How did you all validate/find what you wanted to work on?

This question was asked in Slack and I thought it would be a great one to bring to discussions now that it has been re-enabled.

James Kenny

I know for me, and I think a few of the others here, it's more of about scratching our own itch.

We are working on things that we want to see in the world, or solving a problem for ourselves first.

Users are out there and usually markets that exist so it's just then about putting it out there into those markets and doing/learning the marketing side of things. I also keep a little ideas notebook. If I have an idea I write it down there and I've been collecting them but mostly, they are issues I am running into with existing tools.

So we generally don't validate an idea before building anything, we start to work on rough ideas or rough drafts first and then validate from there. It's surprising the amount of really good feedback a rough draft will get compared to just a landing page.

The other thing to keep in mind is that by working on things we want or problems we need solving, we are working on things, for users we enjoy chatting and hanging out with. A lot of people forget that and end up with users they don't want to spend time with.

For getting out of a slump, try doing something fun. Build something for a bit of fun not to make money. I call that my creative distraction (It also doesn't have to be coding a project, I do photography as well)

I've found the way out of a slump is to free my head up a bit, my brain will do its job if I can get a bit of space and a clear head. I find doing something creative helps me.

What works for me, might not work for you but it might give you an idea of what might help.


I've been a member of several gaming communities and a lot of people there are tracking their progress with spreadsheets. There are some games where people decided to create a website/mobile app to track everything but you can't share it with friends or show off your progress. So I thought it would be nice if there is just one organized place for "all" games to keep track of.

Everything that is done with a spreadsheet hides a possible business opportunity.


For me it has been a combination of all my interests since I was a kid. When I was little I would draw. I also read a lot, to the point I could finish complex novels in a single day and eventually I would make up my own versions of the story and what I thought would make them better.

I eventually went to art school and studied industrial design while mastering drawing in every technique possible on the side.

After college I audited business courses and went on to design products and learn how to develop a business through my job, where I also applied not only the definition of innovation from a design standpoint but the business one as well.

After losing my job I was pretty stuck and frustrated. I said to myself "I want to know how the artworld works, how people make it so I can know how to make it"

And that was it, that's how paraffin came to be a source where one can learn about artists in the first years of their careers, how they move in their fields, what opportunities they took, which they didn't, what to watch out for, who to speak to and how their craft changes as time passes.things I thought were important.

Validation came from speaking with professors, curators, historians and other artists, most of them agreed that this information was crucial for artists to know and it's usually covered way too late for it to be applicable to the present. A platform that informs about this doesn't really exist.

So that's why I chose to do this, oddly enough I ended up combining writing, reading, art and business, all of the things that played an important role in my life.

Sam B

what James said.

Also what I've found to work for me is to not pay too much attention to hustle culture. For a lot of us, the side projects are the 2nd 3rd or even the 4th major priority in life and it's important to not burn out.

Building things that I personally want to see exist means I'm more likely to pick the project back up even after gaps of working on it

Carl Poppa πŸ›Έ

From personal experience. I owned and ran a restaurant for 13 years.

My long-term goal is to build a suite of tools for small, independent restaurant owners - people who are what i used to be.

There are a lot of solutions out there, but there's also a lot of predatory tech - no one's really looking out for the mom'n'pops shops.

I want our tools to be accessible even to the least tech savvy owner, transparent and honest.


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