This is a big thing for me. I have been learning Django for several months now (around 4). I built a website with it, thanks to all the great tutorials out there. Building a Web App is a whole different thing though.
I have struggled to find time and courage to actually build this thing. It took many different forms and ideas while I was building it.
I want to give a quick shout-out to people/resources that helped me achieve this. I'd like to thank:
- my wife for putting up with me during this long and hard process!
- the StackOverflow community (especially to Daniel Roseman who answers a ton of questions and very quickly I have to say).
- William Vincent for writing a lot of good tutorials.
- IndieHackers Community for constant inspiration.
- Coutland Allen for building Indiehackers and for the podcast, which is extremely inspirational.
This list can drag along pretty far. The point is I am thankful to all the people who helped me with this. Funny enough, none of those people know they have helped me.
I wanted to build something. Anything, not necessarily a web app.
Note: While writing this I feel so shitty for some reason... "Who are you to be writing about this?", "No one cares..." are the thought that comes to my head...
I needed some extra money to live off, since my current wage is not enough. This leads me to try a bunch of things.
- I tried to build a t-shirt shop with Shopify, that failed.
- I tried to build a website with Wordpress to sell some written work. That failed too.
- I tried to record myself cooking to make a Youtube channel, I didn't follow through.
- I made a business newsletter for Russian Entrepreneurs. No, signups.
- I made an online journal so that students can post their work for the world to see. No submissions...
I was kind of sad and decided to do something that will at least help me get a better job. The first thing was to make a website. I tried, Wix.com, Jekyll, plain HTML, it was all shiiiiiiiit. Really, really bad... This is turning into my life story, which it is not supposed to be. I will stop now and will continue this story sometime in the future, promise. Long story short, I decided to learn Django and after making the website I was happy about I decided to build some kind of SaaS product that people would pay for.
One of the ideas was inspired by Derek Sivers. More specifically, by hist post on Journaling. There he talked about the benefits of journaling.
If you care about your thoughts, keep them.
One of the ideas was to also have "Thought On" Journals, for all the different thought you might have. For example, Derek has Journals about Airports, Sex, Travel and a bunch of others.
I thought that was a great idea for a web app. Allow people to create journals for any thought that they have. That's it. That was the premise of the app and I have now built it. Now you can do that.
Building it was not very hard with the knowledge I gathered in roughly 3 months of building my personal website. The hardest thing was to actually start building it, finding time to continue building it and to have the balls to follow through and finish building it. Somehow, I managed to do all that and am still pleasantly surprised that I did.
Just as a remark I want to add that it wasn't super easy all the time, I ran into errors all the time. All. The. Time. You just need to be an adult and seek help. StackOverflow is a great place to ask for help.
Pricing and Next Steps
I thought that this is not enough to ask people for money and so I decided to make it free until I build the next feature. The next feature will be akin to a Personal CRM like MonicaHQ.
I think the price I will be asking for is around 4.99 a month. I won't be expecting much excitement or registration at that price point. If someone signs up I will be super happy, otherwise, I will be happy just using it myself.
Just because this is the first post about me building something, I wanted to tell a lot more, but it is very easy to go down the rabbit hole of telling you each small detail about my thought process and all the vents that happened to me before I actually published. Life is a hard and complicated thing. It is very hard to isolate specific events that lead to other events. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Hopefully, if I continue to work and write about it, I won't have to talk about the details so much and a lot of things will start to become self-evident.