|It's been a year since my original Show HN post  announcing Server Check.in , so I thought I'd post a reflection after my first year running the service.|
Server Check.in is an inexpensive website uptime monitoring service that I started out of my own need—if I had no users, I'd still keep it going. Fortunately, there are enough paid customers to keep me interested, and I've learned a lot from their feedback.
I had a good initial batch of signups after the announcement post on HN. These early customers gave me a <i>lot</i> of feedback, and some suggested fairly major revisions to the service. It took a lot of discipline to make sure I only worked on the most valuable features first.
I decided early on to focus on stability, scalability, and performance before working on some requested features, which was a great decision. The distributed Node.js-based server checking is working very well, and my master server running Drupal/PHP/MySQL still has plenty of capacity.
Below are some of the major lessons I've learned in the past year; I wrote a blog post  explaining the points below with more detail, and I hope you can learn something from my experience.
(Note: For HN readers, use coupon code SHOWHNAGAIN for 25% off a year of service.)
1. Your priorities are not your customer's priorities.
2. Sales is an uphill battle (for a developer).
3. Contributing back to OSS improves you and your code.
4. Keeping a good work-life balance prevents burnout.
5. Experimenting makes you a better developer.
6. It's harder than you think to build a simple tool like Server Check.in.