No Regrets, Even for the Pointless Projects

No Regrets, Even for the Pointless Projects

"It's the journey, not the destination"

With much fanfare and celebration Tweet Sweep launched! Well, fanfare and celebration by me, at least.

Three months of work, about $100 of spend on things like domain names and web hosting, and what happened? Nothing. Two weeks after I put it live, fewer than 100 people have visited, fewer than 20 signed up, fewer than 10 actually ran a Sweep, and no one bought a Supporter membership for the advanced features.

The pessimistic read is that Tweet Sweep was a pointless project and failed. Indeed, about a month ago I realized there probably weren't that many people out there who, like me, wanted to delete their old and unloved Tweets while keeping the quality ones.

That's ok. At a bare minimum, it was a success because I wanted to delete those old Tweets and I was able to do that. Anything further was a bonus.

And there was a lot of bonus that I got from Tweet Sweep! Even if the project wasn't a success in terms of becoming a popular product (so far - we'll see if anyone of you sign up because of this post...), it was a huge success in terms of what it taught me. Over the course of making Tweet Sweep, I had to hone a whole slew of skills I had never flexed before:

  1. First and foremost - how to happily walk away from a task even knowing it wasn't done perfectly.

  2. How to break a project out into multiple packages inside of a single yarn workspace.

  3. How to build a GraphQL API with Nexus.

  4. How to use Queue Workers to do large, slow, or scheduled jobs asynchronously from http calls to the API. See my blog post about this.

  5. The ins and outs of NextJS's built-in backend API.

  6. A better sense for when I should use someone else's solution rather than building it myself. See my blog post about this.

  7. How React Suspense works and how I could use it in my apps.

  8. How to integrate with Stripe to handle payments and subscriptions.

  9. How to deploy Node apps inside of Docker containers.

And those are just the ones that were big enough to blog about (some of those are still on my to-write list). I'm sure there are tons of little bits of knowledge I picked up along the way that I am not even conscious of learning.

The point of all this is that a side project is a wonderfully sneaky way to grow your confidence with your tools. Even projects with a whopping $0 MRR can change your life by teaching you powerful new skills that will carry you through your next project smoother and faster. I know that my next project will be faster, easier to deploy, better marketed, and maybe more successful than Tweet Sweep - but it will be all of those things solely because of the experience I had building this project.

So check out Tweet Sweep. Or don't. I won't regret the weeks I spent on it either way.

But if you do check it out and want to become a Supporter, until September you can use promo code NOREGRETS for a permanent 50% off of any tier.

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