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How I Tricked Myself into Shipping Too Late (mtlynch.io)
5 points by aberoham 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments



Author here. Happy to answer any questions about the post.


What is the current disposition of Zestful, have you ultimately found any users?

What technique did you settle on for parsing ingredient lists?

Do you use Zestful yourself, did you retrofit it on to any of your prior project ideas?

Besides validating demand sooner what else would you do differently next time? What project are you doing next? (These are neat)


Thanks for reading!

>What is the current disposition of Zestful, have you ultimately found any users?

It's currently in maintenance mode. My only cost is a single Heroku instance, and I can actually downgrade to the free tier if I'm willing to sacrifice a bit of performance.

I haven't found users. A few clients said they have project plans that will include Zestful, but they don't sound very definite. I think it's possible that it will eventually get a bit of business if a new project searches for an ingredient parsing API and chooses mine among the options available.

>What technique did you settle on for parsing ingredient lists?

I used linear-chain conditional random fields. I based my design on similar work by the New York Times a few years ago:

https://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/extracting-structu...

I have a blog series about how I cleaned up their code and used it as the foundation for Zestful:

https://mtlynch.io/resurrecting-1/

>Do you use Zestful yourself, did you retrofit it on to any of your prior project ideas?

Yep, I use it on KetoHub, my keto recipe search engine:

https://ketohub.io/

>Besides validating demand sooner what else would you do differently next time?

Good question. I'm not sure. I might adjust the money I spent on contractors. For this project, I spent about $8k on a Python developer to assist me with development, but I know Python pretty well. The money might have been spent better hiring someone to make a basic website because I'm not good at web design and I'm not crazy about the page I created. At the same time, I do want to get better at web design and not be dependent on contractors for all my web stuff because that slows down the process. I might try hiring someone to create a boilerplate site/theme then work from there.

>What project are you doing next?

Someone has approached me about potentially building a product for curating cryptocurrency news. I'm interested because I like cryptocurrency and it feels like it plays to my strengths, but we're still early in the process.




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