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Shipping a project in 24 hours

12 Jan 2024

Three days before the New Year's, I had an idea to build a simple printable calendar app.

This idea had no more chances of getting shipped than any before it. There are people who ship projects and there's me — at best, able to ship client work on a deadline.

If I were to build this app, it had to be out by Jan 1st, I thought. By Jan 2nd, half of us will have already broken their New Year resolutions and won't be bothered.

Dec 31st

Dec 31st rolled around and it was getting obvious that it wasn't going to happen. A year from now I'd get that renewal email from Namecheap reminding me that I never built habitcalendar.co.

A graveyard of unrealised ambition is what my Namecheap account is.

A friend suggested I install Copilot and let AI do the groundwork. Writing javascript is sometimes a slog for me, so I was willing to try.

Me and Dan the Deer got started.

Suddenly we were on a roll. The code was far from perfect, but it almost wrote itself. I had to summon my 15 years of dev experience a few times to implement the tricky parts, but by that time I was in the zone.

By 7pm I felt that I was almost done and posted an Instagram story saying I was going to launch the project on ProductHunt the next day. Friends liked it and there was no going back now.

Time to Ship

Jan 1st came and it was time to ship. I marked the missing features as coming soon and submitted the project to ProductHunt and HackerNews.

It never made it to the Featured page on ProductHunt, despite having more upvotes than half of the featured projects at some point. But on Hacker News, it spent a solid 48 hours on the first page of the Show HN section, and some people loved it. A few of them found a Buy me a Coffee link at the bottom of the app and bought me 6 coffees.

Suddenly I was a person who not only shipped a product, but also made money from her products, and it was only Jan 1st.

Time to Ship, Again

A few days later I got an email from GitHub marketplace saying my app, todoguard.dev, got approved. Right! The app I started coding at the tail end of the last year.

I now knew what shipping fast looked like. I speedran through the final fixes for To-do Guard and added the link to my Twitter bio. While I was thinking how to launch it, the analytics showed 5 visits to the site and I got two free customers.

Suddenly I was a person who shipped not one, but two projects, and had customers to support — and it was only Jan 9th.

I was now one of those people who ship projects.

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