Last night I was starting to really feel a loss of passion for GigLoft. Like, “I don’t want to build this thing anymore” levels.
The feeling arose from a lack of progress, a lack of momentum. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels nonstop for the past few months trying to make something that enough people will want to purchase that I can pay the software bills—let alone call it a viable business!
Things like GigLoft are magical, which is their primary advantage and their incredible downside. 😅 On the one hand, everyone has loved GigLoft from the first day we created it. Everyone gets excited about the idea, everyone sees the value, everyone is down to contribute in some way. GigLoft is bigger than just a “course” or a “bootcamp” or a “community” or anything it can be described as. It’s anything we want it to be, and everything. And that‘s what makes it so cool and so damn difficult to build. Even if it were my full-time, it’d be a double-full-time. 🙈
Things like GigLoft need tons of T.L.C. to succeed. But they also need to start somewhere. They need what’s commonly known as a wedge, described aptly by David Sacks recalling PayPal’s product-market fit story:
The Sharp Startup focuses on the most desperate customer segment. It finds a wedge into the market. While it’s important to have a larger vision, the Sharp Startup remains opportunistic and agile enough that when it spots this kind of opening in the market, it drops everything else and drives all of its troops through it.
This is what I’m struggling with right now for GigLoft. What’s the wedge? Who is the most desperate customer segment? What are they most desperate about? Once I have clarity on these answers, the “what to build” will come naturally. (I’m a maker at heart.)
Disclaimer: I’m entirely thinking out loud here now. (Isn’t that what this is for?)
The original customer segment we sought to serve was the “little guy” freelancer, the aspiring freelancer. The creative who aspires to make a little money on the side with their craft. Or a lot. But it was always about that type of person — not the one who’s already figured out Upwork and wants to go full-time or build an agency. (Those are great goals too—but do they need GigLoft in the same ways?)
If I go back to focusing exclusively on the Shelleys, Erics, Williams, Dianas of the world… how do I find them? Are they sitting in PubLoft’s ever-growing database of aspiring freelance writers applying to every website they can find? Probably. I’ll start there and seek to understand more than build—yes, my urges must be contained for a short while—until I regain that original clarity Mat had for our target customer segment.