May 22, 2019

Ask IH: How about getting yourself out there? #ask-ih

Lee Skillen @lskillen

I'm talking about that visceral feeling of getting yourself out there to speak, of being vulnerable and outside your comfort zone, in person or via broadcast. Just you, the real you, and the tides of the Internet; dropping Internet cliches of pseudonyms, handles, cat GIFs and avatars. You do this to promote yourself, your product or some part of the ecosystem that you dedicate your life to. Scary? It can be. Worth it? Absolutely.

For this I recently took part in a live stream (as in, a real-time broadcast, gulp) chat/interview with Darko Fabijan, co-founder of Semaphore CI (, as part of their Semaphore Uncut series where they discuss IndieHackers favourite topic(s): the problems that we face as software industry professionals, how we're solving them, and what we're working on that excites.

For our session, we chatted about our experiences and passions as founders, about building Enterprise-class SaaS products, about how package management (the domain of Cloudsmith, integrates with CI/CD, and what's coming up next for both of us - You can watch it the full thing here (with a podcast to follow):

It was a pleasure chatting with Darko, although it was my first experience doing a live stream. Darko was obviously a lot more practiced, calm and measured than I was; he was fantastic and I can only thank him for directing the conversation smoothly. Having watched it back I think I managed to just about get away with it externally, but internally I'm a maelstrom of nerves. Certainly my domain is at a keyboard and not as a natural orator, but we all know here that practice makes perfect.

Apart from one or two brain blips, it went well; I didn't articulate about package management patterns and advice in the way that I would have liked. We had a followup conversation that was much smoother, as is typical, and I'm hoping to add some of that to the podcast. As is typical for anything that's live, we also had a bit of meltdown pre-stream with the streaming software and Skype, which both decided to crash just as we started to broadcast. Maybe they'll release an "off-cuts" series of bloopers in the future.

Overall though, great fun and extremely worthwhile; I would definitely recommend it as a soapbox. If not for your product, then for you personally. Do it to better yourself. Do it to grow. Do it because you can do it. Although I'm well-versed with talking to customers and doing demos, these are targetted/pointed "scenarios" that play out similarly each time. This though, this pushed me to the edge of my abilities. Would I do it again? Absolutely, and I will. Watch this space.

So Indie Hackers, my actual question is:
What have you done to get yourself out there, recently?

Did it work? Tell us more, and give us a link (if you can). Be polite. :-)

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