Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software · Thermostat NPS

Can you help free me from analysis paralysis?


#1

Here is my paralysis:

One of the main tasks of the 30x500 (see UnicornFree.com) method of bootstrapping is selecting an audience you are part of.

For my 9-5 I am a .NET developer, but have taught myself Android development on the side (and have released two apps to the Google Play app store). I have casually kept up with Android dev news and topics.

Android developers would appear to be my best suited audience, however I have a curiosity for Wordpress Plugin development because it is new and exciting, and would involve learning something new and building software, whereas my Android endeavors would probably just be infoproducts for a while.

I started to try and do both (teaching Android and learning Wordpress Plugin Development) but others have said I really should pick just one.

This feels like a head game, but I guess I’m just afraid of leaving money on the table if I don’t stick with Android.

Do you have any advice for me? I’d really appreciate it! :slightly_smiling:


#2

Good question man. I’m not too familiar with the Android market, but I’d imagine it’s probably a more highly-paid skillset than wordpress dev? If so, I’d probably lean heavily towards that given that you’re already experienced with it and it’s gonna be more profitable.

That said, it’s possible that even if it were a more highly paid skill set, it might not be a profitable niche because maybe those developers tend to suffer from why-buy-this-I-could-build-it-myself syndrome :slightly_smiling:

If it is in fact a more profitable niche, I’d say you really should probably lean towards it.

Do you have an existing audience in the Android space at all?


#3

Hi Joe,

I’d definitely agree with those who urge you to focus on one endeavor.

Starting a business is a long road with lots of ups and downs. You’re much more likely to see it through if during the bad times you are able to look back on some prior wins. And you’re much more likely to have those wins if you stay focused.

There is an infinity of decisions and work to get the new business off the ground. Splitting your energy between two projects puts both at risk. Unlike in investing, diversification can actually kill your returns!

It’s not 100% clear to me what the two opportunities are here. However, it sounds like “teaching Android” is something you could start now whereas “learning Wordpress plugin development” is further out. From that perspective, there is probably less risk in starting with an info/service product to teach Android development. Depending on how you approach it, I’m sure you could do quite well with an offering like that!

Best of luck!


#4

Is there any way good way to tell if Android dev’s suffer from the syndrome you speak of? I know I personally did not pay for anything in order to learn it… That is one reason I have hesitated.

I don’t have a blog or anything, but i have maybe 50 or so followers on Google+ that I seemed to have gathered while asking/answering simple android related questions on there.


#5

I agree that you need to choose one of those.

Have you considered the “marketing size” of both? Instead of teaching how to code a plugin or app why not how to market them.

People trying to make money out of plugins/apps should be more willing to pay than people learning to code.


#6

Writing software for developers is, generally speaking, a tough path to follow. Surely you are a member of other groups than Android developers?

I wasn’t (and still aren’t) a wedding/event planner, but that didn’t stop PerfectTablePlan being a successful product.


#7

How about an intersection between the two groups you are interested in - i.e. wordpress plugin + android app development?

Doing a quick search shows that there are three wordpress plugins that let you convert your blog into an android app. (mobiloud, wordapp, yournewsapp). I don’t know how profitable these guys are, but it might be interesting to see if there is a business idea there.

If that does not pan out, to choose between android dev and wordpress users, I would ask myself the following questions

  1. Which group of people would I prefer to spend all my time with? You are going to be spending all your time speaking to customers. How much you enjoy speaking to your customers is directly proportional to your success.

  2. Which group regularly spends money online buying the kind of product you want to sell, and at what price points? All things being equal go for the more profitable niche.

  3. Which group can you reach online easily and cost effectively? For wordpress users you are looking at marketing at wordpress.com. For android developers, you are looking at marketing at android forums where these devs hang out. If you have any experience with either, bonus point to that group.


#8

The question you need to ask is: Which of these groups regularly spend money?

however I have a curiosity for Wordpress Plugin development because it is new and exciting,

Are you trying to fulful a curiosity, or start a business? Starting a business is tough, even when you know everything. Why are you trying to make your own job harder?

As someone who completed 30x500, let me ask you this: Why are you not focussing on .Net developers? From everything I’ve heard, .NET developers are happy to spend money. Not only that, it’s used in many big corporations, giving you access to a big organisations.

Wordpress has a very Money-is-evil philosophy. Sure, people make money from plugins, but look at the forums. They have a very anti-commerical feeling.

So let me ask you again: Why are you throwing away your natural advantage in .NET to play with shiny toys?


#9

Hi Shantnu,

I really appreciate the firmness of your response. I started “Sales Safari”-ing last night on .NET and you make a really good point. I was afraid to do .NET because of the general feel for Microsoft by the dev community, but I immediately found a lot more immediate pain and products that devs buy compared to android. And plus, I felt a lot more confident lurking around because it’s my 9-5 work. Also like you said, my guess is .NET is a lot more B2B compared to other frameworks (including Android for sure).

I have quite a bit of free time, would it be a mistake to Safari both .NET and Android for a while (30-40 hours each) or should I still just let go of one? I hate feeling like I’m letting something go needlessly.


#10

You can try it, but focussing on 1 will be better. You are not just looking at the technical problems faced by the community, but their attitude and beliefs as well.

I work mainly with open source / Linux tools, so I’m aware of the Microsoft is evil meme. But you know what? When I started looking at bootstrappers, a fair bit of them sell tools for the MS stack. Tiny tools that solve one very tiny problem. And .Net developers are happy to pay.

Is there a similar vibrant community around Android? I have no idea.

Feel free to start in both, but when making notes, make sure you ignore the Paying money for software is evil crowd. What are the people who pay for stuff saying?

My own gut instinct (backed by zero evidence) says that: Android is cool, so many people are jumping on the bandwagon. .NET is boring, so most programmers will avoid this field, even though .Net is a bigger and much more profitable sector. Like Buffet has been saying for years, we should focus on the boring fields, fields people ignore because they are so yesterday.

but I immediately found a lot more immediate pain and products that devs buy compared to android.

And I think you answered your own question :slightly_smiling:


#11

Yeah, and actually the opinion of Microsoft is changing. They have been stepping it up, releasing more open source stuff and really getting involved with developers so it’s an exciting time.

I’m going to safari both crowds for a while just to be sure, but I think you are right. It seems like Android devs are mostly college students and there are very little tools being bought. The only thing I know of is the GennyMotion emulator. Educational courses are certainly being purchased though.

Thanks again for you help, a weight has lifted from my shoulders :slight_smile:


#12

I have zero experience in Android, Wordpress or .NET, but I second @shantnu’s advice to go for .NET. To continue with the Buffet analogy, .NET is a value investment of your time while Android is the shiny new growth investment. Value investors tend to do better financially, but need to learn to be OK with thinking for themselves and being contrarian when needed.

Edit: And whatever you do, do yourself a favor and do B2B not B2C…


#13

I have to say, without sounding like a suck-up, these responses have been such a pleasure to read and have really cleared my path. I can already tell this is a beautiful community. Thanks again for giving such thoughtful and thorough responses.


#14

Short answer: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L0MK7qz13bU


#15

Consider why iOS apps are always built first by new companies. It’s because the more valuable users have iOS. Thus, choosing android limits you b/c people don’t value android as much. Consumers not paying for apps, etc. Not even you made any money from your android app (100/yr, from your other thread).

.net on the other hand… lots of enterprise sale opportunities, and business owners who need/want your help/advice. AND your day job: someone’s already willing to pay you 6 figures to take care of them.