recent wave of AI capabilities is mind-blowing and unlocks so many opportunities to improve our lives and work. In talking to other makers, I can’t recall seeing such excitement about any other technology in the past couple of decades.
Time is the enemy
My goal now is to test one product idea per month. Most of which will fail, I’m sure, but there’s a power law at play, and some would eventually succeed. I’ll then do my best to double down on these ideas that show early signs of success.
Previously, I’d typically spend up to 3 months building and launching a single product, so launching a product every month means I’ll have to be more diligent and disciplined about cutting scope, as well as try to validate new ideas before even fully building the product.
Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll be able to consistently succeed in that goal, but I do want to give it a try!
The reasoning is simple: Parkingson’s law. Generally, the more time I give myself to launch a product, the more work is going to “show up”. There will always be one more feature to squeeze in, one more marketing campaign, one more thing to fix. Deciding to launch anything within a month is a strong forcing function to make sure I focus only on the most important things.
On the long term, I expect that building in public and releasing early and often, will help validate, invalidate, or refine ideas based on real feedback from the market.
In the past month, I’ve worked on DreamGift. An AI-powered site to help you find personalized gifts for every occasion or person.
Bliss, a friendly (and sassy) AI shopper, will ask you a few questions, then suggest personalized gifts for the occasion. Behind the scenes, DreamGift is powered by the OpenAI GPT API, and we search for matching products and data through the Amazon Product Advertising API.
While I feel there’s a lot of room for improvement, I promised myself to launch early and often, so today, I’m launching it on Product Hunt to get more market feedback.
While I could wait another week or two, there are many benefits to launching DreamGift early on:
Stress testing the product in terms of functionality and usability. I’ve done some of this, but this was at a small scale with a dozen users.
Getting feedback from potential users.
Creating early brand awareness.
Getting the first few backlinks to the product, which is good to get the SEO ball rolling.
Forcing function to make sure the product is ready (as it could be) by the launch date.
In the next issue…
In the news issue of this newsletter, I’m going to share my learnings from launching DreamGift on Product Hunt, and share some best practices as well. DreamGift would be my 9th launch on Product Hunt - some launches were amazing and top-rated, while I managed to botch some others, so there are some hard lessons learned here…
Please reply and let me know what else you want me to share about my product ideation, building, and launch methodology.