A month passed by since I made the first steps in my new endeavor: OBSRV.APP.
A few weeks back I wrote a vague summary of the goal and values of this product. And although the vision is still the same (no-code web scraping service), I made a decision to go after a more exact use-case: competitor watch, competitor price monitoring.
There are products nicely packed with features out there and they are all trying to help making pricing decisions based on data. Some of them are focusing on a narrow - but huge - market (eg. Amazon marketplace) and there are some generic ones with a wider target segment (eg. ecommerce in general). Without getting into details, my aim is to achieve something like they do with more option to customize the set of data that can be interesting to the future users.
And what about the future users? If you have a little bit of experience in making a product you should know that it's mission critical to talk to people, possible target segments to find out their pain and their thoughts before investing hundreds of hours in a solution. Why to build a solution when you don't know what's the problem you're solving? 🤔
And this is an area where I have an advantage thanks to my experience as a PM and as someone who tried to sell digital and physical products before. My previous struggle in trying to follow my competitors and trying to figure out something that can make me more - or at least equally successful makes me a bit more confident. I understand the basic problem. But I don't know everything and it's important to talk to people with the same problem asap.
From my experience, talking about and exact/somewhat living solution (event if it's very basic) makes it easier to start discussions and get feedback. So my plan was to give myself a month to make something that can show value and then go out in the wild and talk to others about it. Then iterate until I conquer the world 😀
If it would turn out that I'm heading into the wrong direction I "wasted" only a month from my time and I can decide where to go next.
Now, after a month it's safe to say that I didn't achieve my initial goal.
Turns out that automating data mining while not getting banned as you scale is not easy. And doing this while you have a steady job and a life won't make it any easier.
But I'm not panicking. And after all it's my project. I'm giving myself two more weeks to put together the MVP. Here we go!