Just got done spending the last few hours working to better the Sception landing page. I decided to create a few different versions to work on A/B testing. While making one directed to designers in particular, I remembered hearing about a site called Designer News a while back. I wanted to go over and see what kind of discussions designers were having. I found it and realized it was a subdirectory for something called LayerVault. One of the first post titles I saw was something like, “How to use LayerVault like a boss”. My heart sank a little.
Even though I know that competition isn’t always a bad thing, and I even mentioned that in the first Sception post, I still got sort-of bummed for a few minutes!
Looking back at it, thinking that I had come up with a tool that hadn’t really been built yet, in this day and age is kind of crazy, I guess?!
I did go ahead and create an account and played around with it some. It’s very cool! Certainly does some of the tasks I have planned for Sception, BUT it also goes way beyond what I envisioned for Sception as well. Not everyone will want or need all the features LayerVault offers. Their pricing is higher than I had in mind too.
I guess my dilemma is this: worrying if the vision I have for Sception is too similar to a tool that already has a good hold on the industry, and I’m struggling with the mantra of “Minimal Viable Product”. Ship the lightest possible version. Don’t really build unless you have secured revenue/users.
What if I can’t secure those users before it’s built? I know there are those that will say that I don’t have a product then.
When I first thought of Sception a few months ago, I was telling myself that I will build this tool for myself and clients, it will push my learning of Rails forward, and if others find it useful then that will be a big plus. Most days it sounds like a plan, but I struggle with the entrepreneurial idea machine in my brain that never shuts off: “I believe in the tool I have in mind, but what If I am supposed to put time, energy, and money into the other ideas?!”
But isn’t that a contradiction? Can I really believe in the tool if I’m thinking of the other ideas in my head?
EDIT: I’ve received some great feedback so far! One directly through my contact form saying that the pain point it would help with isn’t bad enough to get people to use. All others (Hacker News) have been mostly positive, except on the name, “Sception”. The HN discussion is here.