• Skylar ChallandSkylar Challand, almost 7 years ago

    Re: #2 It’s definitely tricky to balance self-initiated projects with client projects, especially in the beginning of your company/project. Consulting brings in money (and can pay really well!), and self-initiated projects usually just cost money (and getting paying customers is hard!). From the start we mostly just worked on our own products in downtime between clients, which resulted in a very sporadic schedule. It really helps to be passionate about the self-initiated project, and that drives you to find the time in whatever small ways you can.

    We’ve also experimented with different ways of building our own products. With Symbolset, for example, Mike and I slowly poked around with ideas for nearly a year before we actually launched something.

    Gazette on the other hand, was built in one crazy week. Myself, Sawyer, and Larry spent a weekend hacking together some code and polished it throughout the week. When we launched it wasn’t even fully functional yet (except for the sign up form), but we knew we had 7 days to complete and ship the first issue. We made the deadline, slightly stressful but super fun. Even though Gazette is no longer around, it was a great learning experience (pro tip: if you build a product, charge more than $1.99/mo if you want it to be sustainable).

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    • Sawyer HollensheadSawyer Hollenshead, almost 7 years ago

      Adding onto this: We've also been fortunate to find clients who enjoy working with us enough that they keep a monthly retainer with us to do ongoing work (new features, bug fixes, etc). Having a few of these makes life much easier to work on our own things, since it saves us from searching for new consulting gigs and cuts way down on the number of meetings taking up our time.

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