Does this sound familiar? You spend hours and hours working on an awesome new project, countless late nights trying to get it off the ground, investing a good amount of money on domain names, hosting and other services, yet despite all your effort, you still fail. The project doesn’t deliver and you’re left disheartened, wondering why you bothered in the first place.
That’s our story too. For a number of years now, we’ve worked on over a dozen different side projects. So far we have only managed to launch one of these, and it launched late.
Every time we started a new project, we would be full of enthusiasm and excitement about its potential. As it turns out, this is both a blessing and a curse. We’d start out with a relatively small, simple idea but before we knew it, feature after feature would be added until it became so huge that we had no hope of getting it out the door.
A few months in, with little progress to show and an ever growing scope, enthusiasm would fade. Eventually the project would die and be exiled to a random folder in Dropbox, never to be seen again. We found ourselves trapped in a repeating cycle of failing to launch.
Identifying the problem
After our latest failure, we started thinking about why we consistently failed to launch. Sure, you can’t expect to succeed at everything, but failure had resided at our doors so often we’d started charging rent.
After some thinking, we realised something: the problem wasn’t in the ideas — it was us. We were doing it wrong. So, to fix our cycle of failed projects, we began another — only this time, it was different.
‘SixBySix’ is our plan to take on a new project every month for 6 months. This project could be anything, although it will likely be a website or an app. Each month we will have to decide on an idea, plan it, create it and launch it. With all our other commitments, we estimate we’ll both have between 8 and 16 hours to work on each project. That’s unless the first month is a success and we launch the world’s first gluten-free time machine.
But here’s the difference: we are going to take some of our smaller, simpler ideas, and use those to figure out the best way to launch. The important thing to note is we are not looking to release a polished, fully featured version on day one. Instead, our emphasis is on launching v1.0, an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Once this is launched we’ll be able to gauge user feedback and see whether there’s any desire for further development. Our theory is that if we can consistently reach the launch phase then when we move onto more ambitious projects we’ll be ready for them. Basically, we’ll be learning to walk before attempting to run.
So what does this mean for you?
Our hope is that by sharing some of the challenges we face that we’ll all avoid making the same mistakes again. Each month we’ll be sharing our expectations for the project, what we learn along the way and, hopefully, the end product.
We’ve never done this before so we really appreciate you coming along for the journey and invite you to offer your thoughts & feedback at every stage. Simply add a comment in the section at the bottom of each post or if you prefer a little privacy you can always drop us an email.
Come along for the journey
There are many ways you can follow along. There’s the RSS feed, you can follow our journey on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ as well as signing up to our monthly newsletter where we share how the month has gone and our top tips on taking your ideas from concept to launch.
We’re really excited about what SixBySix can be and look forward to what each new month will bring.
What are your experiences of taking an idea from concept to launch? Do you have any top tips to increase productivity? Drop us a comment below, we’d love to hear them.