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.

My Response

  • 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 ❤.

Introducing Patreon

  • 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
  • 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 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.

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