Welcome to my income report for March 2020

In March I have earned $278 in total. About 8% more than in the previous month.

What I Did In March

So what happened in March?

Failed a Producthunt Launch

Launching a startup on Producthunt can be either a success story or a death sentence. As you might have guessed from the headline, the launch was a flop.

In this case, I launched The Hustle on Thursday at 0 a.m. CET, spending three hours before crafting the post description, thumbnails, and first comment introduction.

Finally, hit the publish button and nervously waited for the first reactions…that never came.

As an act of desperation, I spammed some of my closest friends, begging them for an upvote. And I thank all of them, that participated during the launch.

Despite a little bump in an upvote count, TheHustle stayed at the bottom of the feed for the rest of the day. The worst nightmare became a reality. People ultimately rejected my first SAAS project and I felt like a failure.

It was foolish in retrospect to be afraid of the launch, to be worried my server might go down from a sudden surge in popularity, to feel anxiety from the influx of comments.

All of that could happen if my project was validated, but it was not. And the only explanation I came up with was the lack of need for such a solution, as I wrote in the past. The lack of pain and an oversaturated market.

Now the only way out, except shutting it down, is to pivot to something else or to make TheHustle free. Both will require at least one month of my free time.

And since I feel burnt out from coding it for over a year, and the next domain renewal is in 11 months, I don’t have enough motivation to keep going in the next few months.

A long break will be beneficial and it will help me to make the right decision.

Learned Vue.Js and Mongo DB

The only achievement in March I am proud of was learning Vue.Js and Mongo DB.

I lurked around Vue.Js for a long time, seeking an alternative to jQuery, that would have the component life cycle, simple local state management, and template syntax.

Vue.Js was the right choice and I am glad I learned the basics. Now I am in the process of refactoring Financia to simplify its codebase and to enrich it with dynamically loaded content.

I could stick with React Js and it could work to a certain extent, but the amount of boilerplate code needed to get going was enormous. With Vue.Js, I just need to define the main component, attach it to the HTML element, and start creating states, methods, functions right inside script tags.

As for the Mongo DB, I avoided No SQL databases for a long time, not seeing any benefits compared to relational databases, until I needed a way to store a huge list of attributes, that has a deeply nested structure.

Instead of normalizing data to a flat table, it is easier to store the original data structure as is, and query only the important objects with a No SQL database query.

Mongo DB will be a valuable addition to my tech stack and I can already see its value in upcoming projects.

Procrastinated during lockdown

Because of the ongoing pandemic, I was forced to stay at home full time the whole past month. Something I dreamed about for a long time after grinding for 7 years in a corporate job.

I thought sparing 2 hours a day because I don’t need to commute to work, or the ability to take a super nap whenever I want will make me super productive and generally healthier and happier.

But having more time doesn’t translate into happiness and productivity that easily when it is suffocated by the lack of freedom. The freedom to move around, to travel, to meet new people, to do whatever I want whenever I want.

It is hard to explain, what causes the void. I tried almost everything to stay sane and motivated at home. Eating enough vitamins, exercising every day, going out for 20 minutes, taking 10 minutes super naps, do jump squats whenever I feel tired, stand on my feet during the work.

Nothing worked consistently, and I lost almost three weeks getting used to the new regime and trying various productivity tactics. My mind gave up after few minutes and reverted to checking pandemic news, lurking on social media, watching boring TV series, and wasting my precious time.

Moreover, with the economy put on hold, the depression is spreading like a disease and there is no end in sight. If there would be no government-enforced restrictions, the economy would take care of itself and created many new opportunities.

But because demand is artificially suppressed, there are no profitable opportunities except creating yet another COVID-tracker, food delivery startup, or remote communication SAAS. None of which I want to do.

Live projects

The Hustle App

In March, I continued to use The Hustle every day and finally launched on Producthunt.

Since the project failed and I don’t want to give up so easily, I came up with few ideas, that could reboot the project. But for now, I will take a break.

Good House Music

At the time of writing this post, my Good House Music Youtube Channel grew to 64 subscribers. An 18% increase over the previous month.

Financia

Financia is going through a complete overhaul as I want to move away from jQuery to Vue.Js. It will take me one more month to finish the task.

I know that code refactoring and rewriting the project from scratch is busywork, that does not bring revenue, traffic, or any measurable result, but I can’t help myself.

Another shiny object syndrome is real and can be a good way to freshen up my skillset and stay competitive in today’s job market. And since I don’t have any other more pressing projects to work on, I kill my time learning new tech.

Income Report Breakdown

For charts and numbers, click on my new Open page

P2P Lending

I am slowly exiting from the P2P Lending market as we speak. I would rather take a small loss paying secondary market fees than hold a bag of defaulted loans.

Unfortunately, the secondary market on Mintos is not as liquid as I expected. Most probably because most investors on the platform are exiting as well.

I will keep my fingers crossed, and hope their buyback program will work as advertised.

Savings Accounts

Interest rates on savings accounts took a sudden hit in March. Czech national bank slashed repo rates by 1% and every bank on the market consequently countered by reducing their client’s offer to half.

That means my passive income from savings will be reduced to half as well. Tough times are coming and the rule of not putting all eggs to one basket proves to be more true than ever.

Used Stuff Sales

My path to life minimalism went well in March. I got rid of an old LCD monitor, some PlayStation 1 games, and a Spanish textbook, I bought for my university Spanish class.

I never knew there was a demand for language textbooks, but obviously, there is. The buyer was a Spanish teacher, who makes money by selling used textbooks to her students.

The student is happy because he won’t have to pay a full price and she is also happy because she earns 50% on top of the purchasing price, dead simple.

Plans, dreams, and wishes

My goals for April are following. Finish Financia migration from jQuery to Vue.Js and add blogging features to TheHustle.

That would be it. Thank you so much for following me on this journey and see you in the next report.

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