Momentum

September 2021 Retrospective

Usually this retro is an excuse to take a step back, think big picture, and figure out what I should be doing. But every once in a while I’m already sprinting forward, feeling good, and know exactly what I want to do next.

This is one of those rare months where I’m coming into the retro with a good amount of momentum, so I’m mostly just getting it out of the way and pressing on. Let’s do this.

Last Month’s Profit

Project Profit Monthly Change
SaaS Pegasus $5455.38 -6.34%
Place Card Me $2099.77 1.22%
Chat Stats $56.46 -57.14%
Total $7611.61 -5.22%

A slightly down month, but still very solid overall. I’m in good shape to pass my $65K on the year goal (already at ~$56K with 3 months left).

Last Month’s Goals

# Goal Grade
1 Ship a substantial pegasus release A
2 Record a solid talk for DjangoCon A

Ship a substantial pegasus release: A

Pegasus version 0.18 shipped two days ago, just under the gun.

It was an odd release, because it feels big and yet added no new functionality. Basically, I made it possible to swap out React (a JavaScript framework) for HTMX (another JavaScript framework—but one that doesn’t require you to write your own JavaScript).

The headline is that Pegasus customers no longer have to use React if they don’t want to, which is a win for many of them.

I’m continuing to find the “major monthly release” goal highly valuable. This month, I likely wouldn’t have gotten one out except for feeling like I had to. Also, it’s great having an excuse to email the Pegasus list once a month without feeling too spammy!

Record a solid talk for DjangoCon: A

Honestly, I think getting Covid actually helped with this goal.

My talk was due September 7th. I came out of quarantine on September 6th. So basically I had two work days to finish and record the whole thing. That meant I couldn’t spend the infinite amounts of time tweaking and editing it that I normally would, and just had to record it and ship the damn thing.

I think the talk is better than the previous two iterations I’ve given. But even if it’s not, it’s surely good enough.

I’ve vowed never to give this talk again, no matter how easy I think it will be. But I am interested in coming up with a new one for next year…

Time

Month 2021 Time

Time breakdown for September 2021

Pegasus time was a bit down for this month for two reasons:

  1. It was a shorter than normal month due to the quarantine.
  2. I’ve got a new project in the works (filed under exploration).

Still feeling good about this overall breakdown overall, though.

This Month’s Goals

I’m looking forward to this month! I don’t have any contract work scheduled which means I can be a bit more ambitious with my own goals:

  1. Ship a substantial pegasus release. I’m not confident I’ll succeed this month, but I’m keeping it to force myself to try.
  2. Draft “Modern JavaScript for Django Developers” Part 5. Now that I’ve spent some time working with several low-JS frameworks, it feels like the perfect time to finally revisit the series and talk about alternatives to big frameworks. I’m hoping maybe I can time the release with a Pegasus Black Friday sale in November to drive traffic at a strategic time.
  3. Ship the first iteration of my new secret thing. I’ve been spending a lot of time on a major new passion project. But—at least for now—I’m not talking about it publicly. Still, I want to figure out what I’m doing with it and put it into the world somehow. So I need to figure that out.

Recommendations

Been a while since I’ve done this, but here’s a few recommendations from the month:

  • Book: The Coddling of the American Mind. This was an eye-opening account of how and why politics and social policies have evolved on college campuses (and now workplaces) over the last 5-10 years. I also found it to be full of useful parenting advice in terms of how to raise resilient kids. My favorite takeaway in one line: prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child. In other words, create children that are resilient rather than trying to make the entire world a place where they never encounter any hardship.
  • Podcast: Honestly. Bari Weiss is a former New York Times reporter who left the paper after finding their editorial policies oppressive. The conversations she has are wonderfully open and thoughtful. She also has a great substack.

See you next month!

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