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?
- 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!
- P4 - How I negotiated the $5k domain
- P3 - The game plan
- P2 - Greenlighting the idea
- P1 - Announcement