Daily #23 All The Things I Quit In 2021

The end of this calendar year is approaching. Seems I should do a review of the last 12 months in some way. I think I will write down all the projects I've tried over the last year. And also why I quit them. Perhaps I'll go in chronological order.

Morning co-working -  I did this for 100 days from 6am to 7am every week day for a period of 5 months in late 2020/early 2021. It was something I always wanted to do since college. Get up early to work before everyone else is up. I finally did it with some consistency.

The same 3 people showed up for a lot of it. That was a nice side effect to make their acquiescence.

Status - I didn't quit this. The goal was 100 days and I achieved this goal. I kept doing this on my own for most of 2021 (depending what was going on with school), but not as consistently. I used this time to meet up with people for "coffee chats", for workout. I don't have a set morning routine and I feel like I never will while there is unpredictability around kids. And I now I now I can do have my morning hour whenever I choose to, I have a system.

Writing Feedback Group - This was an idea I dreamed up (in the shower I think), wrote it out in my notebook, put out a message/event in Ness Labs, and people came. 40 people filled out my excel form then 6-8 people actually participated weekly. I remember working out the logistics one Friday evening (once I already had some traction) and made the templates excel and Google Docs to use during the live sessions. I did 4 live sessions every Friday morning.

Status - I intended to ran this for X weeks and I did. It was a cool feeling to see something I dreamed up come to life. It was a lot of work and I learned that it's not worthwhile doing for free. Also I didn't really care to read certain people's writing (too political and out there). In the future, I'd limit it to Indie biz writing.

The Leaf Node newsletter - vision was to write and share what I was learning. Which I did from December 2020 to August of 2021. For 9 months. But it felt a little empty in some ways. I turned it into the CodeCurious newsletter and sent screencasts. Then when I stopped making screencast one week, I stopped sending the newsletter too.

Status - quit because I ran out of topics to write about I think. Also there was a lack of any feedback or exchange. I sent it to ~150 people but never knew who they were, never connected. (Hm...actually I do recall getting a handful of nice replies early on and people say they love my writing. I guess I forgot about those. But still wasn't enough)

Why It Works IndieHackers Series - noticed that this was an option so I applied, Channing got back to me, gave me his telegram handle. And I started with Leave Me Alone story, which was on the front page and got tons of subscribers. In the end I did 6 or 7 episodes and collected ~475 subscribers. So it definitely had resonance. I framed it as "how they got their first 100 customers", I think I got this idea from someone else on the newsletter telegram doing something similar with success. I was sending these stories to "The Leaf Node" newsletter as well (before I switch it to CodeCurious).

Status - I stopped after 6 or  7 weeks. Bored of reading other people's stories. Also I never got a chance to connect with the people I was writing about, which I thought would happen but it didn't (e.g. I reached out to the Leave Me Alone founders and they never got back to me). I also learned of some yellow flags about the Teaching company (like doing fake 'live' webinars and pretending).

IndieHacker's pod database of insights - 26 in 26 days. It was great to do. It was tedious at times but I was in flow state. I had a process worked out. I listened while walking, jotted down in a notebook I placed at the edge of the countertop. The I transferred the notes to the airtable database. I tweeted at the people whose episode I just listened to. I posted on twitter when I'd done 10 episodes as a preview. I got to DM-ing with a few of the guests (including Mubs). Arvid Kahl commented and followed up. That was the first time I got any traction/engagement on Twitter and it was fun (and also short lived).

Status - quit. reason = bored of listening to other people's stories. Ready to create my own story. Quit listening to podcasts and went on an advice consumption diet for 100 days (~3 months) after this. That was good. I don't feel the need to listen to too many podcasts for advice or even read articles. I started feeling like I know what to do, like I see patterns repeated. Getting down to some truths.

Community Finder - Intention was to use no-code tools. Used webflow, launched it on Product Hunt (in 20 minutes on a whim). I think it made it to the bottom of the front page with ~50 votes so hey all good. Was expecting crickets. I was not planning to charge for this nor did I position it in a way that I could.

Status - didn't feel like paying $20/month to webflow to host it. So took it off. There is something to this idea, more than one person DM-ed few months later looking for it.

CodeCurious screencasts - started by recording Javascript stuff, ES6 stuff. I got to 15 videos over a few weeks.

Status - hm..not sure. I haven't quit but I'm also not working on this. This is something that I see in my future. Maybe starting in a more lower pressure way, make screencasts for future Bhumi to remember stuff (e.g how to install and configure redis or how to use stripe cli or some concept like important maps)

Thinking Out Loud podcast - this was an experiment. Something I did without giving it too much thought. My goal was to learn the logistics of podcasting, to publish something and get it to show up in my podcast player. Kinda like a hello world podcast so I did that. The secondary goal was to process my thoughts but do it more publicly, build in public and whatnot.

Status - I still want to do something like this in some form. The main reason I didn't do a second episode is because the first one took way too long to write and record (most of the time was writing). Like 10 hours.

CodeCurious Group Mentorship - made a landing page. Got people to fill out the form. Contacted 7 people, had one meeting, one no-show, some emails.

Status - there is still something to this idea. Live interactive teaching is personally appealing to me vs. making 'content' and posting. It would be more natural and less pressure to be perfectly recorded. Doing a take#2 of this is on deck for Q1 of next year. I can also try group teaching by applying to teach remotely at one of the coding bootcamps (hackbright?).

Shopify subscription app/business - motivator is the desire to create a B2B SaaS business for the 4M dream. This came to an inflection point in mid to end November. (will need to do a seperate write-up, too long)

Status - on hold. While I focus on doing the thing I actually think I want to do (teaching, writing/reading, coding)

Indie Book Notes - started as a way of doing daily things. Reading and taking notes and sharing. First book was Deploy Empathy on customer interviews, second is The Boron Letters on copywriting. I like both of these. My note taking process probably needs some streamlining. It takes a bit too long. But it's okay. I do the slow reading thing.

Status - ongoing.

Couple more things.

Not a project but an initiative I started this year was habit tracking in a notebook daily - I quit this in July and gave up in August. It was a matter of what was going on in family life. I am happy about the experiments I did at the beginning of the year, the recording myself reading startup essays daily and the sketchnotes especially.

One other thing I attempted is "Indie Austin". This failed or at least it didn't go anywhere with the approach I used. Which was posting a meetup on IndieHackers. It needs a different approach. Ideally I want to just join an existing local indie community but there doesn't seem to be any (talked to Channing and Charlie about this).

deep breath That was quite an exercise to write all this down. Didn't exactly make me feel good about myself seeing all the things I quit. A more positive way to look at it of course is that I tried, took action. And this was all in 12.5 to 16 hours per week of work time.