Don’t start by writing code 💻

We, developers, are good at writing code and we enjoy doing it. So it’s natural for us wanting to start microstartups (or side projects) by writing code first.

But we all know how many side projects have been started and then quickly abandoned. When keeping this in mind, sometimes it can be more reasonable to start by deliberately not writing code.

Kam – the microfounder of Linen – was very intentional when approaching a new startup, and for the same reason – because many previous side projects had failed:

"I’ve made this mistake far too many times over a dozen side projects and startups that didn’t go anywhere and made sure to have a bit more of a methodical approach to Linen."

He spent a week identifying potential ideas, then a week talking to potential customers, and then – only when he already had a $1,000 committed from a client – he started writing code:

"I ended with a few enthusiastic customers and I threw out a few price points to see how much of an interest they had. Surprisingly one was willing to commit $1,000 a year for Linen. After 15 of these calls I had enough conviction to start building Linen’s MVP."

What could be some of the practical things to do before writing code?

✏️ make a list of ideas and pain points you’ve noticed
👍 try to understand what you have a competitive advantage in
💡 spend at least a few days researching and thinking about the idea
📞 find some first potential customers and talk to them

And we can keep in mind that it’s also possible to start a microstartup based on service, which doesn’t need code in the beginning (but can be coded into a platform later). There are currently 6 service startups on MicroFounder making collectively $220,000+ per month.

ColdEmail.Club – whose founder recently shared 3 tips with us about how to do cold emailing as a microfounder – is one of them:

"Yet most founders are terrible at cold emails, especially at crafting the right email copy that gets them replies. I realized that there was a big opportunity in helping founders and their sales teams write more effective email copy, and that’s when I decided to launch Cold Email Club." – 📥 ColdEmail.Club ($3k/mo) by Jaisal Rathee

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Start with the audience, not the idea 👥
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