Every few days someone asks me about one of the projects I'm working on. Most often they've seen something I've put up on Instagram or Facebook, but didn't have enough context to really understand what it is I'm working on or even whether it's for sale.
Most of my projects will eventually be crowdfunded, and I expect to be able to convert some of the folks who I've talked to during development. But I had a thought the other day: Why not start taking orders immediately, whenever someone asks?
The thought is this: If you ask me about The Public Radio, I'll give you my little pitch and then (assuming you've acted enthusiastic) ask for $20, cash, now. I'll then whip out my phone and email you an informal receipt, and will deliver you a v1.0 when it ships (probably the pre-Kickstarter version).
This would help me in a few ways. First, it locks in a customer. Second, it lets me know whether I'm actually onto something - if everyone says "no," then maybe I should pivot. Third, it gives me a little cash to help keep the project moving forward. And I can be pretty sure that you'll ask me about the project status in the future, which is the most thrilling parts of building a product like this.
I think this is a decent idea. If you're reading this, ask me about what I've been working on the next time you see me - we'll see how it works :)