Building in Public February 21, 2021

What wins or struggles have you had this past week?

Rosie Sherry @rosiesherry

Whether you've had ups or downs, congrats on surviving the week!

We sometimes have wins that are too small to share as a normal post, or maybe struggles that we are worried about sharing.

So, no matter how big or small, what wins or struggles have you had this week?

Bonus rosie points for if you:

  • teach us all something you've learned along the way
  • help someone who has been struggling 🙌
  1. 8

    I overcame two of my biggest fears today - creating a post (really strange, irrational fear of mine) and releasing my first web app in public (slightly less strange?). I notice that I hold insecurities of criticism and dissent, which won't get me very far in building anything that people cherish, so I'm glad to have taken the first few steps to overcome this.

    My biggest takeaway is that - even if you have a paralysing fear of building in public - the Indie Hackers community here makes doing this and asking for feedback a joy. I (prematurely?) pushed out my MVP built on a tech stack that I'm less than familiar with - bugs, 404s and all - and the feedback I've received has been nothing short of constructive and supportive.

    I'm very grateful that this community exists.

    1. 2

      Even with years of experience with community I remember feeling scared posting here to IH the first time.

      The first time doing anything is scary (at least for me), it gets easier with time.

      Practices makes permanence.

      1. 1

        'Practice makes permanence' - I love that! Definitely going to borrow that going forwards.

        Thanks for the the kind words of encouragement, Rosie!

    2. 2

      That's awesome! It's rough putting out your hard work into the world and then someone tearing it apart.

      But if it does end up happening, just remember they're not criticizing you, they're giving feedback on the issues they're running into when using the product.

      Remembering this keeps me from getting too attached to the product because the internet is not very nice 🙂.

      1. 2

        Agreed.

        This is an important point. I'm working on internalising the idea that 'feedback and dissent are gifts' - it's something I know on paper, but it's still in the process of sinking into my belief system - I think this idea of detaching myself from my product could be the next step towards reaching that!

        This is also something I need to reflect on as well - I'm fortunate to have this community to hazard my initial release in, but I'll change be mindful to detach when releasing to the wider internet.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your advice, @codetohack! 😊

    3. 2

      Good to hear! Thank you for sharing.

  2. 3

    I struggle with maintaining a strength of conviction for what to work on. I've been in the startup world for a long time now, and I get too much in my own head with what I know about it all--so I discount my own ideas. Analysis paralysis.

    1. 1

      I find this hard too. I often wish I was more of a "visionary", but I find it much easier to find reasons something won't work than reasons it will!

  3. 2

    Here are some of the things I accomplished:
    • Found IH
    • Made two posts and a bunch of comments on IH
    • Learned how to use basic AJAX to submit POST requests to a server

    And that's all I think.

    1. 1

      Great job on finding IH!

      How did you come across it?

      1. 1

        I was looking for a community that could help me test my newly created project I made. I guess I found the right community :)

        Just a quick question, when does a user stop being a "new user"? It's quite annoying that I can only make one post per day.

        1. 1

          Yeah, sorry. The spam we get is super annoying too 😩

          It lasts for a week.

          1. 1

            Whoo, thank God. If it lasted for a month, smoke would be comin' out of my nostrils LOL

  4. 2

    Struggles

    • started a new part time job last week so I have less time for https://polygloss.app now, and absorbing lots of information left me really tired
    • getting adhd medication for the first time and dealing with initial common side effects has been complicated

    Wins

    • fixed a long list of bugs and implemented apple sign in despite the struggles!
    • our trainee dev has completed their 2nd pull request
    • https://polygloss.app is useful for the folks at my job too, as they research language, so I get to work some hours on it within work hours, even though it is not my main project there
    • survived well the first week at new job, including meetings in 3 different languages
  5. 2

    I have been struggling to write weekly long-form articles for my site Dev to Agency (helping developers start and run custom software agencies), but I have integrated an interview concept this week which should in theory cut me some slack. First one comes out tomorrow!

    Obviously I need to still source great interview content but today I put together my first interview (with Matt Stauffer the co-founder and tech director of Tighten), and it was significantly easier than me brainstorming, writing, editing, and re-editing another long article. I really want to try and keep up the weekly content schedule, so I think integrating interviews periodically with allow me to focus on more quality bespoke pieces content.

    So that's a small achievement for me at least, and fingers crossed my readers still get insights from the content.

  6. 2

    I've been struggling to stop building new features for my project boostlane.com. It's been really hard to stop and focus on other things...

    Last week I decided that it was time to focus on content publishing. I could not resist building a few more features at the end of the week. I made a game 'BOSS LEVEL', a content curation game where people can share the best content they find on websites like Instagram and Flickr. So, is it a win or a fail? I don't know yet... I intend to build nada this week, and I mean it.

    https://boostlane.com/games/bosslevel/c/women-fashion/feb2021/?option=competition

  7. 2

    I overcome one of my trickiest task which I was postponing for a couple of weeks as a person from tech background. I always find myself difficult putting content to express our idea and believe we have while building product, things are inside our head but often it quite difficult when it comes to express with right work. fortunately, this week I was able to do it and I feel good about it.

  8. 2

    Wins for the week

    • Switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit. If you like reading about data visualizations, maps, music, or the outdoors join the list for updates at https://www.lostcreekdesigns.co/.
    • Re-designed the layout on my personal site
    • Setup an analytics dashboard for tracking growth and goals (and fought my tendencies to waste time and build this from scratch)

    Happy to walk through the MailChimp to ConvertKit conversion or the analytics dashboard if anyone is curious!

    Analytics Dashboard

  9. 2

    My biggest win was probably going out of the comfort zone producing content throughout the whole week.

    For some folks out there it comes naturally, but I'm definitely not of them.

    Gotta admit that it gets easier as I keep doing it and looking at the results can say it's totally worth it:
    +109% in page views and scheduled a demo for a lead who came via my content.

  10. 2

    My big win this week was, after two weeks of staging and testing, I was able to migrate my live community site from its old, creaky, infra to a shiny new one. Since it was a migration instead of an upgrade, I had to practice quickly dumping key database tables and then carefully inserting them into the new schema, because I did not want the live site to be down for more than a few hours.

    Of course, not everything went swimmingly but luckily I have quite a bit of SQL chops to fix minor data anomalies.

    One thing that is still not working, however, is outbound emails. My community can generate a fair amount of outbound traffic, and my old site relied on Mailgun to do it efficiently. However I found out that on my new hosting plan, SMTP must go through my provider, which of course has pretty strict limits on outbound traffic. This prevents me from accessing Mailgun via SMTP. So I am going to need to hack my infra to send mail using the Mailgun API.

  11. 2

    Hey Rosie,
    I learned a lot about Javascript arrays, objects and used a new library to build a complex feature within my app. There's not a lot of documentation out there on the internet, so I posted my code with explanations in case it helps anyone!
    Here's the link - https://abrarrauf.medium.com/state-management-made-simple-with-hookstate-in-react-native-3c881274c7fe

  12. 2

    Hey Rosie!

    Re: the blogging platform I'm building

    My win for the week was getting GitHub webhooks working whenever someone adds, modifies or removes a markdown file in their repo (aka article).

    My struggle is the process of authorizing our GitHub app for your repo is partially broken. It authorizes, but afterwards we ask GitHub what repo you chose for the source or your articles. This is what's broken. Not sure how this happened, because it was working at some point. They can't decode the jwt I'm using for a request.

    1. 2

      blog platform? cool!

      1. 1

        Yep. Hopefully I can get this one issue resolved, build out a person's main blog page, and then make an official announcement.

        1. 1

          sweet! solve it for one persno, solve it for all.

  13. 1

    For me it's not tied to anything to do with Product/Marketing/Tech.

    It's being present despite the fact I had a stressful kitchen refurb going on.

    I'm grateful for the supportive communities that I'm a part of like IH and Weekend Club that keep me going

  14. 1

    During this week of my wife's surgery, I went live with a project that I've been trying to make live for the previous 4 years: https://nodonce.com and https://genes.one

    • never give up
    • you are what you do everyday, no matter what the day might bring.
  15. 1

    I'm nearing 200 subscribes on my newsletter which is nice. I should hopefully hit it this week, but I am feeling more pressure than ever to produce super high quality content. I am starting to recognize some of the subscribers names just from the fact that they are well known in academia/kinda famous.

    I know it's not a lot of subscribers, but my audience is starting to become a mixture of people I do not want to disappoint and people I want to try and inspire. This is making me more stressed about being able to deliver high quality content every week. I need to get over the fact that I am going to disappoint some while I delight others, but this is difficult.

    Just because I know the right answer doesn't mean that it translates into making me feel better. Every so often though someone tells me how great what I am doing is and it makes me want to double down and work harder. If you enjoy someone's work let them know. I guarantee you will make their day.

  16. 1

    After finding a video captureing component for Userveys, I was able to quickly rewrite the widget from vanilla JS to a React component within a few days. I was able to end the week by adding the necessary Javascript and backend to capture visits, unique visits and metadata to be used as triggers for showing an end user a survey widget.

  17. 1

    Really commited to building in public. Reached out to friends and family to get opinions on my idea and their feedback on the landing page.

  18. 1

    The biggest for me this week was understanding Facebook pixel and how to integrate it with my product websites.

    While I do have a developer in my team. it was difficult to comb through the complex interface of Facebook business manager and to setup those pixels.

    Those who aren't aware about it, Facebook pixel helps you gain advanced analytics on your website visitors like age, operating system, gender and much more. This helps bring down your advertising costs when you choose to start Facebook/Instagram ads.

  19. 1

    Win : ProductHunt #1 for Micro SaaS Ideas

    Quick lessons learnt

    • On the launch day, I have had some issues with my laptop and not able to do much for first 6 hours. So, after the hunt at 12AM PST time, I was literally not able to do anything. Only after 6 hours, my first tweet went out about PH. I was the impression that I almost lost it. But I slowly started picking. - Don't lose hope too early.

    • Someone was spamming with lots of upvotes for another product on same day and I am sure PH will catch that anyway. But no harm in reaching PH Support if you find anything suspicious .

    • PH Support works. Don't hesitate reaching PH Support if you see some problem with PH Support.

  20. 1

    The biggest win for me would be got first customer for my new service! 🎉Before I got the chance to celebrate, it turned into my biggest struggle since I started. 😂

    What happened was, due to a bug in my system, that customer requested a refund, which is fine, however, because of that sale dispute, gumroad decided to suspend my account, and as result of it, purchases of my other products on gumroad got all refunded! 😱

    It's been 2 days and I'm still waiting for gumroad to get back to me, I'll come back and share the full story after I talked with them, don't want get into full complain mode before I know better.

  21. 1

    My biggest win this week is getting 11 pre-sales for Startup Without Code. I learned that almost all of them came from Twitter.

    I'm currently trying to "build in public" but it's hard to talk about what I'm working on for some reason since I'm not coding.

    Any tips on how to "build in public" when using no code tools?

    1. 2

      I'm not experienced with this, but maybe share what you're working on - even if it's not code. Features, "bug" fixes, upcoming features, etc.

      1. 1

        I guess we'll still end up sounding like devs in the end 😂

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