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What Should You Build First

Melvyn Tan
Melvyn Tan
1 min read
What Should You Build First

I’ve always been looking for the answer to this question.

When I’m starting out, do I:

Build a product, then start looking for people to buy?


Build a community of people, find out what they want, then build something that is both feasible and viable for them?”

The answer might be obvious to you.

But it certainly wasn’t to me.

Old school

My entrepreneurial journey started under circumstantial conditions.

At that point, I knew what my skills were. I just need to look for people whose problems can be solved using my skills.

And I did alright. Turning a profit as soon as I start my consulting practice.

That, however, would cost me dearly as I venture into the world of online business.

Turned on its head

I never quite understood what it meant to turn the product development process on its head.

And I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Until in 2018, when I experienced for myself. How to pre-sell my online course even before I built it.

I couldn’t believe it myself.

The fact that people would actually pay me even before seeing the product.

Community first

Ever since, I’m convinced that the better approach would be to do the following:

  • Look for a group of people you’d like to serve on social media
  • Engage with them and find out what problems are they facing
  • Determine if you can create a solution to solve their problems
  • Figure out if the solution is both feasible and viable

This clearly is the better approach for me.

Which of the two approaches would you take?

Melvyn Tan

Despite living the good life at midlife, I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My aim here is to reinvent midlife, learn new skills, and understand how the world works post-COVID.