After talking from customers, I have decided to shut down DecisionBee (the tool for engineering teams to create and manage their internal Request for Comments). I started working on it at the end of July, so this journey lasted a bit more than a month.
Not an important problem
The best way to build a successful business is to solve an important problem for your customers. An important problem is one that brings pain to customers (solving it saves money or time) and that happens frequently (daily or monthly).
In my customers interviews, I have focused on understanding what tools teams are using to build RFCs, what were the biggest issues in their process, and how frequently they were writing RFCs.
The results were that the main points of friction were human-related (issues with writing quality, RFCs opened for too long...). The volume of RFCs wasn't ideal either (a couple a month) and only a small part of the team would write / share feedback on a RFC on a given day.
All in all, this isn't an important problem.
What I have learned
My secondary goal (after growing MRR) was to ship a good product quickly to learn and work my shipping muscle And this is a success from this point of view.
I have used Next.js with SWR. I have written an Operating Manual that helped me a couple of times. I have configured Google Search Console, Google Analytics and a good email delivery setup (SPF, DKIM, DMARC).
One of the issues that made me lose a lot of time was trying to make customers pay on the launch date. The lesson is that I'll make the product free for my twitter audience, and only start monetizing when I see some folks coming back to the tool regularly.
So I feel more prepared for the next project!
This was another reminder to Make Something People Want.
What is next?
I'm not done yet!
I've been selling a Shopify dataset that I update every month: I'm scraping the Top 10,000 Shopify Stores and offer the dataset containing 20 columns about each Top Shopify Store.
I've also subscribed to Software Ideas and I'm studying their ideas. My plan is to choose one of their ideas and talk to potential customers right away. The typical mistake I make is building before learning enough about the customers.
So here it goes, time for a restart!