I started Components UI on March 2020. It started as I little side project that has grown and now has a family of products available. I learned a lot of lessons during the building and growing of Components UI so I want to share what I plan for the future of the project based on those lessons.
Don't build on someone else's platform
Components UI started as an "extension" of the Carrd.co's platform. It helped people kickstart their new projects by providing pre-built templates and components. The problem with this approach is that the product is built on someone else's platform and you have little-to-no control of the future of the platform: The platform can shut down (think MySpace), new competitors might come into play with better pricing and features making the platform obsolete (think Webflow) or even the market gets flooded with other look-alike products (think Wordpress designers).
"If you can't leave a platform, it's not really your business"
When we build projects we came to believe that we have to be the best at a particular skill set: be the Facebook guy, be the SEO guy and - in this case - be the Carrd guy. I think we should focus on building assets instead of learning a specific skill set that might be worthless in the future.
As the future comes, I don't want to be an expert in Carrd nor I want to develop a course/project around becoming an expert in Carrd. I think most abilities beyond The Build UI project are just marginal knowledge that don't improve significantly the quality of the end product (Think 80/20 principle).
Don't get me wrong. I love Carrd and will continue to use it for my products as much as I can for as long as it makes sense. What I want now is for Components UI and Build UI to be the first block on building something far greater that can empower people to build and sell digital products online. I want to bring assets together to build something more valuable even if Carrd or any other service seize to exist.
I'm an industrial engineer by trade so I'm obsessed with building processes and systems. When building Components UI I designed different systems that allow me to run it very lean, with automated processes and without much overhead so I can focus on other things like developing a better product, marketing and growth. The designed systems and process allowed me to disconnect the input from the output, meaning I can put less work but gain more from that work.
Once Components UI gained a little bit of popularity I started to notice a few copy cats which I think is very common on products in general. Although people can just copy or clone your product or services they can't copy the systems and assets you have built. They can't copy how you run and operate your projects so you can always be ahead. Copying or cloning a product might be easy but copying a system requires a lot of time and expertise.
Introducing: Guides UI
Moving into the future I want to develop a family of products that complement each other. I want each product to stand on their own but also serving the purpose of building an asset. Guides UI is the next step in the process of developing that asset.
Guides UI will be my next project and is going to be a compilation of products that can help you to build and sell digital products online. It will focus on systems instead of platforms so you can evolve with your projects even if the platform no longer exist. Some of the guides that I (tentative) plan to launch:
- Building and selling digital products online (work in progress)
- Marketing for non-coders
- Beyond Growth
- .. and more coming
I want to keep building assets instead of just variations of the same product (meaning: Build another template in Carrd with a different color). This "asset mentality" will work something like this: If you want to build and sell digital products I want you to think of the guide "Building and selling digital products online". Once you learn about the systems in that guide and want to start building your project, I want you to think of "Build UI or Components UI" in order to build your landing page. Later when you have your project up and running and want to scale it, I want you to think of the guide "Marketing for non-coders". In my mind it will work as an ecosystem that provides value to people that want to build and develop a project online that are in different stages of the process.
Serving new markets
I'm a native Spanish speaker so I want to help and provide value to people in Spanish-speaking countries as well. The side product of doing that is that it will generate a new market for the family of products, increasing even more the value of the asset. Right now only the Components UI gallery is already available in Spanish (the landing page, PDF eBook and videos were developed from the ground up in Spanish). I plan to offer Build UI and Guides UI in Spanish so that people that don't speak English can have the same opportunities and resources to build and sell digital products online.
Finally, I plan to build this in public and share the process in "The Journey", a section on this blog with "Lessons learned, experiences, challenges and the process of building Components UI and its products". If you want to get updates and new posts from "The Journey", you can sign up at the end of this post.