Week 1 : First product & the perceived benefits of the challenge.
Bootstrapping ShipTherapy Challenge 8 months ago

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
This is week 1 of the #ShipTherapy challenge, which I'm doing to get over maker paralysis and cultivate a habit of shipping stuff. Check out Week 0 if you need more context.

Last Monday, I was supposed to pick an idea from my list, and announce that I'll be starting the #ShipTherapy challenge on twitter and other maker communities. I had the article describing the challenge and why I'm doing it already written, so all I had to do was just pick an idea, craft a tweet and hit publish.

Little that I know that my maker paralysis would creep up on me again and I would spend the whole day coming up with a dozen reasons why none of the 100+ ideas on my list would never work. I got to the point where I was just going to pull the plug on the whole thing.

But, I thought to myself, this is exactly what you're trying to overcome. You should just ship the article, and tweet about it, get some accountability, and you'll figure out the rest later.

So that's exactly what I did, and today, exactly a week later, I am so glad I did that.

The benefits of just shipping (anything)

In my case I shipped a tweet and an article on a forum, but this really applies to anything that you know you should be doing, but don't feel comfortable doing. I sure as hell wasn't comfortable telling a bunch of people that I'm committing to ship two products per month, when I couldn't even pick a single idea.

So here's a list of what happened next :

  • I got a bunch of encouraging feedback.

  • 20 people signed up to the newsletter.

  • A dozen people followed me on twitter.

  • 4 people reached out privately.

  • 1 person pitched me a great idea that I am excited to get started on next. Plus, he's a very cool guy.

  • A bunch of psychological benefits that I can't articulate, but let's just call it newfound purpose.

I couldn't pick an idea on the next two days either, but I did on the third day and worked non-stop on it for 4 days, and it felt amazing to finally have clear direction, knowing I'm going to ship no matter what.

Product #1 : 1Kprojects.com

As I was scrolling product hunt for some inspiration, I stumbled on transferslot, a marketplace for side projects. I had already seen it before and thought it was a great idea. I remember thinking to myself, it would be great to just buy a project and invest 100% of my time on marketing instead of building. I know I had that thought many times before, but I never bought anything, specifically because the prices are too damn high!

I wanted a place where I can casually browse projects and buy something cool on a whim.

And that's how I came up with 1Kprojects.com : A place where you can casually buy cool side projects neglected/abandoned by their owners, for less than $1k.

Since I'm planning to make a bunch of projects for this challenge, I probably will need to sell a few of them later on. So it would be nice to have a place where I can do that without too much hassle.

So I got to work right away and built a first version in 4.5 days using my go to stack for MVPs ( Laravel & Bootstrap 4 ).

One of the things I did differently this time, is not think about the business model, monetization or marketing. In retrospect, that was probably a good idea as I may have lost enthusiasm by asking too many questions.


1kprojects.com homepage screenshot

The model & making money

I only started to think about should I and how can I make money from this when I had 90% of the code done. I first went with a simple monthly plan, where makers who frequently make and abandon side projects ( like myself ) would pay a monthly fee and add unlimited projects for sale, and a free tier where you can only put one project for sale.

Later on, I realized that it was probably overkill and that I wouldn't pay for it myself since I had no guarantee my projects would be sold, and it was just easier to let those projects rot on my hard drive like I've always done.

So I came up with a different model that I would love to use : You can add unlimited projects, get unlimited offers, and you only pay to "unlock" the buyer's email once you get an interesting offer.

I felt like this model would take away any friction that makers may have when considering selling their abandoned projects, all they have to do is put it up for free, and check out the offers they receive.


How it works

What's next

I won't be posting the project to product hunt yet, but I am definitely going to share it around, and try to get some feedback and early adopters. I have a goal of getting around 20 projects on sale before launching it on product hunt.

So, this first week has been an absolute success as I built the MVP, shipped it, and wrote this progress update, as well as another article on finding good problems to solve that I will be sharing sometime this week.

Most of next week will be spent on getting feedback and early adopters on 1Kprojects.com, and starting the next project which I will be doing with another maker who reached out with a cool idea. We just got approved for an API that is essential to the project, so that's something I'm very excited to get started on.

More details on that next week.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the project, and on these weekly challenge updates and what you'd like to hear more about.

You can reach out to me on twitter, or via e-mail at : hello@othmane.io


Update : ➡️ Check out week 2 of the challenge.

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