We have Adam Wulf, the creator of Loose Leaf as our guest for today’s show. Adam was the former co-founder of the company Jotlet, an online calendar tool, before Jive Software acquired his company.
At a very young age, he started programming in 4th grade with the Q-Basic programming language. His first exposure to programming was modding the nibbles game. In high school, he was programming games on a TI-82 graphing calculator. After college, Adam learned web programming on his own.
Starting up Jotlet, Adam’s first lesson in startups was:
“It doesn’t matter how good your product is or how good you think your product is…product is only half the equation. You've really have to nail the marketing side and you've really have to understand who your customers are and how to talk to your customers and how to get customers."
After realizing that their product was dead, Jotlet focused on the marketing side and stop building new features. Features that they didn’t know if their customers wanted it.
Jolter’s first marketing dollars were focus on going to conferences and that’s where they met Jive Software which led to selling their company and acquired by Jive Software. Adam noted that it was luck selling the company but its about creating the opportunities where you can be lucky. The more opportunities you create the luckier you’ll be.
Another lesson he learned was that sometimes you just have to pull your head up and look and see if their are any opportunities available.
One of the things Adam struggles with is validating the idea first before investing too much time or money on the project. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the project but without checking to see if it is what the customers want, you could waste the time and effort building the app.
After working 4 years at Jotlet, it took Adam 2 years to develop Loose Leaf. Loose Leaf is a brain storming scratch paper app for the back of the napkin idea. He built it to quickly get the ideas on paper. Through out the development of Loose Leaf, Adam made parts of the app open source and on top of that he created a YouTube channel where he talks about the development. Adam believes in sharing the technology.
For the beginner indie developer, Adam recommended to just get started. Use starter codes to get you started and then build from there.
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