Success Diary #15: How to Start Creating a Product


Photo by Scarbor Siu on Unsplash

I am more concerned about the financial growth thinking such as investment, startup products, etc., and I have been following the big Twitter V levelsio before. Picture he is a very powerful free entrepreneur, can independently run a lot of products, business ability and product ability are very outstanding. This is not he recently wrote a book “make bootstrappers handbook”, online link

Because he admires his ability to take action and continue to Make, I read this book, and after reading it, I did have some gains (reading alone is useless, we still need to take action), so I’ll share it with you.

This book is more content, I look at the version of the missing some of the content, but the general directory platform to see how to start, practice, and the introduction of some tools, for me, is a good access to the manual.

Core takeaways 🔗︎

Idea validation 🔗︎

Gather your own ideas, start with a problem you’ve encountered, make sure they’re small enough to be executable, and rank a lot of ideas, in order of what you’d like to do the most.

What if you don’t have an idea? Actively experience different things to be original yourself. Actively share your ideas, don’t be afraid of idea plagiarism, the key is action.

Go from micro niche to multi niche, from vertical to platform. Don’t start out trying to get a big one.


Zapier: design tool
Typeform: form tool
WordPress: website builder
MailChimp: marketing, automation and email platforms
Google Analytics
MixPanel: Product Analytics
Amplitude: Product Analytics
Hotjar: Product Analytics
AWS Simple Email (SES doesn’t always treat as spam, needs to be set up correctly) / postmark/ SendGrid / Cloudflare works (free email, MailChannels to avoid going into spam): email delivery services

Build 🔗︎

Fast and minimal. Use tools to build MVPs quickly to validate your ideas and definitely to reduce build costs.

Don’t get tool-obsessed.

Recommend web first, web and Native will converge in the future. Cloud servers are relatively inexpensive, about $5/minute, much cheaper than Native development.

Realise product ideas by combining APIs.

No need for office space, anytime, anywhere. No need for money and investment instead may be your advantage as you 100% own your product.


Linode: Virtual Private Server
Digital Ocean: Virtual Private Server
Heroku: Platform as a Service
Nginx: You can set a default server
Olark: Website chat tool
twilio: Website chat tool
ClickUp: Project Management
Trello: Project Management
Stripe: Payment platform
Intercom: Artificial intelligence customer service

Launch 🔗︎

Aim for a 2 week launch, to fix most of the bugs in your app (make sure the product is bug free and that new users can understand its content and start using it right away.) , add email, push notifications, have analytics and feedback.

Start with a small niche, like friends, and expand gradually. Constant releases through feedback, the ability to submit directly to the line, direct resolution of issues, and quick validation are key.

If your product doesn’t inspire you to move on, drop it.

Other channels to get feedback:

  • Email journalists for news stories (find journalists at, make sure it’s concise and doesn’t look like spam.
Subject: Food delivery startup for pets

Hi Jody! I made a site that lets you subscribe to food delivery for your pet. Let me know if you need more info :)
  • Writing personalised launch product descriptions for each platform.
  • Blog writing: textual approach to writing, not utilitarian in nature. Modern media is very advanced, so try to use it to express yourself, fewer people read blogs, but they are still there. For example, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Little Red Book and other domestic apps

Niche Platforms.

Product Hunt: a popular platform for discovering new products and startups.
Hacker News: a community-driven site focused on technology and startups.
Reddit: Browse sub-forums related to your product or industry.
Indie Hackers: a community of independent makers and entrepreneurs. BetaList: a platform to discover and showcase new startups.
Crunchbase: create a profile for your startup and share updates.
GrowthHackers: community focused on growth hacking and marketing.
Designer News: for design or UX-focused products.
PHLOUNGE: The official Slack community for Product Hunt for networking.
Stack Overflow: If you have a development-focused product, participate in related Q&A events.
Quora: Participate in discussions related to your product area.
TechCrunch: Submit your product for potential coverage.
AngelList: Connect with investors and showcase your startup.
LinkedIn: Share updates with your professional network.
Twitter: Leverage your network and relevant hashtags. Interact with the developer community.
DN.Buzz: community for sharing and discovering independent products.
AlternativeTo: List your product as an alternative to existing solutions.
Startup Stash: Submit your startup to be featured in their directory.
Betalist: Promote your product in their email newsletter.
SaaS Invaders: A community for SaaS products.
Lobsters: a technology-focused link aggregation site.
SlideShare: Share presentations about your product or industry.
YouTube: Make demo videos or tutorials and share them on your channel.
Medium: Write articles about your product or industry.
Dribbble: Showcase design aspects related to your product.
Discord: Join relevant communities and share your products.
Substack: Create a newsletter to share updates and insights.
Capterra: a software review and discovery platform.

Growth 🔗︎

Constantly update releases, tell stories, build publicly, and make it easy for people to share (easy to read urls and slugs). Can build with users, create APIs, and find advantages over competitors.

Monetisation 🔗︎

Collecting money is validation, don’t be afraid to do so. Build with monetisation in mind. Pay per feature, or adverts, sponsorships, subscription models, community models, conditional payments.

Subscriptions are better than single payments, even when considering cancellations. What can be subscribed: a service, a forum, a chat group, a social network for a specific niche. Of course, it’s also better to offer a lifetime subscription, which is roughly what the customer’s Lifetime Value (LTV) is x the average time of use, to calculate the one-time payment amount. People no longer like to pay for content, but prefer to pay for connections. Subscription payments are particularly well suited to business models that build communities, which can be discussion boards, forums, chat groups, social networks to physical gatherings.

This includes quick top-ups using Typeform, how refunds and bookkeeping work and tax issues. Domestic companies do not need an ICP licence to access online payments (unless third party onboarding is involved)


Localised payment tools
Stripe Atlas
Platform Portfolio

Automation  🔗︎

Bots are really scripts: to be able to take less time than a human. For example, send an email to your own bot to automate a task. If it’s not worth automating it’s not automated.

Tools: Monitor if tasks are actually running Check if the product is failing online   Linode cloud provider   Namecheap Domain name provider. Prepaid amount to ensure no credit card dependency and keep the product stable.   Hire a friend   telegram bot: telegram Roughly 1 billion users Replace email notifications (email has lower click-through rate 12,000/1.5 million 33% open rate?). Or use browser notifications can cover desktop and mobile devices ios) website statistics  

Register your company 🔗︎

When your users reach a certain size can consider registering a company, of course, you can also apply for an individual business (limited functionality, unlimited liability). Although the cost of paying for the registration of the company in the early stage, but the benefits are:

  • Apply for a variety of third-party services convenient (payment, etc.)
  • Can take some other services invoicing is convenient, low tax rate. (Courses/consulting/advertising)
  • Various cloud service platforms will have various discounts for enterprise certification.

Comparison of Company Incorporation Fees:

Setting up an overseas company: One-time setup fee $500 + $100 registered agent per year

Mainland company:

Finance fee of about 300 a month, on behalf of the accounts, social security and other chores (low there is 200 a month, consider the tax risk) + 1500 annual audit; financial agents within 2,000, a year of agency registration of the company/agent bookkeeping and so on about 6k.

Hong Kong company: about 5200 financial fees a year, + 1500 annual review.
Domestic registered companies: the best way to register is to consult your neighbourhood business parks, there will be supporting services, the cost is lower. Address hanging industrial park. Now does not support the individual sole proprietorship (do not have to pay social security to themselves), is a small-scale tax.