At the beginning of January 2021, I quit my job, left the Bay Area, and moved to Houston, Texas, with my family. Since then, I have been working full-time on my own project Riddey (former Coolboard). Riddey is a visual collaboration space for engineering teams. It aims to make remote work more effective by leveraging machine learning and novice UI techniques.
It has been a tough half a year with many ups and downs. I have been working day and night to make it happen. Still, I have a feeling that the project is moving at a snail's pace. I manage, code, design, deal with the money, do the marketing, hire and let people go. I take part in everything and feel that I don't do anything.
I bootstrap and already spent a small fortune on the project. Meanwhile, I have to pay the bills and sustain my family. We are in the red, and I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. It is not easy, nay, it is very hard.
Why am I doing this - you may ask - if I could become a multi-millionaire within 3-4 years if I stayed in employment? The answer is simple: because it makes me happy.
I was always fascinated to see an idea turning into reality. As a kid, my favorite toy was the Lego blocks. I love to build, and now I can do it as much as I want. I also enjoy the freedom: it is up to me how to schedule my time. It is me who makes the decisions. All the responsibility is on me, and it is me who has to face the consequences.
I constantly learn, and this is the best. I wear many hats, and this pushes me to study, research and practice. I learned more during these six months than in the previous two to three years: product-, project-, and engineering management; hiring, negotiation, taxation, UX design, and more.
Last but not least: I met great people. I received support from many, even from strangers. I am lucky to have an incredible team and am astonishingly proud of what we have achieved so far.
What we achieved? We reached our first milestone and just launched our private beta. If you are interested, you can read more in the release notes. Also, please sign up for beta testing by sending a PM if you want to help. We are in great need of feedback so that we can build a useful application. Thanks for reading!