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I built a resume-padder and earned $700 in the process (euphonious-intuition.com)
133 points by polyfractal on July 28, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments

My side projects look like gifts to me, I feel uncomfortable to sell them.

Maybe this isn't the entrepreneur way but I feel bonded with most of the lines of code I write. I think I could sell two side projects of mine (http://tomato.es and http://drawbang.com) profitably but I use them to experiment and I really like to see them grow naturally, they're like little plants growing in a big forest.

I just checked out your drawbang. It's pretty neat!


You should add some tooltips on the buttons though, as some of them aren't immediately all that clear.

You're right, thanks for reporting.

I've created an issue for that: https://github.com/potomak/drawbang/issues/45

Very inspiringm, I will consider doing the same thing with my side projects. Thanks !

Awesome, glad you enjoyed my story! Hope you make a bit of money off your side projects (or perhaps find a way to monetize them and keep them in your portfolio)

funny to read that, i'm just about to launch my side project with basically the same idea. its not ready yet, but you can peek a sneak preview at http://www.themescroller.com

i think that the themeforest ui sucks for finding themes as well. additionally i think it would be cool to compare themes from different marketplaces...so thats what i'm working at right now

Very nice. After getting feedback, this is basically what I imagined ThemeSquirrel should turn into. Good job grabbing the screenshots of the live preview, and directing right to it. I was too lazy to adjust ThemeSquirrel to do that but I really should have. Also great idea of aggregating the marketplaces.

A few thoughts:

-I'd make the "Large" thumbnail default. It was the biggest complaint I got, and I noticed a lot of people switching to the large size when I checked my analytics.

-Open the previews in a new tab/window. I know most people scroll-click things, but it'd be best to make that default (imo). Most people don't buy the first theme they click, so you ideally want to keep them at your site as long as possible.

hey thanks a lot for your feedback. really appreciate that!

i always thought that open links in new window is kind of aggressive. but a friend of mine also instinctively suggested that, the first time he saw the site, so maybe that's what people want/expect...

did they give you a reason why they'd prefer larger images? isn't it harder to compare themes then?

Sure! I hope your site goes well, it has a lot of potential.

It feels a little aggressive on some sites, but for an "aggregating" site I actually prefer them to open in new tabs. As I see it, I'm using your site to find something...but I probably will look at several different options on your list. I don't like navigating back and forward a lot...I'd rather just close tabs and go back to the aggregator.

Now, that could just be me. I do compulsively open tabs (I have like 40 tabs open right now).

As to larger images: reduces clutter, makes it easier to scan, easier to see details.

If you want to read the initial feedback I got, you can see it here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3502418

I've been looking for a theme like this. Twitter bootstrap?

Wow, this is what i needed. To show me that even something simple can make a change in my financial position. I've almost gave up trying to build something on the side, you definitely put me back on track, thank you!

This is nice and surely the project was worth $700. However, 700 is my monthly rent. I'd rather it stay on my hard drive and allow it to become something bigger in the future instead of selling the idea to someone else willing to go the next step.

Yep, I went through the same thought process while trying to decide if I should sell or not. Your side projects may turn into something bigger if you hold on to it...but are you going to put the time in required to do that?

In the end, I looked at everything on my plate and knew that I would never touch ThemeSquirrel ever again. I have other side projects that I'm far more interested in, with much larger visions of growth/monetization.

It didn't matter that ThemeSquirrel was making money, or that there were actionable pieces of feedback that I could use to improve the site. I simply did not care for the project anymore, and had no desire to operate in the WordPress theme ecosystem.

If I held on to the project, it would eventually have died a slow, gasping death. It's fun to dream about scaling side projects into real companies...but if I never acted on it...it's just dreaming.

6 hours is impressive. It took me that long to just do the jquery + javascript course tracks on codeacademy when I was learning js + jq O.o

To be entirely fair, jQuery Masonry and jsTree do a lot of the hard work for you. Supply them with some JSON and the defaults are pretty good.

I'm a very "copy/paste/modify" learner. So it was pretty easy to grab the jQuery Masonry examples and fiddle with them until I got the output that I wanted.

I also had done two previous greasemonkey scripts to alter the HN interface, which is where I learned a lot of jQuery fundamentals.

I made an Android app with a small user/fan base that I published for free after Admob went wonky in the Google acquisition, but I might want to sell to someone who wants to add ads or port to iPhone since I am too busy to maintain it.

Flippa gets good reviews here, but all the sites listed on its front page look like junk and Spam, nothing even as worthwhile as little ThemeSquirrel

Repost of a comment I made elsewhere about Flippa:

Yeah, 95% of Flippa is garbage.

A few gems pop up from time to time, but there is so much noise it is hard to find them. For a while I really wanted to purchase an app, renovate it by fixing sales funnels/marketing/bugs and start building a portfolio of semi-passive income.

I ended up with a strict set of filter options. Must be X months old, with Y monthly unique making Z revenue. That filtered out a lot of the garbage. I had Flippa email me once a week with these sites/apps, which I then glanced through manually. Most of them were still crap, or way overpriced (like 20 months net-profit).

I really wish there was an "Abandoned App" equivalent to Flippa. A place where programmers could sell off their side projects and abandoned web-apps. I wouldn't allow any adsense sites or anything that wasn't a real "web app"

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