The Calm Before the Storm

August 2020 Retrospective


  • I soft-launched my new project, RepoStory… and then tabled it
  • I’m doing some Pegasus consulting
  • Baby #2 is arriving imminently

Last Month’s Goals

# Goal Grade
1 Publicly launch the new product C
2 Publish a companion article about the compass week and product building experience F

This is an ugly report card, though is more a reflection on my changing priorities than the month itself, if that makes sense.

Publicly launching RepoStory

RepoStory—my app for analytics on code collaboration is on the internet. I guess that means it’s launched?

Repo Story

Where I got my app RepoStory, before deciding to put the project on pause. Data from the facebook/react project.

Still, I’ve done almost nothing in the way of promotion, except for posting it on /r/coolgithubprojects and r/opensource. It was immediately moderated off the first one (because it’s not a Github repository…whoops) and got zero attention on the second one.

Even before the disappointing unveiling I was losing excitement on the project, and after giving it some thought I’ve decided to put RepoStory on the indefinite back-burner.

As a result, I decided not to do anything in the way of promotion.

Publishing an article about building RepoStory

I abandoned this goal mid-month after losing steam on the project.

What’s the RepoStory Story?

A month ago I was brimming with excitement about my new project. Now I’m declaring it all-but-dead. What happened?

Several things:

  • I got continued lukewarm feedback on the product
  • I discovered there are actually lots of tools in the market that do this already
  • I realized that closing the gap between my MVP and what’s on the market would be a lot of work
  • I started feeling nervous about how distracted I was getting from Pegasus
  • I got worried about not having time for a new project—especially with a new baby coming soon

It’s funny because in many ways I think the concept—analytics for engineering teams—is possibly my most monetizable one yet. And at the same time I feel very far away from getting to a point where I could charge for it.

Hill Chart

On the hill chart of the new project, I felt like I had barely even started the climb. Image source: Basecamp.

A key problem is the mismatch between the original intention of the project—to serve as a fun way to exercise Pegasus—and what I could see it becoming—namely, a big-ass B2B SaaS application.

And realizing that I definitely don’t have time and energy for the “big” version of the project, I’ve decided to just let it sit.

Not forever, but for now.

What am I doing instead?

With RepoStory out of the way it’s back to Pegasus again. Returning to what I likely should have been doing all along.

In a rare move, I’ve taken on a bit of Pegasus consulting work. The project is one I’m excited about—-and already has some early traction. I view it as a great learning and collaboration opportunity. Unfortunately, I’m not able to share more details here (at least yet).

I’m also aiming to launch the fourth–and god-willing, final—installment of “Modern JavaScript for Django Developers” soon. In tradition, it will also be accompanied by a Pegasus release that incorporates everything I’ve learned in the process of writing it.

It’s become tradition that every new article I write comes with a host of Pegasus improvements

But mostly I’m in limbo. Baby #2 should arrive sometime soon, and I’m trying not to take on any big new projects for fear of getting something into an awkward, half-finished state and having to drop it on the floor.

Once I have a better understanding what life-post-delivery is like, I’ll start to set some more ambitious goals again.

Last Month’s Profit

Project Profit Monthly Change
SaaS Pegasus $1994.13 -7.37%
Place Card Me $1202.98 26.31%
Chat Stats $84.69 -18.18%
Total $3281.80 2.28%

August was looking pretty ugly, but I managed to eek past my July profits the heels of two Pegasus sales on the last day of the month. Phew!

Place Card Me is continuing its steady climb out of quarantine—up another 25%, though still down a bit from 2019’s numbers.


August 2020 Time

Time breakdown for August 2020

Time spend this month looks pretty good. I spent about half my non-Dimagi time on Pegasus and the other half on RepoStory (logged as “exploration”).

I’m actually pleasantly surprised that I managed to log more time to Pegasus than RepoStory for the month. It certainly felt like I was spending more time on RepoStory, but possibly because that time started to feel less valuable as the month went on, so I became more aware of it.

OKR check in

Quick check in on my quarterly OKRs.

Project Objective Key Result(s) Status
Financial Achieve financial independence through passive income $4,000 average monthly profit $3200
Pegasus Continue improving Pegasus through real-world needs Launch a new product with Pegasus Done

My OKRs for the quarter

RepoStory checks the box for “new Pegasus project” so that one’s done. Profits continue to look like they’ll come in well under the target for the quarter. I’ll blame the pandemic for that.

This Month’s Goals

  1. Ship the next Pegasus release
  2. Ship “Modern JavaScript” part 4
  3. Co-produce a new human

No recommendations—see you next month!