Top Do

💻 Status


⏱ Launched on

Sep 20, 2016

💵 Revenue


The problem:

To-do lists are hard to prioritize. We usually default to doing what's urgent first, and more critical long-term items get buried.

The idea:

Build a tool to help you figure out what on your to-do list is worth doing. Based on criteria creating a not to do list. It takes your to-do list, asks you a series of questions that then rank and score your list. The goal: show you what you should work on right now.

Building it:

Based on my tools criteria, this was a simple app that I built with Bubble. I also wasn't as strong of a developer at the time, which also factored into it.

The app has some basic logic built into it. The user interface asks for your to-do list, you can enter it, and then the following screens ask you questions like "which of these make the rest easier" and you select tasks. Each question is weighted differently and calculated up. The final screen shows you a prioritized task list and then helps you set a timer to complete the task.

Launching it:

Because I failed to validate the idea, I never properly launched this product.

Why I think it failed:

To sum up, not enough validation. I asked some friends about the idea, and all responded well to it. However, like most software built to throw solutions at problems, I was falling into this same trap. By assuming that users would migrate from their current to-do list, or re-enter the data, I forgot about the true switching cost in productivity software.

There's a reason there are so many people still using Evernote in spite of much better options. There's just a lot of data in there, moving it is a pain. Your solution needs to be 10x easier, or offer seamless switching, to stand out.

After I did a soft launch to my email list, I had a few hundred users, but my daily active user count quickly dropped off. I polled some users and got bombarded with features that they needed to see before they switched. At this point, I considered either 1) building out these features to take on other to-do list apps, or 2) building a seamless integration with just one provider. I started building out a ToDoist integration that would automatically import your list and then export it sorted. However, then after considering how much work that would be, I polled a few more users and found that even with auto-importing, they couldn't see themselves paying for a tool that was such a small part of their workflow. At this point, roughly 6 months into the project, I decided to move on.