People Are Lazy

Lessons learned while trying to take over the world

After years of all talk, I’m finally putting in all my effort into starting my own business. I was that annoying guy who would come up with an idea, get super hype, tell a few friends about it, work on it for a few weeks and then forget about it. I would always say I have “Life ADD”, where I easily get bored doing one thing. Well now that I’ve committed to being an entrepreneur, I’m doing everything I can to focus and fight the urge to jump from one thing to another.

Part of what is keeping me on track is following a set process. There is a roadmap that successful entrepreneurs use when starting a business. They will first come up with an idea, validate that idea, build an MVP (minimum viable product), learn from their users, iterate based on feedback, and repeat.

Validation is the most frustrating part in my opinion. You’ve identified a problem based on how you see the world, now you need to see if it truly is a problem for everyone else. The problem I saw was that while there are several event discovery apps, they all do a poor job giving relevant recommendations based on location and interests. Most of the apps out there take these things into consideration, but I get notifications from Facebook Events saying a friend is attending an event nearby, but really the event is in Jersey. And I’m in Brooklyn. Not exactly near by. So long story short I created an MVP, gave it out to people, and it flopped. NO ONE engaged with it. Turns out people are LAZY AF. I required them to manually enter the events they wanted to go to using 4 fields (a task I thought to be minimal). I would then send them very specific recommendations for events that they wouldn’t find on Facebook. If they shared their location with me (which again, nobody did) I would randomly send them events that are happening within a few blocks of where they spend most of their time.

I thought this was borderline genius. Call me Einstein. But I was simply asking too much of them. All the feedback I got was something along the lines of…

“I’m lazy. I don’t want to have to do any work. Just give me what I need.”

That would be great if I had $100,000 to build a fully functioning app and make everything automated and seamless. But when you’re a poor, starving, wannabe entrepreneur like me that’s not an option.

To be fair, I’m sure there is another way I can validate this “problem” (spoiler: anything to do with event discovery probably isn’t a big enough problem to solve).

The lesson to this long and drawn out story is if you want user engagement, make the on-boarding and user experience as painless as possible. Eliminate clicks, friction, anything that causes the user to do work. When you think you’ve slimmed it down as much as you can, go back in and eliminate more. You need to give people a reason to use your product. There a couple ways to do this, but a big one is to make it easier to use than anything else on the market.