I’ll try to point out tools that are like this, and give my advice on cases where I feel it may be good to invest some money early on to get you on the appropriate tool from day one, rather than having to spend a lot of time switching later.
The third and final installment will talk about all the other things you need to run a successful business: Accounting, customer support, billing, legal, financing and more. I recommend pitching your idea to potential customers very early, and very often, to avoid building the wrong product or service.
Even if you think you’re all for this idea and will do super early pitches to real decision makers at potential customers, take my advice: Whatever the earliest you would feel comfortable with pitching a customer would be, do it twice as early, and do it twice as often as you planned to before reading this paragraph. Showing your potential customers a mockup of your product can be a great way to get early feedback.
Having a rough design for your user interfaces ready will make it that much easier to explain your vision and get actionable feedback.
The cliché here is that your first mockup should be hand drawn on the back of a paper napkin is actually pretty close to how rough your early mockups should be before you start talking to customers.
Using testers from their network is a pretty reasonable $2.50 per test. There is no free plan, but no subscription either — it’s pay per use.