Week 4 – The first stages of the project

Career

This week has been as stressful as anticipated.  I’ve had 2 face to face interviews on the same day which is a first for me,  I’ve had to turn down a job that was paying £35K (my target salary) and I’ve sent my CV to a place I would quite like an interview with (www.kingfisher-systems.co.uk).  At work, I’ve been fairly stressed too.  I found out with 1 day notice that I had to deploy the API and Integration Service that I built.  This meant refactoring some of it to make way for some fairly major code changes that will be happening in our main product.  Either one of these things in separation would have been fine, but both together kind of merged into a 2 day stress headache.

Side Project

As I mentioned in the previous post, John Sonmez made me a video.  Here it is:

I’m in a situation right now where I feel if I was to make my interview skills website I would be limiting my market by quite a lot.  If there’s one thing the video drives home it is the importance of having, and keeping, an audience.  The situation that the Interview Skills website is designed to help people out of is a short lived one.  I know from my own experience that the typical turn around of getting a job after applying maybe a month or two (assuming I’m not 100% actively searching).  Right now I’ve only gone through one recruiter and I’ve had to turn down 2 jobs because they’re not what I want, and all of that within weeks.  I think if I provide an interview skills service my audience will only stick around until they get a job.

This has encouraged me to think a bit more expansively while still being within a niche.  Perhaps interview skills would be a part of what I’m trying to build, but I need something of more value than that.  I think I should appeal more to the beginner software developer looking to kick-start his career  and become a more senior developer.  I need to think about this in a bit more detail and come up with experiments.  Here’s the action points:

  • Decide on some experiments (small websites) to “Test the waters” in different niches
    • Journeyman to Master site (Includes software interview skills/career advice/and more)
    • Movie Speculation – a kind of film speculation platform for people to come and post ideas related to trailers.  Also provides reviews/ratings etc.
    • Think of some more…
  • Consider not doing this by myself
    • For some reason I have a scene from the TV series “Banshee” in my head.  The scene where Lucas Hood is explaining to the team why they always do jobs together after a couple of them went rogue.  He says going it alone is stupid, gives little take (money), and is too risky.  I think this is true for me.  To make a product takes a long time, the building of an audience, developing a product, marketing, design is all going to take a long time without help.
  • Recognise that most revenue streams that people try online fail, and instead of being one of them,
    • Divert your attention away from money and towards building an audience.  Ze Frank did this and I remember him talking about it in a Ted talk where he said the secret to his success on the internet was “Dance like an idiot and don’t sell anything”.
  • Recognise that if you want to just make money you can do that by freelancing in web development in your spare time.  That is much more likely to bring in quicker cash, but over the long term doesn’t offer as much as an audience and product line can.  I can also freelance similarly to what John Sonmez did on Pluralsight, in that I can make a small product offering and give it to a company in return for a revenue stream based off of viewership.  Although this is not the perfect way to earn income, it is closer than freelancing web development in my opinion.

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