During the first quarter of 2019, I was solely focused on building my software consulting business. So far this has gone well, and I have enough client work to support myself. Now I am looking to shift towards my primary goal, which is to earn income through selling my own products.

My intention for the rest of the year is to launch one product every three months.

  • Product 1: April - June
  • Product 2: July - September
  • Product 3: October - December

Why Three Months?

The 12 startups in 12 months is a common format for this challenge, popularized by Pieter Levels. Personally, I find that to be a bit too aggressive, especially with my consulting commitments, so I’m taking it slower.

Three months is my best guess at the minimum time I’ll need to ship a product and discover if it is a viable solution for the problem I’m trying to solve.

However, I have yet to define what I consider to be a “viable solution”.

Is it 10 paying customers? 20? 100? Shoot me an email if you have any suggestions based on your experience.

Why Not Focus on One Product?

I haven’t yet identified one specific problem or pain point I would like to solve. I hope by experimenting with a few different ideas throughout this year I can create something that really helps people.

What Do You Hope to Learn and Share?

As a software developer, I’ve previously built many products for myself and the companies I’ve worked for. And while I’ve read a lot about marketing and worked with some great marketers before, I don’t have much hands-on experience myself. My goal for this challenge is to learn more about how to market and sell products, and share what I learn.

Getting Started

Throughout the year I will update this post with the products that I launch. Today I am announcing the first one which is accountabilitypledge.com.

Product #1: Accountability Pledge (April - June):

Accountability Pledge is based on a simple idea. You commit to doing something every day for a certain number of days, and pledge a dollar amount that you’re willing to pay for each day you miss. So as an example I could make the following commitment: “I want to write 500 words a day for 30 days. I commit to paying $5 for each missed day.”

I’m starting with this product for two reasons.

  1. I want it to exist! I use Coach.me to track my daily habits and goals, but I wish there was a way to put real money on the line to hold myself extra accountable.

  2. I wanted to start with a product that would require less dev time so I could mainly focus on marketing. I launched the “coming soon” landing page earlier this week and got a few signups already, which is exciting. It’s much more motivating to work on a product you know people want. That’s why I’m placing so much emphasis on marketing in 2019.

Sign up here if you’re interested in trying out Accountability Pledge when it launches!