Indie Hackers
May 1, 2020

Validating and Building Your Ideas Without Code with Bram Kanstein of No-Code MVP


Just starting out or trying to find an idea to work on? Or wondering why nobody’s signing up for your latest project?

This episode is for you…

Bram Kanstein (Startup Stash, No-Code MVP) sits down with Courtland Allen for a must listen episode of The Indie Hackers Podcast.

They discuss how Bram got started down the entrepreneur path, the mindset you need to have when you start, the importance of an MVP and why no-code tools are perfect for experimenting.

Lessons learned

3 things that will (almost) guarantee success

  1. Deliver value - and don’t stress how it looks, value beats aesthetics every time
  2. Launch to the right people
  3. Talk to them in the right way

On building projects

  • The only way to really figure something out is to try it out.
  • An idea means nothing if all you’re doing is talking about it.
  • Consuming content isn’t really learning. You learn by doing.
  • But you also need to find balance - come up for air occasionally and read something. Get out of your bubble. Hard to be objective if only focused on your thing.
  • When starting nobody cares about your idea and nobody cares about your product.
  • You start with a set of assumptions and your job is to validate - using a structured experiment with an MVP
  • Niche to the smallest level you can so that the steps to validate are small.
  • “Dog food” your own processes / products. If they don’t work for you, they won’t work for others.
  • Sharing your message consistently in public can lead to unexpected opportunities - Bram was contacted about doing in person workshops on his no-code MVP ideas. That validated his idea for a course. And earned some $$ in the process.
  • When opportunities come, say yes even if you don’t have it figured out yet. The constraints will inspire action.
  • Lots of little problems = lots of opportunities to learn
  • Bram always starts with audience and validates before building a final product.

On finding ideas

  • Bram’s ideas aren’t elaborate, unique ideas. They’re in proven markets, with competition and demand. People already spending money.
  • But he has unique angles with the solutions he builds. Wouldn’t work if it was just the same as the other solutions.
  • Try to start with problems you’re already seeing lots of people pay money to solve.
  • Even if you don’t know what your product looks like, pick a growing market and commit to exploring problems in that space.

Thinking in terms of “Problem and Solution” and not “Business Idea”

  • Who has this problem?
  • How many people have this problem?
  • How important is this problem to them?
  • How much would they pay to have this problem solved?
  • How frequently do they need this problem solved?

Bram Kanstein (@bramk) has more experience validating, building, and launching online products than almost anyone, and more success than most. One of his earlier creations, Startup Stash, still retains its title as the most-upvoted Product Hunt submission of all time. Today, Bram spends just as much time teaching others as he does making himself. In this episode, Bram and I talk about the importance of being an early adopter, the best strategies for finding new ideas, and why "mindset" is the first thing he teaches in his new course, No-Code MVP.

Transcript, speaker information, and more: