The Lost Month

March 2021 Retrospective

I’m calling March 2021 “the lost month” because very little happened on my personal project roadmap.

What did happen was a Pegasus consulting gig got a little out of control.

That said, I did manage to get to a better place with my “building in public” ruminations and—despite doing nothing—profits are back on the upswing!

Last Month’s Profit

Project Profit Monthly Change
SaaS Pegasus $4029.37 71.67%
Place Card Me $934.73 24.40%
Chat Stats $150.46 -5.94%
Total $5114.56 56.96%

A good month after a bad month—once again not really tied to anything I did.

This further reinforces the beauty (and pain) of passive income: decoupling my direct actions from my income.

Thoughts

Two quick takes on the month past:

A whirlwind contracting engagement

Last month I mentioned I had taken on a rare Pegasus accelerator package, citing “an impressive founder, a fun and interesting product, and lots of tech that I hope will be useful to bring back into Pegasus itself afterwards.”

Anyways—as these things sometimes do—the plans and scope evolved as we dug in, and I found myself spending a lot more time than I expected on this project. As a result I got barely anything else done.

I have learned a lot, a lot of which is going to be useful for Pegasus eventually. And at the same time I’m also looking forward to wrapping things up and setting my own terms again.

Building in public, revisited

Last month I also mentioned some recent hesitations I’d been having with building in public.

Part of those hesitations were driven by working on my own Twitter analytics app. Basically, while “dogfooding” my app I tried to tweet regularly and started paying attention to stuff like likes, engagement, and follower growth.

And it kind of made me miserable.

My tweets that did well were little dopamine hits, but the (much larger number of) tweets that did poorly made me feel shitty. And I started tweeting things just for the engagement, instead of actually saying what I wanted to say—which also made me feel icky about myself.

So this past month I…stopped.

I just tweeted when I felt like it, which was closer to weekly than daily. And I stopped looking at engagement. And I was much happier.1

Twitter Analytics

My drop off in twitter use and engagement this month. Not shown is the soaring “happiness” metric.

Unfortunately, this now has me wondering whether building a Twitter analytics product is actually opposed to my moral philosophy in some way, or—being less preachy and more practical about it—bad for my own happiness.

So I’m also uncertain about the future of that little project. But that’s ok, I’ve got a lot on my plate.

Last Month’s Goals

# Goal Grade
1 Come up with the next big-ticket Pegasus item and start working on it. F
2 Start at least one new marketing effort. C

Choosing the Next Big Thing

The loss in time killed most of my progress on the Pegasus front, though I am continuing to find parts of it to change and improve as I use it to build a new (and substantial) codebase.

Also in some ways working to someone else’s requirements may be more representative of my customers’ experience than working on my own projects. So it isn’t all bad, just not manifesting as a “next big thing” so much as “making the existing thing way better in lots of small ways”.

Start at least one new marketing effort

I spent very little time on marketing, but I did manage to book a podcast appearance on Django Chat and submit a “Modern JavaScript for Django Developers” talk to a few more conferences. So far I’ve been rejected from PyCon US, and am waiting to hear back from DjangoCon EU.

These fit nicely into “things that don’t take a lot of time but might grow my/Pegasus’s audience substantially”—which is all I’ve had time for at the moment.

Time

March 2021 Time

Time breakdown for Month 2021

Very similar to last month—though the Pegasus bucket includes much more contract work.

Weekly surfing is going well, and I think after 2+ years of stagnation after my first son was born, I may actually be improving again, albeit very, very slowly.

This Month’s Goals

  • Wrap up the Pegasus contracting gig—with everyone involved happy
  • Create the Pegasus roadmap for Q2 (April-June)

Hoping to wrap all my external commitments and get back to some high-level plans for my own projects again!


  1. I took a similar approach with this retro, attempting to write what I felt like instead of what I thought people might “like”. Sorry/not sorry if you don’t like it. 

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