The 6 evening challenge — how to try and build a product in 6 days
The concept of the product I had worked on for a while. I roughly knew what it’s meant to do, how it’s going to behave and how it attracts. I knew it’s unique selling points and can explain the whole business in less than 100 words. Let’s keep it simple. A product build in 6 days can never be perfect. Perfection takes time and the most popular product in the world is by many still seen as “not perfect” but good enough. Apple every year comes out with the perfect phone and the end product isn’t even close. Consumers might think it’s the ultimate phone but some one out there will come up with a new feature that every smartphone maker will have to add to make the perfect phone. The circle never stops.
To the point. I have made a very harsh decision on myself. Challenge myself to build a product in 6 evenings. Not waste any time on bullshit just plain work.
I have a 9 to 5 job and takes me about an hour to get from and to work so I have a really short deadline.
4 hours of work everyday in 6 days, that’s about 24 hours put in by total.
Building this product includes
The products it self (codes in php)
Payment processor and its business account set up (I, kind of got this in place)
Psd advertising material
Reformats of the advertising material for different ad services.
Setting in the online campaigns
Initial planning — the whole business plan did not take long to make. Just a few notes dropped to get me focused on the tasks I must complete that day.
Strategy — as this is a product made by only one person I can afford to make quick decisions. The only downside is that I need to execute them which takes time. Competition analysis, pricing analysis, feature analysis are things that I will do later on. It’s impossible for me to do all these things in 6 days especially if the product is half baked.
Code strategy — Use the existing code i have in spares to make something. BTW I have a library of code on my servers that are just gaining ‘binary dust’. Time goes on and code gets eventually outdated. I peek into the library quite often either to get help or drop new banger.
Ads — i don’t have amazing Photoshop skills but I still manage to create some kind of graphical ad. Quick stock image search, creative copy and a bit of manipulation will get the job done.
Well I started on a Sunday evening I was pretty productive. I got a full view of what I want and where I want it. I started to implementing the first design choices on the live script, quick test and next. Started from the menu, moved to the header, logos, button placement etc.
Time for functionalities. I had a few in mind. I made a quick list of the functionalities I wanted and dropped them down on a spreadsheet with the ending urls. Go down to making the functionalities. It took me about an hour a piece to make. They aren’t the best working versions but so far they some how do.
Logins — like I said before o had a library of code on my storage device so it was time to use it. There was meant to be a single login for all of the services It had.
So I had an user panel and now I needed to add the functionalities. As I said before it took me about an hour to make one by taking the experience I had before, the work I made at work and the best of all resources THE INTERNET! on this day o made a single Facebook and instagram account logon page so that users dot have to login to all of the functionalities everytime.
I have woken up really early and had a few hours free and so to date I have the login done, fb and ig done, and two, auto posters done for fb and ig each.
<! — — this is where I go off a little off topic — — >
Time to get more automation done! The thing is that the whole product is meant to help in organising by automating tasks related to social media so you can focus more on the PR side of things rather than distribution. Quality PR and niche distribution is 100 times better than shitty PR and distributing to every channel in existence, so my advice is to spend a few extra moments talking about facts that people care about in your market rather than going off and putting a quick stock image or quote or meme or something really pathetic up and annoying everyone.
Back to the project progress
I made about 6 new features today. I coded and tested on the live server. After many hours of coding I there was I giant mess in the code which would be nice to see tomorrow tidy.
Well it took a huge downturn. Work day was really intense and instead of being productive and working I fell asleep out of exhaustion. I made no progress on that day which was really disappointing. My body stopped responding however after 13.5 hour sleep I got up and tried to make some progress. It was difficult but still managed to get a few things done. Not as much as I would like but it’s better to make 1% progress rather than any the night before.
You know it’s hard putting together worklife with personal life. The people you care enough require time as well so I needed to put aside the project for one day to spend that time with the people that care about me. However there are also people that are only interested in you money wise and these people are just the people that interrupt the whole process. Just because there ass is on fire because they don’t organise there time well, they are also ignorant enough to throw all of there responsibilities onto you. You try to stay focused but can’t, why because they need something from you ASAP. Time to remove them.
After throwing this out please let me elaborate…
Yes my 9 to 5 job is pretty demanding and intense, i’m the person in charge and have the responsibility. After 2 days of really intense hard work at my 9 to 5 i had to have a break. The product is not going to be made in those 6 days but more or less 8 to 10.
My deadline is today evening and I’m only 60% complete. My inner tinkerer what’s to fidget with the small details but I don’t have the time. The menu I working, functions working, payments not working, NO UNIQUE ICONS, NO ADS MADE. #panic
Like i said above i had most of the code prepared by dragging and dropping it from my server, and thats what i did. I had a payment gate what i have used previously to develop a website for a client. What i had to be do is change the way how people where logging on. It had to be the same as the original product. One login for all.
After a few hours of tinkering with the payment gate i was done with it.
Small and quick redesign of the payment gate and done. This whole process took my about 5 hours in total.
As i was already overdue with my deadline i have gone pretty relaxed and decided that rushing things will not get me to my desired end results and cause more problems that fixes.
Todays focus is on Marketing
So where am i going to distribute my ads? Facebook, LinkedIn, forums. I’m not advertising on other social media outlets because I need to gain enough users to beta test it. A week is not enough but still something.
I have created quick few PSDs. I have created them by creating a master banner and then went on my selecting the one i like best. I took the stock images from pexels and then added some copy and button. It was enough to create a good looking and attractive banner.
Picked my favorite and done a quick reformat for Facebook, Linked in.
I got hold of a Google Adwords coupon for every 1 dollar spent, Google matched it. I quickly created an Google Adwords account and campaign, selected my desired keywords and phrases got approved and waited. I would like to clarify that this coupon was unexpected. I got it from a good friend that works at an SEO agency.
At this day i got to fixing up the icons, there was less work to it that it seemed like, also i got sick from this 4 hour of sleep and constant coffee schedule. I quickly implemented them and had a few spare moment to fix up small bits and peaces.
As there was an Adwords campaign going on i decided that i needed a better site. Nothing better than good old wordpress. I use divi to create sites on workpress. It’s a drag and drop plugin that enables your to create websites quickly. Made the copy in word, created the about, pricing, register, login and homepage and pushed it though to google with webmaster tools for faster indexing.
Here is the day i’m publishing this post, so far i have had my first few customers. I will keep updating when things change.
I would really like to add that creating this product and challenging myself has taught me a few things.
No matter how hard you work, always take care of yourself. Health is really important, if you really would like to challenge yourself to the limits try to have at least 6 hours of sleep and drink less coffee.
If your 9 – 5 job has plenty of responsibilities, be ready to extend your deadline. I have though out that the time of the challenge stay longer and do more. I would like to add that people are sometimes unpredictable so the lesson next time is that have a plan b or even plan c.