Code for You; Release for Them

When i code in my spare time, i build side projects that interest me. I code for me. This is a habit shared by my generally kickass business partner Adim. Over the years, we have built a number of products that could provide real value to people. But they dont.

They don't provide value because we've never released them.

Until now.

Release a product a month

We have decided to ship one of these products a month. Every month. We expect it to be both fun and challenging. While our products are all nice, they are all missing things, too. It has been years since we have looked at some, and i am sure the time away will result in a wave of new ideas.

There are features to add, bugs to fix and marketing pages to make. And buy buttons. My readers here know that i have harped on myself for not building buy buttons. That is a mistake i don't plan to make again. Many of these products need buy buttons. They will get them.

The products

These are are some teaser pictures of the products we've built.

what happens in your city

social media for teams

advice for major moments from the people who have been there

In looking at them, i've realized we have built solutions to a wide range of use cases. To give you some idea, without naming names, we have

  • a reimagined forum, for discussions
  • collaborative social media management for teams
  • advice for pivotal life moments, from those who have been there
  • a leaderboard for ongoing competitions
  • what you've seen and heard around your city
  • a document mailer. yes, actual postage mail

Some of these products have been built over years. Others were built during 48 hour hackathons. All of them have been coded by us, for us.

Calling it done

They say, "perfect is the enemy of done". They are right. At some point you need to draw the line and ship.

But for many coders, solving hard problems and building solutions is our fun. Adding the polish is never as good. Marketing these products isn't what we love to do. So it's easy to never be done. We frontload our attention on products, and drop off when it comes time to dot our i's and cross our t's. We don't release.

As i've mentioned, most of our products are a feature or two from being something we can proudly hang our hats on. The fresh eyes we will look at them through will inevitably grow that list. But with our monthly deadlines, we should be able to find a spot where we can be proud of what we are releasing to the public.

Release for them

As coders, nearly everything we build brings us joy. We code for ourselves, even when we are building things for others. With all of these products built up, many sitting untouched for years, it is time to show them the light of day. It is time to let users experience some of the joy that we've felt creating these solutions.

We've spent years coding for us. It's time to release; for everyone else.

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Written by Ben
Ben is the co-founder of Skyward. He has spent the last 10 years building products and working with startups.