Week 2 - Real insights

or how to submit your week 2 update

Welcome to week 2! This week we're going out there to find some real people and some real insights for the project you're building. Let's dive in.

Step 1: Get your definitions right

First, define a very specific group of people you think would absolutely love to use your project right now. The more specific you are, the better. Ideally this definition should result in 5 to 10 people in the world, not hundreds! Really, be super specific.

👎️ Bad definitions:

  • Javascript developers

  • Web3 enthusiasts

  • Artists

  • Infrastructure companies

👍️ Better definitions:

  • Privacy enthusiasts building a consumer social product based on Ethereum who have been trying to implement ZK proofs in the past but found it too complicated.

  • Developers who have a mobile app built using Expo where the app's core functionality is around imagery and art, and who have manifested interest in using generative AI and stable diffusion to introduce new features in their existing application.

Now, define what a "user" of your project actually means. You don't need to have a fully shipped project yet for this, as long as you're honest with yourself about what defines meaningful investment and usage in your project as of today.

👎️ Bad definitions:

  • Starred my repo

  • Logged in

  • Signed up to a waitlist

👍️ Better definitions:

  • Created a testnet transaction

  • Called our API successfully

  • Completed onboarding

  • Used our prototype

The people you are looking for will be your first + second definition. Write that down!

Step 2: Find and message at least 5 of those people

Now that you know well who you should be looking for, it's time to find them. We'll give you some general tips here, but remember: these people are likely to love what you're building, so it will feel great to find each other.

Important: the closer these people are to your definition of "user", the better. If they're not a user yet, it's a good idea to ask them to try your project before going deeper into a conversation.

  • Tip #1: Find 5, not 1000. This isn't about marketing or growth! It's about finding a handful of people who are going to be very pumped about what you have to show them. It doesn't need to scale and it shouldn't feel like sales.

  • Tip #2: Be yourself. Don't try to sound official, or business-y, or anything like that. Show up as yourself—the more authentic you are, the more likely you are to get an open door.

  • Tip #3: Don't push too hard. The goal here is to find people who are already sold on your project or on the problem you're solving. If they don't seem interested, move on and find others who are.

  • Tip #4: Send direct messages. Posting to Hacker News or Twitter is a last resort, and it's very ineffective. Better is to find a specific person and send them a personal and direct message. Explain why you want to talk to them specifically.

  • Tip #5: If you have users, start there. Some of you already have active users in your projects, so go ahead and focus on reaching out to them first. They have already shown interest in what you're building, and the more interested they are, the better.

  • Tip #6: Better to chat in person (or on a call). Messaging back and forth is ok as a last resort, but try and have a real chat with them instead. 15 minutes are often enough and don't focus on your project, focus on them. Understand their needs, struggles, workflows, and anything that might help you build something that will solve a real need for them.

Step 3: Write down what you learn

As you talk to people, you will get some nuggets of information and inspiration. No matter how big or small these insights sound like, write them down. There are usually 3 different flavors of insights that you end up getting in these conversations:

  • Learning: "Ah, so that is how people do X!"

  • Confirmation: "I feel more confident that X is true"

  • Confusion: "Why the heck did they do X?"

All of those are incredibly valuable, so make sure to write them all down as they appear. If you see patterns emerging, that's even better.

Pro tip: if you learn something juicy, that’s often an interesting thing you can share on Twitter/elsewhere as part of building in public!

Step 4: Submit your update

Now, it is time to submit your update.

There's no need to write a lot or over complicate this—this update is a summary of all the work you did above, so it should be a very quick step after you've done the hardest part of actually finding and talking to these people :)

You have until Sunday September 3rd to submit your update here.

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