Robin Martijn

Robin Martijn

I Tried to Launch a Side Project Within 30 Days and Failed Hopelessly

I Tried to Launch a Side Project Within 30 Days and Failed Hopelessly

We should talk more about our failures.

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On 28 August, I decided to work on a new project: Actionless. The idea was simple. I would develop a system that allows front-end developers to add functionality to their forms without having to write a back-end.

The platform would start with two functionalities: storing all data it receives, and sending an e-mail to an e-mail address so that the form could also be used as a contact form.

At the moment, the functionalities work, but the platform is far from being ready to be published.

I had over-promised.

Enthusiastically, I sent a tweet with an explanation into the world. What I wanted to build and what my principles were. I would launch the project within 30 days.

It is now crystal clear that I am not going to manage it. Even with the rounded-off functionalities, it is not possible to make the platform ready for use. There is no way to pay, for example. Although this will probably not be such a big problem for front-end developers, it is for me. There is already an existing market for these kinds of applications, such as Slapform, Getform or Formcarry.

Besides the fact that it will be incredibly difficult to compete with these big boys (although I think I can do better than their platforms), it is also problematic if I don't accept payments. I'll soon run out of money if it becomes really popular.

But why not finish the project?

I will probably finish Actionless. It's a nice project that I've put many hours into. The platform works well and I see nice applications. In addition, I think it would be a nice contribution to the indie developer community.

For now, however, it is not realistic. I work at a start-up developing several new products, and our days are often longer than 12 hours a day. We do this ourselves because we have great ambitions. And don't worry, we regularly take a week or two off to go out into nature.

So, this work means that I have to leave my side project behind for a while. And I don't mind because I get just as much satisfaction from my work as from my project.

This is my first post on this blog and hopefully many more will follow. It is my intention to write about the things that are not working for me. Because I have set wrong priorities, because I have made wrong judgements, because I have made promises that I cannot keep or because I have just done something stupid.

In contrast to this post, the following posts will be mainly technical in nature. I try to write weekly, but as you can understand, I cannot make that promise. If things are busy, it can sometimes take a bit longer.

Do you still want to be informed about my fuck-ups? Then sign up for my newsletter. I don't write often and when I do, I can promise you it's only for fuck-ups. I won't bother you with my product launches, unless they fail of course.

 
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