Let's Keep Building!

I’ve been doing a bunch of spring cleaning around my house, both physically and digitally, and I’ve had these two screenshots saved in this post for 7 years!

It’s the only draft that I’ve had and I’m not entirely sure why I’ve kept it around for so long without publishing anything! All I had were these two screenshots below:

As you can tell, I went a bit crazy in the first decade of the 2,000’s and I registered, designed, and built a ton of software projects, from real estate to video platforms to web comic blogs to dating websites and non-profit organizations and ministries to… … … I mean, the list goes on and on and on and on.

I remember my operating philosophy at the time: Just build stuff and see if it sticks. I didn’t have any strategy to it and my effort was unfocused and distinctly unsophisticated; but I didn’t care and no one else did either.

But… oh! That sense of freedom that I had! It was as invigorating and as intoxicating as you might imagine—I have never felt so free to just build, to create, to tear-down and destroy… I simply was able to enjoy my work without fear and without the anxiety and pressure of hoping that they were a “success,” whatever that meant.

Those years of private building was where I cut my teeth, “earned my stripes” as they say. In other words, I learned how to start a project from scratch and launch it into the world; hell, I’m still doing the same thing after all of these years.

Launching projects and online businesses taught me how to build real, authentic, transformative, and profitable communities. On the flip, building communities taught me how to navigate and align those relationships towards business objectives and financial outcomes.

You need both.

I’m so grateful for the time of study and the fact that I never gave up shipping; I encourage you all to do the same.

Let’s keep building, shall we?

An important point to not miss is this: I didn't have a plan to become an entrepreneur; entrepreneurship found me.

I also learned most of what I needed when it came to product design and business mechanics by simply launching and shipping, through the natural course of a project's lifecycle.

Over years (now, decades+!) I've acquired a suite of skills, habits, and behaviors that I can leverage for any sized project, whether indie (e.g. solo project) or venture funded!

So, go on and slay!

  1. 5

    Wow. That list is incredible. You're a shipping machine!

    I'm curious if you don't mind sharing – how many of those projects are still active today? And how many of those generated meaningful revenue for you?

    1. 2

      oh, none of those right there... the only ones that have survived are like... canonical names that forward to my blog.

      most of those didn't do anything revenue-wise... but one or two blew up and financed all of those experiments. that's about par for course though.

      ... maybe like... 15 or 20-to-1 ratio... if that makes sense.

  2. 2

    Damn, that is a lot of projects, good work! How long did you, on average, work on each?

    1. 2

      i try to start every new project on a 60-90 day time-box. that's it.

  3. 2

    You are bommmmb! That is an impressive directory of domains/projects. I am only on my fifth official project that I launched into the real world, and already I am feeling very burned out.

    I am feeling a bit restless because I am not sure if I should continue on this path or simply just go get a comfortable job and live a stable lifestyle. What did you do when your projects failed?

    1. 1

      many of the projects i just would let die... and delete the files and move one.

  4. 2

    You’re pretty inspirational 😊 so amazing to read this. Time to go out and just build it! All of my ideas!

    1. 1

      :) whatever i can do for you friend!

  5. 2

    How did you keep track of so many projects at the same time?

    1. 1

      i don't track. i just work. and then, they die. then, i start a new one. i don't have much time so i time box and then i go.

  6. 2

    Really great post here - you were launching projects like a machine!

    Would love to hear about your strategies on building communities? I'm only familiar with doing it through organic search.

    1. 2

      building communities is something that i'm teaching with the YEN.CAMP — the 6th cohort starts tomorrow! i just sent out invites:

      building community isn't hard, but, it does take the right framing.

      tl;dr: go where your customers and (future) community members are. hang out there. serve them incredibly well. don't stop.

  7. 2

    It's funny you wrote how entrepreneurship found you! I made that part of the first post I made on my indie project (in a live "pre-launch" right now). I mentioned that it never felt like this was something that I chose to work on—it chose me. Almost the entire time, it never felt like my participation in its creation was a choice. I was just along for the ride.

    Anyways, I closed out the post with a sort of benediction, so I'll share it here for you and for others:

    "There is no shortage of inquiry and intrigue in the ether. May yours find you."

    1. 1

      thank you friend! i 🙏🏻 🤟🏻 😍 the benediction!

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