Aug. 30, 2021

Tips For How Aspiring Developers Can Come Up With Project Ideas That Matter


I can't emphasize enough how valuable software engineers are. When I polled my community, 91% of you said that you would love to build a side project that made you additional income or even replaced your full-time job. Sometimes developers can develop the habit of jumping into the code too quickly (me included). I brought on leaders in the UX and Product space to share how they would go about validating an idea and building out an MVP with features that actually provide value to users. Even if you're an aspiring developer that's just struggling to come up with project ideas, we went over some ways to help you do that.

Host/Guests:
Don Hansen - https://www.linkedin.com/in/donthedeveloper
Garima Chandra - https://www.linkedin.com/in/garima-chandra
Shelby Bower - https://www.linkedin.com/in/shelbybower

---------------------------------------------------

🤝  Join our junior friendly developer community:
https://discord.gg/H69QqZ8MVJ

🔥  Want more personalized help from me? Here are the paid mentorship and review services I offer:
https://calendly.com/donthedeveloper

❤️  If you find my content helpful, please consider supporting me by becoming a channel member and get access to additional perks. Every little contribution helps and is actually used to pay my bills.
https://www.patreon.com/donthedeveloper

---------------------------------------------------

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

📚  Web development books and other products I recommend:
https://www.amazon.com/shop/donthedeveloper

Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers, good jobs, and junior developers grow this. One's gonna be a little bit of a different episode. I actually pulled all of you in my community. 91% of you said that you would love to be able to create a product, quit your full-time job and live off that product. Now, there are a few steps to take before you could, you know, successfully do something like that. Um, but I decided to bring on two people who have a lot of experience with the user and product, and they're gonna go ahead and help us figure out how we can best do that. So I think this is gonna be really good for junior developers. Um, and even mid-level developers that are considering branching off. So like usual, we'll go ahead and start with our intros. Grimma can you go ahead and give us a little intro? Sure.

Garima Chandra:

So hi everybody. My name is Kama and I actually belong from India. So I was, I completed my bachelor's in information technology back in India. And then I worked with Unilever, uh, mostly in product and project as well. For three years. Then I came to the us to expand my knowledge horizon, and I did, uh, complete my masters in information technology. And then I'm working at a startup called super bowl as a web product lead. So yes, a bit about super bowl. It's, uh, a meta words that we are trying to create where you can buy and sell N Ft. So we are dealing with virtual real estate and an FD tokens and everything, and there's a lot more coming up. So it's a pretty exciting company and a pretty exciting product. So yeah, that is pretty much a short, uh, introduction of what I'm doing.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, that was perfect. Thank you so much. How about you Shelby?

Shelby Bower:

Hi, I'm Shelby. Um, I currently lead a design team at DocuSign, but I'll give you a little background. Um, I started out in college with an English degree, so I have, I did nothing related to technology and one of my first jobs was as a web master. So, uh, yes, that title did exist and people did have it for a very short period of time. Um, I've been on the.com roller coaster. I've started a financial services company. I've done startup work inside larger companies. Um, so I have a pretty decent perspective on what it takes, uh, to come up with an idea and bring it to life and, and take it out to market. So we'll be talking about that

Don Hansen:

today. I love it. Um, okay, well, let's go ahead and dive in and, you know, we might talk over each other, but I think this can really be a collaborative experience about coming up with a fairly solid plan. But, um, you know, what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna, we'll take turns. But, um, the question that I asked previously was if you were to quit your company and you were to start a, build a product and create a company out of it, potentially, how would you go about doing that? Um, GMA, uh, let's start with you. sure.

Garima Chandra:

Um, so if I were to do that, um, hopefully I plan to do that in the future, definitely to start something of my own, but yeah. So I would first start with understanding the real problem that I'm gonna solve with the product. So it's not just about like thinking of any, any. You know, that idea should be something that your customers are wanting or are they willing to pay for it, or will they go to any extent, you know, in order to buy your product or use it? So I think the first thing, the first step that I'm gonna figure out is how well am I solving the problem with my solution that I'm planning to go and build a product on? Is it something that, uh, the customers will be willing to go for? Or is there any substitute that they're using or is there any other product that's or that's not doing exactly the same thing that my solution is gonna do? How is my solution different from what the other products are providing? So a lot of research understanding the user, uh, what they're expecting, and then, um, understanding how am I gonna solve the problem. So a lot of research around there, and once I actually figure out the one main, uh, problem, that's the root cause. And then I. Uh, formula solution. According to that, that this is what, this is the problem that I'm gonna solve, that no other product can do it right now. And then from there, I would start on thinking of like, um, the customer segmentation that I wanna go for, because there are so many different customer segment, uh, currently in the market. So which customer segment do I want to target? What, in that customer segment, what is the customer that I want to target? It's like, uh, men, women, kids, uh, adults, like, you know, all the different kinds of like categories, which category I wanna go for. And then from there, I think once I have all this background work done, I think then I'm gonna start with the design and development and everything. So that pretty much is the starting that I, I would go

Don Hansen:

about it. Okay, perfect. Now, before I ask questions, we're gonna hear Shelby's idea.

Shelby Bower:

Um, I have two things that I would do. One is assess my personal appetite for risk. and at what point am I willing to jump out of the security and the safety of health, insurance, and salary and all the things in order to make this idea work? So I, I, that is totally outside of any idea you have, and knowing these things about yourself will help you jump when you're ready and not create a sense of desperation that has you chasing things that are not gonna really pan out that that happens a. The second thing I would say is I have worked for three companies now that are first movers in their space. One of them is Gogo, um, which put together in flight wifi before, you know, what, what is it? No, everything's great. And nobody's happy. So, you know, like the Internet's in the sky and the minute it doesn't work, people freak out. I worked for the company that invented that or made it work. At least I also worked for Morningstar, which is a company that provided transparency into investing information and mutual funds at a time when there really wasn't that kind of transparency and individual investors felt very disempowered. And I also now worked for DocuSign, as I mentioned, which is the, which was the first Arian electronic signature. And what all three of those companies have in common is that the problem you think you're solving is not always the problem you end up solving and. The way that I kind of put this is that, you know, I have two kids who are grown now. And the first question they ask is usually not the real question. And so what I would say extrapolate that too, is the first thing you think you're solving for is not really the thing you're gonna end up solving for. And you have to be really open to the idea that you have an idea and a problem you think you're gonna solve, but the rest of the world might not see it quite the same way. Might not want the same thing, or you might have to do something very different than your original idea. And you have to be really open when you get it out there. And you're trying to do your product market fit work, you know, to, to pivoting like a lot. And, and, and at some point it stops feeling like pivoting and it starts feeling like spinning, but eventually things settle down and you can kind of see the forest for the treats. Those are the two things that I would say.

Don Hansen:

okay. Really cool. I like this. I'm gonna have fun with this conversation, so we'll open it up. Now anyone can respond. We're gonna talk over each other happens in all my episodes. So this idea of like, let's say a software engineer, um, they have this idea and, you know, as you work for different companies and you learn especially startups where you're involved in a little bit more of, uh, different roles potentially, or you're at least interacting with different departments more often, um, you, you kind of come up with ideas and you start to really understand some of the problems that exist. Like why did your company even form, like what solution was it solving? What, uh, is it competitor solving? And it kind of just trains your mind in my opinion, to start looking. And being able to identify problems and understanding the user a little bit more. So, in my opinion, that's where I think a lot of software engineers start getting this idea of, you know, one day, maybe I can go ahead and build this and it might gain a user base. I might be able to put a pricing model around it. I might be able to be successful. Maybe it isn't, maybe it's just a project that earns me an extra thousand dollars a month. Um, but ultimately when you kind of discover this problem and you kind of have this idea of a solution in your head, how do you take that idea and start figuring it, figuring out if it's actually a solution for users, if it's actually, you know, Shelby, like you said, the solution that is the correct solution or is that gonna look way different and how do you figure that out? So how do you really get that market fit and solidify that idea?

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. Yeah. I call it next best question. that's my game. Okay. What's my next best question that I need to get an answer to in order to get to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. So I think I have an answer. I draw something real fast. I put it on paper. I have somebody else, like you just get it out of your head and onto something, anything, and put it in front of some people and answer your next best question and it will move you forward.

Don Hansen:

I don't think I could understand. Can you, can you elaborate on

Shelby Bower:

that? Yeah. I'll give you an example. We were, I was working on a service that investing service and we were trying to figure out what the real problem was. Cuz we thought we knew what the problem was. We did not. We thought that people were informed enough about investing to understand the idea that if you save money toward a financial goal, you can eventually have the thing that is the goal. Right? And the truth of the matter is that people do not connect. What they make in their lives and their salary and their pay to anything that is in the future. Like they, people have a super hard time even making that connection. That if I you're telling me that if I save a hundred dollars of out of every paycheck, I'll be able to retire. Yeah. Right. But that's actually how investing works. And we had to like take it all the way back in terms of investing literacy and figure out where are people really starting from and how do we get them to connect their daily behavior with their money to making, meeting larger goals that they, the things they really want. And what we did was we put paper things in front of people and we had them sort stuff until we kind of got to a model where we could get them to understand what a financial goal really is.

Don Hansen:

Interesting. It was. It

Shelby Bower:

was like six months. It took six months to get there. Okay.

Don Hansen:

okay. That that's a pretty creative way to help or, or kind of like get, I guess, get people's mental process on how they actually can get that vision a little bit more long term. Yeah. Um, I didn't even know that was actually a problem, but it probably is. It's

Shelby Bower:

huge problem. And we used behavioral economics really. That's what we ended up using. We were like, well, how do people make decisions about money?

Don Hansen:

Okay. How would you, or how have you in the past gone about figuring out market fit in like really solidifying your solution green.

Garima Chandra:

um, so I think the one thing that I always go to is, um, the first thing that I do is put everything down on the paper of what I think the problem is and what I think the solution can be and what the customers would like. So I just put it all on paper and see, okay, these are the problems that I think there is. These are the solutions to those problems. And this is like the one solution, uh, that is like fixing the pain point. And then I, when I go on to talk to like a lot of people, like my go to is to talk to as many people as you can, in order to get those, um, their ideas, like their views and their opinions. Like as Shelby already, already mentioned that what you think is the problem and solution that might not be the case. Things can be like 180 degree different than what you are thinking. So it's very, very important to understand, like, The type of customer you are trying to target in order to, um, get your product for market. Like for the product market rate, you need to understand is the problem. What you are thinking is what the customer is also thinking about. So doing the user interviews, depending on the hypothesis that you have planned in your head and just check marking it. Okay. This hypothesis is something that the user agrees with. Okay, let's go deep down further. Let's go and ask like more questions on this, like category of hypothesis. Like might there might be like one category of hypothesis that user doesn't even talk about and they'd be like, okay. I thought it was a problem, but actually the user doesn't find it to be, you know, the problem. So then you just cross that, cross that out, and then you go again, further asking as many questions, like why and what, and all like, you know, questions different. I think. One thing that I learned during my course of like a cat mix and also during my course of work is to ask why as many times as you can, because when you keep on, okay, why are you doing this? Okay, why do you not need this? Why did you click on that? And why did you think you needed to click on that? You know, going this by, you know, unveiling the layer and layer by layer. I think you, then you come to that root cause of problem that the user also didn't know it was there, but when you, you know, kind of ask question, then he, he or she, they are tend to, you know, they tend to think about it. Okay. I didn't even think that it was there in my head. That's why I, you know, I went on thinking in this direction. So that pretty much is very, very helpful. So that is something I'd always keep in mind, like take as many user interviews, as you can ask as many questions as you can, because the, you are selling a product to them. You need to understand each and everything that they are expecting, or they that's, what's the reason they use your product or they will be using the product. So.

Don Hansen:

It sounds like there's a huge benefit. Um, even before you start solidifying what that product is going to be, just getting that idea out there and hearing people's perspectives, um, asking maybe what they think about the problem. Do they think the problem even exists? What do they think about your solution? Um, in digging into that a bit more. I like, I like this idea of just continuing to ask why, because, you know, some people just give answers without thinking about it, but it probably comes from a lot of experience they've had and asking why like really helps them. Analyze it a bit

Garima Chandra:

more. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes like, like us also, you would just go and do something on a website, but you will not like stop and think like, why did I just go and do that? It's just edged in your brain. You have to like click on that link, but you don't know why you're doing that. So, yeah, I think it's, it's very helpful to understand like what, what exactly, why is the user doing what they are doing? And it's helpful to keep probing on that question and keep trying to get an answer out of them. It can become, you know, not all users will agree to like kind, kind of go through that, the whole process, because yeah, all these extensive user interviews that you do, you have to get those kind of users who are really, really, um, into this. And they are willing to give you that time of the day and they're willing to, you know, help you with a product that would be beneficial to a lot of customers like that.

Shelby Bower:

So, yeah. Yeah. If you have a trusted. Group of people you can go to a lot. , it's a really good thing. Like most of my friends know when I get a new job, because I start asking them like questions. Um, and what I would also say is in design research, we have this thing called ethnography, which is actually an anthropological study method. And it's what you do. Sorry. There are animals in the room, sorry. That's fine. Um, what you do is you just watch people in their environment doing a thing. And the reason you do that is because you, you, through observing many people doing the same set of things like going through a checkout outline, uh, filling a prescription at Walgreens, and you just watch people do it a hundred times. You start to just kind of witness what they're doing and you start to kind of make mental notes about, well, that person did this and this person. I wonder what, and, and then you start to see patterns and the patterns really help you. And back up your thinking, because you're like, wait, there were like 15 people who like stood there and rolled their eyes and stomped their foot. And, and, and like, then they argued with the pharmacist. Like, why is that? You know, so you, that's one of the tools we use and it helped what it helps us with is backing out of our own ego and backing out of our own ideas and assumptions and biases about what's happening in front of us. And it forces us to just watch and witness,

Don Hansen:

you know, that that's really interesting because I remember at my second company, um, UX and, and product sharing with me that they would go out into the field. And basically, so it was an educational. And they would kind of, uh, observe classrooms and try to pick up patterns and behavior there. And they would like go out into the field to observe and just document, because like you said, sometimes your egos might influence your perspective and you need to see it across many, many people gather that data and maybe discover patterns that your ego didn't allow you to discover before mm-hmm um, that's, you know, that's really interesting. So let's think about it from like a developer who probably, and maybe this isn't, um, maybe this isn't really efficient, but a developer who probably works a lot and they are thinking about, okay, well, you know, I want to gather user feedback around my idea, but, you know, I, I feel like in the UX and product world, a lot of you like really. Um, you collaborate really well and you talk with each other and you, you ping ideas with the developer. I would say most developers are very technically focused and they might not have that perspective of observing users of like even having the idea of like reaching out and getting tons of other perspectives. They just build, they dive right into the code. So, um, and that that's a habit I had for a long time. So I think kind of what you're saying is, you know, especially before you build a product, you need to start solidifying your idea based on user feedback, user pattern set, you're observing. Um, now with the developer that might be building, um, let's say like an online, like an online app such as, uh, do you know what I'm gonna use? Uh, my idea do both of, you know, what live streaming is mm-hmm okay. Do you know what Twitch is? twitch.tv. Yeah. Mm-hmm . Okay. So maybe like this app was, uh, that I wanna build. I wanted there there's this, uh, segment of people that don't make a lot of money on TWI Twitch that are trying to become software en or not software engineers. They're trying to become partners on Twitch where the, uh, the subscriptions are gonna give you a much higher portion. You're able to get a lot more income from that and eventually make it a full time position. Now, the bridge from like starting on Twitch to becoming a partner and getting all of those users, when there's very little discovery on Twitch, there's a problem. A lot of people struggle to become a partner. What I wanted to do was build an app that analyzed as much as I possibly could to figure out how can I give you actionable feedback on the way you are conducting your content and growing your channel to reach that partner status, to reach a much higher viewership. Now I technically, I didn't know a lot of people. Also watch Twitch. Like none of my friends in, uh, real life, they don't watch Twitch. So like, I'm all these people that watch Twitch. Like they're all kind of people online. Um, and I don't know a whole lot of people, but how do I, when I don't really know a lot of people and I don't necessarily right away have this user base that I can dig into and ask tons of questions, how do I start figuring out if the tool that I'm trying to build is a solution that people want especi. Yeah, we'll leave it at.

Garima Chandra:

So, yeah. So as a developer, if like, yeah, that I totally understand, like, you know, getting that user behavior analysis done and getting the, get set of users to answer your questions or spending that much time in doing that much research might not be the optimal way that developers, you know, kind of function because I've been a developer. And I know how things work, how the mind works. Because when I first started working, I also like tech tech tech, and I didn't have that much of like business sense to go with. But then later on with my work, I really understood that technology plays an important role, but the, at the end of it, it's all about business, what you're generating and what you are serving to the users. So in this case, like, What the developers can do because they're so quick in they're coding. So whatever idea they have, like this is just like a, I'm just thinking out loud, uh, for this one. So whatever idea that they have, what they can do is kind of create like a prototype version for it, what they wanna do. And. You know, just send it out to the friends and just see how people are reacting to it, you know? And, or just like ask like one or two friends to just like go through the whole solution that they have designed set beside them and just analyze what they're doing. Don't help them, don't tell them what it is, how they need to, uh, you know, go about to the website, which button to click, what, what, what they need to do. Just don't don't tell them anything. Just tell them, okay, this is the product. This is a new thing. I just want you to figure out your way and see, you know, if like you like this, and then you would see that behavior. Okay. Uh, they might be a little struggling to find some button. They might not be understanding something they would understand instantly they will just click and they will see, and then everything. So understanding and analyzing even like, if you sit and analyze that usability test being done on like, even like two or three of your friends with that solution, I think that could also help to understand, okay, this is, you know, kind of where I'm struggling in my product. So that is from the product se product per se, in terms of features and everything. But at the end you can just, if, uh, you know, just ask them like, did you like it? And did you understand what the product was? Or did you understand why it's required and then see what they're answering? You know, you will, you'll get to know at least by one, I'll say if they just said, okay, this product was good, but I didn't understand like, why do I need it? You know? And then you kind of like start questioning, okay. If a person is not understanding why, why I need it, then there's something that is not very clear from your product. So maybe then starting out from there might help, you know, kind of like going in the opposite direction, like instead of go doing the user research first and then kind of like building a product, like the perfect product, what the users want as a developer, it would be easier for you to just build like a small prototype and see how the user's reacting to it. And then kind of like, you know, do it. So that's like just an idea. And I know it's not like a hundred percent like a perfect answer, but I think this is like one of the options that they can offer if they don't wanna spend a lot of time researching first,

Shelby Bower:

I think I would figure out how to talk to people at Twitch and I would try to figure out how to reach people who are on Twitch. And just ask them, Hey, I wanted to run something by you real quick. I have trouble with this. Do you have trouble with this? There's gotta be a chat function and Twitch somewhere right there. There's gotta be, um, or, or somewhere you can recruit, just recruit people and just make it a conversation. That's how I would do it because I'd wanna just hear in their words, what they do to be found on Twitch. Like, what are you doing? I'm having, I'm not having any love, what do you do if you can? I mean, if it's not competitive, you know, people get a little weird

Don Hansen:

okay. So, so that that's really interesting. Um, okay. I'm gonna dive into Shelby and then yours GRMA. So if. If it's not this, um, if it's not a product where you can go and publicly observe something that's going to help you really discover the problem that people are having. Um, Shelby, like I kind of introduced an online product where you can't just go, you know, uh, discover how people's streaming setups are and like everything they do to like, try to grow on Twitch. It it's all online. And so you're suggesting like, okay, just reach out, try to reach out to these other streamers that are having this problem. And before you even introduce your problem, ask like how that, or before you even introduce your solution, ask how they solve the problem already. Um, that's sting. Okay. And Grimma um, yeah, I've really, I really like the idea of, um, so one thing. I'm trying to solidify this one thing. A lot of developers have a lot of trouble with is, um, UX just in general and getting someone I like. So a lot of us maybe are too shy to even reach out to Twitch users, which I would encourage you to really do that. But you're kind of saying like, start with your friends, start with people that, you know, and just try to get them in front of your product. Cause sometimes you, you deliver this solution, especially maybe on the back end. It really solves it in a way that it's it's, I mean, it's a good solution that people will want, but sometimes like the usability of it, and maybe even like a really poor landing page can hide what it's really doing. They don't even understand like what they're clicking, what they're interacting with. Mm-hmm I like the idea of like getting them. To just asking like really, really simple and basic questions to get a, um, get a feel for like maybe how frustrating that product is to try to take a step and end up somewhere like H how frustrating was that experience and where did they really struggle? Mm-hmm so I think we, it kind of feels like you're leaning towards, um, you, you know, like an MVP, right? You're not trying to build out a full fledged product you're really trying to build out, or, or at least, uh, solidify a really basic solution and jump into user feedback as quickly as possible. Yeah. So with an MVP specifically, like it's supposed to be minimal, it's supposed to be really minimal. You're not teching out tons of features that you think are gonna be really cool solutions until you get all that user feedback. Um, maybe this is too generic of a question to ask, but like, how do you figure out what is enough and what is too much for an MVP that you.

Shelby Bower:

in UX. We have this minimum desirable product thing that we kind of like float around with one another. Um, it's not like it's kind of on the down low, cuz we don't say it very often. Cuz people are so excited about MVPs. Um, the problem with MVP, a lot of MVP thinking is that you focus on the minimum and not the viable. Then you need to think about what's viable. Like what is really gonna get out there? You can ship it and people will use it and it gets things done and it makes you money. Like that's what viable means. Minimum means like what's the least I can do. Right? What's the bare minimum. And too often the min the bare minimum has no viability and nobody wants it either because it's too hard to use it. TA doesn't take the, the right series of steps. It doesn't take you far enough in a journey. Or something like that, it solves this problem, but not this giant one that surrounds it. Right. Um, you see that all the time with healthcare innovation, right? So you see like people putting out poster after poster, after poster, about hand washing or, uh, doctor visits or how to follow up or how to adhere to medication. But they're just posters on the wall because they're trying to put a bandaid on the process. It doesn't address the whole problem too often, a minimum viable product does that. It takes like this tiny piece of the problem and it doesn't really solve it very well. So focus on the viable is what I would say.

Don Hansen:

would you, that's interesting. Would you say you lean more towards, okay, so you're not really saying broaden your solution, but just get to the root of the problem and solve that.

Shelby Bower:

I the real problem. Cause the first, the like you may be having a problem and you think everyone has this problem, but that is probably not the case. And you have to identify what it really is. And, and that means talking to people in whatever way is comfort. I know it's weird right now to talk to people. And I know that like, it's, I mean, I'm, I know I don't seem like I'm an introvert, but I totally am. Um, I will leave this conversation and need to rest, but like I know when I am stuck and I know when I don't have the answer.

Don Hansen:

Okay. So it's very, yeah, it's very hard without a specific problem and a specific solution to identify what an MVP would look like. And I don't think we have enough time to dive into, um, an example of that, but. You know, it really sounds like we're kind of just, um, like the focus really is on user feedback. So I think I kind of wanna solidify this for developers because, um, , you know, it's a lot of really good information, but I know a lot of developers that will jump to a solution and build too early. So I think the emphasis is like, really talk to those users, figure out if it's a, a good solution. But I also, I think sometimes developers attach to one problem in one solution and they really attach to it. And it's hard for them to expand their horizons on what they can build, like developers. Like you can, you can build almost anything that you want. Now, a lot of people have trouble coming up with ideas, brainstorming solutions, identifying problems that exist in the world. Um, so thi like this is a really, really hard problem. This isn't just for like, you know, developers that have been in the industry for a while, but like, let's even think about aspiring developers that they, they are trying to build their skills, but they have no idea what to build this idea. Like every time I say. What problems exist in your life, maybe in your old industry, how could you solve them through a technical solution like that? I think that's a really good train of, um, thoughts, but they, they're not really able to connect that idea. And like, they're not really able to identify the problems in their old industry or provide a solution. So what, how can people really brainstorm and train their mind to start identifying these problems? So they can come up with solutions?

Shelby Bower:

I have a thing I say to designers who do the same thing, never marry your ideas. Just date them, say it all the time and marry your idea again. Stop it. Just date it.

Garima Chandra:

Yeah. One of my professors used to say, always kill your darlings. because it's the same way don't marry your idea. So it's like, it's like the same way, you know, all, all the product people will tell you the same thing, that the first idea that you get that is never gonna be a hundred percent what you're gonna build. It's always gonna be pivot, pivot, pivot. And then later on you'll you'll realize you're, you know, going in some other direction, very few ideas are like, you got it in the, got it right in the first time. Very months. So, right, right. yeah.

Don Hansen:

I like that

Shelby Bower:

mindset. There's only one steep jobs. Seriously.

Garima Chandra:

yeah, that that's true. So yeah, him

Shelby Bower:

is not, it, it doesn't exist that much anymore.

Don Hansen:

I I think so. I love the idea of not being completely attached to your idea, but a lot of people are attached because they have no other ideas. How do you train your mind to start identifying those problems that exist in the world and brainstorming solutions? Do either of you have any processes to be able to come up with project ideas? Oh

Shelby Bower:

yeah. I don't wanna talk first though. I feel like I'm talking

Garima Chandra:

no, no. Shelby, go ahead. I tell

Shelby Bower:

my, I tell my team members do the opposite play opposite day. Take the thing you made and decide or pretend the opposite is true, or start from the other end, or just start from some different vantage point. That's how I get them to like back out of a one idea solution.

Don Hansen:

Do you feel like that that gives them or propels them into another idea?

Shelby Bower:

not always, sometimes I have to like help, like by asking harder and harder, why questions, you know, like it's, you know, well, why do you think that, well, what are your assumptions behind that? You have to pull apart all the assumptions and biases and, and baggage that people bring, because we all bring our own experiences. And a designer's job is to build something that works for everyone. So, you know, you're not everyone, so let's like start there. , that's kind of how I try to work through that conversation.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What about you? What's your opinion on it?

Garima Chandra:

Yeah, so I think what they can do is start preparing like a list is like what, what their solution can really do. So I think that list will be huge because they it's their own idea and they think like their solution can, you know, achieve whatever they, they have planned to. But then have a list saying what your solution cannot do. So. You know, just start thinking about what cannot be done using your product. And then once you start divulging into that process, like, okay, my solution cannot do this. My solution cannot do that. Then kind of, you know, this will help them to kind of think from all the perspective, like what they need to change, what they need to keep, what they need to just, uh, just let it go. So I think maybe this can help them to kind of not be like, you know, go blindly thinking that my solution can, you know, solve everything because they are themselves creating points that they know that their solution cannot solve. So yeah.

Shelby Bower:

What you say no to is as important as what you say yes to, yeah.

Don Hansen:

I wonder. And so maybe this is the developer me. I, I feel like what you're responding with is basically sharing how to detach. From your project idea, you had mentioned building lists. Um, but maybe I'm, I'm just missing it. I guess I don't fully understand how I can start identifying other problems so I can come up with other project ideas.

Garima Chandra:

So, so supposedly you have created like, like yeah, the app that you were talking about, that your app would help people on TWI to kind of get them. So it's noticed and stuff. So that is something that your solution is doing. What is something your solution is not doing? Right. So when you start thinking in that direction, then you. You know, get some other ideas. Okay. This solution is maybe just covering the like two out of five aspects that I want my solution to cover. How about if I go in this direction, this will cover like four out five aspects that I wanna go into. Then you start thinking from all the different perspectives and then your mind starts wondering, okay, this was plan a, let me see. Okay. If I, if I like tweak this solution a bit, instead of going for like, supposedly instead of going for a web application, how about I go for a mobile application? How about like, you know, I add this feature in it and that's how you start, like, you know, from plan a, you keep on adding, tweaking, removing stuff, and then you reach to like plan Z. And that is the product that is gonna help you achieve like five or five out five aspects of the solution that you plan to, uh, achieve. So that is something that I feel that can go.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. I think like I ask people then what. Then what, yeah. Then what, and so what a lot, you know, so what the, so wetness of a thing, like, what's it gonna get the person on the other side? You know, how does this fit into their life? You know, so what, and then what, and then what, because it kind of pushes you past the boundaries of your one idea into the space of like, okay, well, what about what, how people are arriving and what are they leaving with? Like with this idea for Twitch, what I would wanna know is, so are you just delivering data, then they make some kind of decision with, or are you trying to facilitate a different kind of decision for them? Will you give them advice for what to do and how will you deliver that advice? You know, like I, that those are the kinds of follow up questions I would ask just to kind of figure out what's the, what is the continuum of this particular product and how does it fit into the world of its audience?

Don Hansen:

okay. You so I, I can tell you for certain, um, both of you, you've given me a lot to think about, and the way that you are thinking about a lot is a lot of these things and kind of, uh, basically sharing your discovery process of what this product assembly MVP is gonna turn into. It's I, I don't think like that. I really don't. Oh, and, um, no, I mean, like kudos to you, this is why I brought you on, because I think a lot of developers, um, when they don't really know how to, uh, once they have an idea, they they're so tied to a solution. They don't really know how to expand that into a different idea. They don't know how to like really help identify the problem that really exists. That's a little bit different. So I think the more questions I ask about this, I think it helps, uh, helps me think about it in a different way. Um, man, UX and product is hard.

Garima Chandra:

yeah. So, so one, one thing that like, so one of my, like multiple of my friends are developers and yeah, so this is something that he shared with me that, you know, being when he was like doing all the development work, like co technical, he didn't really think about, you know, how his, um, technical developments are actually helping the business or helping the users, you know? And then when he started working, uh, in Unilever, Unilever is mostly like business oriented. So even though you are a developer, you would be given the projects where you would be, you know, forced to think about the business. And through this experience, he always like shares with me. Like this experience really taught him as a developer to how to think more about from the business point of view, like whatever you are building, how is it helping the business, like, you know, asking the manager, like, okay, I'm building this, how's gonna help the business. How's gonna help the company. Um, what impact will this, uh, project bring and asking these questions? It really help him to think from multiple different perspective. Okay. Maybe if this is the reason you are asking me to build this, how about we, you know, build this, you know, this will help you to achieve the business, uh, more like, you know, profit or whatever the goal is. And that's how he started his journey. And he is like still a developer, but his sense of business is really. Help him to focus on like, you know, just going beyond just the development part of it. So I think this is something that I've learned, like how developers think in the beginning and they really need to just even like, if they don't wanna talk to the user, nothing, even if they're in their job, they should at least talk to the manager or whoever their leaders, just once, like whatever they're doing, how is it helping the company? What impact is it creating? And that, I think that would really be Mo very motivating for them that if whatever they have design is creating like a big impact, it will help them to kind of think in the addition, okay, I created this and this is what the users got benefited with. So maybe if I do this, how will it, you know, impact the user? How will my users, you know, feel different about it. So I think this will definitely, um, help them to kind of think and ponder over this question, what impact they're making, because I think at the end of the day, And, and people in any profession, they wanna create an impact with the work that they're doing. And given, given that at the end of the horizon, I think that is something that would really help them to think, think in different direction and think from that perspective of how they can help users or business wherever they're working.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. And I would also add that this is UN what we're talking about is uncomfortable, right? It is. I, I would tell you that I work with designers all the time who are like, but, but I came up with the thing that like, is, this is the thing, you know, and I just say, well, is it though, let's talk about it a little more. And I push people into this really uncomfortable. And it's part of the process. I don't know if you've ever seen the, you know, the creative process. It's like, there's this like line of spaghetti. And then it turns into this huge knot and it zigzags, and then it comes back out the other side. And that is the pro the process is this, like, you're uncovering as much about yourself as you are about your idea or other people, you know? And, and that's actually super uncomfortable, um, for a lot, for, for me. I mean, I'm sure that when I first started doing this, I was super uncomfortable. What I have learned over time is that if the solution comes to me to super easily, like it just flows out of me like water. I have not thought enough. That is my cue for, eh, this is too easy. You're you? This is too easy, you know, so I have to go back and be uncomfortable again.

Don Hansen:

that's interesting. It almost feels like, um, you know, so of course, um, when you start focusing, this is why I love working at startups. Like focusing, you're able to get a more transparency into a lot of the business objectives and the users behind the business. Um, but it almost, you know, with the focus on business objectives, um, it almost sounds like you are spending a lot of time trying to invalidate your idea, like a lot of time, like really challenging it, poking holes in it. Does that sound correct? Yeah.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. Because like how heartbreaking is it to invest like a year of your life in something and then have it,

Garima Chandra:

you, you have to otherwise, like, if you don't do enough and if. Put your time, effort, money, everything, and then it fails. It's gonna hurt a lot more. So it's better to kind of like fail multiple times before like delivering the final product so that that's successful. You have to kind of like do

Shelby Bower:

that. Yeah. That's kind of where you go back to the

Garima Chandra:

risk. Yeah. It's it's like, yeah. It's like for developers, they have to, when they code, they have to test it from all the different sites so that when it's merged to production, it doesn't fail. So that's the same thing. When you think of a product you have to test from all the different sites so that your idea doesn't fail in

Shelby Bower:

production. That's actually a great, great analogy. That's a perfect analogy. Thank

Garima Chandra:

you. I think my, my development thought process is also kicking in . Don Hansen: I really like that. Um, so. I'm just, I'm thinking there's a lot for me to think about. So it, I'm kind of gonna solidify some thoughts and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. So going back, um, sometimes my episodes turn into something a little bit different than I thought they would, but I think, you know, what I've really learned, um, is I, so I am someone that comes up with a lot of ideas easily. Um, but I I've just, I've done that for so many years. Uh, when I was 18, I started my own company and, you know, from there, I just kept trying out ideas. Now, I, I never did use a research and all my ideas have pretty much failed. Right. But it, it gave me a lot of experience. And so I learned a lot through failure. Um, but one thing I learned cuz when I quit my company to, um, basically, uh, start my own company now, um, I. I talked to thousands of developers before I decided to like, take this journey and I spent so much time doing this, but it really sounds like whatever you come up with, um, you need to validate that you need to poke holes in it. And there's no other way to do that. Besides getting user feedback, you have to talk to users. So a lot of developers have this idea of I'm gonna build a product and you know, I'm gonna see what users use this. And you're saying, hold up, just, just wait a second. Let's go ahead. And, um, let's go ahead and introduce, or let's go ahead and explore the problem that your product is even trying to solve. See if people even care about solving it, see if they even identify it as a problem and listen to their solutions bef especially before you build this thing out. So you're basically telling developers like, wait, wait, wait, wait. Don't just dive into the code right away. That's like the very first step.

Shelby Bower:

yes. Slow down to speed up is what, how I describe it. Um, and if you're doing it for fun have at it, you know, but if you wanna do it for money, like, whoa, like slow down to speed yourself up. Yeah.

Garima Chandra:

Yeah. I think along with this like user, um, get like, uh, interviews and everything, that's like the first and major thing that you need to do. But I think along with that, you should also know the competition landscape, you know, the idea that you are kind of like trying to build into a product. What other products are there? What are substitutes are there? Um, what are the people currently using? If your product is not in the market, what is the, what is the customer using right now? Does it have any pros and cons? Does the user like it, what they're using or they don't? What, what is something that they don't like? I think when you start probing in that direction, You know, learning from your competitive landscape where your product sits and is it like a new product, new market it's like old product, new market. And you know, it's a, you know, when you, when you kind of identify your product where it's gonna sit, and then you kind of identify, what is the current competition offering to your, uh, the users? What is your solution gonna offer? Then you get kind of like upper hand in when you do all those research. Plus when you add the customer, um, interviews to that, then I think you get like an upper hand of actually figuring out what you need to make and what you need to build. So that's like a bullet proof casing for your ideas. So not like a hundred percent of the time, but I think that's like a way to kind of pull it proof in your idea that it would definitely lead you to some success.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. You'll still pivot

Garima Chandra:

yeah, absolutely. Pivoting is like, you cannot avoid it.

Shelby Bower:

it will be a little less drastic because you'll kind of like. The thing is, is that the, the, I guess the better your antenna, the easier it is to find a signal, right? You got one antenna business, one antenna for the user and you're tuning, you know, mm-hmm but you have no antenna. You're just like, whoa. You know, like when you are a little

Garima Chandra:

mm-hmm . Yeah. Because, because if you, if you don't know about your competition landscape, it might happen. So you are offering all the things that they are offering and then you might get to know that later, and then you'll be like, you have to do the whole rework again. Yeah. Don't you don't wanna do that.

Don Hansen:

So it, it almost sounds like, um, you're really taking advantage of what the competition already offers based on maybe even like user reviews of things people are asking for that they still don't

Shelby Bower:

absolutely offer you. Absolutely should.

Garima Chandra:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Should. Yes. Certain if you're like doing some e-commerce product that like, you wanna sit on Amazon, just go through all the user reviews that you have gotten, just search everything that users have about users have to say, and they would really open up like all the reviews. Yeah. They would just go like all the like blog post and stuff. Like if you'd go and research about it, they just talk about it. If they don't like it, they will simply tell in very basic terms. I don't like it. It was not good. And then you can just reach out to them from there and ask like, why didn't you like it? Or, you know, so that would definitely help you, uh, to understand a lot about, you know, where where's the problem lying, you know, you might offer the customer something. Better than what their competitions are offering, no matter how costly they are or how cheap they are, doesn't matter if what you are offering is what they have been looking for. Mm-hmm

Shelby Bower:

Amazon reviews are a treasure Grove of quality. Yeah. and some very funny people

Don Hansen:

actually Grimma you had mentioned, um, you were talking about like the competition. So a lot of developers feel like, why should I build my idea? There are probably a hundred other ideas like that out there. Mm-hmm . And so that very quickly I'm telling you that crushes developer's dreams very quickly, but what you're kind of saying is, um, you're not really treating, you didn't even mention the idea of like a market being oversaturated or anything. You're like first, just look at what's out there and look at what is still missing from the features of some of these bigger competitors. Maybe you could focus on these features where it's not worth their time to even build them. Um yep. But. Maybe that gives a little bit of encouragement, but how do you, like, how do developers figure out if you know their idea, uh, their solution, um, doesn't really have a lot of room in the market, like the market's oversaturated.

Shelby Bower:

Hmm. I will tell you that in 1998, when I was working for about.com, I had to manage the content for the children's homework and the adult channels, which are, not the same. And Copa was passed, which is the children's online privacy and protection act. And I remember thinking, you know, what would be great wallets? What if you could give your kid an online wallet and you give them us a bunch of money and it's their allowance and you specify which websites they can buy things from. And you could just like give them the experience of online shopping and teach them about it. And then, then I was like, oh, The technology's really not there yet. And then poof, and, and guess what we have now we have wallets. Huh? you know, so sometimes it's just not the right time. And sometimes your idea's already been done. Been there, done that, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep exploring because there's, there's always something there, like the question is, do you wanna go for it? And sometimes it's a moonshot, like the internet in a plane.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Yeah. I think that, that definitely makes sense. That's interesting. Um, I'm sorry, your wallet idea didn't get pushed out at the time. it

Shelby Bower:

was never like there's no way no, 1998 that was ever

Don Hansen:

gonna happen. No, probably not. How do you. you know, so obviously with these ideas, you know, if you're gonna make anything out of it, you're gonna quit your position. Um, you're gonna have to earn money from it. How do you figure out how much to charge your customers

Shelby Bower:

more competitive research? I would say, and I would like, you have to test market things. You have to charge one amount charge. Like you have to find the price point sometimes. Um, you do your best to find it ahead of time. And I would also say, do not offer it for free unless you intend to keep giving it out for free. Uh, the wall street journal and the New York times can tell, you can teach you that lesson. Really the wall street journal, when they went online, charged for subscriptions immediately, the New York times did not, and they had a heck of a time converting people into a paid model.

Don Hansen:

Interesting. Okay. So what about this idea of like free tiers, where you get a limited set of features

Shelby Bower:

you can do. But like finding that line takes some time too. And you just have to be patient with like, which set of features compels the upgrade, I guess.

Don Hansen:

Would you, would you push for offering way less features for the free tier or just like really leaning on pricing a little bit higher? Cause it sounds like the closer it is to free the harder it is to move the, you know, to charge more. But the opposite way might be a little bit easier charging

Shelby Bower:

more. Yeah. Well, yeah. And you have to have a really clear sense of the value of the features. Right? You have to really know, like people really, really want this. And once they're exposed to a tiny little taste of what it is, they're totally gonna upgrade. Like you really have to understand the appetite for each feature that you're trying to put in those buckets.

Don Hansen:

Can you ask, can you ask users how much they would pay for a group of features or ask, like what features would you need? Like, how would this need to solve your problem for you to pay a hundred dollars a month?

Garima Chandra:

So, yeah, I, I guess if you just ask the users, like what features you would like, they would need, you are gonna be flooded with like tons and tons of features. And then you would wouldn't know from where to start. So never ask your users what features they would want. Just give them options, like would do which feature do you feel is the best and let them choose. And let them rate it. Okay. This is, if you wanna go that route to, you know, check from users, I think that would be something that you can take like as an alternative, but never go and ask anyone what features they would want, because you will be flooded. You will like see some websites, like, um, there's, uh, an FD website called, um, variable in there. They have this, another section community where, um, people keep putting up. Okay. What if, what, uh, if you add this feature, what if you add that feature? And they have like tons of features that the users think that be, you know, making the website pay better, but there are some of them they have implemented. Some of them are still just sitting there as suggestions. So that's what it is. Like, you don't wanna get overcrowded with these things. And then, um, thinking of like right now, I feel. Um, the free versions versus paid version, the best, like safest way to go. It go for a free meal model. Like you give them, you, uh, half features, like as like Shelby already mentioned, you have to kind of understand which features they would go for, like free of course, which features are really like that, that beneficial of that, you know, kind of where they would pay. And then you kind of divide those features as like you give, uh, people allow them to, you know, try it for like, maybe give them a trial period or keep like a free model where you have like few features for free and people who have the subscription. Then you go for like the premium features, like what Spotify does right. In the beginning, they have that. You can listen to all the songs you want to for free, but you'll get. You, you don't want ads, you go buy premium. And that's how like, people, some people in the beginning, they started, okay, ads are okay, one or two ads, but then they increase the frequency of ads. And our YouTube is doing the same thing. YouTube music is doing the same thing. They are increasing the frequency of ads. So at, at, you know, after a point of time, we're like, I don't wanna listen to like one minute of ad when I'm in the middle of the music. And I, you know, I'm playing some music from Spotify and then in the middle of the party, I'm listening to some ads. I don't wanna do that. So they switch to premium model and that's the same thing. That's, that's the policy that these online, uh, you know, products are kind of going for. They will allow you to use it for free, but then they will create such conditions that you'll be like, it's better to just pay and then remain hassle.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. That's the other side of it dark. We call it dark UX and like how many buttons do you have to push to mm-hmm get, go over. What's the change threshold. That's really what we're talking about. What is the threshold of behavior or features or what have you that gets people to do a thing you want them to do or stop doing anything you don't want them to

Garima Chandra:

do? Yeah. So it's all about like, you create such scenarios in your app without the user, knowing it that the user will do exactly what you're expecting them to do. Mm-hmm , that's, that's like kind of like a, like a trick, these products. And I'm saying from a user's perspective as well, because I have seen this happening, I went first Spotify, five free, and then I was so annoyed with the ads that day, because they started the sequence. Like I used to like, I'm listening to a song and in the middle of the song and getting like an ad and I'm like, I don't wanna go and do that. Let's just switch it to premium. So yeah, that is pretty much.

Don Hansen:

okay. So you, it, it sounds like there's some value in kind of making their experience less optimal personally. You're not really talking about like keeping things, the features minimal, you're talking about kind of annoying them until they pay. You

Shelby Bower:

can do. I, I personally think you get an emotional bank account with a customer or an end user, and the more you deduct from that account, the less tolerant they're gonna be of you as of, of the, of your product and whatever it is you're trying to do. And then the second they have an alternative, they will do something else. Yeah. If you deduct too much out of that emotional bank account, that is about royalty, you know, mm-hmm

Garima Chandra:

yeah. So the, these can work for products, which. There they are the king of the market. You, you cannot replace Spotify with something else because Spotify, the collection, the way, the way in they that they have with their, you know, music list, it's like at par, you will not get that collection anywhere else. So that's what, that's what they do. So if Netflix does that, if Netflix brings in the advertisement, Netflix is gonna go down because there are so many online streaming platforms. People are gonna switch from Netflix. So that's why Netflix is not bringing advertisements at any cost. So

Shelby Bower:

it's, it's better for them than their.

Garima Chandra:

Yeah. So it, it depends. It depends like if you are new to the market, give people something and you see there's, there's a deficit in the market. Like not all the com like, you know, if you like, for an example, Spotify free is ad plus music. What if you create like Spotify, like app, but without any ad and you give it for free, people are gonna use your product. If they see that the, um, the level of suggestion, the playlist is similar to what they can have it on Spotify, they will simply switch from Spotify to your platform that that will not even majority of them would definitely shift. So that's pretty much, you have to kind of it's, it's like a very, um, market dependent situation. You have to study your market. It's like before deciding a cost, you have to see what your, uh, competition is asking for people and are people happy paying that much amount? Honestly, I would be happy paying 4.99 per month for Spotify instead of paying like $10 per month for Spotify. just, just for no ads. So yeah, that's something, yeah, there's

Shelby Bower:

a there's um, social media. Think about that as a model too, right? Not nobody pays for social media because we are the product, right? Yep. But every time a new one comes out, it has this jump and feature set. Right. and then every other platform got cascades. The feature in like Snapchat features going

Garima Chandra:

through TikTok then. Yeah. Instagram is there now with real though, it's like, same as TikTok.

Shelby Bower:

Yeah. You can be replaced is, is really what we're saying. So the quality of what you put out there really has to be pretty good to get a foothold and to maintain it. And pricing is one way that one of the levers you have as a business owner to manipulate like the, to basically manage the situation. Right. It's one of your best levers.

Garima Chandra:

Yeah. So it's like very important. It's like going in the. Is thing, like if it's a new product and if there, if the market is not saturated, it's like a new product completely in the market. Then you have that leverage of putting up a cost and people will pay for it because there is no other substitute for them. Right. And you are the one who who's like offering everything that they wanted. But if there are currently products in the market and if you are then making it like pricey, That is not like a successful revenue model for your product. You would, you would because it's a new product and there are already competition is already out there. So you should always let people check out the features, whatever you have to give and have like, okay. Have like, if you wanna make it like a PR a pricing model, then always give them like a trial or keep it like separate like free model subscription model. I think that's like the safest way to go. If you are that confident in your product, that people will pay with all your user research that you have done in the past with all the market study, you have done you'd know people are gonna pay, then categorize it for the features. People will pay for the features people will want, because they already are having the same features on other platform without paying any

Shelby Bower:

money. Yeah, I, yeah. I would say, look at Spotify. Look at notion mm-hmm Squarespace, uh, like for, for those kinds of models,

Don Hansen:

this is, this is so much information and it's all really valuable. I can tell you. Um, I can tell you I'm gonna like, I, well, I watch every episode again, but I know I'm gonna get so many good nuggets that I probably passed way over. Um, so the, with everything that you're describing, there's so much thought and time that goes into like really coming. I mean, like let's just simplify it as much as I can coming up with a perfect idea that will create a sustainable revenue and grow and, you know, do well in the market. Um, there's a lot of thought that goes into it. And the more I listen, it feels like the portion of time that you're investing into like really validating this. I like with a lot of developers, like a lot of us can pull up apps really quickly and, and build like really, uh, kind of like decent, functional and looking features really quickly. It feels like there's so much more time that. You know, for me, if, you know, if I were to build out a product, I'm gonna be spending a lot of time with this research and validating when you come up with like a new feature for your business, um, do you, I know you're gonna have like different size developer teams, but I'm kind of curious, like I, can, you kind of deliver an estimated proportion of time that like user experience, product and design, like worked through a lot of this versus the amount of time it takes to, to build that out.

Shelby Bower:

I think it was Einstein who said, if you give me 60 minutes to solve a problem, I want 55 to define it and five to solve it. That's pretty much how it works. um, I would say depending on the scale and size of the thing you're trying to do, I would really give yourself a six month runway to really uncover what you should be doing. And six months of constant activity, not like I'll put something out there and see what happens more like six months of conver like structured things you're gonna do in order to uncover, you know, the truth you need. Right. And that is going to in, I think the more you can set up groups of people you can routinely talk to, and the more you can understand your product and your market and the competitive landscape going in, the easier it will be to get through that process. And if you need to spin up a prototype to validate an idea, if that's your deliverable, that's the thing you, you most like, that's how you articulate your ideas to the world. Do it, do it just don't spend a ton on it. Don't don't spend a

Garima Chandra:

ton of time on it. Yeah, I think, I think that would definitely help. Like if you don't want to like, just do research, research, research, being a developer you're well capable of. Just getting like a quick prototype or whatever idea you have, you have in mind and then have like a group of people, test it out and see like, you know, what they are thinking about because they'll have something to kind of like, you know, look to and work on it and then they can give you like opinions about what they feel about the idea and whatever it is. So I think that would also help you, if you, if the research part gets like a bit boring for the developers and they just wanna like, you know, see something in front of them. So , Don Hansen: I can tell you it's very to do research for that long and not have something I can play around with. I, I completely understand. That's why I said just build something and start research with that, you know, otherwise, you know, doing that level of research, it's not everyone. Open to do that. And you know, that's why a lot of ideas kind of like fail because then you have not put enough amount of research that you should have. And then you just like jumped into the solution. It's very, very, it's very human in nature that you will just jump to a solution and jump to an idea and just, you know, okay, let's do this. But then when you sit back and kind of think from all the different like point of view, then you kind of see, okay, your ideas have like a lot of loopholes and you have to like work on it and understand what exactly matters and what doesn't. So

Shelby Bower:

I think one tiny creative idea you might wanna tell people about is the idea of working with food camps and specifically working with the designers in boot camps, because there are a fair number of them that try to solve real problems in the real world. Um, and if you bring as a developer, if you have an idea, there's, I, I don't really know how they run those partnerships, but I know they have them because I mentor designers who are in those programs. So it's one way to kinda get a designer to help you potentially a designer in training that who might help you with some of the lab work they're not experienced, but it might be helpful.

Garima Chandra:

Yeah, along with this boot camp, you also have like business competitions. So if you have an idea that you wanna just test waters and see if your idea is something worth going for just participate in one of those competitions. And then that competition would really give you, like, because there will be teams and there will be like from PR PR business to PR development, to some, some people from the product background and the way they come up with their idea. It'll give you a lot of exposure of how, and in which direction you should be thinking from, you know, for your ideas. And that could be like one of the starting points. And then you go, and once you are done, you know that this is the idea you wanna go ahead with, go ahead in the boot camp, see how your idea would look like from the design perspective and then kind of like move forward. So these steps you can take for an issue.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Again, there's so much good information on this. I'm I'm processing it right now. So. okay. You definitely don't wanna go over. Um, that first of all, I didn't know about the bootcamp thing. I, I might actually try that for a product that I've been thinking that is a great idea, and I'm willing to put money down on it. Um, that's, that's really interesting. And just a quick question. Uh Grimma these business competitions, are they focused on like people trying to win to get like investment money or mm-hmm like, what's

Garima Chandra:

the purpose? Um, so there are different types. I'm not like I don't, uh, uh, like have the list of the names, but there are different if you're already like one of there's like investment oriented and then they're like, like just, you wanna, you know, see like normal business competitions where you're just like, who's the winner. Okay. This idea is something that you wanna go ahead with and then you get a team to work with and, you know, kind of develop that idea if you like it. So something of that sort, I think you will find the different di mostly on the university level. You have it of the, these kinds of competitions. So maybe you might want to like research more and see what are they existing.

Don Hansen:

Okay.

Shelby Bower:

In, uh, I know I, this has to be true in other cities in Chicago, we have some, some hackathons that run regularly and people just show up and then they get in a room and they all talk and work on some. Um, I know. And, and the, the good thing about the, the good thing is nobody's there to try to poach your idea or buy it from you. Mm. Bad thing is that you don't control anybody who comes to those things. So you don't really know what you're gonna get.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, that's a good suggestion. Okay. I wanna, I wanna slip up, find my thoughts and we'll wrap this up. Um, I originally started this video. I remember scheduling this video because I wanted to give aspiring developers, um, a perspective on how they could think a little bit differently that might make them stand out. Cause I know a lot of them eventually would like to build an app and they just don't have the confidence to do so. Um, what I basically did, I kind of just kept asking questions, not in order clearly, but I just asked tons of questions. The more, you know, the, uh, after like each of your responses to get a better feel for like things that were kind of in the back of my mind. So all this information that you, you shared. It really helped me. Uh, first of all, I don't think it's for aspiring developers. I think this is a level of depth that, um, I would encourage aspiring developers. Like it's great that you get this perspective, but don't over complicate your projects. I actually wanna make the message like, um, keep your projects simple, you know, focus on the stacks that are marketable in your area, but also. Start considering the user. I think like a message for aspiring developers is, um, it's okay to like, be a little bit more problem focused before you jump right into the code. I think a lot of companies would appreciate that. And sometimes that training, that mindset for me at least was instilled a little bit more. Once I finally worked at startups, I had no idea like how to even structure that until I got the experience. So that's why I love startups. That's how much I would take from it with aspiring developers, or just keep this in your back pocket for when you do get more experience for developers that do wanna make that transition, which I know a lot of developers do like a lot, a lot more than I thought. I even did a poll on LinkedIn as well. A lot of developers would love to branch off from their full-time positions, but they want their product to be impactful. They want, uh, to be able to provide value and they wanna make sure that they can as much as they can validate that idea and that business model and, you know, make sure they're not just going to quit their job without any sort of plan, um, or confidence in their product. So. What I'd love, um, anyone in the comments, let me know that we touched on so many different topics. If you are considering branching off and building your product, uh, building a business out of it, I would love to explore these ideas in depth more we could even come up with now that I I'm gonna listen to this again, but now that I have, I'm starting to like shift my mindset a little bit. I think it'd be really cool to come up with videos, like step by step, uh, and go into more depth and maybe provide more examples. Cuz if I had more examples with you, like even just the example I spit out, you both did a great job of just honestly helping me with my own product. Maybe that's a little bit self selfish, but um, you did a great job of just like jumping in once you had at least a nugget of an idea and get me to think about some questions. So if you wanna see more videos like this, um, definitely let me know. I think it's time for our outros. Um, agree if people wanted to reach out to where could they reach you?

Garima Chandra:

um, they can reach out to me on LinkedIn I'm available so they can connect with me, shoot me at DM and I'll answer the questions that they have. Okay.

Don Hansen:

That's great. Yeah. All right. Sounds good. Well, yeah, let me know what you thought of this. I think there's, we can go into depth with a lot of these, uh, sub checks, but, um, I wanna hear your ideas and I'm gonna think about this a bit more so hope you enjoyed Shelby. Thanks so much for coming on. Stick round for a couple minutes. Thank now we see everything.