On shutting down, weighing and boredom.

Do not index
Do not index
notion image
As you know, I run a portfolio of software products. My portfolio now includes Cart, Scrapebook, Timelygigs, Dealflow, Adagio and Groouply.
I have so many SaaS that it’s difficult to even remember them. As I blogged in the past, I love have multiple software products for different reasons.
My approach is to ship a lot of products and see how they do, instead of focusing on just one product and scale it to the moon. I measure my success by number of profitable products I have in my portfolio.
Today, I’m shutting down two of my SaaS: Timelygigs and Adagio.
These products do not require a lot of money to run (in fact, expenses are ~$0) and I think both are good ideas and both could be profitable.
I’m primarily closing them because they never really took off.
Secondly, I’m shutting them down to declutter and free up space in my mind for other ideas.
Thirdly, I strongly believe that everything works. Everything works if you put enough effort in it. In fact, it’s essentially my fault that these two SaaS did not took off.  But, there are only so many hours in a day. I HATE to choose, but even I, have to.
Things I can do: X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Things I can do well: X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Think I can actually do: X X X X X X X X
There are more good opportunities in this world than I can ever pursue. My energy is limited and I need to choose where to put it.
As a reminder, here are some questions I should ask myself whenever I want to build something:
  • Does this new thing I want to add help me reach my goal?A business should always serve the entrepreneur. The product has to adapt to your goals and your lifestyle, not the contrary. I see many founders who are slaves of their products trying to chase growth at all costs instead of a happy life.
  • Would I enjoy doing this new thing in the long term?My strategy is to be in the game for a long time. This is a great advantage as it gives me the gift of time. It allows me to make interesting bets and taking more losses in the short term and (hopefully) more wins in the future.
  • What’s the market opportunity?Is the opportunity related to competition in the market? Is it maybe related to potential integration partners?
    • Basically, who do we sell the new product to and why now? Product/market fit should really be called market/product fit because it starts with the market. It starts with identifying who the market is and what the market wants. Then, it comes product which is the reflection of how we sell to the market what it wants and how we solve its problems.
  • Does it align with what I am good at?Basically, why me? Is this the right product I should be building? Does it fit my zone of excellence? Here are some things I know about me: I am a starter, I am a scraper, I build fast. Why is this the right product for me?
  • Does it multiply?How does the new product relate to the existing products I have? Is there a cross-selling opportunity?
  • What are the consequences of building this new product?Consider consequences in terms of money, resources, and time. Having a new product also means having more inputs (people pinging you, for example) and that will also take more mental space. These are the obvious ones, but there are other consequences that are more difficult to think of. Think of consequences long-term. Second, third, fourth order consequences.
In the future, I won’t build anything if I didn’t answer these questions before. But, there’s one exception. That exception is called boredom.
Sometimes I’m bored and I have some time to spend and because I can code, I just do. That’s how I built most of my stuff.
I enjoy that time so much and I don’t want to lose the “let’s see what happens” attitude (which, btw, it is a lot like jazz works).
That’s why I don’t regret building Timelygigs or Adagio. They come from the same attitude.
Thanks for reading,
Mike Rubini
Mike Rubini

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Mike Rubini