My COVID passion project might actually be turning into a real product! This is a really exciting moment.
Some quick context on this project. Mental models are heuristics (i.e., practical shortcuts) for understanding and describing how the world works. A small collection of big ideas, from across the universe of disciplines, can help us explain the vast majority of phenomena that we encounter. After reading Poor Charlie's Almanack in March (a book largely about mental models), and getting inspiration from other 'mental models' lists, I decided to write up my own list of mental models, along with additional elements for each model that I considered important (e.g., related models, resources to learn more, relevant quotes, etc.). This turned into a 250+ page Google Doc that I started sharing with friends and my network for fun.
Then last month, my friends introduced me to Glide, a tool to turn Google Sheets into 'no-code' apps for smartphones. After a couple of days of grinding work translating the Google Doc into the Google Sheet format, and just a few hours using Glide to turn that into a 'no-code' app, I had what looked and felt like a real product! (See here: https://terrific-ear-2501.glideapp.io/) Plus, with Glide, now I can see how many users there are, and I also included a 'conversion' option at the bottom of each mental model for users to buy the 'e-book' (the Google Doc) for $20.
Armed with what feels like a real product and monetization, I started more aggressively sharing with my network this week, and yesterday shared on Reddit (r/mentalmodels). This morning, I got an e-mail from my first customer asking to buy the e-book and support the project!! And when I checked Glide, it turns out there are now 118 users (up ~100 from ~20 yesterday).
Anyway, who knows where this will go (amor fati, etc.), but it feels like an exciting moment, and I thought I would share with you in case this is inspiring in some way :D Keep up your hard work!!