True story: Starr, Ben, and Josh built Honeybadger because they got angry.
But that was just the beginning. They had to evaluate whether other people were angry and willing to pay for another solution. They had to assess whether they had the right people and funding streams.
If you want to launch a product, here are three questions to ask yourself - and how Honeybadger used them to turn their idea into a profitable business.
1. Is there a pain point?
Before Honeybadger started, the guys experienced the pain of a subpar error monitoring service. They wanted more context and data. When their provider offered little information, they channeled their frustration into building their error monitoring service.
People get motivated to buy solutions that fix their problems. If your idea solves a pain point, then you may have the foundation for a profitable product.
2. Will customers pay money for it?
In the past, developers relied on customers to tell them what went wrong on websites. The first error monitoring services automated that process, but the guys found they didn't offer the information necessary to resolve an error. Being developers themselves, they were sure others would pay for a solution that could.
However, you may not be the target demographic of your proposed product idea. Determine your ideal customer and start talking to them! Run a survey, talk to your friends, or network at an industry conference.
3. Can you build the product within a reasonable of time?
With the problem and market identified, the guys started building a minimum viable product. They kept their costs low through bootstrapping. Five months later, Honeybadger was open for business.
To evaluate you can build your product in a reasonable amount of time, ask yourself:
- How much money and time do I have to invest?
- Who can help me build this product?
Sometimes, you have to iterate a few times to get it right. If you are seriously contemplating a product idea, use these three questions to guide you. Good luck!