Amrith Shanbhag
Oct 10, 2017 · Unlisted

How I validated, prototyped and launched on Product Hunt in under 24 hours.

TL;DR:

Cowrkr is a medium for makers to keep themselves socially accountable by building in public and maintaining integrity to achieve their goals.

How did it begin?

So I’ve been a part of a group of makers on Telegram called 🚧 Work in Progress made by Marc Köhlbrugge for a couple of weeks now.

Being in a group filled with makers whom you’ve always looked up to such as Marc, levels.io, Ben, Courtland and I can literally go on and on; I can confirm that it’s highly intimidating indeed but, I’ve never been this empowered to go beyond my comfort zones and excuses to make and ship useful things (which is one of the reasons I made Cowrkr in the first place).

You get the point

When I was looking for something to make on a Sunday morning, I remembered the launch of Serendipity 👇

Thanks for making this Manasvini!

I used to look forward to those mails every month and I thought why can’t I make such a thing with an intent of helping makers keep each other accountable?

And so it started with a Twitter poll

I ran the idea by on the Telegram group as well and started getting a lot of support and some amazing feedback! That’s when I realised that I was onto something here.

Soon after deciding that I’m going to work on this, I reached out to Manasvini, who made Serendipity a couple of years ago 🙌

Who better to learn and get advice from than a person who’s done this on quite a large scale, right?

I had quite an enlightening conversation with her and got a lot of insights as to why Serendipity had to close and the limitations of connecting two people over mail and how that could turn out to be ineffective. Limitations aside, we both still believed that the serendipity of connecting two like-minded strangers for a specific purpose can result in a lot of good.

Now what? 🤔

that’s right

I’m pivoting after about 4 hours of ideating 🙈

I put this issue forward in the group and a good friend of mine (Shiv) got back to me with a suggestion that would change everything.

Connect makers after every project, not every month.

This made a lot more sense than privately putting people in touch via email and leaving it at that and shifted the focus to actual social accountability and building publicly.

And thanks to makers like Pieter, we all know how awesome and effective it is to build and ship in public 🙇

He’s on an other ‘Level’, but still!

The MVP 🙇

So now that the whole #pivot took place, I started to think about different ways to execute it.

I got the idea about making it happen via Group DMs on Twitter (yes, that’s a thing) when Product Hunt added me with a couple of makers in a group for a PH meetup that I’d be hosting next month 🙊

And using Twitter in general to do this also makes a lot of sense for the fact that makers are very active on Twitter.

But the best part is that everything is open, transparent and public.

A lot of people suggested why not make a Slack team or a Telegram group and I told them that it’s very easy for people to remain silent / hide thus making it ineffective for our goal of enabling makers to hold one another accountable and maintain integrity in their work.

The more I spoke to people about it, the more I realised the need and potential for a thing like Cowrkr.

Half a day into work, I bought the domain and started building a minimal landing with FAQs and created a Typeform to collect signups as well.

Setup the Twitter account for @cowrkr and added Twitter’s business and support features to it as well.

Branding is my thing anyways, so that didn’t take much time.

Note to self:
When you’re working on side-projects, don’t spend more time on how your product looks, rather focus on validating the idea and making sure it functions as intended.

And that was pretty much it! I started connecting the makers who signed up initially and it was pretty exciting to see where this was headed 🤗

Now for the moment of truth 👇

The Launch 🚀

If only you could see how anxious I was 🙈

It just happened

To be frank, I realised that this may not be perceived as ‘product’ per se but more of an initiative rather, and I didn’t think it would make it to the homepage at all. But it did, and I’m super grateful. I wish I’d written this post yesterday, but I’m glad I did now.

More than that, I’m extremely happy to see that a lot of makers are interested in taking the initiative to keep not just themselves but each other accountable and maintain integrity in reaching their goals!

What’s next?

Now that I’ve seen the potential of this and as Ryan truly said that launching is not a one time thing, I’ve been planning on making a super minimal web-app for Cowrkr that still runs out of Twitter but with a different interface to track the collective progress of makers and a lot of other things!

I’d love to know if there’s any suggestions you might have 🤗


So that’s pretty much how my Sunday went!

Huge shoutout to Ben Tossell for inspiring to ship in under 24 hours 🔥
I could only ship one when you made ten 🙇

If you want to keep yourself accountable like this, do signup here 🙌

Thank you for making it till the end ❤️

feathrd

making ideas happen

Thanks to Fred Rivett and Nick Abouzeid

Unlisted

Amrith Shanbhag

Written by

Community + Social at @ProductHunt | Making ideas happen @feathrd 🚀

feathrd

feathrd

making ideas happen

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