Welcome to The Early Days: a series checking in with kickass Founders sharing honest lessons, tips & tricks and a sneak peek into building from the ground up, in public.
When it comes to starting a new business or launching a new product, it can be tempting to spend time and money creating a full product without taking the time to validate the idea and make sure that people actually want it.
Every idea has its first aha this is the sticking moment and this is usually when someone outside of your friend or family circle signs up to test your idea or to pay to use your app. It's a nudge in the right direction.
Meet Kieran who's doing this with Yep, the spark, the inspiration in his words.
Yep.so + Your Background
Hi, I’m Kieran aka @nocodelife on Twitter. I’m currently a full-time freelance Bubble developer and no-code maker. Previously I was co-founder of a startup for the past 7 years, and before that held a variety of roles in startups and corporates.
Where did this idea come from/what’s the inspo?
It came from me wasting a couple of years of my time on projects that it turned out no one wanted. I eventually realised I should have been validating the ideas before building the full product! Crazy huh? The problem is validation isn’t fun and it’s actually daunting to ask real customers if they want your idea. It’s easier to assume.
So I built Yep to remove most of the barriers to testing my ideas rapidly. Before Yep I would have spent hours and days deliberating over design choices, structure, logos, domains and more. I designed Yep to remove those factors from the equation. Now I just launch a landing page in a few minutes and get it out there.
How did you validate the idea for this business/product?
The irony is I didn’t really validate this idea for the reasons above! I started out by testing to see if I could build it for myself. Then I started tweeting about it and got some positive signals in return, so I invited others to try it out.
What was the first moment of success / Aha moment that this idea is sticking?
I remember the first time someone random, i.e. not one of my friends, signed up and created their own page. That was a big surprise. And then the first time someone actually upgraded to the paid plan, I couldn’t quite believe it!
Can you share your greatest lesson learned?
My greatest lesson learned is that marketing doesn’t happen by itself. This is something I’d consistently failed on with previous projects because I had the naive belief that good products will market themselves. The reality is, marketing is an activity that requires time and dedication, the same as building the actual product. Since I started setting aside time for marketing I’ve noticed a definite shift in the trajectory of Yep.
Most exciting idea/landing page shared on Yep.so?
There have been many super interesting ideas shared but most fail to get traction, which makes them a bit less exciting. The one with the most signups, over 4,000 now, is also one of the simplest pages. It’s getting traction because its creator is doing a fantastic job of building a Twitter audience and has clearly found product-market fit, even before his product is live.
Going further with Kernal x Yep Partnership
I spent more than a decade of my life coming up with random business ideas and annoying my friends and family with them, only to give up on them because I didn’t know anyone else starting businesses. The Kernal community is exactly what I needed and potentially could have saved me ten years of wasted time.
A lot of my product ideas have an underlying theme of trying to empower others to take the leap from idea to founder, and yep.so is no exception. I feel it complements the Kernal community offering perfectly. Once you’ve validated your idea within the community, the next step is to validate it with potential users and that’s where Yep comes in.
What are your favourite Tools?
My absolute favourite tool is Bubble.io which is a no-code app builder. I build all my products with it, including Yep.so. Apart from that I also enjoy the tools that help me to earn income, like Gumroad, Paddle, and Podia.
I also just started using a screenshot tool called Xnapper by another indie maker and I love it!
What's one trend that excites you?
I’m incredibly excited by no-code. I discovered it in 2019 and three years later I still think it’s flying under the radar. Its potential for empowering non-technical people like me to build software is world-changing.
Favourite Book all Founders should Read
The Embedded Entrepreneur by Arvid Kahl is one of my favourites.
What is your favourite quote?
Courtland Allen, founder of IndieHackers, said something along the lines of:
Everyone has a successful company in them, it’s just a question of finding a way to not quit before you get there.
☁️ Closing Notes
Kieran's journey is a great example of how important it is to take the time to validate an idea before investing too much time and money in building it out. His experience has taught him that it's essential to dedicate time and effort to marketing a product, and through his partnership with Kernal, he's hoping to help others take the leap from idea to founder and validate their ideas with potential users using his product Yep.so.
Do you have an idea that you're itching to share? Post here and watch your seeds grow into a forest. 🌲🌳🌲🌳
With nearly 10,000 members, 2,000 startup ideas and 200 MVPs, Kernal is an expanding community of founders, operators, and investors focused on validating and building pre-seed startup ideas. Post new ideas, browse startups with momentum, and get expert feedback to take the next steps of scaling your startup idea. This exclusive community is the most supportive place to be for builders at this stage in their journey. We welcome you to join the community.