Want to Finish Your Side-project? Start by Getting Something on the Screen

Before Tom Wolfe wrote his masterworks, he was an ordinary writer who got plagued with writer’s block now and then. On an Esquire magazine assignment on California’s custom cars, he was convinced—and later admitted to his editor—that he wouldn’t be able to get the story done by himself. Byron Dobell, his editor, who desperately needed something, asked him to just write up his notes in a letter to him. Wolfe just did that. He started the letter with “Dear Byron”, and when he finished it, it ran forty-nine pages. Next morning, he submitted it to his editor, who was expecting much editorial work before publishing it. Instead, he just erased the salutation and ran the piece.



It Didn't Work Out

My SaaS attempt didn’t work out. So another failure story? Should I write a bucket list of lessons to be learned, things that went wrong? Well, I could but honestly, there are no apparent reasons for it not working — I mean you could think of various issues but it’s hard to imagine if winding the clock back would put me in a better place about what I was trying — maybe it’ll or maybe it won’t. Here, ‘it’ refers to Blipmetrics, a SaaS application that I was trying to build for content marketers but I failed short of building any momentum with it. “It’s niche, it’s focused, that would have a visible impact on my success”, I thought but it didn’t carry much effect.


Never Underestimate the Power of Creating Something Useless

We conceived the idea of “Bouncelytics” as a small analytics tool to help people understand their bounced visitors I saw many blogs mentioning how bounce rate wasn’t a useful metrics since it didn’t account for the time spent on the page. As lean guys, we set-up our landing page with what we were planning to build and posted it wherever we could. We got about 170+ sign-ups and we were terribly excited about having so many people interested in our product. I always liked the idea of a small product with minimal overhead that pays the bills and frees you to do anything else. This idea seemed like a ticket to freedom. Everyone saw the product as “interesting”. We started working together after quitting our jobs (not a big deal since I had months of savings and I always wanted to build something of my own).