(cross-posted from the “Stories of a (failed) entrepreneur” blog)
This is the third in a series of posts trying to explain what I think went wrong with my attempt of selling online code-generation services, that I end up shutting down due to the lack of clients. In previous posts, I recommended to Choose a cool technology to sell but do not try to sell to developers.
My third advice is to make sure you test your target market really exists. And let me emphasize the word “test”. Obviously, I believed it existed. And I even commented it with “family and friends” and they all confirmed my idea was great!. But I didn’t go beyond that. I thought my gut feeling and those encouraging comments of some close colleagues was enough to justify my “huge” time investment in the complete creation and deployment of the services. No test, no prototyping, nor pretotyping either.
My services were directed to individual developers interested in accelerating their development process by using models to bootstrap the web applications they were contracted to do. As it is now obvious, such group of developers do not really exist. From all my conversations with MDE vendors, I’ve now realized that most successful MDE companies are targeting business people instead of pure developers and big companies instead of freelance developers or small companies.
And when the market does not exist it’s not a matter of adding more features, lowering the price or spending more on marketing (good marketing helps but doesn’t do miracles). The sooner you realize your market does not exist the better. Just get over it and move to your next idea.