Writing code makes it harder to change direction.
Code (even with current technology) makes it harder to make big changes in the direction of the company. It gets even worse when you've outsourced your dev work to an offshore company or agency (please don't do this). I liken this to picking the wrong mountain to climb. Enthusiasm and momentum may get you to the top of a peak, but when you reach the summit you may find another bigger mountain in the distance – and it's a long way down the mountain of code you have written to start again.
Only a few companies manage to make these last gasp pivots and become successful. Most don’t, and you never hear of them again.
Decide whether this is the right mountain to climb before you climb it.
Before you build, try to feel the pains that you want to solve. Talk to users, partners, competitors and other people that have tried this before. Try to walk in your customers' shoes. Take some quality time to understand the market you want to enter. I believe the first phases of your startup should be to Empathise and Satisfy:
- You need empathy with your potential users and customers. The best and most successful services connect with users at a much deeper emotional level.
- If you can then find a way to satisfy this need with a prototype or unscalable service you will have more confidence of going in the right direction.
Sometimes you will need to write code to do this, and that's fine. But you should do everything you can to increase empathy and satisfy needs without creating lots of code. You should also do some maths to work out how many people you can reach. Do this for your early adopters and for your end-game. It isn't hard and will tell you how big the mountain is and how easy it will be to start. These two exercises put together will help you find a big mountain and a good feeling for which path to take.