Next step in the journey and my first project

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Two months ago I wrote about how I left my job to start a new journey as an entrepreneur. The first step, as part of that process was that I wanted to sharpen my technical skills and fill in some missing pieces of knowledge. To achieve that aim, I’ve been attending a code bootcamp for the last nine weeks — which came to an end on Friday.

I’m super excited to have completed the bootcamp and am now ready to focus on what’s next.

I now have to actually figure out what’s next! My vague plan has always been that I will start building out some of the many ideas that are on my potential startups list, and that’s definitely what I’m going to do… but where to start?

Well, first off, my plan is to spend 2021 working on a project every 4–6 weeks, emulating the 12 startups in 12 months approach. Ideally I’d like to have completed 10–12 projects by the end of 2021. I think that’s quite an ambitious approach, but I also think it’s the right one, I’m all in.

Pushing myself to iterate quickly, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and discover if customers will actually pay for something, is critically important. Doubly so because I am self-funded. Repeating this process of interaction, discovery and learning over and over will hopefully allow me to use my “runway” most effectively over the year.

To use a sports metaphor, I’d much rather have 10 shots on goal and potentially land 1 or 2, than only take one shot, and if it doesn’t work out, the game is over. I’ve seen too many times how easy it is to only pursue one idea and spend months or years working on it, only to discover it doesn’t solve a real problem, or it does but no one will pay for it.

I have two primary goals for the next year:

While I think they are certainly achievable, I’m definitely not going to be naive in believing this will be easy, it is going to be challenging. I know how many people try to build companies or products, and that the failure rate is pretty high.

I’ve set these goals to push myself to make decisions that get me closer to achieving them and to create some positive pressure and motivation. I’d rather aim high and miss by a little than aim way too low and actually achieve the easier goals.

With all this in mind, for the rest of this year (2020), I think the best thing to do is to just start. I’m going to kick off with a project that is narrow in scope, fun to build and that helps consolidate some of the things that I’ve learnt over the past two months or so.

I’m not going to be worried about building something that will generate revenue just yet, I’m mainly interested in getting something shipped, and getting into a routine of building and iterating on ideas. I’d say this first project will be a bit of a practice run, just to get my feet wet, and I’ll then take on progressively more challenging ideas as I go.

Alright, so what am I going to build? Well, I love using Twitter but I have found creating Twitter threads based on an article or blog post (like this one) to be quite a cumbersome process.

I write out the entire thread, which takes about an hour, hoping nothing interrupts me and that I don’t lose my progress, and then I have to publish the thread all in one go from the Twitter app or website. Of course I could also just create a single tweet and then publish new tweets as replies to it on an individual basis, but I think there’s a better way of doing this.

I’m sure there are other tools out there that can do this already (like Buffer, etc.) but I’d like to be able to build and schedule a Twitter thread simply and easily. So that’s what I’m going to do. Focus on simple and easy to use.

I might throw in an automatic thread builder (from a blog post url) if I have time.

That’s it for my update, time to get building.

Feel free to follow along with me on Twitter as I share updates on my progress. You can also sign up for my newsletter here.

Originally published at https://blog.johnjoubert.com on December 9, 2020.

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Sharing insights and lessons about my experience building a self-funded startup. https://twitter.com/johnjoubert

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