Million Dollar Products · by Kyle Neath hits all the right notes. I’ve pulled out my favourite bits. Enjoy. Re-read. Share. Build.
Formula for success:
- Pick a task that people already use software for (communicate, organize, write, etc).
- Build a better piece of software to accomplish the task.
- Iterate on it with customer feedback.
- Build up enough revenue to quit your job and work on it full time.
It feels like the hobby programmers of today are only interested in building Unicorns — a really stupid name for companies valued at a billion dollars or more. People don’t start hacking on projects anymore, they become CEOs and start looking for funding.
We stopped building products that allow people to do more. Now we build products that make people use more.
If you want to make a million dollars a year, you don’t need millions (or hundreds of millions) of customers. 12,000 paying customers at $7 per month can do it.
You don’t have to cross cultural boundaries to get 12,000 customers, which means you aren’t trying to force one design pattern for everyone in the world. You don’t have to worry about internationalization, localization, or learning how business is done in Japan.
On making money:
Software is an extremely high margin business. We have all kinds of financial freedom that other businesses never experience. Once you get to the point where you can make payroll, money starts to add up fast.