Today, on Tuesday May 24, it's exactly one year since my previous project update on this blog. I wanted to take just a little break, I certainly didn't intend to make it one year long.
Actually, I just read that whole post and some of the things still hold true, yet some of them made me cringe. Mostly this one:
In the worst case scenario, I would have to put it [the app] to rest, get a client work and then continue with it later. But I really hope that won't be necessary.
Because in September, that's exactly what happened. But I already wrote about that, so if you were following this blog, you already know.
Those last 5 months
My last post here was almost 5 months ago, so I thought I will just very briefly recap what I've been up to during that time.
In February, I flew over to Los Angeles once more, because of the job that I had. They wanted us 'on site' to speed up the development. It did help a little bit, but that's beyond this article. I spent 2 weeks there.
The entire March, I worked and lived as a digital nomad on Canary Islands (Las Palmas). That was truly amazing. I met many new and interesting people, I got more confident about being on my own, and I cycled quite a lot. Plus, I got to escape the "suboptimal" weather that's in the middle Europe during that time.
April was quite crazy. First off, I participated in 4-days MTB stage race in Croatia with my father. That's partially why I tried to cycle a lot on the Canary islands - to train for that. It was stressful, exhausting, some of those downhills truly dangerous, but at the same time it was great, for many reasons. Definitely a strong experience that I will remember vividly, probably forever.
After that race, in short succession, I attended MCE conference in Warsaw (Poland), and then App Builders conference in Switzerland (Zürich) (shout out to Patrick Balestra for giving me a free ticket to that one! Much appreciated, thanks!). Both were great, in different ways. MCE was more inspirational (thanks to amazing Product track), but at App Builders I got stronger feeling of the community.
That was from experiences point of view, but what about work-related things? What about the new app? Throughout the time, I've been working on it as much as I could. I was very thrilled at the end of April to be back at home, and to be able to finally focus on it full-time. Obviously, while I had it (till 10th April), the lion's share of my time was spent on the full-time job that I had for the US medical company. Again, I wanted to do whole post on that, but unfortunately didn't get to it. The great thing is, thanks to this job that I ended up having for 6 months, I recently became..
Finally 100% indie
While the job had a lot of issues and I could air my complaints, it also had many upsides, from new experience, new traveling, meeting new people etc. Though the biggest upside definitely is: I got to save up enough cash to be able to focus on my indie efforts 100%, for at least a year (depending on how conscious I will be with my spendings).
I've been waiting and wishing and working toward this state for the past 6+ years! And I am not exaggerating here. I realized a long time ago that I can only do my best work when I can give my full attention to just this one thing. Not being distracted by school, client work, or anything else.
And astonishingly, there was just always that dreaded "something else" that kept me from it. Not to say that I didn't have time - I did, and I worked plenty. But even when I had several hours a day, when I carry that "other thing" in the back of my mind, I simply can't do good work.
This especially struck me back in February, when I was literally spending the days by getting up at 6 am, then 40-min driving to work, being at the office with no natural light till 5pm, then 40-min driving back, and then being too tired to really do anything. This went on for two weeks, and I remember having one of those moments when sitting at the office:
Have I sold out? What am I even doing here? Is it just way too unrealistic to think that I could ever break out of this, and be able to support myself with just my own indie business?
I don't know the answer to this. But I do know, that now that I am in this zen state of complete focus on my own stuff and not having to worry about money for the foreseeable future, things does seem way more optimistic. Except for this nagging feeling: what the heck have I been doing wrong all that time that this state only came now? I don't really know.
I try to believe that things happen for a reason, and that it only can make sense when looking backward. But quite frankly, that's not what I want to do now. I want to look forward. Because there is a lot to look forward to.
One small side note to this: It was fascinating to witness on myself how the mindset changed when I actually started with this 'complete focus on my stuff' a few weeks ago - For a brief moment, it went from "this is amazing", to "this is actually kind of scary". Why scary? Because there are no more excuses now. I like to think of myself that I don't find excuses for myself, but the truth is, to some extent I do. Just like everybody else. But at least I am aware of it, and I kept working all these years to remove all those obstacles one by one. Instead of complaining and never doing anything about them, which (seems to me) is what most people are doing.
The state of my new time tracking app
Okay, it's way too long now (I know!). Fortunately I only have one thing left on my mind that I want to mention in this post. The thing why this blog even started in the first place. The 'elephant in the room':
Where the heck is this new time tracking app? Wasn't it supposed to be launched months ago?
That's a great question! I just spent sizable part of this blog post explaining what I've been doing, but I know that in a way those were my excuses. This is actually one of those 'half full - half empty' situations.
One way of looking at it is that I did a poor job, I am not good enough programmer and I just don't have what it takes to do it in reasonable time, and to succeed.
The other way is: I did what I could. I always tried to decide and act in the best interest of my indie efforts. And I worked on the app as much as I could, within the constraints that I had.
The witty note to those two viewpoints is that there is actually no baseline of how long it should take. There was only my hope/estimate, which tends to be completely off and totally unrealistic each time. So which of those two viewpoints is mine? Well, neither. Or, both. Sometimes just the first one, and sometime I gravitate towards the second one.
I actually found that there is no use in thinking about this stuff. It's best to focus on just doing the best job I can, day in and day out. And again, the great thing is that now I actually have the focus that I needed for that.
So again, where is the app? Except for one tiny thing, the 1.0 is done, and in the preparation for release. And actually I've been working mostly on marketing-related tasks lately. Namely designing landing page, some copywriting, deciding on the launch strategy. Very soon I will share some more details about it. It's exciting that I will be pushing it out to the world soon. But at the same time, it's scary. It's making me anxious. But at least it's the good kind of anxiousness.
Anyway, this will be it. I really hope to blog here more often, but I don't see it very optimistically in the upcomming weeks. I need to really focus on releasing the app. If you made it all the way to here, even if it was just one person - thank you!