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Last weeks thread: https://barnacl.es/s/gfnpio/what_did_you_accomplish_this_week

This is a place to share what you accomplished this week for your business. Feel free to brag a little, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice!

Lets keep it going people! This week: Even if you didn’t get much done, share the problem (either business related or technical) that you are currently trying to tackle.

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    This is a great big week for me. I’ve been working on my game [Community Chess] (http://www.angryelement.com) for over a year now and I launched my beta signup site. I’ve gotten about 30 signups and I’m pretty happy about that so far. Just getting this far has been the most work I’ve ever put into anything in my life. I had been questioning my choice to release for Android AND iPhone simultaneously for the last few months - because it sounds insane for a single person studio. But now I’m so glad I did. No barriers = good.

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      If you don’t mind, did you write both mobile apps natively or use a cross-platform tool? What were your experiences?

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        I don’t mind at all! I could talk tech for days. I wrote a single 2D app using the Unity3d engine and targeted iOS and Android with it. However, I did the vast majority of my testing using Windows and Mac builds. The whole thing took me about 13 months at 40-50 hours/week (If I didn’t have a day job I’d have had MVP completed by January). I spent the first six months strictly targeting iOS. It wasn’t until I started fishing for testers that I realized I needed to target Android sooner rather than later. Adding the Android build took about 3 weeks. The only differences between iOS and Android are the authentication mechanisms. For iOS I’m using GameCenter and the IOSNative Unity package. It’s good but it has a LOT of stuff I didn’t need as I only needed basic sign-in support. For Android I’m using Google Play Games. GPG also has a Unity package that I got off their Github. Would you like to know anything else? I also wrote a ton of server code and a bunch of AWS DevOps-sy related automation so I can one-click update my application.

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        This seems really cool. I’m not the target demo, but I think you’ll have some success with this. Good Luck!

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          Thank you! You might be surprised. I built the game for two kinds of people: those wanting to learn and those wanting to teach. I’m bad at chess and what stops me from getting better isn’t a lack of interest, it’s me not wanting to get crushed and the time it takes for the crushing. My game eliminates that by letting me drop in and out of games and still earn rewards. It also keeps everything timed so the game keeps moving. And with me being able to get real-time suggestions from people better than me I can learn what they know.

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        I tried some advertising on Reddit for my site (remote-first.com) on a smaller subreddit to see what kind of return I could get. I threw $20 USD at it and only spent $1.89 before they refunded me saying there wasn’t enough traffic. In total my campaign only ran for 30 days, there were about 5800 impressions, and only 44 clicks. I didn’t get any jobs advertised this way so I think this was a targeting failure on my side and I’ll try again.

        I also reviewed some other competitors in the space and reduced my price for an ad to be more competitive for ‘smaller’ sites.

        Next up I’m going to see about advertising in a larger subreddit, as well as seeing if there are some alternatives for ad targeting. Right now the issue is just getting the ball rolling on advertising as it has been the past few months. I have yet to make any money on this site but thankfully it doesn’t cost me much per month to run.

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          I did throw $100 at Reddit to advertise wormhole.network in /r/sysadmin - Got 4 or 5 new signups and spent the whole $100.

          I think my landing page is not good enough, so my next step is to hire a marketer to help me setup a landing page for the next campaign.

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            Yeah I don’t have much of a landing page for my site since it’s a job site. I’ll try posting again to a larger subreddit, maybe I’ll have some luck.

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          Not a ton to brag about this week :(

          Best I can say is after some disinterest in a small reporting project I have been promoting I think I’ve decided to move on from it and find other, better things to build. But that means I have to make some money in the meantime and find a good client over the next two weeks.

          Meanwhile, I made a lot of progress on a little JavaScript game I’ve been developing!

          (Btw, I’m out of town next week, so someone else should post this thread on Friday morning!)

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            Added sessions to app. Even though there is no login, this is going to be the base for some future features, like saved searches and voting. Still working on how analytics will work in a graph database. querying and visualizing is the difficult part. I think I have figured out the collecting data part. Played around with adding recipes to the site. Doing some tests not to see if I should go down the recipe path, or down the contact producers path. Contacting producer features could lead down the road of building a CRM for producers, which would be interesting.

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              Very slow week for me, so not much has been done. I looked at some technical stuff regarding building a wordpress plugin, and I’m still thinking about some issues that might crop up regarding arbitrary third-party themes.

              I don’t have any viable SaaS ideas, so wordpress plugin it is I guess (for the time being anyway). Should be a learning experience. If anyone has any advice re: selling wordpress plugins, I’d love to hear it!

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                My Opinion on selling WP plugins - and it’s Opinion with a big O because it’s not based on facts, just stray observations.

                I think we’re past the point where you get a ton of instant popularity just by virtue of being a WP plugin. I don’t think the market is entirely supersaturated (there are some niches still to be had), but it’s a big uphill climb like any other online business. The good news is that people are starting to take the WP market seriously, thus accepting that good WP plugins cost money and they can’t have everything for free. Though the “WP market” covers everyone from bloggers that get 100 page views a month to fortune 500 companies, so looking at it from that angle isn’t very useful.

                Not sure what plugin you’re considering, but if you can narrow it down to a niche market you’ll have an easier time. E.g. the only plugin for wedding photographers that lets you instantly generate a custom site personalized for every photoshoot, guaranteed to make your customers buy more photos.

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                  Thanks matthias! (where you been? we missed you!)

                  It’s definitely going to be an uphill climb, but honestly i’m looking at it as more of a stepping stone than anything else (I have no expectation of leaving my $dayjob after launching 1 wordpress plugin). I think you’ve made a very good point about niches, and I’m going to have to think about that some more. Everyone seems to price their plugins with reoccurring revenue model in mind, although I have no idea what the actual renewal rates are like.

                  I think i’ve come to terms with launching a free “lite” plugin on the official plugin directory (something I was initially opposed to). It’s a valuable channel, particularly if you target a niche as you suggest, and it becomes part of your funnel. What really pushed me over the edge, because I didn’t realize it previously, is that wordpress plugins do not have a specific exemption from Wordpress’s GPL license, and as derivative works (this seems to be the current consensus), they must be GPL licensed as well. Since I have to release my code as GPL anyway, I may as well have a free version in the plugin directory. On the plus side, i’m not doing anything that hasn’t been done a million times before anyway, so who cares.

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                Nothing at all this week; $DAY_JOB kept me too busy. This is unfortunate, but I will make progress next week

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                  This is more of a side project (scratching a personal itch and learning along the way) than a SaaS business. Three friends and I enjoy playing fantasy golf with each other during the major golf tournaments of the year. Our format is a little different than others, in that we like to draft players (so that no one has the same one) and we like to penalize you if you don’t have a certain number of players make the cut. A couple years ago I wrote a Python script to fetch scores and figure out who’s winning but if I wasn’t at my computer I couldn’t run it and we were clueless of where we stood.

                  So, I threw together a little Ruby on Rails app with user auth and some simple html. Now I don’t have to manually run my script and everyone can check up on how they’re fairing at any time. There are a few more features that I want to add, which shouldn’t take too long, but then I’ll just put it on ice for a while. You can find it here: https://caddiehack.com/

                  I’m not sure if there’s a way to make any money… I’ve thought about offering a paid feature that pulls in the odds for the upcoming tournament and a bunch of other stats (e.g. Driving Accuracy, Putting Avg., etc.), but that’s pretty easy to Google and not sure if it’s of much value. In the end it was more of a learning experience for me.

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                    Have you considered just a straight forward mobile app?

                    IANAL, but as long as you are fantasy based, you should exploit the same fanduel/draftkings loopholes and allow gambling! those guys seem to have a ton of money.

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                    Big accomplishment this week - I delivered my first public speech yesterday, speaking at DigitalOlympus.net event about lead generation with content. Still buzzing from the experience. Other than that… ummm… I was just too focused preparing the talk :)

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                      Shipped a blog post about Elm, which I plan to do every week while I’m building a product around it. No big news on elm-conf but people are continuing to submit talks. Hooray!

                      I realize I’m maybe going into building this business a little backwards, now that I say it. I’m shipping a one-day conference before a single line of code!