It took a weekend to build a proof of concept, then I released it to the public. As I improved it, the user base grew slowly. Then, a year later, I was able to quit my job to pursue it full-time. If you're curious, I have an Interview [https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses/insomnia] on Indie Hackers with more detail.
I know the "if it works for you, stick with it" saying, but I would really like to give it a go if it would have better features I may not be aware about!
Congrats on the app and being able to work on it full-time! That's a big achievement!
> You agree that Floating Keyboard Software may collect and use information gathered in any manner as part of the product support services provided to you, if any, related to Insomnia REST Client. Floating Keyboard Software may also use this information to provide notices to you which may be of use or interest to you.
Wait what? I guess I won't be going anywhere near this thing.
The app is completely open source, and you can see everything it's doing here: http://github.com/getinsomnia/insomnia
IMO there's no shame in working on your own derivation of an existing idea (take FB as one example). Sometimes a tweak here or there can be the difference between a good idea and game-changing one. Also it gives you the chance to 'edit' an existing product which is both a fun and thought provoking experience that can really hone your skills.
One thing I have noticed that sort-of breaks the experience for me is that every song change, room change, or anything else that stops music automatically changes my current device on spotify to the incorrect device.
So constantly change it back to my work computer rather than my home computer it a huge pain currently.
You can also try the 'click here to retry' button which should do the trick if you do in fact have Spotify premium.
Are you planning on adding soundcloud integration?
Given the recent soundcloud layoffs and financial trouble I would understand if you were hesitant about putting in that time
Eventually, I set a deadline for myself; I said if, six months later, I couldn’t scratch the itch to make something better (or at least find something better) than what I was using, then I’d start working on it.
The six months passed, and so it was born:
* A nice, pretty subscription page. (There's also an embeddable widget and a REST endpoint, if you'd prefer that.)
* Newsletters are all automatically published to an RSS/ATOM feed.
For example, when I had a contract programming business 10 years ago I absolutely despised the RFP process. I still have a business plan sitting around built entirely around that flow. I still hate the RFP process, but I figured if this thing is going to still be a thing I may as well make money off of it.
If I ever had free time to just sit and build stuff day after day you'd end up with this entire incoherent set of businesses based on things that I couldn't stand. :)
Unrelated tip: beware trying to make money targeting developers. We are a bunch of cheap asses, and we expect everything to be free. Target consumers and/or businesses instead.
I built [https://wherecaniwatchmy.team] as a site specifically for determining which streaming service is best for watching a specific sports team.
I'm no entrepreneur, but I think it's something that could actually turn into a basic side income.
Or simple you like to do something by passion and spend time on it.
I run a small SaaS and I found myself constantly creating and updating HTML pages of various types: help and documentation for users, landing pages, product description, in-app content etc... There are myriad solutions for each of these, but none really nailed the use-case to me so I imagined what I really wanted and started building it.
It's taken a long time but Cicerone is getting close to an alpha release. Basically it's the most pleasant way of creating structured HTML content that I could come up with. http://cicerone.co
I'm happy to hear any kind of feedback and criticism.
I spoke at PyCon AU 2016 on "Controlling a 3D Printer with Python" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgvnPB_77z8). I wanted a 3D-printed prop and came up with an idea for The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment - a staff with the Python logo on top. A friend designed it, I printed it and it was a big hit with the Pythonistas. A few asked "where can I buy one?".
A year later we're about to launch Enstaved (https://www.enstaved.com). It's a service that lets you design your own staff using a range of toppers and colors which we then print and post to you.
What then happened is that a couple of those people found the contact form on my website, thanked me for my program, but also asked "Would you be kind enough and interested to write this [other program that automates a task I do often]." Those ideas are the ones that actually made money for me.
So make it really easy for people to contact you and talk about the problems they have. Give something away, to encourage those people to find you in the first place. And put contact forms everywhere, so even launching email or Twitter isn't an obstacle to contacting you.
Once you start to work on an even mediocre side project, just wait and after few days you get so many new ideas coming out of the mediocre project.
So, the message is, just start working on any idea.
The best things - perhaps the only things to really motivate you - are the ones that scratch your own itch. Otherwise, you'll get demotivated or loose interest. You need to build something for you and hope it appeals to others.
 A DNS monitoring & change alerter called DNS Spy; https://dnsspy.io/
A lot of my web project ideas are related to the video game community because I often use and contribute to them and constantly find certain things lacking (wikis, forums, list trackers, news). So this project has nicely grew into something that I can both learn from and enjoy building for the long term. Of course there are the tedious parts (like upgrades and maintenance) but they're overcome gradually; it is just a side project right now.
Me and my wife were working on a way to take game wikis and make them mobile friendly for when we play games like Starbound / Stardew Valley. These types of projects are fun because you're feeling the pain of it while trying to have fun so it's a lot of motivation.
Obviously, folks at Slack preferred a less-potentially confusing name, but they liked the idea, so I'm still working on it.
1. Projects that yield nothing financially.
2. Projects that help me establish me as a .. idk.. thoughtleader(?) in certain specific niche fields.
3. I've written 2 libraries in particular that netted me a number of consulting gigs. For about 2 years I was able to travel around the world supporting myself with this, and I worked for companies on location in 4 continents. This was a pretty great time of my life, but I got bored working on a single project.
So definitely more than beer money for that last one, but it might have been a fluke. Generally it's not my aim to do this for my side projects. I make enough money, so I do it because I enjoy it.
Years of leading agency and consultancy projects for other people and never being able to remember whether stuff was in a Trello card, a Slack message, a Drive file, an email etc meant I was scratching my own itch.
It's now in private beta with a couple of companies here in the UK and I'm planning for a wider launch in a month or so (here's hoping)
This could be anything that you naturally find interesting - books, art, armadillos, roofing etc. Engage with other people that also find this topic interesting.
It'll take several months, but you'll uncover more problems than you'll have time for. And the best part - you now get to pick a problem you care about, and build a solution for it.
Publishing? There are big companies or now you can self-publish. There are many video tutorials, courses, and blogs all dedicated to self-publishing, so even the online education realm of things seems to be taken.
Writing books? Ok sure you can write a book just like you can produce a single piece of any kind of content, so that can't count. Software to assist in writing books? From my quick search, there's Scrivener, and a bunch of other platforms and apps.
Want to write a book without typing? Hmm, there's already a bunch of speech-to-text apps like Dragon.
Buying books? Amazon.
Audio books? Audible.
Collecting books? Hmm ok, may be something in there. Site that lists the top 100 books from prior years? Or a top 10 per genre, per year (historical).
The reality is coming up with an idea is already hard. Coming up with a business is much harder.
Would love an idea in this space.
B) The whole point of being involved in a specific community (e.g. fantasy books written by Terry Brooks) is that issues will crop up naturally that you, as a dev, may be in a position to solve. Theorizing on problems in this thread is the exact opposite of my suggestion.
C) The topics were half in jest (see 'armadillos'), and were just meant to kickstart the OP's thinking process.
The process of coming up with an idea shouldn't have to happen in a vacuum. The point it to solve problems you encounter and help solve them.
Often there is little or no competition in these uber-small markets. Because you are your own customer, you might have a good idea of your monetization options.
Even if you fail monetarily, at least you solved your pain point.
To save me the hassle I developed Unfollow (https://www.unfollow.io). You sign up, connect your Twitch account and it starts tracking your unfollowers and notifies you.
I didn't develop this because I want to encourage people to care about their unfollowers. It's about curiousity. The curiosity about this person who's not following you anymore. I hope the tool can help people satisfy this curiosity.
People and their energy levels are different, I guess. I wish I had the willpower and stamina.
So I built Postways . In a nutshell, it's basically a message management system with a unified API for sending email, sms and mobile push were you have to bring your own AWS account or SMTP server.
To be fair, there was a number of plugins out there that did it in various text editors, but I was too dumb to be able to use them. None worked out of the box. So I contributed a bit to one project that looked promising and then quickly branched off to create EasyClangComplete for Sublime Text. I've been working on it on weekends and nights for over a year now and it is an important tool in my workflow. Also, I feel inspired by approx. 9000 people who have installed it throughout the time it existed.
So I made https://www.remotepassword.com where you can store a GPG encrypted version of the password and then call-decrypt-passthrough the password to the command line. If the device is compromised, you can deactivate the online password and no-one can get access to your data.
It hasn't really caught on but I hedged my bets a little by trying to optimize for learning. On that front it was highly rewarding.
So I have decided to put all this info on single place - https://prime-numbers.info - but there is lot of them so I am at C now. :)
We needed to forward webhooks to one, or multiple hosts; sometimes mutate them (split, …). Sometimes forward, sometimes no. So I created Hook+ [https://hook.plus]. Still not finished at all, needs some docs, etc…. But I plan to properly finish it by the end of the year. :)
The idea in itself already exists, it's not a revolutionnary tool at all.
Consequently, my current side project is a task and information management app, so I'll never not be able to capture any ideas I trip over it in the morning :) It has a wiki and systems for note taking, spaced repetition, a DSL and plugin system.
At this point, it's turned into the dwarf fortress of todo apps, pretty much :)
Write down those problems and apply a design thinking process, so you don't invest time in them if they aren't worth it. :)
The reason it was created is because the only stable option for developing on this specific platform was to buy an IDE from IBM. My goal is to provide a free option to developers.
This project only started because I couldn't afford the IBM product.
After several pivots of the original idea in my head I came up with my side project which is thrice removed from the original idea.
Anyway, during this time I thought a lot about all the places we'd lived and was feeling a bit nostalgic both for Alabama and my original home in Ukraine. I thought back on my favorite childhood memories, which were all at my grandparents' summerhouse in Kherson. One day when I was maybe six or seven years old it was raining really hard and a bunch of snails were crawling around everywhere. I captured some and had them race on the pavement. I "trained" them to crawl in a straight line (I swear this actually happened - or at least that is how I remember it). When I was done I put them all in my orange fishing bucket with leaves, water, and berries and put them aside figuring they'd be gone by the evening. When I came back in the evening they _were_ gone, but I spotted them all around the bucket (crawling away). The next morning, though, they were all back! This went on for a few days - the snails would leave around the evening and be back in the bucket by the next day. I thought it was really cool!
A few days later we had planned to go fishing the next morning with my grandfather so I knew I'd need my orange bucket back. That night before going to bed I put all the snails out into our garden patch and cleaned out the bucket to be ready by morning. But in the morning, the snails were back again. So I couldn't go fishing. This went on for another couple of days and each time I got more and more annoyed at the snails coming back. Even though I tried to "hide" the bucket from the snails by moving it around, they would always find it. One time I put the snails out into the patch again in the morning and went to get ready for fishing thinking they wouldn't be able to crawl back that fast, but when I got back most of them were just back again. I'm not sure why my kid-mind at the time didn't just put the snails away again right before leaving and take bucket, but I didn't.
Finally one morning after a few days of this I was angry. I was really excited about going to fish and there were a bunch of snails in my bucket again. I grabbed the bucket and started throwing the snails out one by one into the patch. I was so annoyed and didn't care about taking them out of their home anymore. The snails landed out of sight and in my mind I wasn't hurting them, since I was throwing them where they'd land on vegetation or soft earth. Except I misjudged a throw and accidentally threw one of the snails right in front of me - it hit a rock or branch or something and its shell cracked in a really bad way. I could see the body spilling out of the shell, and it was still alive and moving but I knew it was dying. That's when I realized I'd been hurting them, and now I'd killed at least this one. I was horrified, started crying - the thought of putting the snail out of its misery didn't even cross my mind. I felt awful and decided the snails could have my bucket and live there for as long as they want, so I tried to find some of the other snails I'd thrown away but it was too late - I couldn't find them anywhere. I ended up leaving to go fishing with the bucket.
As a kid I got over and forgot the incident by probably the next day, but in Fremantle when I thought about it again I just felt guilty again. And then I remembered how cool it was that the snails would crawl in a straight line when I raced them, and how it was even cooler that they kept coming back "home" even though I wasn't trapping them in the bucket! So I got the idea for a snail racing website where people could find virtual snails, take care of them, race them against each other, and breed them. My favorite games to play at the time were PHP browser games, so I envisioned it being written in PHP.
I had a few false starts over the years; when I first had the idea I only knew a bit of HTML and CSS and had no skills to build this thing. I didn't seriously start working on it until later, but that is my side project - a snail and snail management simulation - and I have a feeling I won't move on to anything else for a very long time.