Closing out 2019

December 2019 Retrospective

Putting out another short retro this month. See my 2019 year in review for the big picture update.

Profit

Another record-breaking profit month!

Project Profit Monthly Change
Place Card Me $2819.50 26.62%
SaaS Pegasus $563.22 -40.17%
Chat Stats $225.84 27.16%
Total $3608.56 7.86%

Place Card Me had it’s biggest month ever which is normal for this time of year. Pegasus dipped a bit, which I can’t totally explain, but seems normal given its high variance (this represents 3 sales instead of 5). I’ve removed Amazon Affiliates, mostly because it was annoying to get the data and update it every month, and it’s never a substantial amount.

Next month I’m expecting a big post-holiday dip. I’ll be happy if I break $2k.

Time

December 2019 Time

Time breakdown for December 2019

Another sponsored-heavy month, with more than 75% of my time going to Dimagi and freelancing (also mostly for Dimagi).

I was helping Dimagi hit some high-priority deadlines this month and explicitly decided to donate ~all my available time to the cause in the last few weeks of the year.

Hoping to turn this back around in January.

Last Month’s Goals

My main product goal for the month suffered from a lack of time, but everything else is on track.

# Goal Grade
1 Chat stats subscriptions in alpha F
2 Talk to at least one Pegasus customer, and email with 3 more A
3 Zero Pegasus refund requests A
4 Publish one non-retro blog post A
  1. Completely failed to get anywhere on this.
  2. I did manage to catch up with a customer to discuss subscriptions in Pegasus, and had some good email exchanges with several more.
  3. Still no refunds since that disastrous week in September.
  4. Shipped my “Master Plan” year in review. Planning to do a small amount of self-promotion today and tomorrow, but still mostly targeting my existing audience.

The Pegasus Path Forwards

Apart from the delay of not getting anywhere in December, the Pegasus plan remains unchanged from prior months:

  1. January-February: Build subscriptions into one of my own products, once.
  2. February-April: Bring subscriptions into Pegasus.
  3. April onwards: Start cranking up the marketing engine.

This is the month I get into subscriptions. I can feel it!

OKR Review

I nailed my OKRs for the last quarter of 2019:

Project Objective Key Result(s) Status
Financial Achieve financial independence through passive income $3k average monthly profit for Q4 $3,326
Pegasus Make Pegasus a best-in-class SaaS starter kit experience 1. Release overhauled multi-tenancy support
2. Zero new refund requests
Both Done.
Writing Find my voice as a writer and create content that resonates with people Two major blog posts by end of year Done.

2019 Q4 OKRs done and dusted!

Time to come up with new ones for 2020, Q1!

The objectives have changed slightly. I’ve dropped writing and am going to direct that energy into a new non-traditional endeavor (working towards my “seriously explore a project I might do if I didn’t have to work” goal for the year).

Project Objective Key Result(s) Status
Financial Achieve financial independence through passive income $2200 average monthly profit for Q4 -
Pegasus Make Pegasus a best-in-class SaaS starter kit experience Have subscriptions functionality in Pegasus (at least as an alpha prerelease) -
The Future Better understand what life after financial independence might look like Spend at least 40 hours exploring non-traditional projects -

2020 Q1 OKRs ready to rock!

The KRs are also new. I need a profit goal to work towards my $3500 monthly target for the year, but I suspect Q1 will be the worst quarter financially, so I’m keeping it low. The others are hopefully obvious enough from my year in review.

This Month’s Goals

Here are January’s goals. Just two this month:

  1. Chat stats subscriptions in alpha.
  2. Spend 15 hours exploring non-traditional projects.

I’m planning the main effort for the month to be on Chat Stats subscriptions but also want to carve out some time for novel project exploration.

I’ve removed the “run and maintain” Pegasus goals of talking to customers and zero refunds. I’ll still be aiming to talk to to customers, but will do so reactively. And zero refunds just feels like it should always be true so it feels silly to include it every month.

Recommendations

A few things I enjoyed this month:

  • Essay: Having Kids. Another Paul Graham essay. A few people told me it reminded them of my post on parenting, but that’s being ridiculously kind to me. PG has an amazing knack for distilling his own observations into far more generalizable content, and his thoughts on kids are both insightful and almost 100% aligned with my own perspective. Definitely worth a read.
  • Podcast: Darknet Diaries. This is a great podcast about “the dark side of the internet”. The stories are always interesting and well-told, and often intersect with far more than just the internet. My favorite recent episodes are the Indo-Pak Conflict and NotPetya.

Subscribe for Updates

Get updates on new content whenever I publish them. Usually about once a month. Unsubscribe at any time.