Life Happens When You're Developing Products
In This Episode...
- First, an update on some of the progress Dan has made in the past week.
- Next, Dan opens up on how he has been feeling recently regarding his progress. He then discusses the importance of self-funded creators accepting time constraints and taking regular breaks to recharge.
- Lastly, Speaking of Products opens the doors to anyone wanting to contribute on patreon.
Dan's Product Journey Update
In relation to my product journey, I'm feeling OK this week, perhaps a little eager to do more.
Last week I had planned to...
- Set up a Patreon account for Speaking of Products.
- Refine and filter product ideas.
- List some types of customers the product might serve.
- Jot down ways I could get started with early marketing for the product.
During the week I...
Set up an account for Speaking of Products on Patreon.
- More on that later in the show.
Refined my product ideas.
- My thoughts at this stage are on helping other businesses and organisations with their day-to-day operations.
- i.e. producing a product that helps people keep on track when doing repeated things in their business operations and doing them consistently.
- This is a 'scratch-your-own-itch' type of situation. Over the years as Kristin and I have been running our business, Trade Guardian, we have been looking for ways to simplify the job of doing the day-to-day repeated work.
- Given my background in software engineering, the product is likely to be in the form of software.
Unfortunately wasn't able to make any progress on identifying types or customers, nor was a I able to get started on marketing ideas.
- This had me on overdrive, but more on that in just a moment...
Next week my plan is to...
Set up a software development environment with a set of necessary tools and frameworks. This includes things like:
- Creating a code repository.
- Making some initial basic decisions on technology components that will define the architecture of the solution.
- Commencing work on a basic set of starting-code to put the development environment through its paces.
Revisit that attempt at getting started with the marketing options.
- I think instead I might grab hold of a book that provides some marketing guidance for technical founders.
That's it for the update
Next up, it's time for a conversation...
Life Happens When You're Developing Products
- I'm trying out various formats for segments on the podcast in these early days.
- As you've seen so far, the formats currently include:
- An update from me on what I have been up to recently.
- Deep dives into a particular topic on the business of products.
- Short fun-facts and lessons-learned about interesting products from history.
- The two reasons I'm trying out different formats are:
- So that I can get a sense of what you enjoy.
- So that I can get a better idea about what is sustainable for me to produce.
- This week, I'm throwing a new format into the mix for you.
- I'm going to try a more off-the cuff casual / conversational look at how I am feeling about a certain aspect of being on this journey as a self-funded aspiring product developer, working on it part time.
- The idea is basically so that you can come along for the ride.
- Who knows, perhaps you're going through, or have gone through, something similar yourself and hearing about it from someone else's point of view might help you with a bit of perspective.
Conversation Topic: Life Happens When You're Developing Products
- For background, just a bit context about what has really been keeping me busy this past week.
- I'm fairly new to producing the type content that I have been publishing for SoP so far.
- In other words, I haven't really settled into a rhythm yet and my production schedule is a little bit ad-hoc.
- My preference is that I can be a bit more organised so that I don't worry about what I'm creating for SoP, how I do it, when I release it, etc.
- Some ideas I have to help with this include:
- Buffer (a few weeks complete in advance).
- Blocking out specific days and times.
- Keep doing it - experience - comfort.
- So, what has this focus on producing led to?
- Lately, I've felt like I... haven't really had enough time dedicated to actual product-development work.
- Literally, on one day last week, it was weighing on me.
- No joke, I was beating myself up.
- My response to that was to step back from my desk for a moment, breathe, and then gently pause my concentration on several things.
- This worked for sure. I was able to reset and get back to concentrate on my own product.
- Having gone through that...
- I decided it was a good indicator that I needed to chill out for a bit and so...
- Over the weekend I decided to spring a bit of spontaneous fun on the family.
- On Saturday I checked the weather and decided it would be a perfect day on Sunday to hang out at a waterslide park!
- We decided to head up to Sydney and visit Raging Waters.
- It was a pretty long day.
- It takes 3 hours to get to Sydney from where I live in Canberra, so we were up at 5:30am and didn't get home until 10:00pm.
- But man, was it worth it!
- It is so cool to stop everything you're doing and just be like a kid for the day.
- So, why I'm telling you this.
- Sometimes, you do need to balance your focus on work with non-work life in general.
- You can't just a be machine and work all the time.
- That moment last week when I was feeling on overdrive was a good example of how it is possible to easily drift too far in the direction of work and the impact it can have as a result.
- If you are a self-funded product developer with limited time, then...
- You need to accept that things are just going to take longer that you anticipate.
- There is no point beating yourself up over how much or how little progress you make.
- A better approach would be to keep going at a pace that you can sustain and celebrate each milestone as you achieve them, whenever that may be.
That's it for the conversation this week. I hope it helps you in some way with your own product journey ❤.
- I mentioned earlier that I have set up Patreon for Speaking of Products.
- Patreon is a trusted online service where folks can make small donations to become a 'patron' of their favourite creators.
- For Speaking of Products, I have set up two tiers that you can donate to.
- Tier one is \$3 per month. I'll give a regular shout-out on the podcast for everyone that joins this tier.
- Tier two is \$10 per month and gets you a shout-out on the show as well as your name and a link to your own site published here on speakingofproducts.com
- My first goal is to reach \$350 per month which I will use to get professional editing for the podcast. i.e. to make it sound well-produced and smooth on the ears.
- If you would like to contribute to the show, please visit https://www.patreon.com/speakingofproducts and pledge your support.
Join in With the Show
- If you have a question, feedback or suggestions for a topic, we would love to hear from you.
- We also welcome short snippets about your own product journey which we might go through on the show.
- You can get in touch via Twitter: @SpeakOfProducts or @mrdanmiller
- Subscribe to the show on your favourite podcast player, or wherever you get your podcasts, by searching for Speaking of Products.