I'm building a new product!

July 2020 Retrospective

After a down June, I’m back to feeling good about the future!


  • I shipped the first three parts of Modern JavaScript for Django Developers and it’s been well-received.
  • I took a week off from my normal day-to-day and built a new product.
  • Profits are continuing on an upwards trajectory.
  • Pegasus passed Place Card Me as my most invested-in project in terms of hours worked.

Last Month’s Goals

# Goal Grade
1 Ship the damn JavaScript post. B+
2 Break ground on a new product. A

Shipping the damn JavaScript post

The big ticket item for the month was finally getting Modern JavaScript for Django Developers out into the world.

Django Javascript

The monkey is off my back!

I decided to break it up and release it in parts, which I think was a good call, else I’d still be working on it. I owe thanks to Mike Lynch and others for the push on this.

Reception has been a little mixed.

I released parts 1 and 2 first and posted on the /r/django Reddit—where my content usually does well. However, this one kind of fizzled out quickly which was a bummer. I think maybe I posted at a bad time of day, but who knows.

Anyway, when I released and posted part 3 later in the month, it did a lot better. And then after releasing part 3, the earlier parts started getting picked up in other places and generating traffic and email sign ups.

July Traffic

Pegasus traffic in July. You can see the two initial Reddit spikes, but the most satisfying part is the long tail of sustained increase after the second one.

In the last 3 weeks I’ve gotten about 4x my normal email subscribers (~40/week vs 10/week), as well as a fair number of personalized “thank you”s so the content is definitely resonating with people which is a relief after all that work.

Another interesting suggestion I’ve gotten is to turn this content into a book / course / educational project. So far I’ve resisted going into the educational space with my content, but the experience has me wondering whether it’s “too valuable” to be only used as lead generation for Pegasus—which very few readers actually seem interested in buying.

Anyway, the most important part is that the monkey is off my back! Hooray.

Breaking ground on a new product

I have a new product! The tagline is “analytics for pull requests and code review”. Here’s a little teaser of the very early draft:

Repo Story

Screenshot of my new, yet-to-be-named product showing data about code collaboration.

If this sounds interesting to you and you’d like to see the demo and provide early feedback, hit me up! It’s live on the internet and I’d love to hear from a few more people before shipping the MVP.

The product arose out of something that my wife and I called a compass week—taking a week off from normal work to reorient and find a new direction. I’m planning to write more about the week in a proper non-retro blog, so will say more then!

Last Month’s Profit

Place Card Me continues to climb out of its Covid hole, and Pegasus had another solid month of gains.

Project Profit Monthly Change
Place Card Me $952.43 43.56%
SaaS Pegasus $2152.75 27.93%
Chat Stats $103.51 -54.17%
Total $3208.69 24.75%

I’m off track for my $4k/month target for this quarter, but there’s still two months to go…


This was a fun month with lots of time for Pegasus and “exploration”—a.k.a. starting a new product.

July 2020 Time

Time breakdown for July 2020

OKR check in

Quick check in on my quarterly OKRs. Finances are behind, but the new product is on track!

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 Looking good.
The Future On pause

This Month’s Goals

This month I’m going all in on the new product! Aiming to get it out in the world as well as do a bit of writing about the process.

  1. Publicly launch the new product
  2. Publish a companion article about the compass week and product building experience


Like many people, the polarization of the discourse in politics—particularly in the US—has been a major source of frustration lately.

A few pieces that helped me better comprehend what’s going on:

  • Wait but why’s “The Story of Us” is an amazing—if ludicrously long—take on the whole situation. It starts getting really good around “The Mute Button” which kicks off the explanation on how influential forces like governments, corporations, and the media can create dissonance between what people actually believe about something and what takes place in the public discourse. Highly recommend the whole series.
  • Paul Graham’s Submarine is a much shorter take on how public relations can influence the media. Written 15 years ago, it’s only gotten more relevant over time.