A personal journey of trying to make a living online while wrestling with life.

If it's already been built, do it better

A tale of riding a market's wave.

For a couple years now, I've been hearing and ignoring a sage piece of advice: build something for a proven market.

Justin Jackson is probably the most vocal proponets of this idea. Having built Transistor.fm at the peak of the podcasting era, he's found much success by riding the market's wave.

For some reason, my brain would hear this, agree with it, then go on its merry way doing the wrong thing again and again.

Yesterday, I finally stopped myself.

I was building out an AI-powered tool for creative writers - having no idea if the market was there or not. My rationale, as has been so often in the past, was "it hasn't been built yet." And that thought process is what has killed so many of my ambitious projects.

Yesterday afternoon, I made the decision to halt development on the creative writing tool and do something I know there's a market for: An AI-powered tool that helps entrepreneurs write copy.

Copy.ai has grown to $1M ARR in just about 6 months. If that's not proof of a market I don't know what is.

Now, I still don't feel fully comfortable building this out, because my old brain would have me believe that I'm just "copying" another company - and that makes me feel icky. But, it's just that, a feeling, because logic and common wisdom would have me believe that, actually, there's plenty of room for more than one player.

Serendipitously, I came across a tweet by Dru Riley that just said: "Someone is already doing it." Good. Do it better.

That was all the confirmation I needed.

I admire Copy.ai to the moon and back. I'm inspired by them. They've done the hard work of proving out a market, and it's inevitable that other players will come in and compete inside that market. Why not me?

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