Toki is now closed.

Posted January 12, 2021 by Vladi ‐ 3 min read

Thoughts on why that idea didn't fly.

@zachking summary stats

It should be a good thing, to start a productive year with a post about the project that failed last year.

Let’s story begin. A few months ago, exactly right after the almost whole world had been locked in their apartments I decided to spend some time on any new, fresh ideas. My previous experience was from software architecture and development with a wide range of roles and projects. So, I don’t remember the moment but somehow, I got a question in my head:

“How marketers search for trends and measure their success(or not) on TikTok?”.

Hmm… interesting, getting answers from data is always was interesting for me, and TikTok has so much noise and grows so crazy fast. So, let’s do that quick! The next step was almost right, and I did some research, found competitors, worked on a few interviews with potential customers. A week later, everything looks promising and I was full of optimism about the idea.

Took a break for a day or so and built a couple of awesome lego constructions with my son.

Long story short and near 2 months later, the first version was up and ready to use. During this period, I told my idea to the good friend Alex and after 10 minutes of friendly conversation, I got a co-founder. I started working less on the tech side and more on sales and marketing.

Every day was a challenge, with a lot of online conversations, emails, and calls. Some days were hot and productive, some were lazy with zero results.

The main goal was moving forward, maybe not blazing fast, but step by step to get more customers.

What’s next? Results! 1 paid customer! It’s not a mistake and it’s hard to write but it’s true. Free users also weren’t so active. So, November was the last month when I work on a project with the last tested hypothesis.

Now, is the most important part of that post, at least for me personally is the lessons.

  1. Work on idea validation much more, first couple of proofs by possible customers is not a final answer, it’s a first result to get motivated to work harder!
  2. Create a detailed plan with real deadlines, but same time be flexible, and of course, keep it, and no matter you work as a solo founder or not, it can save a lot.
  3. Prioritize your work and put just two simple lines on the top - “1. Get more customers”, “2. Grow revenue”. That’s it, quite simple, right? Any other tasks should be a much lower priority, which is especially relevant for the tech founders.
  4. Spend time to understand that you will work on that idea(not exactly probably, but close hah) for years. Need time to fill that you are ready for that, or not. If not, just forgot and move on.

So, that’s it. I know it looks too obvious, right? We all know about that and often read something like that and still make mistakes like these.

It was a very helpful experience for me. Now I’m already started to work on my next project p#4 - ok and p#1 is in the work, hah.

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