December 11, 2019

Finished MVP and shared on reddit


I finished the MVP and shared it on reddit. People really enjoyed it and also gave constructive feedback.

I currently don't have any authentication/users, which made it real easy to get up and running quickly.

Tech-wise, I used the json-server npm package for the verb database, which allowed me to use JSON that was generated from scraping a portuguese verb conjugation website. This creates a read-only database, which has been working perfectly and was stupid simple to setup. The front-end is all React + next.js, with material-ui for a style framework.

Both the verb database and the front-end are hosted on zeit now for free, which I could not be happier with. It deploys straight from the github repo's master branch and was also simple to set up.

The next steps are improving the user experience, adding testing, adding users, making it more intuitive and approachable, and making it more addictive (in a good way). There should be some way to "master" a verb and a tense within a verb. This would really keep users using the site and "gamify" it a bit. I'm actually personally excited to see how it would work out since I need motivation to conjugate verbs and practice, so it would help me a lot too.

I would like to keep it free while I prove out my concept in Portuguese (also I actually use it, so what I find helpful, others should too)

After that, I can look to adding support for other languages.

Maybe I will monetize down the road? I would like to build up a decent free user base, even if its like 20 or so people using it every day, it would prove the concept for me and give me confidence to grow it.

I think there is potential here for an app that focuses on verbs and conjugations... This is a huge part of latin languages, which are among the most popular in the world.

There is the self-taught crowd and the education crowd, this is a large population of people that are learning a language. The thing about the other language-learning apps is they don't really work long-term. They may teach you some phrases and slowly build vocabulary, but to really learn quickly, you have to grind out verb conjugations in different tenses.

I think the goal could be best summarized as a mix of duolingo and quizlet with a heavy focus on verbs.

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