Doing The Things I Suck At

There’s three types of things: the ones I’m good at, the ones I suck at and the ones I haven’t really tried because I assume I’ll suck at them.

I do a lot of what I’m good at and very little of everything else. It’s more enjoyable that way. [Insert platitude about how I should make an effort to try new things more often]

It’s like a variation of Maslow’s Hammer. If you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail… Well in my case, I just like hammering things.

But that’s not to say there aren’t times when I could make more progress by improving in a new area rather than doubling down on my strengths.

When I think about growing my app Simple Invoices, I have to fight the urge to dive into the codebase to add a new feature, improve an existing feature or even redo the whole damn thing in a new framework.

That’s because I’m a pretty good developer and a pretty bad marketer. I’m more comfortable in Sublime Text than Facebook Ads Manager and as a result the product works great but there’s no marketing.

There’s always things to improve but at this point I’m convinced getting any kind of marketing going would benefit Simple Invoices a lot more than rewriting everything exclusively in Javascript.

And this is how I end up bargaining with myself that “adding a way for users to enter a coupon IS marketing” instead of setting up a remarketing pixel, an email opt-in and a drip campaign.

As a compromise, I ended up installing Intercom and setting up a behavior-driven email on-boarding sequence.

Things like:

“Hey it’s been a few days and you haven’t invoiced anyone, do you need help?”
“Are you sure you meant to cancel your account? Just in case your finger slipped, here’s a link to resume your subscription”
“If you plan on getting paid, may I suggest connecting your Stripe account?

Hopefully it works out.

$moral_of_the_story = if (Intercom pays off)
then: 'Sometimes it can be worth doing things you suck at.'
otherwise: 'Hire a marketing guy and stick to hammering things.'