Why I green-lit the Email Love project

This article (and video) is intended to act as a checklist when validating your next idea. I go through each step using Email Love as context. Hope you find it useful!


Here is the checklist download link – rad to print out, sit outdoors… with coffee. It’s all about being realistic with our expectations and promises on side-projects. If you don’t steer too far from your passion, you’ll be just fine!

1. How passionate are you about the side‐project subject?

  • Rate from 1‐10. 8 or above is Green. Go. Now.
  • Will I have a ton of fun building it?

2. Why exactly are you building this side‐project?

  • To get known as a Maker?
  • To make more money?
  • To quit my job now?
  • To grow a business and hire people?
  • To solve my own problem/need?
  • To learn a new skill?
  • To potentially help my existing projects?
  • To form a contingency plan for my current project?
  • To build something of value that can help people?

3. Will you use your own side‐project?

4. Opportunity costs?

  • Why don’t I improve my existing projects with this time?
  • Am I procrastinating on a bigger, more important project?
  • Have I considering ridding of a side‐project I am less passionate about, to make space for this new one?

5. Will your side‐project solve a real problem?

  • Does my idea solve an easy or difficult problem?
  • Have I researched if there are already solutions to my problem?
  • Are there still pain‐points in the industry?
  • How light can I test and validate that my idea is actually solving a problem?
  • Are people willing to pay for my product or service?

6. Is the side‐project market progressive?

  • Will my idea be relevant in 1,2,3,5,10 years?
  • What does my gut say?
  • Have I spent an hour in Google Trends?

7. Competition

  • No competition = bad.
  • Ton of competition = ok.
  • Ton of competition but not much within my niche = good. Can I target a niche within the broader industry?
  • Do I know how big this industry is?
  • How big are the social media followings of my competitors?

8. Are you able to build everything?

  • Do I have time to build this side‐project while you are working on your main project or day job?
  • How much do I need to outsourcing?
  • Do I have savings to outsource?
  • Without outsourcing, can I launch at lighter version of this side‐project idea to validate outsourcing?

9. Who is creating content and how often?

  • Am I building a community?
  • Am I building a standalone tool?
  • Does my side‐project promise timely content?
  • Does my side‐project need moderation?
  • Can I walk away from the idea for a day, week, month, year?

10. Are you fit for the hustle?

  • Am I mentally strong enough for the inevitable dip?
  • Am I in it for the short or long game?

If you found this useful please pass it on to a friend. It’s all about being realistic with our expectations and promises on side­-projects. If you don’t steer too far from your passion, you’ll be just fine!

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