I am a software craftsman. Creating software products is not only a job or an impulse, but it is also a need. If I spend more than a few days just consuming or doing nothing, I feel drained. Creativity is a fire you must release, or the energy ends up bursting out of you.
In June last year, I decided to open a one-man business that would allow me to launch all the tech products I am dreaming of, in order to confront them with reality.
Over the last six years as an engineering student, I learned that the success of a project is about three things: community, accountability, and execution.
I need people. Humans are social animals. I know I cannot do this alone. Self-made men/women are a myth. Selling is all about people. If you don’t add value, you cannot sell.
Before selling a product, you need to sell yourself. People need to know your business. More importantly, they want to know your values, your vision. More than selling products, there is a social responsibility to any artisan. Communities are built around common values expressed throughout the creation of content: blog posts, pictures, tweets etc. I love sharing what I experience, and I love writing, so it was only natural to grow a way to document the whole process of building a business. That’s how I started writing, which later would lead me to start the 200 words a day challenge and build a product out of it. Writing is for businesses a sort of making-of, a way to understand Why and How they do things so that they can help and/or inspire their readers, and possibly build an informal community.
A community originates from trust, from a social pact. Accountability makes sure the pact is respected. Businesses have to be accountable to stay aligned with their objectives. For example, 200WaD is an open project: transparent and publicly accessible. Being transparent is not only being respectful of your users/community, but it is also a way to include them in the journey.
A well-planned project and a great community cannot help a bad maker: execution is key.
Over the past six years, I have experimented on possible manners to maximize my personal productivity for the sole purpose of becoming a great software craftsman. I developed a personal routine to support both smart and hard work. I tried my limits in a remote work environment, in Stockholm, Geneva, Warsaw, Budapest, and Paris for a total of two years. In Asia for almost five months. I learned a lot about myself and how to use travel as an enabler. Reducing the amount of money I spend per month makes ramen profitability more achievable. Solo-traveling to a location where I barely know anyone allows me to dedicate myself fully to my mission with a laser-like focus.
I greatly admire makers such as levelsio. Makers are opening a path to a more ethical and sustainable way of building businesses.
I spent five months solo traveling to build indie tech products, with one goal in mind: to reach mastery, meaning, to build a great product.