Hand mittens - Making your first product

First, don't aim to create something great.
Cover image for the article Hand mittens - Making your first product

Starting is success

If you want to start a successful business, don't aim to create something great. Don't aim to create something that lots of people will buy. Just create something that someone else can buy from you. For example, for his first product, Ondrej Markus decided to launch a fashion label specializing in hand-made mittens.

My first significant product was a premium edition of 'Meditations' by Marcus Aurelius. I love the book, but found no very high quality version. So, I created one.

The books sold well. But the fact that they sold is irrelevant. With the first product, you win if you provide a way for someone else to buy something from you. You fail if you do not do that.

Nothing to Something

The critical thing is to overcome the initial inertia of creating a product. This inertia involves picking something to build, working out how to build it, building it, and where to sell it.

Because there is no guide to follow, this is not easy if it is your first time.

Having no guide probably contrasts with your past experience. Education and most jobs provide clearly defined tracks to follow. Unlike scoring high marks on exams, there is no simple hack for building a business.

(Ironically a close friend's first product was a book explaining how to game university exams based on our school experiences - the 'Examination Game').

So, you will probably feel fairly lost when creating and selling the product. The key thing is to push through this inertia.

Winning with the first product

With your first product, you win if you show someone a product that they can buy from you. You fail if you don't do that.

As long as someone has a way to give you money to get your product, whether you make any profit in your first product doesn't matter. The aim is to build momentum. After the first product, it is easier for you to start the second product, and the third product, and so on.