One Month of Tiny Projects
After doing one month of tiny projects I have to say it is very engaging crafting different things and exploring new technologies. But damn is it difficult! As I progress through working on my tiny projects I am going to be focusing on creating projects that bring me joy and that I find truly interesting. I think I was so focused on getting different projects or small bits of something working that it was subtracting more from my life than adding to it. So this month I am planning on working on bigger projects that might take longer than just one week.
I want to focus on building out more substantial projects and possibly making a little bit of money off of the projects that I create. There are two big ideas that have me currently excited. Those two ideas are Hedwig Newsletters and building out a service to help find pain points in developers/SaaS documentation. I will expand upon these in more detail within the coming weeks but I think these will be a great starting point.
After reading Ben's post about creating a tiny website I went for it! I think it turned out pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. The tiny website gave me my own little space to create and make it just as I want it! I found this intriguing and it made me very excited to start in on some other projects! In pursuit of creating my tiny website I explored a couple of different options to make a static website - AWS S3, firebase, etc. I finally settled on Netlify because of the GitHub integration making it super easy to push the static content up. Plus I also got the sweet domain name that you are on now!
As I explore more on Netlify the more impressive features that I find. One of the more interesting features that I found is the ability for Netlify to host the form(s) that you see on my website without me having to do anything crazy extra! All in all, my website turned out amazing and it was super easy to set up!
Tiny Dividend Calculator
For my next project I wanted to create something to solve a problem that I was always seeming to have. When calculating dividends or trying to predict how much I was going to make in dividends. I found you were never able to build a portfolio and see what you were going to make on it. So I decided to make a Vue.js app to solve the problem! I found creating a web app from scratch to be easier than I could of thought (once I read more into the documentation).
I had experience with Vue.js through work so the only thing that was new to me was starting a brand new application from scratch. The most phenomenal thing about starting from scratch is all the open source elements already created for use. For instance, the charting element I used was open source and all I had to do was pull it in via npm. This was like discovering fire for the first time. I was downloading packages for a bunch of different elements left and right. The idea that people created these components and allowed others to build on top of them blew my mind.
I ended up not being able to do everything that I wanted to with the tiny dividend calculator, but this gave me such a rush to create something from the ground up. If you check on the post on my tiny projects page you can see where I could possibly expand it in the future. The big thing that I want to find is an legitimate API that allows you to publish the data to third parties without breaking the terms and conditions.
Spring/Java backend API
The next tiny project was probably the tiniest of all projects. Yet I still learned a lot. I learned that even though AWS provides a ton of documentation for how to do calls for Rekognition and S3 static sites, I found it a bit difficult to follow or a little outdated. But once I got the code I needed and the calls to make, it was smooth sailing. By smooth sailing I mean spending hours trying to pull in the correct dependencies so that AWS Rekognition will build via gradle in my eclipse. Thank the gods for whoever helped create Spring Initilizr because it was invaluable for helping me initialize my spring environment with all the necessary data dependencies. I only did the API as I did not have enough time to fully dive into the idea that I had with reading data off of a video game scoreboard to then look up the players to get their corresponding stats.
As mentioned above this is one of my most exciting prospects! I think that this is a neat idea that solves a problem I think anyone that is interested in newsletters has. Finding good newsletters! I created this app by using glide and google sheets. I didn't have to write a single line of code and it felt amazing! It was exciting to see something come together and not have to create the whole full stack application.
I think that this idea has some room to grow because I have seen similar ideas come up, but I have yet to see a large database of newsletters! So my idea was to create this and hopefully have people submit their favorite news letters and then curate a bunch of them together so that there is a wide variety to choose from! I plan on hopefully putting this on Indie Hacker so that it will get some traction and maybe get some new suggestions for newsletters!
Overall I have really enjoyed working on these projects and hopefully over time they will begin to build upon each other or at the very least inspire some interesting ideas for me to pursue. I think I will begin to allow for more time for ideation as well as trying to create a project that will generate a small bit of revenue. But from what I have been reading is that you have to be able to solve a problem as well understand how much that could be worth to your audience.
Finally I wanted to give Ben from Tiny Projects a shout out and to thank him for inspiring me to start on this journey!