16
31 Comments

How do you overcome negative thoughts when you want to turn your idea into a decent product?

I am a Software engineer by profession, ~4years back when I was still studying, I have developed an Android app just for fun and never expected anything out of it and I have deployed it in the play store, and in ~1.5years by the time app retired from the play store, there was a total of ~50k installs overall world, which I think was good success as a student.

Now as a working professional for sometime, I have multiple ideas and want to develop them but whenever I want to move forward with the idea, my mind blocks me from moving forward with negative thoughts, like

  1. My idea isn't good enough, no one will use your app and it might fail.
  2. There are already apps that exist for this so your app won't work.
  3. What if I don't make any money out of it, it will be waste of time
    etc....

I definitely have more knowledge, resources now than while I was studying but all these negative thoughts are holding me back and I am unable to make any progress at all.

I am sure most of here, at some time, might have gone through the same phase, can you please suggest or share your story on how did you overcome negative thoughts like this and started making progress? Thanks

  1. 4

    For me, having a partner helped tremendously with this. There is nothing better than someone who is totally vested in achieving the same success you are. It may be a little early for you but consider seeking out a partner to build with you.

    1. 1

      It is a very good idea and I will definitely consider it once I get started on something. Thanks.

  2. 3

    Most of these negative thoughts are stemming from the "fear center" in your brain, the pesky amygdala.

    This fear center serves us well in matters of survival, but when it comes to building a product, the thoughts it forces onto you are largely unfounded.

    Simple meditation can help a lot with this. One super easy meditative exercise is to basically label your thoughts. Almost like you're tucking the thought away in a filing cabinet.

    A negative thought enters your mind like: no one will use this product. You see that thought, and imagine yourself putting a label on it like "negative thought about user acquisition", and tell yourself you'll address it at a later date, then imagine physically filing it away in a filing cabinet.

    What this does is builds up a bit of a barrier against your train of thought, and prevents you from giving these negative thoughts additional attention. When you give these thoughts excessive mental energy, it tends to make them feel more real, even though they aren't. Do this often enough and you'll notice less of these negative thoughts surfacing throughout the day.

    Other than that, ask yourself: what do you have to lose?

    Time?

    Ask anyone here: we've all built products that failed before. I certainly have. Do I regret working on them? No way! I learned so much from the experience. I learned about what I'll do differently next time.

    That experience is compounding. Eventually you'll create something others find really useful, and it makes the journey all the more worth it.

    1. 1

      I will definitely try your technique, thanks for the suggestions.

  3. 3

    Hey, I'm creating a small accountability group on Discord to share progress, solve problems, discuss ideas and get feedback. Feel free to join if you would like feedback as you work through the process.

    https://discord.gg/bpcGGDmJ49

  4. 2

    Let me share some experience I've gathered while developing BotMeNot.

    One thing you can do is to request feedback. Once you do, two (actually three) things can happen. Firstly, people can tell you they like your product & they find it useful. This is a nice wind in your sails. Secondly, they can give you valuable feedback on what they don't like and you can work on those things. There's also a third option, where you may get ignored, but you should not pay attention to such cases.

    Also, after some time, you may want to reflect back on everything you've done. Seeing how much work you've done and what you've accomplished can be very motivating, but it's an easy thing to forget.

    In some cases, though, you may just have to solider through that phase. It does get better. It could be due to overworking, a bad day, or any other reason specific to your case. Take a break and then come back to your project with a fresh perspective.

    Hope I helped!

  5. 2

    You focus on getting customers instead of focusing on the product.

  6. 2

    For me, I always treat it as an experiment. I plan and make strategies on what I need to do to sell the apps, then set a time (or deadline) to evaluate everything. If the app doesn't get a decent traction, and I'm running out of strategies, I'll put the app in auto-pilot mode and try making another app. Because sometimes, the timing isn't right, and maybe it'll gain traction when I'm not looking.

  7. 2

    I started my building journey by reflecting on why I want to be founder. Knowing what's in it for you is important before diving into the journey.

    A great and liberating way to also think about getting started with building is by applying the mental model of: Nobody cares about what you're building. All you have to do is find those people that will benefit from your solution.

    Check this article: https://gettingshotsup.com/p/nobody-cares-about-what-youre-building

  8. 2

    Walks, books, music, friends and dance have all been proven to increase task saliency.

  9. 2

    Read a lot of stuff from successful founders of all company sizes. The imposter syndrome, the catastrophizing, the swings of one day a superhero, the next day a loser are all part of the process. Best to keep head down, stay focused on one step in front of the other and try to bring something creative to the world. After 1+ year hacking away on my MVP, I believe a big part of the down cycle is the glucose burned with heavy focus on difficult pieces of the process which then leaves us vulnerable to temporary depression. I am totally exhausted after 8-10 hours but the personal satisfaction of getting closer to one's vision/goal is a refreshing, deep feeling too.

  10. 2

    For me, I always go back to a specific mantra from a medieval quarry worker creed. It's:

    "We who cut mere stones must always be envisioning cathedrals."

    This quote reminds me that:

    • Success takes time.
    • Small steps equal big steps.
    • Don't underestimate yourself and your potential.

    So whenever negative thoughts creep in, this mantra enters. Maybe you have a quote like this of your own? Or take this one - it works wonders!

  11. 2

    Just curious (if you're comfortable sharing), what was the android app you built?

    1. 1

      Now that you asked, I started digging down my developer console, logged in after a couple of years lol, reading one of the user's reviews gave me a good boost of motivation along with the suggestions provided by people here.
      One of user review

      Anyways, it was 3-4 years ago, as I said, deployed it for fun and never updated it afterward to be in compliance with store privacy policies, as a result, removed from playstore.

      It is all about accessing some of your smartphone features remotely via text messages using the respective commands.

      I have got store listing pics from the dev console and uploaded them to my drive, you can view them here :

      https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/16vJJAsR6KNp_Pokh_r4q_gt1V5OhKp5Y?usp=sharing

      1. 2

        Yea good feedback can be motivating. Good luck with the comeback!

  12. 2

    When I first started working on my first project, I found that building in public was extremely beneficial.

    I released a video of a basic HTML before I even started coding, and it was really well received. Seeing others support what I was working on was inspiring and motivated me to keep going.

    I've recently attempted to produce two or three more products without doing so in public, and I'm constantly doubtful that they'll sell or that anyone will want them.

    I'd recommend showing what you're working on ASAP and seeing how people react.

  13. 2

    Thats the dreaded terror barrier, and its basically a figment. Its your psyche throwing up roadblocks to protect you from the fear of failure etc. Always push forward and stay accountable.
    If the TBs are really bad try not to set goals, but do as much as you can each day. Pick up enough momentum and routine to the point that the TB is in the rear view.

    A hack is to copy a product or service that has customers or apply the business model to another niche. At least you know its proven ground to at least

  14. 2

    It seems that you are blocked on the fact that it might turn out into nothing.

    So you can reframe it by saying things like "let's do an experiment", or follow your negative question/remark with "let's find out!".

    There are no certainties in entrepreneurship. And remember, you can never lose: you either win or learn.

    Now go find out if your statements are true or not.

    1. 2

      "you either win or learn" - wow it just changes my perspective completely thanks.

  15. 2

    IMO there are two factors here:

    IS YOUR IDEA GOOD ENOUGH? Do market research. If you find that there is a market for your idea, then build an MVP and validate it. You will never know until you do those things.

    DO YOU BELIEVE YOUR IDEA IS (AND YOU ARE) GOOD ENOUGH? This often has very little to do with the product itself. It's more about your outlook on life and on yourself. Try positive self-talk and affirmations. More importantly, make sure you're taking really good care of yourself. For me, that means meditation, exercise, eating healthy, sleeping enough, making time for play, building relationships, and so on. The more I focus on my well-being, the more I believe in myself and my work.

    Good luck!

  16. 2

    I think this really comes down to acknowledging uncertainty and how your cope with it.

    In life, you can't know what the outcome of any action you take will be- uncertainty is everywhere. Some people approach uncertainty with hope and others with despair, it sounds like you and I are a lot alike in that we approach ideas/projects with the despair flavour.

    My brain also loves to go to all the reasons why an idea wont work. "This idea has merit, but for reasons X and Y it can't work, so it's a waste of time". Our rational brain tells us that it's stupid to commit to something that you don't know will work and so you talk yourself out of taking a chance.

    It's really difficult to truly change our minds about anything, but the first step to overcoming this is to realize it's happening in the moment. Catch yourself when you're writing off an idea and try to advocate for the idea and not let your brain pre-determine the outcome. Do something to give the idea life outside of your head before you decide it to be no good.

  17. 2

    All 3 thoughts above are examples of "black and white" thinking. It's a well-known cognitive distortion. Just write "black and white thinking cbt" and you'll see what you mean.

    One book that helped me a lot in crushing these limiting beliefs is "Feeling Good" by David Burns. Highly recommended.

    1. 1

      After you said, I read a lot about "black and white" thinking. Thanks

  18. 2

    I can help you evaluate the ideas and create a go-to market strategy, DM me on Twitter.

  19. 2

    All of these negative thoughts are there for a reason. The main one is to protect you and keep you safe. You can really dive in and shred them to pieces. On a high level you can hear something that will resonate with you but won't necessarily create the change that you want, so careful with that when you read an advice as you get to stay in your head.

    1. Run your idea through people, if they don't like it it doesn't mean it's a bad idea. They might be the wrong people. The opposite of this is to love your idea so much that it convinces others to join you.

    2. One of thing that drives me is that there is always lots of room at the top. If you think about it most sectors/industries have the issue of being saturated. There are those that are average and those that excel. There are also underdogs that make it in. How they do it, by making their product & service excellent.

    3. It depends on your metrics and what you get out of that time you invest. If finances is the only metric and it is vague, then you will probably feel demoralised. The one thing for certain is that you will gain experience that you can use in the future. If you never act, you will never get that experience.

    Send me an email if you want any more help with this.

  20. 2

    i have had these things Before but alhamdullah i can manage to beat it By the following techniques which it based on tow roots
    1- ignoring
    2- confrontation
    you can ignore by these steps
    a - Don't answer the questions that your mind poses it to you .
    b - Don't get carried away with the negative idea.
    c - lack of justification.
    D- No remorse.
    E - Don't upset from negative idea.

  21. 2

    My idea isn't good enough, no one will use your app and it might fail.

    The only way to find out is by posting an MVP and releasing the most basic version of it as possible. Get feedback, then iterate.

    There are already apps that exist for this so your app won't work.

    Just because the idea exists doesn't mean you can't improve on it, or cater to a different niche.

    What if I don't make any money out of it, it will be waste of time
    etc....

    There's always going to be doubt in anything you do. Your right, it's possible it doesn't earn money, but then you also shouldn't put a lot of resources into the MVP. Make sure the only opportunity cost is just your time. It sucks to lose time, but it's better then losing money.

    1. 1

      You are absolutely right, I will keep these in mind to counter my negative thoughts. Thanks.

  22. 2

    👋
    simple solution: focus on the journey, not the destination.

    So basically, do things because you can and you want to, if something goes really well then great, if not, who cares. 🙂

    There’s been a significant push to focus on MRR in the broader IH communities over the last 10 years; but the thing is, you can ignore all that if you choose and just do things you enjoy or want to do without the hustle porn.
    🥳

    1. 1

      "do things because you can and you want to." very well said, reading that statement is making me realize not to overthink. Thanks

  23. 1

    Mostly I just vent about it with my friends from the WBE Space

Trending on Indie Hackers
Going all-in on myself 18 comments Stablecoins not so stable — Terra (UST) crashed 18 comments What is your ramen profitable goal? 17 comments When is the right time to incorporate? 9 comments Ask for early feedback: Script management platform 6 comments Paul Graham on ramen profitability 6 comments