100 Days of Shipping on Makerlog: Fighting the Founder Fatigue

Shipping is fighting Resistance to deliver Value. It's highly important for makers to develop a shipping habit.

Habits tap into the unconscious part of the brain so that you don't have to rely on external motivation. It's a fundamental mechanism to understand to get things done.

One common occurrence in entrepreneurship is Founder's Fatigue. Building a company is not easy. It's an emotional roller coaster. Some days you feel great, some days it feels like chewing glass and staring at the abyss. You won't always be at the top of your productivity game. Time will tame your excitement. However, it is your role as a professional to deliver value consistently. That's where habits come in.

3 months ago I joined Makerlog, a community centered around a dead-simple task log that helps you stay productive and ship faster. It was made by one awesome dude called Sergio. I started building 200WaD shortly after joining Makerlog. In fact, Makerlog is half of the inspiration for this website, the other one being Medium. I've been logging my tasks continuously for 100 days so far, so you can trace the whole development of 200WaD back to its origin.

I learned valuable lessons along the way, which Makerlog helped me to highlight.

When I got started as an indie maker, I was an adept of the Ship Sheep Mindset, a variant of hustle porn consisting in ticking off a huge amount of tasks for an extended period of time. I would hustle hard, build one product after the other, and end up tired. My Founder's Fatigue would take over, my productivity would fluctuate. If you don't treat your Founder's Fatigue, you burn out, and burning out is committing startup suicide.

I do things differently now.

I apply Kaizen every day. Building a tech product is a marathon. How do you train for a marathon? You don't do marathons to train for marathons. Instead, you practice your sprint or do interval training: a high-intensity exercise for a short period of time, as regularly as possible. You get better eventually, but you have to do it frequently. Similarly, I do at least one thing for my business every day. It can be writing a short post on 200WaD, marketing, or shipping something, be it a 5min feature or a bug fix. At least one session of deep work every day. At least one sensible thing to log in Makerlog.

Sometimes it feels like the business is not evolving. You feel stuck. A simple google search will tell you that it's the same for every entrepreneur at some point. My solution is to adopt a chaos routine: keeping your momentum and excitement going by taking on new challenges as side-projects. These days, for example, I'm working on the website of Alter-Nomad, my upcoming book on modern nomadism. It can be reading a book, try on a new course etc. It doesn't have to be productive per se. I always have the most fantastic ideas when I'm doing unproductive things. Of course, it's important to keep on working on your main project. Side-projects should have short deadlines (a week at most). I see many makers jumping from one project to another: it's not good, it shows a lack of consistency. Inconsistent people can't sell anything because no one can trust they will maintain the project and do their best to iterate.

Learning how to ship in a sustainable fashion is hard. How can I evolve over the next hundred days? Let's see how it goes.

In the meantime, I want to thank Sergio for the awesome community he gathered and for the work he put in. Makerlog is more than a website, it's a platform for every doer to be inspired and inspire. I decided to give back to Makerlog by writing this little piece and becoming a patron, but I am still contemplating new ways to contribute to the future of the platform.