My husband and I launched a product today!
It’s a free tool that allows you to create a clipping mask between two images, a frequent need that most designers, marketers, and bloggers have but can only find in paid tools like Photoshop and Procreate.
From ideation to launch, this process took less than 2 days. I will tell you why. And even though we’ve decided to not charge money for it, the reward was immense. I will tell you why.
We’ve started watching Shark Tank recently (very late to the party — I know). Most of the time when contestants showcase their ideas, we think they are generic, if not terrible. Then our minds are blown when they share their sales numbers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of sales for that? However, the free market is reflective of an idea’s true value — nothing to argue against that. So we did an introspection of ourselves.
We realized that the preconceived notion of what counts as a good business idea stops us from trying anything because none of the ideas we can execute are good enough in our opinion, and we are not capable of executing all the really good ideas yet. The thing we learned from watching Shark Tank is:
Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. And you don’t really know an idea’s worth unless it’s executed.
We just need to start testing out some ideas, even though they might sound crazy. Our goal is not necessary to earn money from each idea but to experience the process of building something. Plus, all new ideas sound crazy at first.
I then heard on a podcast that a guy earned a couple of hundred pounds a month doing Psychic readings online — that’s crazy — meaning we should try something similar. This inspired us to build a free Tarot card site. To differentiate us from the other sites, we want the cards to be really beautifully designed. Then my husband, a software engineer who’s not familiar with any design tools, showed me this program he wrote to clip a golden background image onto different shapes (a clipping mask) to create these really pretty symbols for the back of the card. I was blown away when I saw it and said to my husband: “Let’s stop doing the Tarot card site. This is the tool we need to build!” Working in marketing, I know so many people need this.
Even we didn’t reach the destination we’ve planned, the journey had led us to come across an idea we thought was great and we were capable of doing.
Now, how did we get the tool launched in less than 2 days?
The reason why my husband could write up this tool so quickly was that he’s been studying image-processing algorithms for months. He has also set up a server for his own blog so this tool can handle requests without additional setups.
The reason why I could create the demo gifs so quickly was that I’ve learned to use Procreate last year. I also created my own website early this year so we can launch the product on a trustworthy-looking website without additional efforts.
We’ve been learning and doing things that we were curious about even though we couldn’t see an immediate purpose or reward. Even though one can easily feel like it’s a waste of time doing things without an immediate outcome, it’s encouraging to see these “once-useless” learnings have helped us seize an opportunity so quickly.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” — Warren Buffett
The purpose of me writing this blog post, other than doing a bit of marketing for our free tool, is to encourage you to get moving: read books, take on multiple hobbies, write down ideas, try out ideas you can try, sell something you’ve made/bought (post on how to start a Depop shop).
Our experience launching this little tool has proven to us neither a good idea nor a good execution comes from a single thing, they stem from a network of ideas, an accumulation of experiences and learnings, from doing things.
Do something before you think you are capable of it.