Why didn't my project take off?

We think we should be rewarded for the effort, resources, and time we invest in a project.

Unfortunately, markets don't work this way.

In business, the amount of reward you get (revenue) is based mostly on demand:

"How much do people want what you're selling?"

The "shape of demand" differs from product to product. This is often noticeable once you've launched multiple projects.

For example, Francesco and his team launched Mailbrew (to much fanfare) in March of 2020. They go press on 9to5Mac, MacSparky, Reddit and Hacker News.

And then, 9 months later, the same team launched Typefully.

Mailbrew had a big head start (Typefully didn't start earning revenue until June 2021), but Typefully now earns more revenue:

This can be frustrating for makers because, regardless of the amount of work we've put in, some products just get better traction, faster.


Traction is more connected to underlying demand than founder effort.

Another example:

Peter Suhm worked on Branch (a WordPress product) for a long time. He spent years trying to get traction.

Then, he and a co-founder built Reform (a Typeform alternative) in a few months. Reform quickly eclipsed Branch in revenue.

Effort in ≠ revenue out

Some types of products just have more demand!

Published on December 10th, 2021
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