ayush pathak @ayshptk

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Time Spent ≠ Achieved Success

Published on · 672 words · 3 minutes long.

In her book ‘Stay Hungry Stay Foolish’ Rashmi Bansal underlined a really important learning - only if the founders of MakeMyTrip.com may have tried to work on making their website look better, they might have lost their chance of becoming the success they are today.

Last month, I had my first ‘successful’ product launch in recent times. (Note: I’ve added successful in apostrophe, more on that later). The product was Side Domains If you’re unaware of it, it is a simple marketplace to sell brandable domains you no longer use. It was a roar, relatively to my other projects. It even started bringing in revenue from the first week - quite uncommon for most of my projects, I keep almost all functionalities free. None of my products has ever been so widely accepted before, perhaps maybe because this was the first time I did not target a niche, but it still did exceptionally well. I spend only a few hours making the project, but it still did way better than any of my projects. After this product launch, I learned a hard to accept reality —> The time and effort you put into your project is never proportional to the level of success you achieve. Before continuing, let me address the use of apostrophe with successful. Googling up the term gives a nice definition - “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose” - but the meaning behind this definition isn’t really declarative. ‘Success’ as a word can have a really broad meaning. For someone, it can be a positive cash flow, for another it can be better revenues, and for the third person, it can be as simple as gaining the ‘internet points’. It can be anything that you want it to achieve. For me, success was purely internet popularity, however, this article should apply to what most people perceive success to be - revenue and/or popularity. Usually, people like think you have to ‘polish it until it shines’ before you launch. That’s the reason you’re gonna find people saying they spent their sleepless nights building this but it still didn’t take off. That’s where the mistake lies. Time isn’t the only factor that affects the success of your product. In fact, in some cases, the amount of time spent may not even matter. This is because time in itself doesn’t tell a lot about itself. When you start asking deeper questions, you should be able to start getting to the factors that actually matter.

There are a few more reasons which could have caused a not-so-good launch :

  • Quality and Efficiency: The number one reason why your project might have failed is because of your efficiency or quality of work. When you compare the number of hours of work to others you should keep in mind that each person works differently. What you do in 3 hours can be done in just 2 hours by some other person.

  • Usability and Timing: Not a lot of people are going to buy a car with a steam-powered engine now. Neither are they going to buy a car that gives a really good mileage on Jupiter. Your project should remove a pain point that people face, or add value to their current situation.

  • Language: Your language may have not been appealing enough to the people you marketed to - Product development is only half of the struggle you have to deal with. One of the most important and often neglected tasks is to use the right language. With proper use of language, you can make even a shabby product look good.

  • Unrealistic Goals: Your success even depends on how realistic your definition of success is. You should keep in mind your market size, the kind of problem you’re solving, the availability of your project (country, platform, etc.), and a lot of similar factors before you decide what success is for you.

This is not an exhaustive list of the possible reasons. But when you start thinking in this direction, you will definitely find the right thing to focus on.