Bootstrapped startups and the shit I learn in therapy

It’s easy to fall in love with your app.

After all, this started with an app idea. It lodged itself inside you and tugged at your heart ❤️ strings for ages. Slowly it grew 🌱, evolving from an idea to something resembling a plan.

You spent years using other people’s apps, and thinking of all the things you would differently. The way your bank’s website handles login drives you crazy. How can someone smart enough to work at Facebook seriously think comments should work like that?? When it’s your turn, you were going to do things differently.

You scrimped and saved in order to pay a developer to help you bring your idea to life. You poured over wireframes and mockups with them, making sure everything was just right.

Now, this is no longer an idea, it’s your baby 👼 and you’re starting to see it come to life.

But it’s a trap.

Falling in love with your app may kill your business. ☠️

I know because it almost killed mine.

When we started Krit we weren’t an agency, we were a startup. We spent a year and a half designing, building and sweating the little details. 😅

We designed and built an animation when you first logged into our app with a little plane 🛩 pulling a banner across the screen that welcomed you by name.

When we finally launched we got signups. A few thousand signups in the first week actually. Of all those users 2 paid us money. It was crushing.

By that point, we were out of money, out of time and out of energy. We had an app that we loved, but no business.

You know how reluctant you are to pay $0.99 for a game in the App Store? Or $9.99 per month for another video streaming service? 🙅‍♀️ Your users are the same way.

They don’t care about your app. They’re not going to give you their money because you have the prettiest login form out there. They’re definitely not going to pay your monthly subscription because you have an animation of a plane on your welcome screen.

That’s not to say design isn’t important.

Our design got us noticed. It gave us credibility when we were still a young company that didn’t know much of anything, and it won us a handful of fans.

But if you want to survive (if you want to achieve all of those lofty goals you have in the back of your mind) there has to be a balance.

Fall out of love with your app, and fall in love with your business.

Your app is part of your business, but it’s not all of it, and so it shouldn’t get all of your time.

Get the design to a point where it’s good enough and move on. Spend your time instead obsessing over your customers’ pain points, the quality of your customer service, the reach of your marketing and your conversion rates. 📈

If you’re successful, there will be plenty of time to sweat the little details.One day you'll have a team under you whose job is to do just that.

If you’re not successful in business, the details won’t matter.

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