Sarvasv Kulpati

@sarvasvkulpati

How to make something that people (actually) use

Even if your product is crap

I’ve just started getting the hang of creating and shipping things, but something that I’m still afraid of is making things people won’t use.

But recently, I created something that taught me that making something that people use is actually insanely simple…

When no one uses what you make

Ever feel like nobody is using what you’re making? That all that effort is going into nothing? Well, ask yourselves this. Sure nobody is using your product, but are you yourself using your product?

If you aren’t using something you made, how can you expect to get other people to use it?

Often, we are so interested in the things we make that we forget whether they’re actually solving a problem or not.

This is why making things that solve our own problems is a good idea.

When we make things that solve our own problems, it immediately means that the product is solving a problem for at least one person, and that makes it useful.

Useful products get used.

The thing is, a product that can truly solve a problem for even one person is more useful than a product that slightly improves a problem for many people.

And that’s something I need to remind myself the next time I’m making anything.

The Problem

Picture this. It was the middle of exam season and I was sick of studying. You see, I was doing past papers of science, but I kept getting the biology questions incorrect.

It would have been great to study from only past paper questions of biology, but that would mean searching through every past paper for specifically the biology questions.

I needed a way to study past paper questions based on topic without the tedium of manually searching through every paper for them.

The Solution

Then it hit me. While practicing past papers, I started taking screenshots of each question and putting it in a folder based on topic with its answer.

Later, I whipped up a really fast and ugly website with a friend that took those questions and stitched them together into a question paper.

Here’s the great part. I could now study based on subtopic with randomly generated question papers that came out different every time, so in effect, I had a question paper generator that had millions of possible combinations of questions.

It worked

I thought the website was completely useless and that there was nobody but me who would use it. But just in case anybody would use it, I shared it with some of my friends.

Here’s where the magic happened. Over 250 people from across our grades used the app to study for their exams.

Making products that actually solve problems is the key to getting users, and solving your own problems is a great way to do so

Call To Action

Next time you make something, ensure that you use it yourself for at least a week. This way, you’ll understand if it’s actually that useful, and if it is where you can improve the product.

Thanks for reading,

Sarvasv

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