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Ask HN: What is something you built but never marketed?
159 points by leobg 43 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 297 comments
Things you made that could be valuable to other people if they used it, but which you abandoned because you enjoyed making the thing more than you would have enjoyed marketing it.

About half of the 30 or so bands I have played with have been abandoned after a couple of gigs, or non at all.

Mostly I've only just played music for fun. It's much more fun (and certainly easier) playing at some friend's house every week for 18 months than it is to book performances, market the band, produce works for the public, etc.

I have a sticker on my truck that says "This Sticker Will Last Longer Than Your Band", and that's been true.

I don't regret learning to play the entirety of Dark Side of the Moon and performing it once. I know so much Grateful Dead. I've play dozens and dozens of original songs written by friends that won't ever get any attention outside of the 20 people who were paying attention at some bar.

I've also played with more commercially focused endeavors and have an idea of the horrors of trying to tour and manage the commercial aspects of music. It's not like most of these bands were any worse or could not have been marketed.

I've played with a lot of folks who have only ever been in one or two bands.

The thing I find interesting about all that is this point:

they usually vastly underestimate how much work it takes to market a band

and at the same time (I find this a little beautiful) they vastly underestimate the goodness of their own musical output.

Just because projects don't succeed commercially does not mean they aren't well made or that these projects are not worth doing in as things in themselves.

I am in the same situation at the moment and it is a bit sad. I've been trying to do more "solo" work because I'm the only constant in my musical journey. I envy bands that last for a long time because they can make it work, but I had to travel a lot and it made it impossible to have a band that would endure even the smallest of hiatus.

At the same time, every time I am with musicians that "made it" only talk about how miserable is to tour and how horrible it is to be constantly doing music for a living, so I feel lucky to make money out of software development. But I guess the stupid teenage dream still lives somewhere in me.

I've been in bands that have played hundreds of gigs together, and I've traveled a bit to make music. Fortunately, I have never -had- to do that. It's not fun, it doesn't pay well (compared to my software work), and the big payoffs all seem to be about the short term validation of larger audiences and better production.

To be fair, that has a lot of appeal.

I've also gotten a lot out of bands that are just like, "guys night out for bowling". Way more than the long term commercially functioning bands, actually.

We just meet up and play every week (when we can), usually in the early evening or after my buddys' kiddos have gone to bed.

Once I leaned into the idea that these friendships were important both for me (as an old, single almost-pro musician) and my buddies (who have careers and wives and youngsters), the idea that simply playing (and practicing to support my friends) became really rewarding as an end in itself.

That appreciation really changes the dynamics, because I select more for how I get along with the people than I do for chops or genera.

The dream of taking that kind of band out isn't stupid or immature, nor is the dream of just having to play music for a living.

I have found that it's just so much easier and just as much fun to do "bowling night" at someone's house, and so much easier to make my money doing software.

I don't think there is anything sad in that situation.

Then you'll enjoy the best amplifier ever for electric bass, that I prototyped and even gigged with but never brought to market. ;-)

Oh, that sounds like a perfect fit.

I've worked a lot on bass- last nights gig was a songwriter duo where I played upright. However, I've never been one to change my setup much. Maybe 12 or so years ago I bought a markbass and and a pbass... and I haven't even wanted to change the flat-wound strings on it.

I was having problems with my hands from muscle exhaustion due to typing. My doctor recommended I should use an alarm clock, to remind me to not type for more than a few minutes at a time. Instead, I thought, I could do better. So I made the following program:

It is a program that has a countdown, lets say, 100 key presses, and every time you press a key, it goes down by one, and every, lets say second, it recovers 1 key. When it reached like 20 keys, I got a notification, and when it reached 0, I got a typing timeout (I disabled my keyboard). This forced me to, type more efficiently, to use more efficient shortcuts and to think about code before I wrote it more. In the end, this actually helped a lot for my hands, and I was still able to work on stuff.

I ended up never releasing it, because I was too lazy to put in the work to get it to a usable state for other people on other computers.

I use Workrave (https://workrave.org/) for the same purpose. It's time-based rather than count-based, and takes mouse into account as well as keyboard.

Right, the mouse is a concern for most people as well, I never really considered that part since with my i3wm + vim setup, I basically never touch the mouse anyways.

That sounds great. Can you put it up on GitHub so I can use it please?

I mean sure, but I wasn't exaggerating when I said it is probably not usable on other peoples computers. It only works on linux, it doesn't work on wayland, and because I am using xinput to disable the keyboard, you will have to replace the device name in blockKeyboard.py: https://github.com/TT-392/keyAlarm/tree/master

It shouldn't be too difficult to write your own though, so, if anyone wants to do so, feel free to steal the idea.

> I mean sure, but I wasn't exaggerating when I said it is probably not usable on other peoples computers.

That's totally okay! I love when people share their "works on my machine programs". Just say upfront that it's your personal tool so others won't expect production-grade software.

The code might inspire others, let others fork it (if a license says it's okay), teach code readers about some technique or tool, or just be fun to poke around.

I, for one, learned about pyxhook while reading your code. Thank you!

That is nice, as for a license, I think half of the program is someone else's keylogger code I found somewhere online, so putting my own license on there seems shitty. But I put a line in the README that anyone can steal the idea of the concept of the program, if someone is gonna do that, they are gonna want to rewrite everything anyways.

Works on my machine. Thanks! (Xfce)

I need this, got rsi

Probably won't be of any use, but here is the code: https://github.com/TT-392/keyAlarm/tree/master

Token bucket rate limiting for your fingers


I lose stuff a lot. It started as a URL (https://www.lost-item.com/eric/) that I can put on a sticker on my stuff so that when people find my phone, wallet, credit card, keys they can contact me.

I preferred that over my phone number or email address because I didn't want to put anything that identifies me on the items, so a form on the internet acts as a barrier.

In general, I find that people are really nice about it. I've recovered my full wallet at least 3 times and my phone probably 5 times.

Yes, I am forgetful. If I were smarter, I would just not lose stuff. But because I'm not, I have that.

Hosted on github pages and uses firebase, so basically it costs me $1 a year + the domain registration fee. So after I recovered my cell phone just once, I basically figured it's been paid for for life.

Lifetime revenue from strangers on it is less than $100. Value of items recovered to myself, probably $3k.

> https://www.lost-item.com/eric/

The page shows for me:

> Oh my...

> It looks like this page has been lost

I tried to use your page to tell you that the page has been lost, but that didn't work!

The trailing slash seems to be a typing error.

oops! Yeah, to be honest, i rarely type my own url... should obviously make the trailing slash optional...

it's indeed a misconfiguration of the application and/or the webserver.

This seems great for my RC planes and other things! It would be nice if the site could generate a nice sticker-looking thing with a QR code, though.

yeah! Could definitely do that.

I built this years ago, before the pandemic. While QR codes existed, pre-pandemic, it didn't really feel like something that was ever going to get mass adoption.

Maybe just in my circles.

Now, it seems weird to imagine that people wouldn't know. :)

This seems like something that could have massive tail upside. You help someone with lots of resources recover something of sentimental value, they tip you couple $k.

Yeah i have all these ideas for what I would do to market this eventually. Life keeps getting in the way, but because at this point it provides me a lot of utility it doesn't matter to me that other people don't use it (i have stickers on my phone, wallet, airpods, etc. I have iron on patches in clothing items, my backpack, etc)

In a world where I have more time and energy for this, I would implement tipping systems, sell the actual stickers and iron on patches to users, try to partner with schools and PTAs so kids who lose their stuff can recover it, etc.

> Yes, I am forgetful. If I were smarter, I would just not lose stuff.

It's really not about being smart, some people are just more forgetful and distracted than others.

What I found helps is to do a regular check that you have your stuff with you. Whenever I leave somewhere I check that I have my keys, wallet, and phone.

Yeah, I'm just a careless person in some dimensions to be honest.

Last summer I lost my wallet on a golf course, and twice at bars. I do a "wallet , keys, phone, airpods" check when I leave the house, but it wouldn't have caught those events for me.

This solution isn't failsafe, but for a few hours of work and almost no ongoing costs, it makes it POSSIBLE for people to get things back to me (and significantly increases the odds)

I built my own GeForce Now / Google Stadia clone for up to 8 gamepads to connect to the same instance. It's GPU-accelerated, UDP-based and all C++.

It works well and I still use it with friends and family to play games together. I even designed a logo, registered it for an EU trademark, and made t-shirts.

But when Steam Remote Play Together was announced, I decided that there wasn't a market for it anymore, so instead I switched to building real-time AI tools in C++.

My next idea, funny Webcam filters for desktop, was then pre-empted by Snap Camera coming to desktop. With so many FAANG-scale companies releasing free tools, it has become really tricky to find financially viable niches.

Doesn't Stream Remote Play Together show there _is_ a market? Competition means the market exist?

Yes, the market surely exists. But I can't build a bootstrapped business around competing with FREE. Steam has other ways to monetize user engagement, but I would have needed to charge users for the service.

When a deeply entrenched player gets into the game, small players do not stand much of a chance. I think few people have the necessary David in them to go up against such Goliaths. OP made the personal choice to walk away from an uphill battle, and I don’t blame them one bit.

How much does it cost for a GPU accelerated VM in the cloud? It would be great if there was an automated way to spin up a VM, install your software and then destroy the VM when you're done. After all, GeForce Now and Google Play don't let you play your full Steam library.

I wonder if there even are a lot of clouds that provide consumer GPUs. I heard GPUs designed for computation doesn't perform as well in games

The dealbreaker is that consumer GPUs (and their drivers) have a terms of use prohibiting various aspects of datacenter usage.

The vGPU feature can be unlocked for several Nvidia GPUs: https://github.com/DualCoder/vgpu_unlock

I did not yet try it myself (maybe it doesn't even work anymore?), and it might not be an option for businesses.

About $0.5 per hour for a 3080 equivalent. And yes, I have an image that I can spin up on-demand.

This seems to be a neat setup. I've found this script a couple days ago: https://github.com/gcloudrig/gcloudrig

(haven't given it a try just yet but surely looking forward to)

Happy to see it's still getting use!

The NVIDIA T4 VWS GPUs aren't as flashy as they used to be and there's no option for faster CPU cores in GCP, but for medium-setting ray traced gaming it'll still do the trick!

Yes, that's very similar to what I built. That repo is using Parsec (also free for private users) as the game streaming implementation.

congrats, you invented serverless gpus ;)...

That sounds very cool!

Maybe a similar project could take off: sharing console instances. Flat community of 50 apartments would buy 5 consoles and share them with each other (you keep them all in a storage room and just connect with TV via ethernet).

One major problem is that console manufacturers would probably need to be a part of this and I think they would rather sell 10 consoles individually than 5 for sharing.

> One major problem is that console manufacturers would probably need to be a part of this and I think they would rather sell 10 consoles individually than 5 for sharing.

It would certainly work better with manufacturer involvement, but you could use HDMI capture to source the video, and USB to provide the inputs, so the console doesn't know any better. There's some licensing rigamorole and content management as well. You could probably do a forced log out between users and rely on cloud saves, but that's kind of ugh... Would work better if you can trust the people you share the console(s) with.

Yes, in principle you could do that (apart from all the legal troubles...)

In practice we like things customized and only want to see our own savegames available on the list so this is a real issue that could break this especially if large number of strangers were to use it.

Another issue is waste - what if you want to play some game but it was installed on another console that is currently playing something completely different? Installing all games on all consoles seems crazy. Maybe have a large NAS with multiple games preinstalled? If we could add another type of game licensing which would allow for playing the same game on 5 different hardware consoles simultaneously that would be perfect.

Resources would be used to their maximum potential.

Scheduling around game installs would be tricky yeah. I don't know how the various console do with having their storage swapped... I know the switch can store downloaded games to SD cards, but I don't know if it lets you put that SD card into another console and play the games if a licensed user is logged in... Or if it needs to be downloaded by that specific console. I think the current xbox and playstations also have user replacable storage, but again, it may be specialized per console? I know the platforms already have code to check for licensed user on a downloaded game when the game is downloaded to a console not deemed the 'home' console for a user.

If you can swap storage, you can build around NAS connected storage emulators.

Otherwise, yeah, big storage and guessing about what should go where. Like Netflix CDN nodes, but with more black boxes.

This interesting for me from the standpoint of shared controllers. What is the general idea behind this? Did you write a driver that would fake these controllers on the 'server'? What platforms have you covered? I'm into massively local multiplayer game and was always toying with ideas on how to reliably connect as much controllers as possible into a game.

I didn't build it, but there's ViGEm for creating virtual Xbox 360 controllers: https://github.com/ViGEm/ViGEmClient

So each client polls the local controller using the DX APIs, streams the state to the server and then the server creates virtual gamepads to send the input to the game.

There is a tremendous market for low cost reliable remote viz software.

What is "viz software" here? Visualization? e.g. Fusion 360?

My bot that finds and tweets about the best-reviewed new games on Steam, constructing miniature 6 second trailers for each: https://twitter.com/playfullyauto

This was an extension of a bot I made years back, that constructed a 6s trailer for every single game on Steam as it's launched (https://twitter.com/microtrailers), which later became part of a thing I did officially at Valve (https://store.steampowered.com/labs).

The @playfullyauto one was my most recent (post Steam Labs) thing, and it's my favorite, because it unearths a bunch of games people like. But I never really spread the word about it.

I followed microtrailers, it was awesome getting the brief snippets of EVERYTHING. I hadn't seen that you'd made a new one until now, definitely giving that one a follow!

I like to buy used electronics online, but it's very tedious cross-referencing model numbers and benchmarks and such to determine what's actually a good deal. For example which is better, a 10th gen i5 or a 7th gen i7 at the same price?

So as a pandemic hobby, I made a website to scrape eBay laptop listings, extract all the relevant data, cross reference against benchmarks, and sort the result by "value" (aggregate performance / cost). I took inspiration from the parametric search on site like digikey for commodity components, where no one cares about brand.

You can check it out here [1]. Maybe eventually I'll write a showHN, but I haven't been working on it for a while, and there's a few features I want to add before that. Originally I planned to use affiliate links, which seemed like a nice all-parties-win setup, but eBay kicked me off the Partner Network program for not generating traffic. So presently it's totally free and non-profitable.

[1] https://bytebucket.co

This is awesome! I regularly encounter the same problem. Particularly when shopping for electronics, where there is a clear metric that counts (say, USD/Watt hour for batteries). But how often had I wished something like this existed for other items as well. Say, toothpaste. What do I care about the brand? I care about the abrasivity factor (RDA), and the amount of flouride. Or sweaters. I don't care that it looks like wool, or that other people use it as replacement for wool. Instead, I want something that's 100 % wool, and no acrylics. Or think supplements. I don't care about fancy pictures of healthy people. I want to know what's in the capsule, where it was source, and how much of it I get per USD.

I get that a site like yours cannot solve all of that. You can only extract the info that's already there. And parsing such data for different categories of products is a major league hassle.

I once built a tool that did this for used cars. And it would allow you to plot all available listings that matched your filters in a price/milage scatter graph. To make the outliers really visible.

Can you share how you solved the parsing problem in your implementation? Is it just regexes, or are you employing NLP span categorization techniques?

It's just a bunch of regex, nothing too sophisticated. Generally the people making listings are trying to convey all the data, so in a sense it's semi-structured. The most limiting factor is getting a CPU model; I'd like to eventually build up a taxonomy of major device brands/models to map to their specs (I do have this currently for Apple, which many people post year or A-model numbers for).

I built Playtune https://playtune.app - a web game where you can turn any YouTube videos into a rhythm game. It comes from a frustation from playing rhythm game but they have limited song catalog. Playtune literally have millions of song that you can play. Any song that is uploaded to YouTube can be played as long as it allow embedding. You can even make a rhythm game out of five minute craft videos if you want or linus tech tips.

This song had a super catchy tune, I enjoyed playing it! Thank you for contributing!

I have made a process for doing pen drawings involving bitmap to SVG conversion. It's called Robot Draws You! and it's been in perpetual limbo for the past few years as my career has struggled and cratered.

I just don't have the time to be able to focus on a creative endeavour when I feel like my world is crumbling around me.

I've written multiple versions of the bitmap to SVG converter, I have an XY robot gantry set up and I have a bunch of plans and schematics drawn up to diagram how it all works.

Getting the focused time to be fully "plugged in" to the project is impossible when every day I'm freaked out about how I will pay the bills, will I ever get a job, will I lose everything tomorrow.

Additionally I feel intense shame for having worked on this thing for "years" and still not having any significant progress to report or show. It's a huge embarrassment, but one day I hope it can be something I am proud of.

I'm sorry about your career - this must have been difficult to write about. Sometimes it's about the journey, take solace that you just might be in a temporary dip in your life adventure. How can some of these setbacks be opportunities?

I'm not sure how a loss of free time, loss of mental stability and potential loss of everything I've achieved thus far in life are "possible opportunities".

Bad things happen to good people. There is no fairness in life or the world. Either you have impressed some rich people and are privileged to enjoy life, or you suffer because nobody fucking cares and nobody is coming to save you.

So far the only good thing to come of the current trash fire of my life is that I quit drinking alcohol. I am still a mess / wreck of a human being but at least I'm more coherent and aware of how bad everything sucks. Really makes me want to drink.

I've build BlueRetro [1] an universal Bluetooth controller adapter for nearly all pre-USB gaming console. I've been working on it for the last three years. I entertained the idea to make and sell the hardware myself. But in the end I learned that's it's not something I'm interested to get into. What I really like is working on the software.

In the end this pivoted into a more community driven project where multiple makers are selling various variations of the HW and giving me a cut of their profit to support the SW development.

Recently I even got a Chinese company, notorious for selling "clone" of OSHW projects, to support the SW development as well via GitHub sponsor.

I wrote a retrospective of last 3 years [2].

[1] https://github.com/darthcloud/BlueRetro

[2] https://github.com/darthcloud/BlueRetro/discussions/289

That looks fantastic! I think Pimoroni will take care of the entire manufacturing and marketing process for you, if you want to contact them. Their CEO emailed me way back about this, but he hasn't replied to my multiple emails since, so YMMV.

"Oh By".[1]

It's a "universal shortener".[2]

You can take any block of text and condense it to a simple code that you can chalk up anywhere. It's the same idea as a QR code but you can just quickly write it out with a pencil or chalk it on the street ... or verbally state it.

I'm convinced there is some use-case that this elegantly solves and would be genuinely valuable to people ... but beyond mentioning it here on HN I have never marketed it in any way.

[1] https://0x.co

[2] https://0x.co/examples.html

I would recommend blacklisting a few words while generating the URL. This is what was generated for me https://0x.co/done.html?code=632CUM

... and the latin word for "along with" should be on that list ?

But seriously ...

We did, in fact, disable certain outputs but they were all related to legibility and mistaken transcription. For instance, no O/0 and no l/1, if I remember correctly ...

I love the idea of this. It seems like your major hurdle is just getting enough traction for the "Ox" prefix to become as well understood as "@" or "#".

Yes, I think that is the crux of it.

Maybe a superbowl commercial ...

You are on a Malwarebytes blacklist, just FYI.

It says: "Website blocked due to phishing"

How do people find 0x.co to get the data out of the code? Maybe the code should be written like 0x.co/something instead of just 0xSOMETHING?

Yep. Chicken and egg problem.

The idea is that they come into such broad usage that everyone just knows what an 0x code is.

Or make your SEO good so that when people inevitably Google search, your result is first.

0xSOMETHING is just a single word so that will usually not find something unless they have an index with all the generated codes, which is something they probably don't want.

This is just a pastebin, isn't it?

I don't know what it is.

It made me happy to build it and I hope that there is some emergent use-case for it that organically comes into being.

Surprise me :)

I built a TikTok clone only showing clips from old snowboard and ski movies from the early 2000s. Movies are imported using a CLI which reads VLC playlist containing bookmarks for each clip. I love my app and is using it every day as an alternative to other empty minded social media, but will probably never publish it or marked it due to copyrights.

If anyone has a use case which does not involve copyright infringement I would be happy to give away the code.

Probably not exactly an extension of your current app, but you could try to build sth like a TikTok for extreme sports. I'm sure there are plenty of people with an urge to share their GoPro videos with friends.

Yeah, I though about it, but it seems to already exist in the app "You Rip"

that sounds nice, I do enjoy old ski and snowboard movies/clips aswell. Is there any way to look at these clips? I think this would also work very nicely as background visuals for events / shops, however the copyright aspect is probably difficult with such a usecase

Send me a message to my user name at gmail or github and I will send you the apk. I have added about ten movies so far, but I am planning to add some more when I get the time.

That sounds awesome.

Everyone who has given up due to competitors ... remember this:

Search for "car key lanyard" on Amazon or eBay.

There's hundreds of sellers.

Markets are big. Finding a niche isn't about a unique product, it's about a unique offering. There's much more to a business than the product.

I made a tool to export YouTube subtitles directly into Anki without downloading the video, it must be useful since it even got me a job offer by one of the users (pretty famous person).

I never did more marketing than a Reddit post when the proof of concept was made. Coincidentally, I've worked on it recently and added some useful functionality.

Extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube2anki/boebb... Source: https://github.com/dobladov/youtube2Anki

What made you build it? It looks like one would use it for learning a language... mapping written text to pronounciation on flashcards? Why do you think making your own cards from YouTube subs is better than dedicated language apps that already include spoken audio?

I was inspired by this tool, http://www.randomhacks.net/substudy/ It required to cut the video, with a lot of processing, cli knowledge and to storage the cut videos taking a lot of space, my idea was to make the process as lightweight as possible, the outcome of the extension it's a CSV with the marks for when the video starts and stops for each sentence, it has a negligible output size in comparison and can be used in low-end computers.

You described the functionality perfectly, I made it as a tool to have custom cards for practising languages without having to be locked in any platform, in my opinion language platforms are very bland with their spoken lessons and only have perfectly pronounced sentences, with the tool you can practice more real and engaging topics for yourself.

Another usage that some users commented was to use it as a learning tool for lectures and presentations, that's why I included a merge subtitles functionality recently, so the cards can hold more information as opposed a single sentence.

I made PHONK https://phonk.app

It is a very easy-to-use self-contained JS framework for prototyping and making stuff with Android devices.

You can access sensors, NFC, bluetooth, MQTT, websockets, or write a simple UI with a couple of lines of code. Think in the terms of easiness of Arduino for Android

When people try it they always say WOW "why have I never heard of this?!" ( probably because I'm very bad at marketing :/ )

I got it mentioned in Hackaday and some comments here in HN but that's all :)

Looks pretty good. Is there anyway to share a completed prototype app with a other user, or run an app developed this way standalone? I went to look at the docs page on your site, but it's more of a basic tutorial rather than docs.

yes, the docs are pretty basic, I agree :)

If the other person has PHONK installed you can just share the project folder.

I used to have an "Export/Import PHONK file" back in the days but it broke at some point and I decided to remove since nobody noticed :D

I haven’t try it yet but I hope it works

A day-pass VPN with a single server, with SMS capabilities (with your GSM SIM card). Sort of like a VPN vending machine.

Tech-stack: OpenVPN + MySQL + some Python scripts as glue + PayPal integration.

Use case: If you need a Venezuelan IP address [0]. you'd just access the VPN front site, pay for a day-pass, and use the VPN [1]. Also banks use SMS-based 2FA, so having the SIM card in the server helps [2].

Turns out there are cheaper VPNs that do have Venezuelan IP addresses, though my offered benefit is to offer home random IP addresses, which makes it more stealth. Also the economics didn't help, and the upstream bandwidth isn't great as well.

I took down the site and just left the VPN for myself and some trusted friends. Also, if someone did something sketchy with it, it'd by tied to my home address.

Maybe someday I'll create a blog post about it.


[0]: Something very niche, banks here don't allow people foreign IP addresses to do bank transfers, etc., they could also block your bank account entirely.

[1]: It'd issue short lived certificates for the amount of time purchased.

[2]: With a ZTE MF667 USB modem.

A browser extension for Twitch.tv (mainly for MOBAs) that enabled live-stream viewers to mouse-over in-game items/abilities and be shown a tooltip describing that item/ability as if they were playing the game themselves. Useful for viewers who are new to watching competitive matches and have no idea what certain icons/abilities/items represent.

Scraped millions of publicly available property tax documents for a specific region and combined it with Leaflet and OpenStreetMap to visualize the data.

Would you mind sharing a link to those projects. Both sound really cool.

I’m actively working on language learning software through immersion at https://polyglatte.com . It’s currently completely free with no way to pay for it but I still feel some amount of guilt about self-promotion even though I get lots of positive feedback and it’s already helping people.

I find marketing to be very uncomfortable so I’ve been neglecting it, but I know it’s the only way to any kind of success.

I built a tool to populate an empty Active Directory instance with fake user identity data, including office addresses, departments, organisational linkages, security and distribution groups, and of course all the actual user data.

It could fill an AD with upto 50,000 identities and associated data, which could then be used for testing. The engineer could tweak every aspect before it got created.

Beyond fully writing it and getting it to a version 1.0 state, I never marketed it as I had a sudden crisis of faith and thought no-one would actually want it.

I am blessed that my crises of faith mostly hit before even starting work on an idea I think is clever.

Accomplishes the same thing - minimizing any potential success - but further upstream.

In this case, it was something I needed, but I took it way beyond a scrappy tool just for me, and turned it into a full production level wizard based GUI app.

I guess not all of that was wasted effort.

A simple browser extension for Hacker News that shows a sidebar with links buried deep in HN comment threads such as this one - so that you can quickly glance at all the external things people are talking about.


Cool! Any chance for a chrome extension?

I don't personally use Chrome but if you open an issue I'll try to port it next time I have some free time.

This is an amazing tool. Thank you.

finding this made me giggle. I had this idea a couple of days ago and started drafting how to solve it. Well, you saved me some work :)

I made a MIDI-controller out of cheap sonars and an Arduino, that lets you control anything with movement "in the air". You can use it to control filters, or volume, or anything really.

Here's me playing it with a silly wig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgH-WU-9CZA

The artist "Mezerg" uses a MIDI-enabled Theremin to do something similar, but it's costly.

The BOM for my thing is around $30 when building just one at at time (excluding time spent of course); if mass produced the unit cost could probably be quite low. But the market is probably extremely small... maybe 200 devices? So I didn't pursue mass production.

I love that video!


I developed a web app that allowed my friends and me to watch the same video synchronously during the lock-downs / curfew after Summer 2020. The video would be served by my server, and anybody could control the playback. Pausing or seeking would do it for everyone. We would all connect to a Jitsi Meet room so we could hear people laugh or react to the video.

I called this "Meet Anyway", it was my first Svelte app, and never released it for several reasons, among them:

- I had to do some manual video upload and provide the exact video URL to the app to make things work

- the thing had some glitches even if it mostly worked and did the job

- I had other things to do, in particular taking care of an open source network implementation of a popular letter-based game that I started in 2016 and then forgot (ran all this time on my server without maintenance at all, not appearing in top) and which suddenly attracted people during the lock-down.

- and now I'm interested in other things, especially that the lock-downs are over. It would be nice to finish it and publish it though, but I'm more interested in the other things, and there are major issues: the videos need to live under the same domain as the app if I remember correctly because of browser security, so either people have to host the tool themselves or we would need to offer a service that would host people's videos while they are watching it, or at least to proxy them. I did not want to set up such a service and so the tool does not solve the issue for many people, only those who are technically inclined.

This was my second shot at this issue, I had first put together a Python program which allowed two users to watch the same video locally with a regular Linux video player, so I could watch stuff with a relative, using MPRIS, a unified Linux / Free Desktop D-Bus interface to control music and video players. This one I actually released it, but there's actually a mature project that does this better, is actually maintained and is cross-platform: https://syncplay.pl/

I built https://www.spendlight.com/ for my wife and I to not just track spending but to get a handle on our sentiment around our spending choices. While we still have different reactions to spending decisions, it at least gave us the language and ground rules to work towards our personal finance goals.

https://hollr.at Got tired of having to resort to FB for our team sporting activity. It's been coming along for a few years. Once I finish the REST api and perhaps an iOS app (keeping my fingers crossed for push notifications so I don't have to) I'll at least do a Show HN.


Side project I made after leaving a large company; a free statistics package that bridges the gap between Excel and actual coding (R, Python). In the corporate world we used Minitab or a similar package with an expensive enterprise license.

Once I moved to a smaller one and was doing analytics on the side, I didn't have the budget for such things so.... I made my own version...

Never really had the time to build out a full set of features or promote it. We probably could have grabbed a piece of low-rent district for analytics software.

You improved the speed of something. It took 430ms before and now just 160ms. But how do you quantify that? https://how-much-faster.glitch.me/ gives you a few options for how to word things.

You need to find a way to weight it. Improving, by a huge percentage, something that is traditionally very slow can sometimes be trivial. Improving, by even a few percentage points, something that many different systems have spent decades trying to make as fast as possible can be much more significant.

For example, finding files in a big file system using standard file calls takes forever. Making this hundreds or even thousands of times faster is certainly possible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWIo6sia_hw

On the other hand, making general database queries run faster than the latest version of Postgres with proper indexes takes a bit of novel thinking. Even a 20% or 30% improvement should be considered a breakthrough, let alone 2x or better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVICKCkWMZE

Sounds like it's already quantified? 160 ms vs 430 ms.

Quantifying the change, relative to the base or the new value.

- A OSS Mutual Funds API for India: https://mf.captnemo.in/

- A public dataset of a powerbank-on-rent provider in India: https://captnemo.in/plugo/

- OpenAPI specifications for some Indian companies: https://stoplight.captnemo.in/docs/simpl/, https://stoplight.captnemo.in/docs/kuvera/

- Publicly updated dataset and release feed of edits to Indian Securities (ISINs): https://github.com/captn3m0/india-isin-data

- Re-published Joel Spolsky's HgInit on GitHub pages as a proper Jekyll website: https://hginit.github.io/

- A regex based validator for Indian PINcodes: https://github.com/captn3m0/india-pincode-regex

A lot more at https://captnemo.in/projects/

I have two…

The truly abandoned project is FountainCards.com. It accepts typed input, converts it to a “handwritten” SVG, sends to a pen plotter, and mails the card. I built the whole app, bought two pen plotters and was ready for production. the reason I stopped was because I didn’t care enough about marketing to the clientele who needs that kind of thing - mortgage brokers, car salesmen, etc. It felt like I was helping the client act like they cared about their customer by sending “heartfelt” notes without _actually_ caring about their customer. In other words, I was helping them send really nice spam.

After that, I spent some significant time thinking about what project I would really care about, which leads to the second app…

I’ve been working on MoneyHabitsHQ.com in my free time since January. It is a simple take on a personal finance app. The idea is to try to get the maximum benefit from 3 minutes of budgeting per week. There are a bunch of features which will make the app nearly “invisible”, while still helping people keep track of their money.

I haven’t started marketing it because getting the UX right on a budget app is incredibly difficult. I’ve been in quiet beta for a few months, and if anyone wants to try it out, feel free to email me: Stephen@bate-man.com and I’ll get you a promo code.

If you still want to do something with the plotters, maybe consider the wedding market? Change to a calligraphic font (IIRC there are some Hershey fonts that might be a good start) and sell a bundle with invitations, place cards, and so on.

Recently I wrote a small search engine for NYC menus: https://c.bitlet.org/ff.html

The data is small enough that you can keep it all in memory. It was a nice toy and it let me play with a few data retrieval techniques I had heard talking about but never actually implemented.

This is sweet haha. I want Mapo Tofu, nearby, ranked by price and distance. Next: what's the sentiment about that dish (from reviews). Or at least a restaurant rating.

Love how fast it is and the non distracting design. Bookmarked.

Interesting. Did you scrape the restaurants websites?

The data is scraped from restaurant menu aggregators. There are some online and they don't seem to even try to stop you from scraping.

If I had to guess I'd say that scraping restaurant websites would be a much bigger project than what I did, given that there isn't structure in how menus are presented, and most of them still have pdfs, or even worse, an image for their menu.

The proverb 'necessity is the mother of invention' made me build a solution for sharing a keyboard and mouse between multiple devices.

Synergy/Barrier is not horrible, but I find the latency a little painful.

Ended up getting an industrial HDMI switch, with a KVM. Built a server in Go that connects to the serial port of all the devices.

A companion client that runs on all the machines tells the server when the mouse moves to the edge of the screen, so the USB inputs can be switched to the correct computer. Basically, it allows you to have multiple computers connected, to multiple displays, sharing one keyboard and mouse. (You can define layouts on the server, so the displays can move around on the matrix HDMI switcher).


I made an ultralight tent made with SOL Emergency Blankets that will warm up inside to over 80° in below freezing weather with a small campfire burning in front of it.

I had a lot of fun testing the concept with quick and dirty prototypes and then making one that I could use on my backpacking trips. It's by far the best tent I've ever used for backpacking. And it also provide a cool place to sit when it's sunny and hot because it can be configured to reflect the sun and radiant heat as well.

I never marketed it because there are way too many people who really shouldn't ever start campfires and I didn't want to expose myself to lawsuits.


Over COVID I wrote a novel-length... thing. I hesitate to call it a text adventure, or a game, even though that's what it looks like on the surface. I'm not sure what to call it.

The joke at the beginning was that it's a "travel simulator" for a period in time when you couldn't travel. I worked on it every day for about eight months, and I think I showed it to maybe six people. It was mostly a writing exercise, and an excuse to do research.

It's "abandoned" in the sense that I'm not driven to do more work on it, but it is "content complete" at about 300 pages, and it can be played.

I would be super interested to see it.

The aspect of text adventures or MUDs [0] that attracts me the most is the fact that you can actually move through a "textual landscape". Sorry, I have no better words to express it. Ditch all the quests and puzzles and fighting. Just immerse myself in a landscape evoked by words, that maybe adds some surreal elements, or other stuff that you couldn't express in a graphical way.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUD

Some of the very first scripting I did was for a MUD, back in the day! I really like that feeling of painting a very subjective map of a place in my head, just based on text.

Part of the joke of this project, for me, was treating an entire country like a room in a MUD (e.g. "You are in the United States. Exits are Canada, Mexico...")

You can see the game here: https://travelsimulator.rodeo/

`/help` shows commands, but the important ones are `go` and `look`.

Nicely done! I love the design. And now I learned about the Tenkile in Papua New Guinea :-).

That's intriguing to say the least. Any plan on published it somehow?

Lyyri, in which you can split a Youtube video into parts and add lyrics to it: https://egaga.github.io/Lyyri/

Mainly made for myself, so that I can easily sing only parts of the song with lyrics.

Then Spotify added lyrics back and kinda lost interest in this, even though could be used for other purposes as well like teaching purposes: giving link to students to watch only some of the video with added commentary by teacher. Though, currently the actual video is shown only really small so doesn't suite for that.

My sons schools use a system called PowerSchool for grade books. I wrote a little script I call powernag that scrapes and then txts them all their missing or incomplete assignments. They hate it, it’s perfect.

I built a web app to help me track the Apple Fitness+ workouts I've done, including notes and whether or not I liked the workout, plus a Shortcut to help save the workouts after I do them.

I certainly haven't abandoned it, but I haven't bothered promoting it in any meaningful way because I derive value from it whether or not others are using it.

There's an invite system in place to help prevent spammers from overrunning the place, but I'm quite responsive to requests.

You can find it here: https://myworkouts.xyz

I took a simple google ticket system tutorial and made a whole gapps-script based internal company ticket portal. Using googles auth system meant user-correlatiom became trivial and sped up task resolution. As I was the only person running the IT department, I had the ability to choose and I didn't like any of the corporate products for a company that did business more frugally than falling for death by a thousand license cuts, a very real danger.

Then gapps-script updated, broke some stuff, I got tired of maintaining it, and we got a new dev, so I aquiesced to Jira.

I hate jira.

Keeping in mind these were a while ago, times have changed:

* A scraper and search engine that aggregated digital agencies by the technologies they were known to work with.

* A store locator, I had been seeing the request a lot on eCommerce stores and thought it would make a great SaaS. I was right about that, but unfortunately it wasn't mine that was succesful.

* An API dashboard tool that let you pick and display arbitrary data from any API endpoints you had access to. They were fetched and updated from the client's browser in real time, using a few different auth methods configurable by the user. It used an interface backed by JSON Path to let you select any part of the API's return value to display. I had hoped to go really far with the display UI, and allow for piping and manipulation of data before displaying it. But it didn't take off as an MVP.

* A page creator that used the concept of configurable blocks to build the page, this was way before Gutenberg and I feel like my approach to the UI was pretty novel even today. It was used almost exclusively for religious spam and I took it down because my country has no safe harbour laws, so I was potentially responsible for anything put up.

A bunch of others that never actually launched as well, including a management tool for mechanic workshops, a motorsport app to help manage a small DIY motorsport program, even a budgeting tool for long term travellers/nomads.

A long time ago (before containers and systemd) I wrote an initscript to run Minecraft on a CentOS 6 server. I posted it in one or two forums but it was mostly for my own use, running a server for a group of friends.

Someone who ran a Minecraft hosting business contacted me asking permission to use it in their product, which was very surprising to me.

(it was GPL so I couldn't and wouldn't say no, but I also politely explained that I wasn't their free tech support and that patches would be welcome)

I made a Chinese language learning tool that uses speech recognition to grade flashcards [0]. It fills the niche where interactive apps like Duolingo and HelloChinese don't offer very much spoken practice.

Unfortunately, the ASR isn't great, so I'm holding off on marketing until it's better. Honestly, if I spent half the time learning the language as I have making tools, I'd probably be fluent by now...

[0]: https://letsyiya.com

> Honestly, if I spent half the time learning the language as I have making tools, I'd probably be fluent by now...

Hahaha, I made the same mistake to the point of going into PhD in the field. Most of the (prototype) tools aren't even released.

That’s really cool actually! Did you discover any techniques to be particularly effective? I recall a PhD working on language “wait learning” which I’d love to use, but it never made it out of the lab. Maybe you’re also sitting on some good stuff. (If you’d prefer to link papers, that’d be great, too!)

That was a complete shitshow thanks to cultural differences, my personality and covid. I had interest in Japanese/Chinese while my lab only focussed on English. Basically whatever I proposed for 3 years was thrashed to the bin without any explanation, and when I found another lab more appreciative of my work it was already too late to switch. The only "guidance" I got during this time was to "make a quizz" (multiple choice) as if it was something revolutionary and doctoral level.

In the end, I had to back back in my country, where I was able to reconnect with someone that did his PhD on a very close topic (albeit not using computers), so I plan to finish my degree here using things I worked alone on for years. It's infinitely easier to work with people able and willing to understand ideas and who focus on quality instead of quantity. I'm indeed sitting on some stuff albeit it would need a lot more development for some to reach the light. I'm also finishing writing some papers but it's progressing slowly due to having a 9-5 job with 3 hours half commutation.

Hrm.. that's really rough :\ I'm sorry to hear that you had some early setbacks, but I'm glad you're getting through now. Good luck with your research! The language learning space is stronger than ever with all of the GPT goings on. There was a YC-backed convo-bot startup [0] on the front page the other day, if that's any indicator. In any case, I hope to get to use some of your learning tools someday :)

[0]: https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/toko

I built a ‘phone book’ of sorts for QR codes, where people could upload any QR code they wanted and tack on a Google friendly description. My main motivator was to allow for more transparency and cross connectivity among WeChat groups, but the only one that was enthusiastic about the project was me. The URL is wodeqr.com (Chinese for ‘my QR’), but I think today the domain is some spammy nest of filth. I don’t even want to type it into my browser.

Almost everything I've written.

I eat my own dog food. I publish all my work, as if they are commercial applications, but never bother to tubthump.

Mainly, I use them in my own projects. I've collected a few GH stars, here and there, but I don't really care too much, if anyone else uses them.

The one project that achieved escape velocity is comfortably in the capable hands of a new team, and I just spot it, from time to time, with my backyard telescope.

I built a gutter estimating app for pricing seamless gutter installations.

I’m a carpenter, but I spent a few weeks helping a friend with his gutter business years ago. He would spent 45-60 minutes building an estimate for each potential client.

The app I wrote allowed him to complete each estimate I’m less than 90 seconds.

However he refused to use it because “I’ve always done it this way.”

He lost the business and now works at Kroger. Some people just don’t like technology.

I wrote a "resource forecasting and employee scheduling" system that used what would now be called deep learning (I did this in 2002) that consumed multiple years of an animation studio's accounting records, covering everything the studio spends money, including fine grained information about the employees, what jobs they worked on, their specific roles, who they helped accomplish tasks, and tasks they accomplish alone. This system operated in Excel, as that was the tool the studio execs were used to using, but I had to write the entire thing in C++ and access it as a dll within Excel because it referenced gigs of data not in spreadsheet cells.

The studio I worked, Rhythm & Hues, was a 2-times Academy award winner. My "resource forecasting and employee scheduling" system was able to prove the presence of institutional learning, and the prediction graph of that learning curve was used by banks to justify the working capital loans made to the studio. It also maintained the forecast of the render farm usage, identifying when and how many additional render servers needed to be leased. Perhaps the most useful was it generated on-demand employee schedules: who works on what, who is most likely to be helping, and insures those that support one another most frequently are scheduled with compatible tasks.

The studio owner thought I should market and sell that system independently. I also came up with a VFX process for automated actor replacement, which I did purse - trying to create Personalized Advertising with you and your friends in the video ads you see when streaming. However, VCs wanted to finance a porno company (seriously! they insisted) and I eventually went bankrupt. But hey, I can claim high morals as the global patent author that invented deep fakes, but refused to do porno with it.

https://www.erbij.app it's actually used by 30k users. But never marketed it.

These days I only make things for myself. The moment you support other people you pick up obligations, which isn't something I'm prepared to do anymore.

* A budgeting app based on the idea that the only important number is dollars saved.

* An automated newsletter assembled out of RSS feeds, which I built when I quit social media.

I think my next item is going to be some kind of cookbook, but I haven't quite decided what exactly that means.

I built TurboSearch, an ag frontend for MSVC: https://kcbanner.gumroad.com/l/turbosearch

I was frustrated with how slow and clunky all the existing solutions were for regex searches. The built in file search in MSVC has a UI that wastes a tonne of space (and the search itself is unuseably slow). Constantly changing to a terminal to run ag/grep and then open the file manually in MSVC was a pain, so I learned how to build an extension and put a GUI onto the command line tools I was already using.

Tools like Visual Assist are great if you want actual symbol indexing, but the searches (of a UE4) codebase can take 30-60s. TurboSearch can run a regex search of the entire engine in ~6s and searches of just the game code take ~200ms.

I have only sold one copy, but I use it every day and it's a core part of my workflow. I thought there would be more interest in it when I built it, but since I've gotten so much use out of it myself, the time spent building it was well worth it.

I made a simple tool to extract comments from PDFs with different severity levels. Mainly developed for my use marking up documents for review in an academic context, a need many academics have but I'm not sure how many others.


Global, realtime, full definition satellite imagery.


I have been meaning to spin this off into a SaaS. I don't know of anywhere you can actually get the full definition imagery as a slippy map, everywhere else cuts corners and loses fidelity.

Contact me if you would find it useful...

I made a TestFlight [1] for a free service to get webhooks/zaps on your iPhone/Mac (via push notifications). I needed it for myself, but eventually it didn’t get much traction. I still use it myself daily.

[1] https://testflight.apple.com/join/zWqTQOM9

When Covid started I wasn't able to buy any facemasks, I've had a newborn and was quite stressed to get them from somewhere. I didn't want to use eBay like website, which sold them with a huge markup. I've cobbled together a scraper that would check many of the biggest home depot-like stores in my country. It'd then sent an email to me, with how many facemasks were available in any given store along with contact information. I've configured my phone to notify on email arrival from that address. I've run it as a job on my NAS. It was interesting to learn that even though I was getting information on these masks arriving to the store few seconds after they have been inserted into the system. When I called the shop - masks were already gone. In the end I did manage to get some using this approach, and I was happy it worked.

I got tired of worrying about third party image hosting providers and every self-hosted solution was either lacking features or was too bloated for my needs, so I build another one: https://github.com/karasevm/personal-gallery-node (there are gifs showcasing some of the features in the readme).

It support uploading jpg, png, gif, webp, webm, mp4 with drag-and-drop, through file picker, API, ShareX (with ready to use configs), and through Android share feature, if installed as a PWA.

The performance may not be the best, but my Pi2 handles it without issues.

I wanted to put up a demo before sharing it, and there's still no demo, but it's quick to try out with docker (but it can also just run through node if you want that for some reason).

I built a managed Kubernetes platform because it was what I knew how to build. Pretty quickly I realized selling it was actually going to be pretty similar to my day job which is what I was seeking a change from.

So I took a left turn and started making a VR game instead. The marketing path for that is much more interesting.

I was using an open source Android app once. The app was (deliberately) missing some simple features that I wanted. I was also interested in tinkering with Android development, so I proceeded to fork the app and hack in my feature (just to scratch my own itch).

As a further learning exercise, I decides to try and publish it on F-Droid, which I eventually managed to do (once again solely because I wanted to tinker with it). I made no attempt to promote the app and did not really expect anyone to use it. Since then it has not become a runaway success, but there must be some folks using it since the repo has received a number of stars/issues/PRs. We have continued to mature the app and build out more features. (Not at all what I had expected when I sat down to hack in the first change....)

When mongodb (or some similar object-like storage engine) was pretty new I played around with it by writing some HTTP API using PHP. I was frustrated about how I would mostly write code to check if the user was allowed to r/w an object, if the input format was alright and overall do very little productive work on actually doing something with the data. So I implemented a "universal" API that allowed arbitrary access to the database. Permissions, ownerships and permissable data were stored as template or metadata objects. So basic API methods could be easily setup and only more complex actions would need actual coding.

Wasn't finished beyond a basic PoC, and I did it more fun/practicing than for anything of more tangible value. I believe the code has been lost.

A quotes website: https://thinkmindful.com - I love quotes and have been collecting them for years.

I thought it would be nice to share them with others and offer a weekly quotes by email service too (sadly neglected for a while).

This is super cool! I have also collected quotes for some years, I think one of my favorite recent ones is, "The greatest crime is to do nothing because we fear we can only do a little." - John Le Carré (Little Drummer Girl)

love this design!

I built https://bobbysdeals.net as a way to share curated deals with family and friends. Never marketed it but it still garners some organic traffic through our social media accounts so I guess that works. :)

A point-of-sale-system for ordering and paying for food trucks with queue handling so customers know when to pick up food.

And a kaleidoscopic camera made with webgl: https://kaleido-nft.vercel.app/app

I'm not sure if I can say abandoned YET, but I thoroughly enjoyed working on Braggle (https://braggle.app/), which is a site that lets you create rooms with your friends to post your scores for the various Wordle clones.

It's my first real website outside of my blog, and it's been awesome learning how to do everything (thank you Firebase for making it so much easier), but I haven't been enjoying the follow-up of all the infrastructure work needed to make it more performant. Classic engineer problem, let me make the NEW THINGS.

On top of that, trying to get people to notice on Twitter with a few hashtags here and there hasn't been the most fun.


In 2019 i started building a video platform allowing you to do both 1/1, 1/many and streaming, setting up booking and charging.

Then covid, then zoom exploded then we kind of killed it, but it's fully functioning.

https://www.realwork.ai Also in 2018 I started building a field management platform for remote teams like construction, retail etc.

We got our first client in 2020, then covid happened and the entire industry closed down. The app is fully functional, the backend is fully functional and we are currently in talk with someone who want to get into the construction industry.

If you've ever played on The Oldest Anarchy Server In Minecraft, 2b2t.com, then chances are you experienced a login queue hundreds of users long. From my experience, 600 users would make you wait about a full day, while having Minecraft open and connected to a server.

I cooked up what amounts to a wrapper for minecraft protocol ( js lib) that creates a proxy that connects for you, you connect to it when ready and bobs your uncle.

I posted it on reddit twice, it was used as a scapegoat for a guy who did a really clever exploit that exposed peoples bases and that's about it. I stopped playing Minecraft a while ago, but the OSS community is still updating it every now and then.


I originally wrote https://OnlineOrNot.com to be a snapshot testing tool for GraphQL servers back on 2017. Essentially it detected if your engineers suddenly broke or changed certain resolvers without updating the snapshots.

I spent about two months building, then went around my professional network to try sell/market it.

It turned out most folks using GraphQL didn't have this problem, because they had good test coverage, or wouldn't have engineers randomly change their GraphQL schema.

I ended up rewriting it to be an Incident Management service (basically, an uptime checker for APIs, web apps, and websites, as well as a status page service), significantly easier to market now.

An app to help keep track of different project ideas. https://apps.apple.com/hr/app/ideago/id1638985339

I have trouble with deciding which ideas to pursue. I always get a couple of weird ideas per month so I get easily distracted on what to build. So I decided to create a simple todo app, which will help me:

1 - rate my ideas (10 questions on a scale from 1 to 10, for self-grading) 2 - answer the important questions first (Revenue, Differentiation and Speed) 3 - keep all of the ideas in one place

Hilariously, a basic todo app for keeping track of ideas doesn't really have a good grade, but I still needed to build it.

I worked on (wouldn't say I completed) a testing framework for ML models, where you can specify a series of tests for a model to pass. The unique part is emphasizing support from the training data for the inferences you expect the model to make, i.e. checking that similar training data exists for some test cases and is influential in predicting them. It's pretty niche, and I don't explain it very well, but I remain convinced that with the right framing it represents a more rigorous way of making sure machine learning models are built and used "responsibly".


Oof, basically everything I've built, I've been too lazy to market...

- Mental Health tracking app [1] for tracking my daily activities against my anxiety/depression/well-being

- Web3 Contract Explorer [2] for making it easier to inspect and run methods on Ethereum contracts

- GlobalEntry appointment notifications [3] for making it easier to book last-minute interview appointments

[1] https://mental-h.vercel.app/

[2] https://web3-contract-explorer.vercel.app/

[3] https://www.appointmentfinder.xyz/

I made a piece of software that logged what was happening on my computer, similar to rescue time, in order to help me fill time sheets. It worked pretty well, but I didn't have the bandwidth to sell that while being in school, so I mothballed it.

I built a command line tool called Resimage for resizing and compressing images, My personal favorite usage so far is performing a compress command on a directory of images before uploading them to my blog because most of the time I have a slow and unstable connection. Recently I added support for resizing an image to iOS and Android icon sizes. Not sure if this gonna be useful for someone else or not (I think there gonna be many similar products out there) so haven’t put any effort in marketing it yet.


2 things:


A fast and easy toolkit for common bioinformatic tasks, such as translating DNA sequences, alignments and primer design. Built more than 7 years ago, I personally still use it regularly for my work. But it never got any traction, although I believe it can be very useful for a lot of biologists.


3D Topography for visualizing GPS Tracks. This is a very recent side project of mine. I did a Show HN a couple of days ago, but also no significant traction. It anyway is a work in progress.

I once wrote an invoicing application because I couldn't find any good ones that weren't cloud-based: https://projectinvoice.nl/

We made a boardgame called "Money Maker that accurately models the banking sector, money/credit creation and financial crashes at https://moneymaker.games.

It started out as an educational tool for schools to teach how money creation _actually_ works but now turned into a "family" board game loved by IT people, bank staff and sociology professors. We loved producing it and players are very happy with it because it's so fun but we never really started marketing sadly because we had to take up day-jobs.

https://github.com/pannous/netbase a semantic graph database (written in c++) used internally to host and query the freebase/wikidata datasets with almost a billion relations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freebase_(database) https://www.wikidata.org/

I built a tool for Web Journalists to create headlines. The idea is to give them generic examples which can help in their brainstorming so they can come up with an actual good headline easily.

Created the whole site with complete Auth, Billing etc but lost interest when tried to actually market it. I started creating this when I saw someone make >10k$ launching something similar on producthunt. I thought I can make some ez money too.


Edit: Buy Now won't work because Stripe credentials are expired.

* A fuse filesystem for Linux that mirrored another directory, except for files that were marked as executable. When you tried to access those files, my program executed the file and let you read from stdout.

* A KDE plasmoid that let you drop executable files onto it, and when you did the files got executed. Very simple, although I was proud of the name--dropkik.

* An alternative to markdown that has an ANTLR grammar, so it's easy to generate parsers in many different languages. It's not as nice as markdown though. Also it supported direct export to PDF, so it didn't require a LaTeX install.

I wrote an Android app that splits checks. You pre-create groups of people (Adam and Jane are a couple, John is solo, etc), then for each line item on the bill you decide which groups should be charged for it. You can split tax and tip proportionally or just evenly along people/groups.

And it uses OCR to scan the receipt and read the items, amounts and tax. I was amazed how well open source Tesseract worked for this out of the box.

Finished it but never marketed it, too much of a perfectionist. Worked really quite well though.

This was maybe 6-7 years ago, and I've since seem other apps doing basically the same thing.

I built https://www.musicetutor.com/ for music ear training and music theory in general. No marketing so far but its growing nicely.

I made a web game that's a mix of the board game Stratego and the classic rock/paper/scissor game. Its single player only, and the computer player's logic can use a lot of work but I haven't spent much time on it in a while. Basically you move your pieces to try to catch the other player's flag.



I built a simple flight calculator with the goal of being fast and easy to use. I use it quite often myself.


A very simple website that I use as a replacement for random.org when choosing between different options, or flipping a coin


Also, I have a new song up on Spotify which is an amazing accomplishment for me but I feel too embarassed to share it with others


I built https://cp.lounar.com

Slack bot to streamline customer communications from many platforms. Emails, Slack chats, or mobile text messages can be forwarded to any #channel. All responses in the Slack thread are seamlessly sent back to the source.

Simple integrations already work fine. I am working on "Smart features" like auto classification and smart routing, and implementing of new integrations.

Need help with marketing :)

StoryKey, an attempt at improving BIP39 brain wallet mnemonics. https://github.com/jcraigk/story_key

I have, in my spare time, developed a truly marvelous demonstration of AI, or more precisely, "I", that fits within 10TB and appears to demonstrate in full force and effect an active human-like intelligence with an IQ of approximately 160. Unfortunately at the moment I have neither the time to write down nor is this post sufficiently capacious to allow delineation of the significant factors involved in the development of this system. However I do resolve to do so at a later time.

RSearch, a tool for building recursive topic-trees based on search results and comparing how the topic trees change every day. Similar to Google Alerts but more powerful and informative.

News as Facts (https://newsasfacts.com/) - concise world news sourced from Wikipedia

https://rate.house/ - like a collaborative IMDb but also has music, books, video games, and podcasts

https://wordhoot.com/ - competitive Wordle

None of them are abandoned but I just don't have the resources to do any marketing.

I built a social rss reader that ranks content based on how much you liked other content posted by the same feed or user: https://linklonk.com

I haven't marketed it much except for a Show HN. I spent $20 on Google Adwords to see how effective it is. The result was a few clicks but no new signups. I'm curious how other folks in a similar situation have marketed their side project? What channels have you found useful?

I built a trailer sized heavy duty hard drive shredder that could shred drives down to 1mm aggregate in about 1 minute.

It is acoustically silenced down to about 70db and doesn't need any external power sources/connectivity

I actually did do a bit of marketing but honestly it's not a service Australians want to pay for and the opportunity cost and risk of pushing it further isn't worth it.

Might dust it off again when/if regulations change to require destruction of other people's data on drives at EOL.

That is very very cool. I work at a hospital campus (Melbourne), all hdds require destruction. So I wonder if your customers should be businesses not individuals.

We built https://metrik.one

It’s an advanced analytics tool for Mailchimp. It’s mostly targeting regular newsletter senders, but gives detailed insights into an audience w/o violating user privacy. We like to think about it as the Plausible for Email Marketing. Unfortunately the development took too long, my business partner and friend ran out of runway and my kid was born. Still planning to market it, but so far under the radar.

A service that notifies when specific keywords are mentioned on different social media like twitter, reddit, hackernews, etc...

It was pretty fun to build, and although it has 0 users, I use if for myself to keep track of mentions about another product that I have helped to develop (which has ~1M users).

Hosted on AWS, with a low monthly bill, so I have keep it running as I get some actual value from it :)


How does it compare to F5bot in terms of reaction time? Asking because the latter is nearly instanteneous and it's coverage is similar. It is also free.

Oh, I didn't know about F5bot. If it had twitter it would be perfect for my use case, but I still need to give it a try!

With mine you can get two types of notifications:

"real-time" using a Discord/Slack bot;

"reports" where you get a daily/weekly email with an aggregation of the mentions;

But even the "real-time" part is not instantaneous as the service is not constantly searching, and instead performs searches every 5 minutes. Because the keyword I use gets about 20 mentions a day, I personally like the daily email option to avoid the constant distraction and I also use the service search-engine capabilities to filter/analyze these mentions on a monthly basis.

The biggest reason mine is not free is because I wanted to build a SaaS like solution, integrated with Stripe and such, as I never done that before. But if I would get many users, the monthly bill would also increase so I am a bit scared of having it free to be honest.

I made a discord bot, https://github.com/ClemBotProject/ClemBot https://clembot.io Its not super interesting right now in terms of features but it has all the basics and a solid foundation. But we have some grand plans in the future and once those are realized then I might look into marketing it more.

I was 17 and I built a portable mp3 player out of a computer and put it in a backpack. It ran linux and had a keyboard - no screen. It was way better than the available CD-ROM based mp3 players back then. Who wants to flip through 700 songs on a ff / rewind button anyway?

Sadly, I didn't have the thought or the money or the people to turn it into you know... the iPod. (technically, I was about 2 years earlier, but I'm sure they were working on it)

I built https://www.quikk.co.uk which gives users a better audit trail and backup of their Xero accounting data. I’ve never really marketed it, but MRR-wise it’s doing ok. Promising volumes so far. I keep meaning to put effort into getting it into the hands of those who would benefit most from it but always get sidetracked with my other projects.

Throwing this out there, why not… if anyone would like to help me, let me know!

Slightly related: I wrote a small converter for a couple of unsupported bank formats (like zen.com) for Xero. https://xeroconverter.com

I don't even know if anybody else ever used it, as I don't track anything at all - but most likely not.

I've built Formester[1] which aims to be the only backend that you would ever need for any forms on the web. You want to build survyes you can do it. Want to store data from your own embedded form, auto notify users on submission, protect against spam with out fiddling with complex code and much more. I would love to get feedback from users on what could be improved further.

I had initally abandoned it but have picked it up again in 2022 and this time I'm planning to make it big.

[1] formester.com

I checked it out and yes, formester.com looks great.

A really fast front end testing library, that had one function which just ran tests on the browser.

Tests are just objects where the labels are the names of the tests, and the tests themselves are thunks that return {actual: foo, expected: bar}. These can be arbitrarily nested. No stupid "describe" functions.

I made it because it was easier to make my own little tool than to deal with things like jest or mocha. I sometimes think I should market it - but what's the point?

When Google Play Music died I made https://inter.tube as a replacement music storage locker. It supports almost all of the Subsonic protocol but I haven't had the time to make a web interface for things like the playlist editor so I don't really feel comfortable marketing it. I think it could be useful for a certain niche though. Slowly re-working it to use Cloudflare Workers and R2.

I created a platform[1] to more conveniently write and share bookmarklets. I’ve only ever mentioned it when I see bookmarklets shared as raw code with nasty URL encoding obfuscating things. Costs me a buck or two per year so I’ve kept it around. Seems the only folks who use it are some Twitch streamers from SK. No idea how they may have heard of my little site.

[1] https://bookmarkl.ink

I made a TradingView like app for myself. It doesn't have most TV's features, but has features I care about that TV doesn't have. Was planning to use it to sustain an income to create real apps. But due to the down market, I haven't been using it and instead focus on building the real app. Which will be an origami folding simulator driven by a simple config-like domain specific language. Plan to launch that before eoy.

Valuable? I don't know about that, but fun? Sure.

I developed a 3-D crossword tile-building puzzle. Everyone that tried it was vociferous "You should sell this!" My response was always "I already have a job and I like it. This is a hobby." And I consider it (mostly) completed, not abandoned.


I built a mobile app for musicians to capture ideas and iterate on them, while getting feedback from a small group. It's kind of the shared recorder/playback experience I wish I had when I was in a band. I got it to a fully functional state but TBH I have no idea if there's much demand for something like that, theoretically Soundcloud could be used to do the same thing. But it was a fun little project.

I created a simple little Boardgame News site. It pulls all the stuff I'm interested in into one place which is now a fixed tab on my main browser.


Never marketed because I hate ads as much as the next person, and also because I kept getting messages such as "use a news feed reader." I just wanted everything together in a readable timeline.

We built this during the pandemic (https://www.share.clinic), because we thought it would be useful for people to market all of their online classes, etc. on social media. When it was done, we became so busy with other projects that we didn't have the time to market it. If somebody is interested in taking this on as a project, let us know.

Stretch timer - https://stretchtimer.netlify.app/timer.html

Built it when I needed to do some physio exercises. Could also be used for other workouts.

Built using Elm. Will put the Github link in my bio for a bit.

P.S. sticking stuff on Netlify is my go to for projects I can mentally abandon, without them going off line. This has been online for 3 years :-)

A data-synchronization library for Node.js


Ever get tired of sending API requests and JSON payloads? Wouldn't it be cool if data just synced between server and client?

Jsynchronous lets you share deeply nested object/arrays between node.js and connected browsers – and any changes made to that variable.

I built Riffbase https://www.producthunt.com/products/riffbase

Riffbase is a web application to save snippets of Spotify tracks. Save your favorite riffs of your favorite songs! You can search for Spotify songs directly in the app and use the neat Riffbase interface to pinpoint exactly where the riffs start and end.


Online technical leadership training courses

Kinda in this catch-22 where I need the people paying to feel motivated to finish it, but people don’t want to pay for a half finish set of courses with no promise it will get done!

I made an app that download all news items from Dawn.com (Pakistani newspaper) [1]. The news items are basically jpgs stitched together and it's easy to have all images in one folder and scroll thru. Takes less time to read the whole paper :) The app is lying somewhere in my GH.

[1] https://epaper.dawn.com/

I made a website for using ranked choice voting for online polls - https://poller.io - It has been nice to be able to do a quick Ranked Choice Instant Runoff Vote or Borda Count when deciding on things with friends (i.e. where to go on a trip, or which board game to play).

I "marketed" it by posting on HN and Reddit, but that's about it.

Terrapintonics.com is a sticker site that we got overwhelmed with trying to fullfil orders with so many unique SKUs.

Each decal is different, how do you organize 1,000 different ones on a website, much less the stock of physical decals?

We've decided to just print and list batches of 10 at a time or uncut sheets instead, and we don't market to keep the orders light so it's manageable to ship decal packs in a timely manner.

You must have been doing some marketing earlier on though , right? How did it get to be popular in the first place?

* An app which downloads all the invoices received as email attachment in the last quarter (in order to send them to the accountant).

* An app which identifies the 200 hashtags most frequently seen in Instagram's top posts containing a given hashtag.

For both of these projects, a factor leading me not to start marketing them was the complexity and risks in relying on Google and Facebook APIs as data sources, respectively.

I abandoned a personal search engine offering I had up for over a year at https://mitta.us/. After pivoting it to an offering for prompt engineering management, I'm finding it a lot easier to market.

This comment is marketing. I'm looking for anyone needing complex, time-series based prompt generation for GPT-3 applications.

https://gitlab.echothree.com/echothree/echothree - started years ago as a product information management system for an online retailer, grew a lot of other functionality, now I use it as an example application when talking about GraphQL or other technologies I want to prototype.


Something a couple of friends and I spun up during the Wordle hype. It's PvP Wordle, where you set the word for the opponent to guess and vice versa. The meta is quite different from regular Wordle, obscure words and repeated letters do well.

We were too lazy to market it and have just been playing with friends and family.

MLBell - small liberty bell that rings whenever a Phillies baseball player hits a home run. Built it for a friend, using raspberry Pi and an realtime MLB api.


Not sure if this would be valuable to anyone but I have a custom apps script that parses all of my new calendar event and takes certain actions on certain events. For example, events from/to my wife get marked as personal color and private, title starts with a star -> personal and private. Event from workout class system -> mark as fitness and private.

A vCard parser and validator. The original Python code was clunky, and I've tried to reboot it in both Java and Rust. In the end I've always fallen back to Python, spent a few days bringing things back up to a half-decent state, and then table-flipping at the packaging stage. It will probably never get to a good state, but it's useful for me.

For the last few years, I have been building iOS app to make scheduling your to-do easy. It combines calendar, todo, project managing and even outliner.

Sepnia: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/sepnia-calendar-tasks/id151493...

A chat service with extension to overlay anonymous chat functions on any website, with rooms grouped by url. All JS.

Also a peer to peer parking spot rental platform a la Airbnb. JS with a python backend.

A gamified voter registration Facebook app. Rails backend.

Not that I didn’t think I would market them, at the time I built them I was just unaware of how to effectively, and I have newer projects since.

I wrote a Java SWT application to remove backgrounds and normalize colors in PowerPoint presentations. The use case was my wife was printing 100s of lecture slides in college that would not otherwise print in black and white. I occasionally think about trying to monetize an online version of it.

Around 2005 or so I developed a full Visual Basic-to-C++ transpiler, a visual form editor and an IDE to easily develop Palm apps, all in C#.

Some friends and family told me that the IDE was "awesomwe" (well, awesomeness is very a very relative thing with your F&F) but I never found the time/motivation to polish it and market the thing.

Edit: typos.

After getting tired of no way to easily follow news of AWS product updates for only ones I actually use we built Broadside. You can set which services you care about, how often you want to be notified and it sends you a digest of the updates.


https://nyan.global An EVM disassembler and formal smart contract verifier (got bored, abandoned)


Current project - small molecule chemistry simulation platform (no marketing, passion project)

Do either of your websites work? They look cool.

Do you have any contact details? Twitter?

Yes both work, the GUI for nyan is nearly complete, it allows inspecting the basicblocks and control flow graph of the smart contract

atomictessellator is about 90% functional, you can run experiments, simulations, and view results, it's probably "OK" to launch as a general product, but I'm really working on more advanced catalyst modelling right now.

The distributed computing parts are working, I've partnered with a few hosting providers that have given me free computing power and the systems are running molcular optimizations now, and every few days I pull the results back locally and import them.

I'm really excited about this stuff because there's so much opportunity for industrial optimisation in mastering small molecule chemistry, and existing tools are very poor and very silo'd

I dont use twitter, you can email me alain [at] atomictessellator dot com

Based on the URL, I thought it was going to be the same thing that I had built. It was a simple web app for the people who lend and/or borrowed a book or a CD or something from a friend, but after too long don't remember which one. While still fresh in mind, one would enter:

- their email

- their friend's email

- the name of the thing being shared

- and the date both would be reminded (by email).

We made a contact manager for iPhone. We don't plan to market it until we understand better what we are doing.


During covid we did online classes where teachers present the slides and everything was recorded. I built a simple program that sliced videopresentation into slides and also sliced the audio for every slide. It was convinient to go through presentation slide by slide and play audio what teacher said during the slide.

My Weight Loss Story 40kg in 40 Weeks (90lb in 9 months) Without Exercise [0]

I didn't necessarily enjoy writing it, or the process, but thought it needed to be written because I have heard so many different weight loss suggestions through out my life.

[0] http://40in40book.com

I get a “Too many redirects” error on that link.

Thanks @dave84. Looking into it now. Here is link to Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q6MA3P8

I built a review website (think G2) for political tools as the industry seemed incredibly opaque and driven by word of mouth with the idea of also eventually expanding to giving rankings to individual campaign consultants as well and also sketched out a "toptal for campaigns" site but never built it.


JSON document store that allowed you to access any part of the the JSON document by URL (object.nested.value becomes object/nested/value).

Had fun making it and the website above, but was not really interested in the promotion hustle.

That’s a cool idea. I wonder if you could make a expressive enough query language with it

If I were OP i would use one that already exists like



Thank you both for the suggestions, I had considered adding some more expressive querying at a later stage, will have to consider these.

Not exactly like the title imply. I built a minimalist RSS reader which I use exclusively. The main reason I don't market it I'm unsure I want to deal with feature requests etc. https://feedcircuit.kibardin.name

https://topica.io - productized transcription service to turn video content into a searchable archive

https://joincrux.com - weight loss community w/o the snake oil BS

I built erraticpacket.com

It exists, has a handful of users per day, but I don't market it because it isn't margin positive and certainly wouldn't be with any money diverted to marketing.

It currently gets about 2 minutes of my life per week dedicated to it.... And that's it - times up for this week, bye!

I built https://zebra.page/ during time off from work around the holidays. Stripe came out with payment links a few months later. Not exactly the same thing, but enough to dissuade from spending time marketing it.

I made DBaaS Review: https://www.dbaasreview.com/

It started out as a hosted database price comparison tool on my personal blog and then just sort of grew. It’s not abandoned, but also I’m just not sure what to do with it.


A webapp for creating calendar events with unique links to meet.jit.si for video conferencing. It was an early pandemic project that I haven’t done anything with since putting it up.

I created a 3D digital dice rolling app for tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons. Been slowly adding features to it for just under a year. No timelines, no stress. Growing at a nice pace.


I built a EMR System for underdeveloped countries I also built a social virtual world game non 3d gui

Can you share more about the EMR system?

I just finished rewriting this custom reddit email newsletter service from a few years ago. Fully functional but don't feel like trying to market it: https://orangered.email/

I rebuilt Wordbase, a discontinued word strategy game


It gets a steady trickle of users searching for the original app, and that's all it's meant for (not monetized), so I don't market it

I built an Android app to transcribe WhatsApp voice notes:


I built a bunk bed where the bottom bunk lifts out of the way revealing a play area for kids

Hmm… a personal website that has taken many hours over the past twelve years, a handful of abandoned Free Software projects, …

These things were and are valuable to some people, but I find “marketing” them somewhere between tiresome and repugnant, so I don’t.

There were shy attempts at "marketing" https://collanon.com but I didn't follow through them seriously even though it's a ready to go platform.

i forked and modernized a platform that was built by a university to create collaborative spaces. i added a REST API and use it for modern webdevelopment.

i tried marketing it, but i could not get developers interested because it effectively eliminates the need to do any backend development. most websites are CRUD and don't need a custom backend. this platform has it all. i haven't done any backend development on my own websites for years now for the same reason.

i'd love to get more people to use this, but where are developers that prefer frontend work over backend work?


link aggregator/RSS feed with real-time chat


Knowledge base for slack

I made https://torwhois.com. I posted here and reddit and that's it. It gets decent traffic from researchers and folks searching for onion sites.

I made https://coloursinculture.io

It's a web-app that allows you to understand how colours are perceived by different cultures.

You can search by color, culture or concept.

Russians only put significance into two colors?

Unfortunately, i'm dependent on an incomplete dataset (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kdEOmMxo-Shy2gGlUpPe...) from the original dataviz (https://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/colour...)

That being said, if you have any informations on Russian color meanings, you might consider contributing here (https://github.com/tfrere/colours-in-culture#contribute)

Thanks for the plethora of information! I appreciate it

I built a marketing automation system for Udemy content creators. Alas Udemy decided to block all crawling of their site which broke my ease of use proposition so I abandoned it. I'm still pissed at Udemy.

An experimental weather forecast visualization app: https://brutalism.rs/project/itinerant/

TaaS (https://www.t-a-a-s.ru) - your own headless telegram instance (running on TDLib) accessible via API

I'm building a tool to help people not give up on marketing (something I've struggled with in the past). If you're interested in trying it out please email me. Email on my profile.

Tell us more.

I got tired of not being able to find anything on the web and wrote a bookmark manager that is also a search engine:



I did post it to HN but that's all. Not really sure what to do with it!

I built SmarterCerts.com, a scale inspection software and asset/job management tool. It has never been marketed and sold only by word of mouth in the industry.

UK-specific - scraping online grocery store prices across stores daily since 2020 but never built on top of it, and not packaged to market as api or data set..

It'd be interesting to track shrinkflation too. I reckon it's something news services would want to do a regular segment on.

A tiny Arduino compatible PCB with wheels and motors attached to the PCB board itself, with Bluetooth and a mobile app. (basically a single-board RC car).

I made an entire Car Dealership inventory system. Its nice and scalable with Apis for everything. I have 2 dealers and never grow or market it. stupid me.

Explain more about it

did not abandoned it since i am using for myself but didn't put any effort into marketing it either other than mentioning it on hn few times https://github.com/newbeelearn/sserver . It's hHeadless server for hosting courses and associated blog/static content from private github repository.


Project collaboration SaaS - never marketed!


I'd describe what it is, but then that would be marketing

I've recently started building trydeepwork.com

It has one user: me

I built a music visualizer inspired by vintage stereos, https://soundq.co

An easy way to share contact informative at conferences

- https://qcard.link


I was tired of not finding any recruitment portals for product people and the affiliated work pipelines.

I added a bit of gamification with the play on words but haven’t marketed it, as I just figure everyone else likes LinkedIn.

I personally feel LinkedIn is a cesspool on fire in it’s current state, so I’ve just given up there.

small app that allows me to publish my Apple Notes to my personal website

[1] http://montaigne.io [2] https://podviaznikov.com


Mobile app to help track performance of your solar panels. Supports SolarMeter/eGauge


I have built an iOS and Android app called Boomerang to send email to myself in one tap. It’s been around for 5 years and has started as a side project for learning Ionic. I have maintained it so far and users (5K+ MAU) love it so far and want to give me money for it. I am planning to monetize it though as its started to cost me some money.


I’m using iOS shortcuts for that. I guess an app is useful for those who don’t want to fiddle with setting up shortcuts.

This is great. I look forward to giving you money for this.


A combination todo list and calendar. It lets you schedule your tasks and keeps track of how much time you're spending/have spent on various tasks.

Also has support for recurring tasks like gym, etc.

I may get back to it someday.

bulkbuffer.com ; a CSV uploaded for Buffer. Tens of millions of posts sent.

gpsheatmaps.com ; CSV/GPX to heatmap generator. Working on a new version that supports printing.

I get a few donations a year, enough to cover their costs.

I spent 7 years building my own static site generator CMS.

I added drag and drop, Wordpress-like UI and lot of complex functionality based on studying extensively the existing systems like Jekyll, Hugo, etc. Originally, I started with a Wordpress theme I designed myself. It was great until it wasn't - I tried to add E-Commerce to it and it was the most pathetic architecture for a CMS I've ever worked with. Although I made a successful theme with E-Commerce in it, I refused to use something as fragile. At the time, PHP wasn't great to work with either and I was a Rails guy. So, I looked into Ruby based alternatives and found Middleman and Jekyll. Middleman was quite powerful, but not powerful enough for a travel website where people could sort content by certain criteria, discover new places to travel, etc. Again, I started hitting the limitations of the language itself and felt frustrated. I tried Jekyll, same story. Over the course of these trials, I would work every weekend religiously with meticulous detail. I would spend all my after work hours on this little project of mine.

During the course of these 7 years, many people left, I lost many friends around me because I couldn't trade off the time for them with the time spent this project. I worked on it because I wanted to. It felt like I was going deep into unexplored territory, discovering so many possibilities with just what people would label as a simple CMS. And then, one day, I launched privately. Just to myself. It was a bliss to watch it in action. By then, I had ported it over to Elixir with a custom architecture that could support any business model you want. Data portability and export were one of my core requirements as I had painfully tried to migrate my content from free CDNs more than once after receiving terrabytes of traffic.

Finally, to test my CMS, I implemented it for a client who is still running their entire business on it. They spend barely 1/5th of their competitors' cost and yet are able to serve 3 times the traffic. This was the biggest validation for me, personally. This thing ran by itself for 4 years without any hiccups or maintenance required on the cloud. It was a business unit on auto-pilot for me. I loved it and it was all because of immensely thanks to the architecture which I consciously disallowed Javascript to not be a part of the whole thing. The frontend was completely separated so deployments to the core/backend wouldn't fail because of some dumb sh*t change Babel made to their config file or Webpack is forcing you to upgrade something. In fact, the JS dependency even for the frontend was quite low and I used Phoenix/LiveView where I could and just static CSS frameworks to make the UI look good and plain old refresh and reload for everything else. This still works well for me.

At its peak performance, the SSG CMS attracted a political party member's attention who was running his own online news site at the time. I got a chance to speak to him over the phone and he was curious how the system worked. I politely told him I couldn't sell him a clone of my system as that would be a betrayal for my client. I valued loyality and would never do something behind his back. He appreciated me for that and got some useful advice to upgrade his stack instead. I had never been more proud.

Finally, as with all good things coming to an end - the contract with my client has terminated and I am now doing Startup School to launch my SSG CMS as a Saas. I am also going to open source the core to enable developers to adopt and reap the benefits of my hard work. I know it is just a simple CMS to many, but I consider it my life's work and I see it as much, much more.

In case you are interested, you can sign up on this page for updates, I plan to launch both the OSS version and Saas version before Q4 this year. Thank you, if you have read so far :)


In its current form this sign-up page looks sketchy or just broken at best:

  - Terms of service link is broken  
  - No explanation like this on the site itself  
  - ‘Beta tester 50% off’ doesn’t link to anything  
  - Header image is cut off
For those reasons I would not trust my email to this site if I came across it on the web

Thank you for your feedback, I’ll fix them soon :)

This is pretty cool. How much are you thinking of charging monthly for it?

I was thinking of tiered pricing, someone who just has a personal blog, probably 10 bucks a month. Others would cost more.

this is very cool, good job!

It seems like there is a bit of marketing going on in this thread.

Permy.link is a simple tool to create permutations of text.

my bookmarking site. Not abandoned, i use it for myself regularly, but i dont think anyone else is



Only gave a shoutout on a few subreddits but it didn't stick. Oh well, I use it everyday!

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