RealMac's Dan Counsell has a newsletter now (This Curated service is getting some business), and in today's edition, he's got a link to a Medium post called, "Lessons Learned Launching A Side Project in 48 Hours":

The result was BugRex.com — an on-demand chat for people who need technical help. It’s operated almost 24 hours a day by professional developers around the world, which’ll help you for up to 20 minutes for 10 USD.

So far, we’ve had a few hundred chats and five completed sales. In this post I want to share the lessons we learned.

I was interested up until about the "five completed sales". The screenshot they have shows that they released no later than 13 August of last year (screenshot shows August 11), and the Medium post went up on 20 Feb.

So $50 over six months? Um, I can think of better places to put 16+ working hours. I'm guessing perhaps I've got the timeline off, but $50 is not gangbusters for having to risk getting kicked out of the programming zone at any moment to do what StackOverflow does for free.*

But let's keep reading.

We knew that there were two solutions out there already, HackHands and Codementor.io. However, they’re both quite pricey, starting on $1 per minute, which rules out a lot of students and young people.

And you have fairly established competition? (An example thread they included from reddit added another, and the one I was thinking of, fiverr.) This sounds bad.

I mean, maybe they end up growing this into something, and maybe their Medium post is part of a new marketing effort. It's also awfully useful to fail a few times to learn how not to not to [sic] succeed. But wow, this sounds like a bad idea, overall. Low risk, but bad idea.

I mean, how

There was one interesting lesson:

Lesson learned: It’s better to be personal an ask for feedback than pitching your product on Reddit. Just look at the different engagement in the /programming and /coding subreddits in the image above: 64 votes and 81 comment versus nothing at all.

That was legitimately interesting.

Anyhow, I guess it's worth a read, but I think the real lesson here isn't that you can start up a company (did they even incorporate?) and have an mvp in 48 hours, but that it's educational to fail fast. So far, my own side projects have failed much more slowly than that [to be clear, a bad thing]!


* Don't get me wrong; there's an opportunity to provide something better than StackOverflow. I hate it when I ask answerable, but perhaps niche questions and I get crickets. Adding a bounty often helps, but I'm betting there are more folks that'd answer for $10 in their downtime than for 100 SO points.

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