April Bootstrapping Challenge


ABC Blocks

I spent entirely too much time trying to come up with a catchy sounding name like “March Madness”, “Dry July”, or “Movember” to title this challenge and as you can tell by the title I’ve failed not only myself but all of you who definitely want to talk about this around the water cooler as well.  So the first task of my “April Bootstrapping Challenge” which was to come up with a cool sounding name is down in the books as a failure.  But that’s ok, it can only get better from here!

This April I will be building (and launching) 1 business each week for 4 weeks starting on April 1st.  I’ll be live streaming each day from 5pm-9pm EST except for Wednesdays when I have volunteering commitments which will cut the live stream short.  On top of the live stream I’ll also be producing a short vlog each day to catch you up on any work done after the live stream completed and plans for the day ahead.  Live stream and vlogs will be hosted here.

Each project will start with a base MVP goal for the week and a few stretch goals if I hit that MVP early.

For a few of these projects I’ll be working with technology I’m not an expert in either just because I felt it wasn’t challenging enough.  There is a high probability I’ll fail to hit the deadline on at least one of the projects in which case I’ll be pausing it at the end of the assigned week and restarting it in May.

I have a few hopes for this challenge.

  1. I’d like to get some experience with live streaming and making videos
  2. I’d like to learn some new technologies and improve my skills in others
  3. I’d like to scratch a few itches I’ve been meaning to scratch for a while
  4. I’d like to launch 4 successful businesses
  5. I’d like to inspire at least a few other people to give starting their own businesses a try


The Projects

Week 1 – time tracker

For the first week I’ll be building a time tracking app.  I’ve had a few ideas for one of these which I think will improve usability and I have a plan for an MVP for the challenge which I’ll go over during the first live stream.

Planned Stack: Elixir/Phoenix, Javascript/React, GraphQL

week 2 – inboxlater

Inbox later will allow you to setup an email address that you give out to mailing lists/newsletters that allow you to schedule the delivery to a time that makes the most sense to you.  The idea came from my experience with The Morning Paper and Daily drip.  Being in Australia in both cases the emails would arrive at times that weren’t good for me to spend time reading them/studying and so they would all too often just be skimmed and archived (Inbox zero), or just archived straight away.

Planned Stack: Elixir/Phoenix

week 3 – 10kyear

I saw Josh Dance mention he was working on a mobile push up tracker app on Indie hackers to help him do 10,000 pushups in a year.  That sounded awesome and when he releases it I’m pretty sure I’ll be using it in my gym.  That conversation, though, sparked the idea for this week’s project which is a generalised web based tracker which will allow you to plan and track any year long marathon type challenges you might have.  Be it 50 books read, 365 journal entries made, 10,000 pull ups, 15,000 minutes of audiobooks listened to or 20,000 pages read.

For any that might be wondering, I did contact Josh first to get his go ahead for this one and he very generously gave the go ahead.  Thanks Josh!

Planned Stack: Elixir/Phoenix, Javascript/React, GraphQL

week 4 – tourswarm

This week’s project is the first one that I don’t immediately need for myself.  It is a pivot from a project I’ve been working on and off on and trying to get going for 5 years though.  I’m still debating the exact feature set for the MVP but the general idea is that it is a site to help independent bands book live shows in new area.  Given how long I’ve been working on it I have about 5 years worth of ideas for how to expand on that.

Planned Stack: Elixir/Phoenix

So this is going to be a busy month!  Subscribe to the Youtube channel to follow along

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By shawn

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