Starting the challenge

01 August 2021

In the introduction to the challenge, I mentioned I had a list of semi-formed ideas that I was thinking about. Here they are:

  1. A tool for recruiters/companies to better source software developers they’d like to hire. The way companies currently hire seems to fall into two categories. The passive way: Post job ads everywhere, get a list of applicants and filter to find the one. The proactive way: Actively source candidates that may fit the role. The latter results in better signal/noise ratio but is harder to pull of. Partly because it’s a search problem but also because it requires convincing the candidate that you’re a good fit. I have a few thoughts on how to solve both of those challenges.
  2. Simple tool for assessing cultural NPS. Culture surveys are surprisingly a big market. I didn’t initially grok this but execs want to know team morale and the state of their employees. This is even more true in a remote world. Currently the tools for doing these surveys are clunky and annoying, I think I know of a way to make them simpler, more lightweight and potentially more reliable.
  3. A tool for individuals who want to grow their Twitter. There are some great tools that help solve this problem. Most of them though focus on analytics and scheduling. There’s so much more that’s possible though with just a bit better use of the API, approached from the perspective of the individual tweeter.
  4. Building the Indie Hackers for people who want to start high growth startups. Indie Hackers grew by giving Hacker News the content it wanted to read. I think I have a unique way to do the same but with slightly different content. The end goal would be a site like Indiehackers but for people who want to play the startup olympics.
  5. Building a better Goodreads. I was a fan of Goodreads. However since Amazon bought it the site has been rotting. The fake reviews, the deprecation of useful features and the slowness of the site are just some of the issues. I think there’s tons of whitespace to play here but I worry about solving the chicken and egg problem.

In general I already prefer the first three, purely because they’re paid saas. Of those three, I prefer the first two: a) I’d be selling to businesses, b) I can charge more, and c) the markets are bigger.

So for the next week (probably two), I’ll be researching the first two ideas. I’m going to try setting up a bunch of meetings/interactions with leaders at various tech companies, learning about their pain points and figuring out if the hypothesis’ I have around those ideas are correct. If it turns out there’s something there, then I’ll start building.

Even if I start building I don’t want to stop speaking to customers. I’ll probably aim for sending out 10 cold emails a day to qualified potential customers with the goal of getting on a call with them (I’ll share the cold email in the next update). Through that process I’ll likely improve my product intuition but also potentially convert them into paying customers down the road.

And that’s it for this week,
Yusuf

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