This product idea came from a list I made for my previous project. That was a list of 100+ directories where you can post your startup.
I made it for myself, to expand the reach of the product I was working on. I sorted all the websites, removed dead links, tag them, and used it to promote our project. Then, I wondered if it can be useful for others and share it here and on Reddit.
These posts just blow up. It got a total of 1200 upvotes total and 200 comments!
Some of the comment was even telling me that I should create a product out of it!
I did not post that list to test the audience in the first place but that was a strong validation of an existing pain!
Talk to people
A few weeks later, I was free so I decided to tackle it! My first idea was to make a product by automating the submission to all these directories. The value seemed obvious: you don’t need to spend hours filling out forms, a bot will do it for you.
I put together a quick landing page with Carrd, show it to a few people, and get them on Zoom.
And… they didn’t like it.
They felt like the overall value of a bot pushing their product on these directories was quite low. You need to spend time preparing your launch(es). Nobody wants an automated Product hunt launch from a simple pitch. You need to tailor your content for every communities.
The real value is about pushing the right content, to the right people at the right time.
So I “pivoted”.
Instead of automating the submission, I started to curate more resources. I wanted to bring more value for the makers.
It took me some weeks to curate, sort, and tag every link. At the end of the process, I gathered 400+ resources where to post your product. Including directories, but also Facebook groups, online communities, Slack/Discord, and guest post opportunities.
The pain was validated, now I needed to validate the product.
There is only one way to really validate a concept: does anyone willing to pay for it? Or, even better, can you have some people pre-order the product?
So I created a landing page with a demo version of the database and set up a Gumroad product. I send the page to small communities and some friends. My goal was to have 100/200 visitors and see what happens. If you can’t make a sale out of a few hundred visitors then you should consider pivoting again…
But it worked!
Out of the 100 visitors, I made a few pre-orders!