About a year ago I was looking for help crafting twitter threads. I’ve had a Twitter account for some time, but never used it much. Hardly every tweeted. But after stepping into the world of indiehackers I realized that Twitter is where makers meet. And good threads seemed to be what made successful makers stand out.
As I was looking for an idea to start a project anyway, that seemed like a good choice. But shortly after I found somebody else was building exactly this already. I shied away and started something else. But the idea kept coming back to my mind over the year. And each time I had a new brilliant feature in mind that would make crafting these threads faster and easier and better.
Ways to get started for users that don’t even know where and how to start. Ways to craft them faster because I know you are a busy person. Ways to find out what works and what doesn’t. Ways to improve what you already have.
I knew I would either have to finally drop the idea completely or start on it. Otherwise, it would always linger in the back of my head. At the same time I was busy with other projects and cooking to many things at once has been a great recipe for not getting anything done at all in the past. That’s when I had the idea for a new approach.
The approach splits the project into three phases. Each with a clear goal in mind and a limited time frame to achieve the goal. If and only if I achieve the goal I can go on with the next one otherwise I drop the idea. The phases are:
A full day of focused building with the goal to ship something exciting enough to gain the interest of at least one person. Check out the Phase 1 thread.
One week time to meet the core promise of the product teased in day 1. It needs to actually work in order to have a user.
The third phase is where the product needs to come together. The loose parts need to be wrapped up to create something that somebody would pays for.
This approach should help me in multiple ways. First, the time limit does not allow to get distracted. For the respective goals, the limits make it possible to achieve them, but only when focusing on what matters. Which leads to the next key point. Having a clear goal in each step, makes it clear what I have to work on. Getting a subscriber and attention means I have to announce it, give an opportunity to sign up and highlight its value and why one should subscribe.
Finally, having a do or stop approach increases the stakes. I want to have this app for myself. Knowing that it is over if I do not achieve a partial goal, means I must focus on achieving them. So, there’s no time to get distracted with things that aren’t absolutely necessary.
“Well, that approach is nice and all but who is controlling what you say?” you might think. The answer is you. Because not only do I want to use this project to practice shipping quickly and early. I also want to build it in public.
Doing so puts more pressure on me to deliver. Because you can check the results and call me out if I don’t achieve the goals. And, and this is a key one, it is also where the audience of the project is at. A Twitter thread builder aims at Twitter users. Those are the people interested in such a service.
Building on public in Twitter entails sharing updates of what I’m working on, thinking out load when I get stuck, show what it is I’m doing with lots of images, asking for feedback via polls and making sure I don’t get off track.