12 Startups in 12 Months

I've always been attracted to the idea of using iteration to get better results.

Back in 2014, Pieter Levels attempted to launch 12 Startups in 12 Months so that he could get better and finishing and launching his startup ideas. His approach lead to several profitable startups including Nomad List and Remote OK.

This approach isn't just confined to launching startups either. Pieter got the idea from Jennifer Dewalt who created 180 websites in 180 days to learn web development.

And drawing from my own experience as an indie game developer I remember a few years ago joining One Game A Month as a way to getting better at game development by making lots of little games.

Finding The Right Idea By Making Lots Of Things

So, for the next 12 months, I've decided to take a similar approach to finding an idea that's a good founder fit.

The plan is to make things I enjoy working on and have value to my target audience. Each project will be small enough to be built and launched within a month and I'll write progress reports.

But building the thing isn't the primary goal. The primary goal is to build an audience in the target market and have conversations to find out where I can provide value.

Building Things For Indie Hackers

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the kinds of projects I'd like to tackle and I realized I'm most happy when I'm helping other makers and entrepreneurs.

Nothing excites me more than helping other creators design the lifestyle they want. I feel most comfortable when I'm talking to other indie hackers on forums and I love the idea of getting even more involved in that world.

Of course, I also love the idea of scratching my own itch and creating tools I use myself.

Ideas Often Come When I'm Working On Something Else

In my experience, most of my best ideas come when I'm already working on something. Even if the thing I'm working on isn't a particularly good idea the act of solving one problem often exposes new more interesting problems to solve.

More importantly, building and launching should lead to more converstations with my target market. This is one of the key reasons why I need to start with small timeboxed ideas and actually get them out into the world.

Progressively Leveling Up

I've been involved in many projects over the past couple of decades. I know how to get a project from idea to launch fairly quickly. I've worked in teams with a pretty streamlined process that I'm intimately familiar with.

However, doing the same thing at home in my spare time is going to take some time and effort. I know how to do it but I can't simply copy and paste the process into my own stuff.

Starting small and progresively leveling up is the only way forward.

I think Pieter said it best.

Many people wait to get that big vision while staying idle. I don't think that's the way though. By just doing something you position yourself ahead of most people already, and you'll probably do the wrong thing. But that's not the point. You'll figure out what you need to do by exposing yourself to the world (and its market forces).

The most important takeway here is building and launching to the world.