Scrapping an Idea

2020/04/18

Posterity was a great idea in my mind. A Jira and Confluence add-on to create project documentation out of user stories and their epics. Software Engineering organizations use Jira and Confluence to track project progress and document projects, respectively. So, I had my audience, and I rationalized the idea when I heard of developers taking time out of their cycle do exactly what Posterity does. The timing couldn't have been better since I was about to be in between jobs. I had two weeks to develop Posterity before starting my new position.

Every day for two weeks I got up and sat at my workstation to hack away at this Jira and Confluence add-on. For add-on developers, Atlassian provides Marketplace and merchant program. The marketplace validated Posterity further by having a similar add-on in the Jira catalog. Great, this was a problem worth solving, right? After developing an event-driven add-on, I put Posterity on the back burner because I started my new job.

While trying to play catch-up in my new role, I picked up some books to read in my down time. Agency by William Gibson, Refactoring UI by Adam Wathan & Steve Schoger, and The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick. The Mom Test opened my eyes, and I realized I needed to revisit the validation aspect of Posterity. I invalidated Posterity With one question: I asked developers and myself, "Had they ever sought out a piece of software to capture information in Jira tickets?". Being a software developer I immediately knew the answer was no, and I asked around to be sure. Confirmed, nobody sought such a product, but why? Simply, no one cared about enough about this problem. If I were to speculate, I suspect it's because documentation comes with the Software Developer job description. So, Developers often make time for it in their cycles or sprints.

Some indie hackers describe a phenomenon of 'scratching your own itch' where you fill a product demand by building the solution for themselves. Posterity scratched the wrong kind of itch for me. Rather than filling a demand for a product, it filled an intellectual demand by giving me a reason to exercise my skill set. Posterity sits on a metaphorical shelf now, but it wasn't a waste. I learned a ton in the process: how to develop Atlassian add-ons, and I found another distribution channel.

I'm glad I let go of Posterity. Without the baggage of Posterity, I recently came up with another idea, and someone agreed to pre-order it, so I'll probably blogging about it in the future.

by Janet A. Carr