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Ending Speedrun

·3 mins

I’ve decided to end the speedrun ahead of its completion, which I started 3 weeks ago.

There are a couple of reasons.

The first reason is it has fulfilled its purpose. #

I wanted to get myself out of the “Engineer/Consultant” mindset and into the “Product building” mindset and I believe I’m there currently.

What’s the difference? #

As an engineer, you look at the business through your code and naturally, give over importance to it. You fail to realize the primary goal of your business is to make money and not have a healthy test case or have the one-click CI/CD deployment.

Whereas in the alternate, you look for things that make the business move. And code is just a single part of it. There is customer success, marketing, planning features, and so on.

I was always biased and prioritized engineering-related tasks in my sideprojects and neglected the other areas.

With Speedrun, the goal was clearly defined, release the product in 2 weeks. It forced me to think beyond the code and let me take shortcuts that I wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

The second reason is RosterBird. #

I put up RosterBird for sale a few weeks ago on acquire. Because I believed I have reached a limit on what I can do with my skills to take it further. And since I had it for 2 years as a side-project, I thought to try something new.

I put it for sale half-heartedly at that time because I knew I haven’t given the attention it deserves. I’ve always dealt with it as an engineer, not as a product owner (case in point, I changed the app’s frontend theme 6 times(!) over the 2 years).

And recently, my other full-time commitment ended. Instead of looking for another job/consulting gig, I’m venturing into building my own business. And so, with more time and attention available, I’ve decided to give RosterBird a fair chance before throwing in the towel.

I did field a few interested parties and a low-end offer, but, thankfully I made the decision sooner before the buyers had to spend their time on it (or send a legitimate offer).

Conclusion #

The first sprint in the speedrun has helped me tune my mindset on certain things, so I’m happy that I did it. I initially worried about stopping something too early, but it made sense to finish it when it has served its purpose than drag on and do it for the sake of it.

I’ll be spending the next few months focusing on the growth of RosterBird (along with my other upcoming projects). I have a few ideas (definitely not jumping to building features or changing the theme yet) and many areas that I want to focus on.

There are several specific tasks I have in mind, but broadly I want to focus on these three areas,

  • Marketing/SEO: Slack is presently the primary driver of installations, but the position has already been hijacked by another app with just “Rosters” in its name. How to diversify? How to enable more users to discover RosterBird?
  • Relook at pricing: The value proposition. Flat rate vs per seat.
  • Customer Success: Talk to existing customers - about how to make RosterBird more useful for them.