I spent 10 months coding and almost failed before launching

July 8, 2020

Leo Nagano

Sold my B2B company

If you are a seasoned software professional, who knows how to build stuff, and you are now looking to level up and become a Full Stack Entrepreneur, join 100+ founders building profitable side businesses.

Key takeaways

  • Users don’t care about the technology
  • The more time you save from users, the more they are willing to pay you
  • Niche down as much as you can
  • Relationship matters

1/ The AHA moment

Aha moment

Similar to how Tyler Tringas’ Storemapper started

2/ Company creation

So excited. Wow, I’m an entrepreneur! Well, Just need a name for the company, website, email, logo, product name, leaflet, etc. After more than 1 month along with my 2 co-founders working part-time, the company (Everesti) and product (Nera) are named. Everything else is set up, we can start.

3/ Just one more feature…

Now, onto the product. Let’s build an iPhone app! 2008. That will be cool! Clients will close deals as soon as they see it! New things to learn! So, I bought a macbook (I’d never used one before) and an ObjectiveC book.

I’m a Java architect. Will build the architecture and the product. I don’t want to hard-code anything, of course. We need a dynamic product to be used by new clients.

One more feature and we can sell. Ok, let me implement another one. Got an idea for a new page, just one more month….time has passed...Finally after 9 months, my baby was born! I’m so proud! Built this amazing, state-of-art architecture. So many features like signup/signin/sms alerts/email alerts/SOA bus/connections with loads of different DBs/Webservices/Text files.

Time was running out. Almost one year with no income. We’re ready to sell!

Our pricing strategy is set. Well, we didn’t talk to any potential client, apart from the one we previously “pre negotiated”.

Features

4/ Build and they will come…well, not really

Meetings

After tens of meetings:

  • They didn’t want to create anything. I could’ve avoided building a whole admin side and saved months of work.
  • If we’d focused on relevant KPIs for any particular industry, we would’ve talked the users’ language and become experts
  • They asked how much would cost, but I didn’t have the answer as the product was too flexible (Well, I’ll discuss pricing in another edition, as we struggled a lot with this)

At least, we made a deal with the potential client that requested the project. Took us “only“ 10 months. Obviously, they used only a tiny part of the massive product we created.

5/ What would I do today?

  • Meetings before building
  • Try to build a community around KPIs for an industry (http://rosieland.substack.com)
  • Hard code to get data
  • Personalise and automate Excel to connect and generate charts/tables
  • Email the charts/tables

Do you like this article? Say Hi on Twitter and also sign up to my newsletter where I share more about life, business, tech