Rui Sousa
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'Ship it then quit it' syndrome

'Ship it then quit it' syndrome

Rui Sousa's photo
Rui Sousa
·Jan 4, 2022·

3 min read

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In 2021 I built and tried to launch two projects: Noting and BeautifulCSS. Although BeautifulCSS had its (small) success when I launched it, it soon ended. And all because I never learned how to properly maintain projects...

The dilemma

Anyone that is involved in some sort of developer’s community has heard about ‘shipping their projects’. This isn’t exactly a bad way of thinking since throwing your projects out there allows you to get feedback and improve them. But... What happens after you launch a project?

Honestly? Not much. It's just there.

And that's the issue!

While we often hear that's is great to ship your project early, no one explains what you should do next.

No one tells you how you should have a roadmap or have a marketing strategy! No one tells you how you should probably have started talking about your project like 2 years ago! And no one tells you how you should start building an audience way before launching a project!

If you don't do any of the things that I mentioned above, your project will most likely not stand the test of time.

What I've learned

I've learned, this year, that building your project with love isn't enough. It seems that that's the last thing that is needed to ship a project. Crazy, uh? Your project needs, more than attention, intentionality. You need to sell it! Advertise it! Talk about it almost daily! Build the proper hype around it!

Now I know better. I've learned with it. I guess that's also a benefit of shipping early: it allows you to learn from your mistakes and I most certainly learned with mine.

I learned that I need to take a step back before building something that I want to release to the world.

Most importantly, I learned that I need to plan them rigorously. If I don't do it, I'll end up with a single goal for them, ship them and wait for the feedback, and that doesn't allow me to build on top of what I launch. With that single goal, I'll end up being reactive and, I feel like that's no way of building any type of project! At least not one that you learned to love!

What I'll do in the future

First things first, I need to engage with the community! Build connections, make friends, grow along with other people, learn with people that failed and with people that had immense success! After that, I'll start creating a clear roadmap for my projects. Not just a development roadmap. A product roadmap! Something that allows me to build consistently, share it with the world and, ultimately, build enough interest around it (my two big inspirations for this are Tony Dinh and Jim Raptis - honestly, they are wild; it's amazing to see them build in public!).

And that's it!

The title of this blog post ended up being a bit dramatic ('Ship it then quit it' syndrome - drama much?) but I think it fully represents this behavior. It's something that inherently happens (at least for me) if you don't live (again, is this dramatic?) with intention. Hopefully, this post will serve as a stepping stone for 2022!

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